The roots of local dream-pop surf group BB Sinclair stretch back to an unexpected place: Iceland. Primary songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Fernly Mueller-Tuescher, who is originally from Aptos, spent a year in Iceland from 2016 into 2017. While there, she was pretty lonely, and spent her time writing a lot of music.
“I wrote it locked away in a bedroom in the winter. It’s a lot of introspective melancholy songs,” Mueller-Tuescher says. “I’m bad at keeping diaries, so I was trying to turn out a couple songs every week, preferably almost one every day, to sort of be processing day by day. I was trying to do that through music, then I ended up writing songs that sounded really nice.”
Upon returning to the Santa Cruz area, she spent some time working toward feeling better and improving her mental health. But those songs nagged on her. Initially she played them on a synthesizer with just vocals as a solo act called “Fernly.” The music was catchy, the lyrics very open and honest.
“It was almost like folk music with electronic instruments,” Mueller-Tuescher says.
Then last winter, Mueller-Tuescher met Jillian Bean White (bass), Lauren Diquattro (drums), and Melody Egbert (synth), and turned her solo confessional project into a pretty rocking band with elements of synth-pop, twee and surf. The group in its current lineup played its first show earlier this year. Currently, they’re working on their debut full-length, which they hope to have out this summer.
The group members also have a common bond in identifying as queer, and are also one of the few boyless bands in town.
Though much of the music was written back in Iceland, Mueller-Tuescher doesn’t feel they are as lonely and sad now as they seemed back then.
“We’ve changed them around,” she says. “It’s a lot more reading like an old diary, which is a little embarrassing in front of a bunch of people. But it’s also very satisfying in the way it affects people in its honesty.”
INFO: 9 p.m. Thursday, May 24. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.