Apple has long been heralded for its creative advertisements—particularly when it comes to music choices. It could be argued that Steve Jobs is solely responsible for catapulting The Ting Tings, Jet, Chairlift, and Feist, among others, to fame. And with the highly anticipated reveal of the Apple Watch, another rising indie band joins the ranks: Holychild, the electro-pop duo fronted by college buds Liz Nistico and Louie Diller, supplied the bright and bubbly, pulsating indie goodness behind the shiny, rotating accessory.
"It’s such an honor, and I don’t know if it would feel that way with any other brand," Nistico tells InStyle. "Apple consistently has great music in their ads." Her bandmate and musical confidante, Diller, echoes her sentiments. "Apple cares a lot about their aesthetics and presentation," he says. "They always tend to be very on-point artistically." Apple's tune of choice, "Running Behind," is actually one of Holychild's older songs, originally released last fall. "It gives a nice little taste of what we’ve been working on," Nistico adds.
A quick glance at the track listing for the band's upcoming debut record, The Shape of Brat Pop To Come (out June 2), reveals the plethora of politically-fueled topics they plan to sonically address: "Nasty Girls," "Money All Around," and "Diamonds On the Rebound" all comment on the role of the female and the male in our culture, gender ideals, expectations and power dynamics, and consumerism. We caught up with Nistico and Diller during their tour to promote the upcoming release (they'll continue as the opening act for Passion Pit this spring). Here's an excerpt from our conversation:
First off, how did you two meet?
Nistico: When we were juniors in college at George Washington University in Washington D.C. Louie was the musical accompanist for my dance class.
Diller: It was a modern dance class, and the teacher was pretty demanding. She'd request that I compose symphonies using piano, drums, keyboard, and percussion. I don’t know if I’ll be able to ever do that again.
How did you realize you wanted to make music together?
Diller: One day after class, I was riffing on “Pyramid Song” by Radiohead, and Liz was the only one in the class who realized it was Radiohead. I was immediately drawn to her, and we ended up having a long talk about music. I sent her an epic playlist and she sent me one back.
Let's talk about The Shape of Brat Pop To Come. What is brat pop exactly?
Nistico: It’s essentially sarcastic pop music, or rebellious pop music. We definitely love pop—we love catchy melodies and we love working within pop form, but at the same time, a bunch of the cord progressions will be experimental, and a lot of the rhythms are more interesting. Louie studied drums with this amazing Cuban drummer in Cuba.
Diller: It was my last summer in college before entering the real world, and I just wanted to do something crazy. I spent the remainder of my savings and studied Afro-Cuban drums and percussion with this world-renowned drummer, Giraldo Piloto, and lived with him in his house in Havana. It was set up through a Canadian-based international drum organization called Kosa.
How stoked are you about the Apple Watch commercial?
Diller: It’s pretty surreal to have it happen to us. It’s that serendipitous moment when the stars align.
Nistico: More than anything, it's widening our platform of people we can reach with what we want to say. It’s nice to broaden our audience and have an impactful conversation with our culture about these things that bother us.
Diller: And they didn’t mess up our song at all. It’s something we feel very proud about.
Pre-order The Shape of Brat Pop To Come for $10 on the iTunes Store.