The members of Big Tree met through a series of magical coincidences and serendipitous connections. Like dandelions blowing in the wind, the seeds of the band spread from California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois, and New Hampshire and have now planted rootsin their new home in the San Francisco Bay. Vocalist and songwriter Kaila McIntyre-Bader and bassist Luke Bace started playing music together in a Jazz Improv workshop at Sarah Lawrence College back in 2008. Guitarist Danny Pirello was that guy that always seemed to be around campus and at parties but didn’t actually take any classes (it’s not as sketchy as it sounds: he was attending classesjust up the road at Stonehill.) Vocalist Anna Ghezzi also attended Sarah Lawrence but didn’t connect with the group until after graduation, at which point they asked her not only to join the band but to leave Brooklyn and go on a one-way tour to California. When they arrived in the San Francisco Bay, drummer Matt Schory was there, unknowingly waiting for them all. He happened to be at Big Tree’s first Bay Area show in 2010, and the band happened to need a new drummer. He also happened to look a lot like Danny, sparking the conversation that would ultimately lead to him joining the group.
While these five people had much in common, there was one thing that tied them together the most: their love of making music and their belief in Big Tree as a vehicle for song. With the group’s move to California in 2011, Big Tree grew tighter as friends and as a band, resulting in an evolved and focused version of the original group inspired by the beauty of the Bay Area and the hopefulness of a new location. Not surprisingly, each new song the group wrote seemed to embody the adventure they were on and the myriad feelings that came with it.
My, How You’ve Grown is the very culmination of these feelings. It’s an EP that offers an intimate glimpse into the dreams and desires of the members of Big Tree; five songs that are the sum result of five years worth of wonder, frustration, and hope, as individuals and as a group. It is an EP about the scariest parts of becoming an adult, about maintaining belief in something bigger than the individual, and about attempting to choose the path that makes you happy.
The vulnerable honesty presented lyrically was something the group wanted to deliver throughout the EP, so Big Tree set out to continue in the analog direction set by 2012’s Little EP. Recording with Jamie Riotto at San Francisco’s beloved Tiny Telephone Studios, the group again seized on the best qualities of Big Tree’s stage sound by tracking live to 2-inch tape. However, unlike Little EP, which captured the group in it’s rawest form, the band has been able to capture something different; a happy hybrid of the unprocessed energy and pocketed groove achieved through live tracking combined with just enough studio color to deliver the recorded songs to their fullest polished potential.
The resulting EP, My, How You’ve Grown is a collection ofsongs intended to inspire youth with optimistic anthems, to provide an escape for their peers suffering from the mid-20s funk, and to remind older generations of a certain naiveté and freedom.