Pearl & the Oysters

By Meghan Gallagher

Some musicians describe their music to me as grunge. Some tell me their music is experimental. Some describe their music by listing off artists they have drawn inspiration from.

I recently asked Juliette Davis of Pearl & the Oysters how she would describe her music: “It’s like you’re in space . . . but underwater.” And that’s the most accurate description of a band I’ve ever received.

Pearl & the Oysters will entice you like sirens luring sailors to the sea, only they will transcend you to an Atlantis full of vintage Florida glam. Their music and visuals are an ode to spending the days by Art Deco pools, shaded by palms, wearing rose-colored glasses. They are refreshing and new yet feel like the closest thing to a mid-century modern retreat and induce feelings of being sun-drunk. I thought they came to us in a dream - a hazy figure of our wildest imaginations, but it turns out they are real and have shared some super juicy details about themselves with Narrow.

Pearl & the Oysters, who make 1960s psychedelic music and art seem ordinary, is made up of the mysterious duo Juliette Davis and Joachim Polack. They are inspired by their new, lush domain in Gainesville, and wrote much of their music during the transitional time of moving here from Paris.

“The landscape and the greenery quickly became an aesthetic obsession that influenced song moods, topics and titles. We played with the space opera imagery on the first record to romanticize our discovery of Florida as if it were an unknown foreign planet,” Juliette said.

Their music making has been nothing but sunshine and daisies thus far, with fond memories of opening for Mild High Club in San Antonio, playing in Tijuana, and their recent release show in Gainesville. Juliette reminisced more special memories, such as at Voltaire in West Palm Beach where they first completely sold out of merch after only playing live for a few months. It’s not hard to imagine, as their art work and visuals are equally as stunning as their music. Trust me, their album covers will be adorning apartments around the world.

Their creativity is fueled by a supportive Gainesville music scene that continues to welcome obscure touring bands.

“We discover amazing acts here all the time. Recently, Hartle Road from Mississippi absolutely killed it!”

The flourishing scene allows them to collaborate with other great local musicians; they give a shout out to the Edmonson brothers, Robert and Jack. P&TO surely keep listeners excited and on their toes featuring guest musicians a wide variety of instruments and equipment. Most of their equipment is top secret, probably because it was received from aliens, but a big trademark of their sound is adding some ol’ wow and flutter to the Omnichord for an authentic vintage flavor.

On top of sharing some of her secrets as an artist, Juliette let us in on her list of current music obsessions that is truly a treat to be cherished:

“We’ve been spinning the Brenda Ray Naffi Years compilation a lot. Also, really getting into Taiwanese jazz pop band, Sunset Rollercoaster. And, to name a few P&TO staples: Haruomi Hosono’s album Pacific, Taeko Ohnuki’s “Sunshower,” Mitch Margo’s song “Full Moon” (amazing hidden gem), Chris Cohen’s second solo album, our friends Dirtbike from South Florida, Dent May, April March… Lately, we’ve also been going back to a very influential album for us, which is Marcos Valle’s Previsão do Tempo.”

So now that we have enough fresh music on deck for the week, be sure to keep an eye on their Florida tour coming up in March or catch them in Texas for South by Southwest. There is also a live album in the works to stay tuned in for, but for now put “Vitamin D” on repeat and float off to oasis!

dave kosciolek