100 gecs is breaking pop

Dylan+Brady+and+Laura+Les%27++debut+album%2C+%E2%80%9C100+gecs%2C%E2%80%9D+has+been+featured+in+the+New+York+Times%2C+The+Fader%2C+Pitchfork+and+more.
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100 gecs is breaking pop

Dylan Brady and Laura Les'  debut album, “100 gecs,” has been featured in the New York Times, The Fader, Pitchfork and more.

Dylan Brady and Laura Les' debut album, “100 gecs,” has been featured in the New York Times, The Fader, Pitchfork and more.

Courtesy of Nick John

Dylan Brady and Laura Les' debut album, “100 gecs,” has been featured in the New York Times, The Fader, Pitchfork and more.

Courtesy of Nick John

Courtesy of Nick John

Dylan Brady and Laura Les' debut album, “100 gecs,” has been featured in the New York Times, The Fader, Pitchfork and more.

Eleven years ago, Dylan Brady did not want to be a musician. The 2012 KHS alum wanted to be a filmmaker. But entering his freshman year at KHS, he chose to take choir with David Cannon, KHS choir teacher.

“Mr. Cannon was one of the most influential people [for] me,” Brady said. “I wanted to do film stuff. I was on KHTV [and] I wanted to make videos, but then I took choir and it sort of changed my whole life.”

He formed a band called “B^2” with Jakob Bliss, a junior at the time, and created acoustic pop albums for the second half of his junior year. After releasing nearly 20 singles under the “B^2” name, he switched his focus to creating hip-hop beats.

Meanwhile, Laura Les, Webster Groves native, was recording her own singer-songwriter music. Les said her passion for music started with her dad trying to get her to play guitar at a young age.

“I was really young, and I was like ‘no, [music is] so stupid,’ but I started to want to [make music] on my own later,” Les said. “Then it was like, ‘oh, it’d be so cool to record this.’ It was just a natural progression.”

Les did not stick to conventional song structure. Instead, she said she created noisy drone albums she describes as “30 minute soup[s] of ideas,” putting as much into one piece as she could.

Brady and Les’ paths crossed at a house party in 2012. At this point, both were creating music and Brady played a song he had been working on from his phone for Les.

“I had heard of Dylan and [had] seen him around,” Les said. “I was still making really distorted, noisy singer-songwriter stuff and when I heard his song I was just like ‘woah, this is amazing.’”

Though their music careers were still solo, Brady and Les said they grew closer over the years. As they sent links to their latest work and inspired each other, their styles began to mix.

“I allowed myself to be inspired by him. It felt like it was okay to look up to him,” said Les. “He taught me how to create a song. I had done singer-songwriter things before, but nothing in the realm of pop music production.”

Photo courtesy of Gabe Howell.

The 100 gecs project was born soon after New Years in 2017. Influenced by everything from Myspace-era dubstep to ska (a fast paced type of Jamaican music characterised by a strong offbeat), they created the first EP in Les’ apartment.

“We were both back in St. Louis for the holidays, and I told Dylan he should come to Chicago and stay in my apartment for a week and make something,” Les said. “We just holed up in my apartment and let it flow. It struck a chord with both of us, the sound we had.”

Their debut album, “100 gecs,” has been featured in the New York Times, The Fader, Pitchfork and more. The duo said they try to maintain the album’s authenticity even under the lens of scrutiny.

“It’s definitely coming from a sincere place for us,” Brady said. “We’re having fun with it. I can see how it can come off as ironic though since dubstep is typically seen as low-brow type [music], but we genuinely like these types of music.”

According to Les, the album’s humor doesn’t diminish its overall quality, citing Carly Rae Jepsen as an example of her unapologetic appreciation.

“Some people don’t like being real with themselves about what they like,” Les said. “You can recognise the silly parts of things and still appreciate them. Like, I’m not listening to ‘Call Me Maybe’ because it’s bad, I’m listening to it because it slaps. And that’s okay.”