Gazelles frontman Adam Bertholdi remembers The Beach Boys always being present on his family's home stereo. He remembers running and dancing around the living room couch with his younger brother, and when his family would take to the road, The Beach Boys' music would be on in the car too.
"They were all we listened to," Bertholdi says.
It's no surprise, then, that Bertholdi's music with the Denton-based Gazelles seems pretty heavily influenced by The Beach Boys. And though Bertholdi agrees that The Beach Boys' music made an impression on him, he disagrees when asked if he feels there are any comparisons between the two bands' sonic stylings.
"I personally don't think we sound like The Beach Boys," he says. "But they were a huge influence on me, musically, and certainly for all the other members in the band as well."
He's right to an extent. Listening to a Gazelles song, you wouldn't think, "Hey, this sounds just like The Beach Boys!" But you might notice that the poppy sing-along songs are just as safe and accessible as the Boys'—kinda like something you'd listen to while at the beach or bouncing around your parents' living room.
"We're writing fairly simplistic pop songs that people will hopefully like and connect with," Bertholdi explains. "I remember hearing 'God Only Knows' as a kid and not having any idea what the song was about. But the music created a certain feeling, and I get the same feeling I felt back then when listening to it now. I was very connected with the emotion of the sound of the music.
"I think we try to create that, in a way, with our songs, though [our songs are] nowhere near as complex as the Beach Boys'."
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Last week, Gazelles self-released a new four-song EP—its third since forming in 2005. Recently, the band posted the songs on its MySpace page, and though the EP was available for purchase at the band's show this past Sunday at Hailey's, the official CD release party will have to wait until mid-November when the band returns from touring the East Coast and playing the CMJ Music Marathon.
The release is more of the same from the catchy, poppy group, and for good reason, the band is quite proud of the songs.
"This EP, this time," Bertholdi says, "I feel like we are starting to really become who we are as a band. These songs sound like, well, they sound like Gazelles."
And if Gazelles sounds a little bit like The Beach Boys—whether or not Bertholdi wants to admit it—that's OK too.