The Beaches are making space for women in rock music

- by Karen K. Tran

RIGHT NOW, THE BEACHES WOULD NORMALLY be celebratin­g the release of their new EP, Future Lovers, with a show or maybe even a tour. But with pandemic lockdowns still in effect, they’re currently up to something very different, to say the least.

“Just because I have it right here, let me show you my Nick Jonas coaster!” Guitarist and keyboardis­t Leandra Earl excitedly holds up a drink coaster to the webcam to show me the DIY crafts she’s been working on recently. She then shows another drink coaster, this one depicting a two-headed Kevin Jonas.

The rest of the band have also been working on their own hobbies as well: drummer Eliza Enman-McDaniel has been doing yoga and meditation, guitarist Kylie Miller has been practicing her cocktail-making skills, and bassist and lead vocalist Jordan Miller has been taking the time to draw more.

“I think that starting new hobbies during this pandemic has really helped with my mental health,” says Earl. “In the beginning, it was hard to play music or even listen to music because I felt so sad about the world and kept thinking, ‘When are we gonna get to play again?’ I started skateboard­ing, drawing, making coasters — just anything that wasn’t music. I eventually went back to it, and I feel like I’m in a better place with my relationsh­ip with music now.”

The Beaches frequently get personal with their lyrics — and this often means writing about their femininity in songs like “Slow Mo” and “You Don’t Owe Me Anything.” The narrow “girl band” label can be frustratin­g for the Beaches — yet there’s also a part of them that wants to lean into it.

Enman-McDaniel says, “As much as we are a female rock band — and we do embrace that side of our femininity and use it to our advantage — we do also hope that one day it just won’t be a thing that people talk about.”

For their recent material, the Beaches have made it a point to hire more women. “At our last photoshoot, everyone on set was a woman,” says Kylie. “And at our video shoot for ‘Snake Tongue,’ everyone on set was a woman. That’s just one thing we can do to share the diversity a little bit more.”

The band’s focus on diversity is particular­ly important during Pride Month; they had even looked into performing at a virtual event pending lockdown restrictio­ns. They have been aiming to play a show at a Pride event in years prior, but were always touring and away at festivals every June.

“I have come out during the last year, so it feels like this Pride will be important to me,” Earl says. “We did a Zoom hang with some fans recently, and it’s the first time I’ve heard from young girls that I’ve had an impact on them coming out. I can’t even put into words how that made me feel.”


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