Fred Armisen and Bill Hader have been doing the Blue Jean Committee thing for some time now. The pair first debuted their sun-dappled soft-rock band on SNL years ago, and recently the group got the rock-doc treatment on IFC’s Documentary Now!.
But next week, the band will release Catalina Breeze, an actual EP with actual songs—including the track “Gentle and Soft,” which you can listen to exclusively below.
As Fred Armisen tells EW, the short-and-sweet song serves as a sort of manifesto for the Blue Jean Committee. “It came from when we were writing the show,” says Armisen. “The main idea of the band was that they were gentle and soft, so I listened to SiriusXM’s The Bridge a lot. Everyone is so smooth and gentle, and they play a lot of the band America and Seals and Crofts and bands like that. I wanted that sound, very smooth and purposefully soft sound that also works as rock. To me, that reminds me of California and the early ‘70s. So the best way to do it for us would be to just spell it out and call the song ‘Gentle and Soft.’”
“There’s a lyric about a ‘Captain Tom’ in the song,” Armisen continues. “I feel like a lot of early ‘70s lyrics, I don’t know why, but it’s very nautical, and there seems to be a lot of dropping of names—of strangers. There are so many names!”
Armisen, who once drummed for the hardcore band Trenchmouth, adds that he did his fair share of research. “I was emailing with one of the members from the band America, Gerry [Beckley]. I asked, How did you get that sound? And it’s because they all, at the time, engineered their music to sound good on AM radio. And they still sound good today on your iPad.”
The Blue Jean Committee’s Catalina Breeze is out Friday, Nov. 20, on Drag City. You can preorder the EP here.