Since forming in 2015, four-piece rock band Weathers have kicked up a storm from their native Los Angeles to the alternative charts and stages across the United States. Their success began with the hit single “Happy Pills” in 2016. It was the band’s second single, propelling them into cult like status by peaking at number 21 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart.
In 2018 the group’s members, Cameron Boyer (vocalist/guitarist), Cameron Olson (guitarist), Brennan Bates (bassist), and Cole Carson (drummer), released their full-length album debut Kids in the Night. The whole record was written and recorded in one continuous process. On August 13, 2021, they came back with their second album Pillows & Therapy. Unlike their previous release, the new record is both brand new material and a callback to the past.
Now, in case you have been asleep for the last 18 months, we are living in a seemingly never-ending global pandemic. Every day has been a complicated navigation of careful choices and compromises. No one is safe from making decisions like whether you should go to the grocery store without a mask or not.
Weathers’ COVID-19 related complications pondered upon how to release a new album in 2021. Really, every artist who has dropped new material since spring 2020 has had some difficulty. Music and the creative process have fallen victim to the logistics of getting a group of people in a small setting to record, all at the risk of contracting a disease that has already claimed the lives of many.
And so, the recording process for Pillows & Therapy was different. It was so different that it features songs that were just written recently and ones that were recorded in the last few years. What fans are left with is an album that treats like a bag of trail mix featuring both new sounding Weathers, and the same Weathers they fell in love with in the past five years. That is a recipe for some good trail mix. The kind with more M&M’s than peanuts, and not too many raisins.
“Yeah, it’s very different,” said Cameron Boyer. “We have one song on there that’s up to like five years old. A couple are two years old. Some other tracks are brand new. We wrote the last album at the same time. Everything was written right then and recorded immediately, all at the same time, which was really awesome. I would love to do that again. But this one was definitely a lot more sporadic. I think COVID had a huge effect on that. It still felt good, because we were pulling stuff from a while ago, and then writing new stuff. So, it’s a fun mixed bag, it’s still going to be very energetic, and emotional and all that stuff.”
“Last time, it was the same producer for the whole thing,” added Cole Carson. “This one was like, four or five. Every song is also different. Yes, sir. There’s one guy who did like three or four of them. I think we were all a little worried on how to work together. But I think it worked together great. Like, you can’t really tell that it was different people. You know, it’s like it all worked out.”
Ideology was key to getting the sounds Weathers wanted on Pillows & Therapy.
The group wanted some songs to capture an 80’s and 90’s vibe, while they wanted the more electronic songs to be specific to the “Weathers sound.”
“For example, “Karma” is very Pixies conspired,” said Boyer. For the first track, “Hello,” we were literally like ‘Let’s write something that sounds like “Close to Me” by The Cure.’ And then “Strange Dayz” is like, electronic but then also sounds like people or a producer going ‘yeah that sounds really cool.’ We were like yeah, let’s do it, and let’s see what happens. And then other stuff like “Rehab” which sounds just like a full-on dark pop record, but I think it’s cool.”
While the boys talk amongst themselves and spend time discussing the best environment for fans to listen to Pillows & Therapy, you just can’t help but wonder what it is that makes these guys tick. After all they have made something of a name for themselves for their outstanding live performances, which have been seen on the road while opening for fans of bands like Saint Motel and Nothing But Thieves. On top of that, Boyer even co-directed the music video for the new track “Talking is Hard.” They are a creative bunch. But at this moment they are still distracted on figuring out the best listening environment for fans to listen to Pillows & Therapy.
“I don’t think you can ever go wrong with just driving and listening,” said Boyer.
“Yeah, but I’m seeing more daytime drive,” argued Carson. “Maybe sunset drive.”
“Bedroom,” concludes Boyer. “In your room alone sitting on your bed and dance up and down. There’s a lot of that too. With colored LED lights.”
That settles it.
Anyways, the creative control. That is something new to the group. In the past they felt like certain aspirations and videos failed to strike the target they were looking to hit. Things did not achieve the messages the band desired. Recently they have taken matters into their own hands and are pleased with the results.
“It’s kind of nice,” said Carson. “We have a savings on the piggy bank. It’s like, are we gonna do it in-house or outsource somebody else?”
The group is especially excited about their headlining tour across the United States that kicked off at the beginning of September after being delayed due to the pandemic. Their trademark lighting and excitement for walking around the stage makes for an authentic experience for all parties involved. Weathers are especially excited to perform Pillows & Therapy’s lead single “C’est la vie” live.
A group with minds as creative as Weathers can be put to good use beyond writing hit songs and putting on a show. In fact, they are using their brainpower to help other people’s minds too.
These four guys did not expect to become champions of mental health awareness. They wrote about what felt natural to them. On Kids in the Night, fans took the message they heard and began looking up to Weathers as a group that had good relatable lyrics. The band continued to discuss those ideas in their songs and its even part of the reason they called this new record Pillows & Therapy. Now they are going even further by partnering with the non-profit organization, The Jed Foundation, which specializes in mental health and emotional support for young adults.
“They have lots of outlets for young people,” said Boyer. “But it’s also for everyone. People need help. The more stuff we do with that, the more we like we’re doing something important.”
There are few ways to broadcast a thought-provoking and meaningful message than through music. Most Weathers songs have a feel-good shimmer nestled inside every moment. Even the ones with broody lyrics and song titles. They have an inspiration that guarantees struggling listeners that there are indeed better days are on the horizon. After two albums and several hit singles, this band is inspiring their own future to be even better too.
Pandemic aside, life is difficult. Mental health matters. Everyone faces a challenge that is relevant to their situations. None is smaller than another. Musicians like Weathers are eager to get back on the road and share new tracks with fans. It’s a challenge for them to assemble records. Some, like Weathers, were successful in the effort. Fans are ready to be in public, dancing to familiar tunes and return to normalcy.
Even on those difficult days, try and try again. Just like Weathers’ new record, find ideas you like and stick to them. Even if you have to compromise your strategy, you will make good things for this world you are living in.
If you need self-care and a pick-me-up, go ahead and grab a bag of trail mix. You know, the good kind with more M&M’s than peanuts and not too many raisins. Then put on Pillows & Therapy and go on a sunset drive. Maybe dance in your room. It will make you feel better. Just don’t forget the colored LED lights.
Listen to Weathers on Spotify below.