Two Deep Ellum mainstays are teaming up for the ultimate pleasure experience. On Friday, Eric Rosener, lead vocalist of Overshare, and Saxon “Shibby” Standridge released the debut single, “Leather,” from their new collaboration Pleasure Clone.
With Shibby on vocals and Rosener leading songwriting and production, the two make a smooth transition from trippy, alternative-style indie-rock to a hypnotic pop sound.
At Rosener’s home studio on a March afternoon just weeks before the release of “Leather,” Rosener and Shibby are listening to mixes of upcoming Pleasure Clone songs as the Observer arrives for an interview.
Though he is known to strip down to his skivvies on any given night at Three Links or Club Dada, Rosener has long been open about his anxiety. This is most notable on the Overshare song “Spaceships,” on which he sings, “Spaceships flying around my head / I’m trying to get straight / Take me to the mothership / I begin to levitate / Spaceships flying around my head / I’m trying to get back to Earth / Tell me what I’m worth.”
The overall vibe radiating throughout the room is laid back, and a bit eccentric, which seems appropriate. Pleasure Clone formed by way of a whim, as Rosener was originally producing “Leather” for Shibby to release as a solo track.
“We were like midway through finishing ‘Leather,’ and we’d done a few songs before that,” Shibby recalls. “And Eric was like, ‘What if we just made this thing?’ We could do a project and start playing this live. And I was just like, ‘Oh yeah, dude, that'd be sick.’ Our styles mesh together super well, and we have a lot of the same influences. But at the same time, we're very different writers and artists. Eric and I would never write the same song, but we would write very similar versions of the same song. So it's like that combination where you get that cool, middle ground.”
Rosener had been sitting on various songs, unsure whether they’d become Overshare songs or tracks he would release as a solo project. While the Dallas music scene is largely drawn to Rosener’s thick, raspy singing voice, he decided that some of these songs would best be delivered by Shibby’s smooth, silky vocals.
“I think he has a much prettier singing voice than me,” Rosener says. “He’s been able to take these songs that I've been writing for a long time [and make] much prettier, poppier, catchier songs because of his voice. It just was a really good recipe.”
As a group, the two maintain the same vulnerable, raw elements that they first introduced in their own music. “Leather” opens up with a punchy bass line and a guitar riff produced by Rosener, with Shibby then diving into a sexy, torturous account of heartache.
“I’m scared / Feeling nervous / Anxious because nothing’s working / Nightmare, here in person / Try to take me / I’m escaping,” sings Shibby on one of the song’s verses, putting a painful range of heartbreak on display.
“With some of our stuff, we definitely like to try out a ton of crazy ideas,” Shibby says. “We like to break the rules of what you’re supposed to do and see if we can make it sound good.”
Though Shibby and Overshare are known to fill local venues on any given night, neither has released a full-length album. Overshare has four singles on digital streaming platforms, while Shibby has four singles plus a seven-track EP. Still, their set lists often include unreleased songs, and both of them likely have multiple albums’ worth of songs in the vault.
But over the course of the summer, Pleasure Clone plans to focus on standalone singles to generate hype before releasing an EP or album, which probably won’t arrive for some time.
“[We’re] not going to drop any sort of multi-song project until there's a reason to," Rosener says. “I don't want to blow my wallet on a big album when no one’s really listened to us, you know?”
Still, the duo teases “three of four” songs this year. One of these is one called “Radio,” and they play a rough mix of the song. Equally catchy as “Leather,” the upcoming “Radio” opens with a trippy, transcendent drum pattern as Shibby laments over his troubles and worries. “All these voices in my head sound like a radio,” he sings.
“Pleasure Clone’s lyrics are rather personal,” Rosener says. “They’re somewhat exaggerated, like a lot of great art, but the sounds are very driving. They're very strong and hard sounds, but they carry a softer meaning.”
Pleasure Clone proves promising, but both Shibby and Rosener still plan to release music and perform with their flagship acts. Overshare will perform at Ruins on May 22, and Shibby will likely be in attendance, as he is often found hanging around the scene when he’s not performing.
Their names on a set list usually foreshadow a crowded room, and the two emphasize the importance of preserving local venues.
In recent years, Deep Ellum has been plagued by gentrification and violence. But the two maintain love for the neighborhood and continue to support other Dallas acts and venues.
“We can’t lose Three Links, and we can’t lose Club Dada,” Rosener says. “They are the heart of Deep Ellum, and as long as they’re still there, we’ll have a scene.”