One of the most important traits for any band or musician to acquire is simply standing out. It’s easier said than done, but when an act can engage with an audience in a memorable way while creating music that’s purely pristine, they’re bound to get people’s attention. Consisting of Tema Siegel on lead vocals, Zach Blankstein on guitar, bass and backing vocals, Jared Gozinsky on drums and percussion, Will Griffin on bass, Danny Silverton on keyboards, Jeffrey Pinsker-Smith trumpet and Eric Tarlin on saxophone, synthesizer and backing vocals, Boston indie pop act Couch have a knack for pulling this off in emphatic fashion. Folks will get to see what they’re all about when they perform at Park City Music Hall in Bridgeport on November 16 as part of a show presented by Cheshire’s Counter Weight Brewing Company. Fellow Bostonian Alison Amador will be opening things up at 8 p.m.
I had a talk with both Blankstein and Tarlin ahead of the show about the band’s musical roots, releasing a new EP a few days ago, touring the United Kingdom for the first time and what they’re looking to accomplish going into next year.
RD: Couch has a sound that combines funk, rock and R&B, which is further developed by your backgrounds in jazz, a cappella and musical theater. How did you all come together from these different places? Did you all go to high school together?
ZB: A bunch of us knew each other around the time of high school and early college. We all went to different high schools, but they’re all within the Boston area. Each of us were looking for a musical outlet and our vision and goals all sort of aligned and met up at the right time. With seven different people, there’s seven different tastes in music so that’s where you’re getting that combination of lots of different styles. That’s basically how we came together.
RD: When it comes to performing on stage, do you guys take cues from different theater productions that you’ve been in and integrate them into your approach to live music?
ET: I wouldn’t say that we’re directly pulling from specific theater productions, but Tema went to school for musical theater and a lot of her vocal style as well as her stage presence can be traced back to that. The rest of us have performed in various settings whether it’s jazz, a cappella or temple music groups, so everyone has their own different backgrounds. We also just inject a lot of our own senses of humor while on stage, we like to goof around and have fun with each other. All of those different factors come together and create what we do up there.
RD: Very cool. On November 3, Couch released a new EP titled Sunshower. Where was it recorded and did you all have a specific vision for the record? It kind of seems like a record that echoes summer, but it came out in the fall.
ZB: We definitely have a bright, positive sound that people often equate with summer and we spent a lot of this past summer working on this, so you can hear that vibe in the EP. It was mostly recorded at our homes, we have a few different studio setups and it’s a pretty DIY process. For some of the more involved recordings, we have drums, live piano and things like that and we’ll rent a studio, but the entire process took place in Boston and the surrounding areas to keep the roots there.
RD: You guys also did a sold-out tour of the United Kingdom recently, right?
ET: Yeah we did, it was our first time out there.
RD: What was the experience like for you guys being across the Atlantic?
ET: It was surreal. My favorite part was hearing people singing our lyrics with accents that I don’t usually get to hear. It was a landmark set of performances for us because we have a lot of friends in the Northeast, we’re a big band and there’s seven of us so there are usually personal connections, friends and family helping populate our crowds a little bit. Over in the U.K., it was all just Couch fans and it was a nice reminder that people really resonate with our music in all different parts of the world, so it was a really special experience for us.
RD: I can totally imagine, especially with you guys being in a different country and playing to new audiences. After the upcoming show at Park City Music Hall, what are some goals that Couch is looking to accomplish going into 2024?
ZB: This current tour that we’re on in support of the Sunshower EP is going to take us into the new year and we’re going to wrap up the East Coast this weekend with a string of shows that includes a stop in Bridgeport. Then next month and into the beginning of 2024, we’re going to be playing in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Austin, Dallas, Chicago, Indianapolis and Detroit. All the while, we’re hoping to start working on new music while continuing to promote and get people excited about the new record.
When: Nov. 16, 2023 at 8 p.m.
Where: Park City Music Hall, 2926 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport, CT 06605
Rob Duguay is an arts & entertainment journalist based in Providence, RI who is originally from Shelton, CT. Outside of the Connecticut Examiner, he also writes for DigBoston, The Aquarian Weekly, The Providence Journal, The Newport Daily News, Worcester Magazine, New Noise Magazine and numerous other publications. While covering mostly music, he has also written about film, TV, comedy, theatre, visual art, food, drink, sports and cannabis.