Massachusetts and Florida have this intrinsic connection. Florida is the place where Mass locals buy condos on eroding beaches, while the Bay State becomes a home to transplanted, Floridian twenty-somethings in search of seasons, among other things. Enter Haley Honeycutt, the founder and lead singer of Orlando, FL band, Baby! Only now, she’s ditched the humid, oversized peninsula for Allston, where she’s lived for just over a year. She’s since rounded out Baby!’s surf rock sound with the addition of guitarist Lea Jaffe, drummer Chris Chew, and Ari Blut on bass.
Honeycutt, Jaffe, and Chew sit across from me at FoMu, on those metal seats that stick to your skin when it’s 85° outside. They’re each eating dairy-free ice cream — a chocolate chip cookie dough/salted caramel combo, “F’oreo,” and the George Howell Cold Brew, respectively. And my task is to to ask Kaley as many questions as possible before it all melts.
Allston Pudding: What about Boston do you find inspiring?
Kaley Honeycutt: Probably the DIY scene around here. It’s huge and really awesome to see. I feel like you could go find a new band to see every week here. Last night there was like, five house shows. And a fest. And it’s really inspiring to see so many people working so hard and taking music so seriously here.
AP: Oh yeah, who did you see yesterday?
AP: What do you miss most about Florida?
Kaley: Dang. That’s hard. I miss Will’s Pub. It’s this bar/venue and it has a patio with seating outside. You can go there any night and all your friends are on the patio. There always there, waiting for you.
AP: What do you miss the least?
Kaley: It’s a tough music scene. I was booking all my own shows and doing the posters, and playing the shows. It’s really small, and if you want to do something, you have to do it yourself. It’s really nice to be part of a bigger community here.
AP: Favorite season?
AP: How do you mesh with the other people in the band when bringing new material?
Kaley: So, the album that’s about to come out, I wrote and recorded all of it and just brought it to them and said “learn it.” But the EP, I let them collab and write their parts. But I usually bring a demo that has guitar, bass, and me singing and I send it to them.
AP: What do you hope for with each new song?
Kaley: Dang. I don’t really write intentionally, like I’m planning something out. I just write when I’m feeling a certain way and I want to get it out. I don’t go in like, “Ok, this is going to be about ‘blah, blah, blah.’” I usually just start and keep going.
AP: How did you meet your band?
Kaley: I met my bassist, ride-or-die Ari, at a house show at Grandma’s House, which is now dead.
Kaley: We met outside and she was like “Oh my god, you have to come inside and see this band, daephne.” It was one of my first shows in Boston. This is so Boston, but she had a big piece of La Befana in her hand, and she had pizza in her mouth and was like “C’mon let’s go downstairs, you’ve got to see daephne.” And I was like, “Ok!” Once I met Ari, she just took me under her wing and I met a lot of people in the scene through her.
AP: If you had to describe Sunny F.L. in a sensation, how would you describe it?
Kaley: Whoa. I’m trying to think of the word. The whole album is about me wanting to move away, and finally taking myself seriously, and becoming more confident in my music and myself.. So it’s newness and excitement and breaking out.
AP: Sounds like a good breakout album.
Kaley: Exactly *laughs*
AP: Tell me about when/how you wrote the songs on the new album?
Kaley: I wrote them over the course of five or six months. Some of them were old songs, and some of them weren’t. I had a friend named Nicole Devorak, and she lived right up the road from me. She’s a teacher, so she was off for the summer. And so, everyday I would bike over to her house when I had a new song, and I’d be like, “I wrote and new song.” And she’d be like “Sweet, let’s play it.” And I would flesh it out and she’d play the drums with me and then I would record the demo and bring it to Riley Corcoran who recorded the whole record. And he would listen to my demo and we would record it. He would play drums on the recordings but Nicole was sort of writing the drum parts. It was about a year and a half ago that I wrote and recorded it, over the course of like 5 months.
AP: How do you like touring?
Kaley: I’ve only been on one really small tour. I’m about to go on my second tour, and I’m really excited because I’m very nomadic. I like hopping around and meeting new people. I think it’s a good time. I like it.
AP: Where are you planning on making pit stops?
Kaley: No plans. I’m not the planner.
AP: Who is?
AP: Anything else you feel like AP readers should know?
Kaley: They should know that the album comes out August 25, and I put whole heart into it. I know I’m not from Boston but I really care about this scene. And I’m really excited to play this record out here.
AP: We’re excited to hear it!
Baby! Sunny F.L. Tour
8/1 Providence, RI @ Space Cloud
8/2 Brooklyn, NY @ Silent Barn
8/3 Philly, PA @ Planet Phitness
8/4 Washington, DC @ TBA
8/5 Richmond, VA @ Cafe Astrology
8/6 Dover, NH @ TBA
8/7 Boston, MA @ Charlie’s Kitchen
8/12 Brooklyn, NYC @ Alphaville