Friends laughing as they forget the words of a song.
Positivity fills the air of band practice. STA students sophomore Brianna Valine, sophomore Madison Fitzgerald, and junior Ruby Dibble’s band “This is Baltimore” started earlier this year.
One unique thing about the band is that there is no lead vocalist. The girls share the job of singing and a collection of instruments kept in Valine’s room. Valine is the band’s resident guitarist while Fitzgerald focuses on playing the piano. All three girls dabble in playing the ukulele and feature the instrument in some of their songs.
Musical memorabilia and instruments fill every open nook of Valine’s bedroom. Guitars out and music books open, practice begins with the band’s newest song, “Mr. Superhero,” which the band has been in the process of writing for the last two months. After many retakes, Valine and Fitzgerald take a break to send the recorded song to band member Dibble who was out of town.
In the cozy room piled with pillows and stacks of paper, a certain song book goes missing.
“It’s a green notebook,” Valine said.
“Okay, scavenger hunt, let’s go!” Fitzgerald said.
The notebook, eventually found under the bed, holds many of the band’s ideas and original songs.
“We lose things a lot,” Valine said.
Objects strewn around the room, the group relaxes while they plan what to practice next. Keeping it casual, there is not usually a set schedule that the band follows once practice has begun.
“We sometimes have a hard time focusing and like to go off on random tangents,” Fitzgerald said.
While there is a relaxed vibe at the practices, the girls know when they have to work. They focus on writing music and lyrics while sitting on pillows in front of a computer. Using the musical influences of pop and folk, the girls brainstorm three-part harmonies to sing in original songs as well as musical covers and mash-ups. All three girls pitch into the writing process, although writing original songs is not as easy as it sounds.
Ideas for songs sometimes come when least expected for the band.
“Sometimes inspiration comes from the things we say jokingly,” Dibble said.
Between singing, the girls look up music videos on Valine’s computer as a reference for songs they are covering. After a few clicks and seconds of buffering later, Fitzgerald and Valine watch Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” on YouTube after not being able to decide on what cord to start on. After pacing the room and some minutes of deep thinking later, the band finally came to a decision.
“The key of C!” Valine said.
While hanging out, playing music, and having fun these girls love to joke around during breaks.
“Your life is going One Direction.”
“This is Baltimore” has big plans including continuing to create original songs and to start playing gigs. The band hopes to become famous in the music business and have fun continuing to do what they love: music.