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Suburban Living: Yours to Interpret.

January 22, 2015

SuburbanLiving01onlineText by Brendan Menapace. Images by Chris Fascenelli.

In this life, Wesley Bunch is the creative force behind Suburban Living. Not that he thinks that is what he has always been.

“I think everybody has a past life and something embedded in them,” Bunch says. “I think that in a past life, I was a writer, like a storyteller or something.”

suburban-living-jan241-1180x1180Originally from near Virginia Beach, Virginia, Bunch moved to Fishtown after deciding that Philadelphia would be the best place to cultivate his musical interests. No longer living in the suburbs, Bunch is settling in nicely to the big city.

“I just moved to Philly three months ago,” Bunch says. “I love Philadelphia. I think it’s a great town and a really great music scene. I just got tired of Virginia Beach. I love it there. It’s home. But the city life is more for me.”

The 23-year-old Bunch is sitting in Interstate Drafthouse in Fishtown. He talks excitedly about his musical project and throws around words like “rad” liberally.

“I got a guitar for my 11th birthday,” Bunch says. “I basically got down playing a guitar and after that, it mostly became a songwriting tool. I’m not very good at guitar but I thought I could use this thing to write music.”

After playing in a few bands in high school, Bunch decided that it was easier to simply make music on his own.

“I kind of always played music by myself throughout high school,” Bunch says. “I joined a band that was, like, super ambient post rock stuff and in the middle of that, I kind of started to really like pop music. I became enthralled with really great pop bands and indie pop kind of stuff, so I wanted to make music that I really liked listening to.”

Heavily influenced by the likes of Sonic Youth, Bunch started making music on his own that has pop sensibility but still has a weirdness and dissonance to it. If he had to categorize it, he chooses “dream pop” as a genre, but doesn’t like to pigeonhole himself.

“I’d like people to take away just a sense of being able to interpret it on their own terms,” he says. “People always ask what my songs are about and stuff like that. What I’d really like is the listener to interpret it on their own and just enjoy it, really. If it’s one of the more upbeat and poppy songs that you can dance to, then dance.”

Bunch recorded his upcoming self-titled LP in Virginia with Mae’s Mark Padgett. For live shows, he recruited drummer Michael Cammarata and guitar and synth player Chris Radwanski from Night Panther.

“I met Wes through Andy from the band Cruisr,” Cammarata says. “Wes moved to Philly looking for some new people. We practice at a spot a couple of minutes from where Chris and I live in Doylestown. We can play all hours of the night.”

Being that he’s no longer living in the suburbs, Bunch says that the sound might change as he assimilates further into the Philadelphia music scene.

“I’m a firm believer that the environment you’re in can completely influence the type of music you make,” Bunch says. “I think living in the suburbs of Virginia really influenced the sound of Suburban Living. I think the sound is going to change on the next record now that I’m living in Philadelphia. When I live in a certain place, it totally affects how I write music.”

Suburban Living’s album release show will be at Bourbon & Branch on Saturday, January 24. See here for ticket info.

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