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Durry, the indie duo of siblings Taryn and Austin, created a future out of uncertainty. Living together in their childhood home as the pandemic lockdowns stretched on, the pair headed back down to the basement to jam. The results were unexpected. Upon posting a demo of “Who’s Laughing Now” on TikTok, it resonated, garnering thousands of viewers who found a piece of themselves in its wry lyrics. Durry quickly went to the studio to flesh out a proper version, which appears on their buzzy debut record, Suburban Legend. Though its 12 tunes will take you back to cruising around the neighborhood or roaming through Spencer’s on a weekend, it’s a bridge to their deeper feelings on nostalgia (“Mall Rat”), aspiring for more (“Losers Club”), and debilitating insecurity (“TKO”) — and proves that they have a lot more to give.
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Below, the band lay out their formative music memories, the creation of their debut album, and going viral.
What kind of music was played around the house when you were growing up?
The truth is so embarrassing. Honestly, there wasn’t a lot of music just casually played in the house. There was an attitude of listening to music being its own activity, and that you sit down and really listen. But when there was music playing, if it was our parents, it was usually big-band music or jazz, and if it was our older brothers, it was pretty much Weezer, They Might Be Giants, and a lot of Weird Al. It was a very nerdy house. [Laughs.] But more than anything, if there was music, it was being played by one of us. In my (Austin) teen years, I started to pick up all the 2000s alt bands: Sum 41, My Chemical Romance, Underoath, Paramore. All the usual teen angst suspects. But honestly, I feel like our family just treated music a lot differently than most.
Suburban Legend opens with an internet dial-up tone, and you’re selling cassettes of the album that come in an N64 Cartridge. What makes you so prone to nostalgia?
This whole album has been about taking a look back at growing up and examining your childhood in hindsight. All those little themes just felt like they fit the vibe so well. I am addicted to the feeling of uncovering lost memories, and I love the idea that we can do that for other people. But it’s also not just rehashing old stuff, but also introducing all-new music, with more mature themes that make you think a little. The nostalgia is like the Trojan horse to get us in the door, and then we try to hit ’em with some deep feelings behind it.
What does the color yellow mean to you? It’s everywhere, from the cartoonish-looking house on the album cover to the matching outfits that you wear in the “I’m Fine (No Really)” video.
In the beginning, yellow felt like it fit the vibe, and we just rolled with it. Now I think we’re in too deep, so it’s not going anywhere. Yellow is honestly not a cool color, and I think that’s why it fits the band so well. Our whole vibe is about accepting that we’re not cool, and never have been, and trying to just be ourselves. It’s hard to take yourself too seriously when you look like Big Bird, ya know? I think there’s a lot of freedom in that feeling.
The new record also includes your viral track “Who’s Laughing Now.” What was it like to receive that kind of response?
The response to that song was literally every artist’s dream, and honestly, it’s a dream I had given up on until it happened. This song’s creation is an accidentally unique product of the modern music scene that I don’t think could happen at any other point in time. The song was originally written to be cynical, all about how I was never gonna make it. Then the demo blew up overnight, and all of the sudden, the message of the song was proven wrong.
So the next day when we rushed into the studio to track the song as fast as possible, I actually rewrote the whole second half of the song on the drive to the studio. I realized that there was hope, and this could work out after all, and I wrote that message into the final verse of the song. “Who’s Laughing Now” was literally inspired by its own success, and I can’t think of any other situation where that could happen.
Tell me about a song that was hard to write.
Love this question. I guess I think every song is hard to write until it’s not. It’s like building a puzzle without the box. Once you figure out what it’s supposed to be it all comes together pretty fast. I write a lot of songs. We literally had 17 songs demoed for this record, and I have 21 more new songs written since we tracked this album. Writing songs is easy, but writing good songs is hard, and knowing which ones are good is even harder. I try to not force them very much — I’d rather just let them happen. The ones I force are always the ones I end up scraping.
What have you learned about yourself by making this record?
Honestly so much. I feel like writing this record was all about looking back at our shared childhood experiences growing up, and really just dissecting them. I’ve learned that I have a lot more hope left than I thought I did honestly. I feel like a huge lesson we’ve learned too is about how people in general just aren’t that different from each other. People ask all the time, “How do you make the songs so relatable?” and honestly, we’re just writing about ourselves or our friends and family. The secret is just that we’re not all that different after all.