Oklahoma act The Ivy is spending the second half of a busy year releasing new music and hitting the road.
During a stop in Baltimore, the Tulsa-based duo of singer/songwriter/guitarist Wyatt Clem and songwriter/synth player/bassist Shawn Abhari chatted with Variance about the excitement of being on the road and the unusual circumstances which brought about their new single "Good Faith," which arrived on Friday (Sept. 15).
"Shawn and I took a trip to Mexico and stayed in like a little surf town and just thought it'd be a cool idea to kind of get away for like 10 days," recalls Clem of the song's origins. "And we just set up a little mini-studio in this storage container house that we were staying in. We tried to write like one or two demos every day just to get ideas started. And I think it was one of the last ideas that came from that trip. All we had was a basic chord progression, and I kind of hummed some gibberish over it and that ended up kind of becoming the main melody."
Clem continues: "And then when we brought it back to Oklahoma, that's when we finished writing. It had like, first chorus, basic song structure going. And then we had some studio sessions scheduled for that month in Santa Monica working with two producers that we worked with previously, and they loved the song and helped us piece together the final pieces together."
Unlike with some bands who perhaps stumble onto the inspiration for new music, The Ivy candidly admits they had set out to write and record new music, specifically for a full project.
"The song is part of our debut album," says Abhari of the yet-to-be-announced full-length. "So we took those trips with the intention of writing an actual album. And this is one of the songs that came with that. We're super proud of it."
Abhari is also quick to point out they weren't fully aware of how productive these sessions would actually be, or whether they were just spinning their wheels.
"We were kind of surprised afterwards. We listened back to all the songs and we still liked them," he says with a chuckle. "And that was pretty significant for us, because whenever you're writing a song one day—or multiple days—you can kind of forget, and you go back to it later thinking, 'Does this even sound good or not?' So when you go back a week later, you can kind of have a better idea."
As the pair prepares to take a month off before hitting the road again in mid-October, they're ending the year on a high note, while keeping their eyes fixed on the bigger picture, something they both say has been important to them since they released their first EP in 2017, the same year they put out their breakout singles "Gold" and "Have You Ever Been in Love."
Six years later, having previously shared the stage with the likes of LANY and The Band CAMINO, they say it's about enjoying the small victories and embracing the big moments when they come.
"It's kind of felt like little things have been moving forward even though it might not look like it from the outside, or even from the inside sometimes," says Abhari. "But it's the little wins that keep happening. It's the team that we've built now, which we're very proud of and excited for. Even just those little aspects that are more behind-the-scenes, just kind of falling into place, it shows us that growth. It's like, 'Oh, we just had a surge on this song,' or we get introduced to the right person. All those pieces fuel the fire for us to keep building this project."
The Ivy's new single "Good Faith" is out now and they'll hit the road again Oct. 10 in Austin, with stops in San Diego, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Denver and then a show in Tulsa to close out the year on Dec. 8 at The Vanguard.■
The Ivy's 2023 tour dates:
Oct. 10 — Austin, TX — Spider House Ballroom
Oct. 13 — Dallas, TX — Club Dada
Oct. 14 — Oklahoma City, OK — Resonant Head
Nov. 26 — Phoenix, AZ — Rebel Lounge
Nov. 27 — San Diego, CA — Soda Bar
Nov. 29 — Los Angeles, CA — Moroccan Lounge
Nov. 30 — Sacramento, CA — The Starlet Room
Dec. 2 — Seattle, WA — Funhouse
Dec. 4 — Salt Lake City, UT — Urban Lounge
Dec. 6 — Denver, CO — Lost Lake
Dec. 8 — Tulsa, OK — The Vanguard