Hailing from the outskirts of San Francisco, Torrey are a quartet built around the brother-sister pairing of Ryann and Kelly Gonsalves. Although both obsessed with music from a young age it was only recently that the siblings began to collaborate, resulting in the debut Torrey album, Something Happy, which the band self-released into the world earlier this month.
Recorded at the Tiny Telephone studio in Torrey’s Californian hometown, Something Happy is a record that lives up to its title, walking the line between tongue-in-cheek and bitingly sincere. At the heart of their sound is Ryann’s vocal, her lyrics offering the kind of hope that can only emerge when someone knows the darkness and the hope that can come from healing. If the lyrics carry a certain ambiguous positivity, the music here is straight-up joyous. Pop songs that are delivered through a dreamy-indie filter, touching on influences that bring to mind everything from The Sundays to Anna McClellan. Take the band’s recent single, and the album’s opening track Screens, an anthem of social-media-induced anxiety, that builds around an urgent guitar line and the repeated refrain, “screens say you’re alright, but are you?” Equally excellent is Recording 119, a track that despite its understated title is a brilliant slice of jangle pop, marking Torrey out as contemporaries of UK-based acts like L I P S or Worst Place. By the time the final track arrives, the run-away-indie-pop-train of First Jam which features the most wonderfully nonchalant vocal, it’s hard not to feel like you’ve just heard the start of something special, Torrey’s potential is thrilling and as the live music scene starts to amp up once more, don’t be surprised if it’s a name you start hearing an awful lot more about.
FTR: For those who don’t know – who are Torrey?
Hello! We’re Ryann, Kelly, Eric, and Adam — a handful of pals that enjoy playing music with each other. Kelly and Ryann are brother and sister — Eric and Adam are lifelong friends, together we are Torrey, an indie pop(ish) four piece from the San Francisco Bay Area.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
Our first show was super sweet and strange — Ryann worked security at our favorite local venue The Chapel in San Francisco where they hosted their first ever employee wide showcase called “The Chapening”. We opened up the night to a room of all our friends and coworkers and it was scary, but very fun. It was an incredibly welcoming environment to perform as a band for the first time.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
We make music because we love music! It feels good — there’s just something about writing a song or putting together an album with a group of people that’s really special – especially when it’s collaborative. The bones of these songs may start with Ryann and Kelly, but they don’t come alive until we’re all in a room together. The result of that collaboration is a really awesome bond we have with one another. To make art with another person, or a group of people, you have to be super comfy being vulnerable with them. We’re definitely grateful to have that with this group.
FTR: What can people expect from the Torrey live show?
Something new every time — we’re still sorting out what we want our live show to be and what we want it to sound like. We just want people to feel good and to enjoy themselves during the show. We wish we could say we’re tougher live or more punk, but we smile a lot and hope the crowd smiles a lot too. Lotsa love and friendly rock and roll.
FTR: What’s next for Torrey?
We have a show August 7th at The Rickshaw in San Francisco! Hopefully more shows to come — it’s been incredible to have the opportunity to play live again. We also have another record in the works! It feels like we have grown up a lot musically over the last year or so — we’re excited to see where these new songs go, to record, and eventually share them!
They Listen To…
Strawberry Switchblade – Trees and Flowers
Duster – Cooking
The Amps – I Am Decided
The Sundays – Summertime
Lightning Bug – Vision Scraps
Something Happy is out now. For more information on Torrey visit https://www.torreymusic.com/.