Their new album, “When This Plane Goes Down…“ encapsulates a whirlwind of emotions that range from feelings of nostalgia and child-like bliss, to existential crises and loneliness. Garnering inspiration from artists like Radiohead, Soccer Mommy, and Alvvays, Rachel and Justice find an impeccable stride that builds on one another’s unique songwriting and musicianship.
After releasing their own separate EP’s, Rachel and Justice decided to join forces for the upcoming LP, When This Plane Goes Down. They recently collaborated and released two covers, “Forrest Gump” by Frank Ocean and “Japanese Denim” by Daniel Caesar, which have collectively gained over 150,000 listens on Spotify. They also have a combined 175,000 monthly Spotify listeners.
Learn more about Rachel and Justice in the following All Access interview-
Thanks for your time! So what does a typical day look like for this band?
There isn’t really a typical day for us. We could be doing a number of things. Rehearsing, writing, reading or going for walks.
Now that we are at the back-half of the year, how would you say that 2019 has treated this duo so far? What are some goals that you have for this year and how close are you to reaching them?
2019 has been a great year for us. Our band has just started, but between the two of us, we played a lot of shows this year in various groups and did most of the heavy lifting for this latest record.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this band together? Has anything surprised you about this musical journey so far? How did you come up with your name?
In the summer of 2018 we started writing together and the energy was right. Musically we had a good mix of similarities and differences taste wise.
How do you think your hometown has influenced the sound and how you both carry yourselves in this band?
Growing up in smaller cities/towns made us introspective writers. Also coming from tight knit music scenes made us search for a similar thing when we respectively moved to Toronto. We value deep connections with those we work with musically.
Why would you say that you two work so well together? Where is one of you weak where the other is strong and vice-versa? Why does this duo work?
Rachel spearheading the lyrics and vocals while I focus more on sonics works well for us. Even though we focus on these areas respectively it is always an organic process where we have our hands in all aspects of the project.
Let’s talk about your brand new self-produced album, “When This Plane Goes Down.” What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything surprise you about the overall process?
This project is like a journal of the last two years of our life compiled into a record. There are a lot of memories stored in these songs and we hope people will attach their own memories to the music over time. Overall it was surprising that some of the first songs we ever wrote together made the album. Some of these songs were close to being abandoned but we repurposed them in a way we felt fit the record.
How would you say that it compares to anything else that you have released?
This is the first thing we have released that feels like a complete artistic statement.
While it’s difficult, can you pick out a few of your favorite songs on this album and talk about how they got to be on this album?
“Alex” is definitely one of our favorite tracks on the album and our current opener in our live set. The instrumental had been kicking around for a while but it took Rachel multiple attempts to get the lyrics and melody to the right place. This was a song with multiple distinct versions.
How do you think your sound has grown over the years? What about your songwriting process? How has that changed?
Over time our sound has become more cohesive and has incorporated more live instrumentation. Though we have always felt good about the blend of our individual sounds, some of our earlier work (some of which is unreleased) felt more like our two sounds sitting side by side than blending well. We used to write by sending files back and forth but recently we’ve written a lot more in person.
Where do you think you are both happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
We love spending time perfecting in the studio but the feeling of playing songs we’ve poured a lot into is very rewarding.
What has been a favorite show of yours to date? What do you think makes an ideal performance for this band? Do you have any upcoming tour dates to wrap up the year with?
Our favorite show was our release show. It was great to have all of our friends and family in the crowd and sell out a Toronto venue. We have a couple upcoming shows in Toronto including an opening set at the Garrison for Pleasurecraft.
How do you think being musicians and in this band gives you all the most joy in life today?
Being in this group gives us joy because it is feels uninhibited creatively between the two of us. We also love sharing honest work with listeners.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? If you don’t think it is, why is that?
When we make our music we don’t think explicitly of trying to represent 2019 or a political agenda. These things inevitably seep into the music because we are living in this time but it is not a major focus.
Who would you love to work with in the future? Who are some of your favorite artists right now? What do you think would be a dream collaboration for this duo?
Some artists we really enjoy right now are Phoebe Bridgers, Alex G, Cocteau Twins and Clairo. It would be very cool if any of the above approached us to collaborate.
Where would you love to hear your music being played? A TV show, a movie, in your favorite store, etc…?
Hearing our music in any movie or TV show would be insane.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
We hope that people attach memories to the songs and connect to the stories we are telling.