Manorlady formed in Virginia in 2009, then relocated to Santa Cruz in 2013. But it wasn’t until the group released the Barely Not Dead EP last fall that the band popped up on people’s radars. Live, fans can hear a lean, mean trio—Melissa Bailey on bass/vocals, Aaron Bailey on guitar/vocals and Conor Kelly on drums—ripping through the fuzzed-out, moody, multi-layered post-punk tunes. But the EP was recorded prior to Kelly joining the group, using a drum machine.
“Everyone thinks it’s an actual drummer, but my brother-in-law actually programmed those,” Melissa says.
Drum machines are nothing new for the group, as Kelly is the first live drummer to play in Manorlady. Previously, Aaron had programmed the drum machine while playing the guitar. While in Virginia, they had a third member who provided keys.
The first couple years in Santa Cruz, Manorlady wasn’t that active. Kelly joined the band last summer, shortly after Barely Not Dead was recorded, but before it was released. Not only has he made these songs work live, but the trio has also written an entire full-length album, which is already demoed and ready to be properly recorded. They hope to release it later this year.
“We love having a drummer. Aaron can just focus on his guitars, and not have to do all that drum machine stuff,” Melissa says. “It’s been an adjustment for me. I learned to play with a drum machine. With a drummer, it’s more dynamic. We’re not stuck on the beat that the drum machine is doing. I feel like we have more range. We’re experimenting a little bit more.”
INFO: 9 p.m. Thursday, March 30. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8/adv, $10/door. 429-6994.