Chicago duo make party music suitable for any era.
Disco, funk and '80s electro intersect and come alive when the sounds of Chrissy & Hawley. Their brand of electronic pop brings to mind British icons like Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Moloko in both approach and charisma. Hawley Shoffner's distinctive voice is alluring and haunting in the way that it'll sear itself into your consciousness, staying with you long after the song has finished. Her voice leads the way, playing companion to Chrissy's energetic electro that takes inspiration from genres of yore, but forges a new path grounded in the present.
Together, the pair released their joint debut over the summer and have continued to release videos since. Outside of the project Hawley releases material as a solo artists and Chrissy DJs across the Windy City. We got to chat with them both about the project, the importance of new music and what's next.
Homebase: Chicago, IL
How did the two of you originally meet/get introduced?
Hawley: Through mutual friends.
Chrissy: Yeah, we're both from Kansas originally, so we have some mutual Kansas friends here in Chicago who introduced us.
If you were to creatively describe your sound, how would you?
Hawley: The music I make with Chrissy is way more fun/playful than the music I make on my own. I think the music sounds like we party with our parents.
Chrissy: Our parents are super cool. That's relevant background info that you need for the parent party thing to make sense I guess.
What albums /artists do you think have had the biggest influence on your sound? In what ways?
Hawley: Favorite voice—Karen Dalton
Favorite sound—Arthur Russell
Favorite songwriting style—John Cale, Fred & Toody Cole, Phil Lynott
Chrissy: Erasure, Pet Shop Boys, Bobby Orlando, Lime, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Shep Pettibone, Kate Bush, tons of others!
Considering Chrissy's blogger past as well as you playing a Boiler Room set and that being a prime way of building an audience, what's the most exciting thing about having an internet presence as a band? Can you think of an odd/interesting/fantastical way you've utilized it as a medium or want to?
Chrissy: I like getting to stay in touch with people we meet at shows. The personal aspect of being at a show with real humans is the most important to me, and so the internet's big advantage how it facilitates staying in contact with all the people we meet on the road.
Hawley: My plan is to see how many pictures of nipples I can post and get removed from Instagram.
How do you discover new music? how important is that discovery to you?
Hawley: Very important. Usually through friends or digging around in record stores (Permanent is my favorite). Thanks to YouTube, I fall in love with a live performance or a music video a couple of times a week.
Chrissy: My main avenues of discovery are brick & mortar record stores (Gramaphone is my fave), and friends telling me about stuff via email or in person or whatever. I'm really bad at seeking out new stuff online.
What's your favorite place and time to listen to music?
Hawley: Favorite time is early morning with coffee, favorite place is my couch with my cat Pyewacket
Chrissy: Anytime! In my apartment or on my bike or the train or at a nightclub.
If you could soundtrack any film, what would it be and why?
Hawley: I would love to soundtrack a western.
Chrissy: I think I'd rather be the music supervisor and pick other people's songs than score it myself. I'm always seeing movies and thinking "UGH why did they use THAT song?"
What's your favorite era and why?
Hawley: Probably this one because all of my favorite people are living in it and I couldn't imagine living in an era where things were even worse for women.
Chrissy: 100% agree. Like, stuff is totally lousy now but it's still better for the majority of humans than it has ever been before. Nobody has small pox, for instance! How cool is that?!
What's next for Chrissy & Hawley? What are you each independently working on?
Hawley: My plan is to write some Chrissy & Hawley songs and a solo record in my apartment over the next couple of months. Looking forward to recording a solo record in early February and one with Chrissy at some point in the next few months.
Chrissy: Yeah! Also working on writing some C&H songs and a bunch of solo material as well. And we're lining up some more shows too!
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