A Conversation with Sabals

Recipes for certain disaster include:

1. A sailor with a bottle of tequila.

2. A baby with a bowl of chili.

3. A teenager with keys to a Corvette.

4. A band with an acoustic guitar and synthesizer.

I could go on, but I'll stop right there because I've been proved wrong by one of the items in the list. Before hearing the Orlando, Florida based Sabals charm me with an acoustic guitar and a synthesizer, in my mind, the fourth item in the list was just as much of a lock as the sailor and the bottle of tequila.

The charm on their lead single 'Blistering' doesn't stop with the acoustic and synthesizer, frontwoman Beth Bynum's passionate vocals demand attention, as does Jessica Vacha's mastery with the drum kit. Then Dan Bynum's deft handling of the synthesizer ties the perfectly balanced package together. It's unique and brims with confidence, and I like it. I'm anxious to hear their upcoming EP, and to see a live performance. I spoke to the band after Thanksgiving about their sound, new music, new band member, and upcoming live dates.  


Q: How's the local Orlando scene?

A: We're working our way into it. We've played some great shows with bands we've met, and the response has been great.

Q: How has Orlando influenced the sound?

A: (Beth) Orlando was where I came to re-connect with myself after spending 8 years in Los Angeles. I went through a long dry spell right before we moved to the East Coast, and Orlando was exactly what I needed to re-invent myself musically. Sometimes living in the same place can suffocate you, and in my case, I needed a change of pace to become inspired again.

Q: And you are from Boise, right?

A: (Beth) I'm actually from 2 hours south of Boise, in Sun Valley, Idaho. It's a little ski resort town in the mountains.

Q: Interesting set of locales to influence your music -- Idaho, LA, and Florida. Can you step back and see a little of each in your output?

A: (Beth) Indeed. I was fortunate growing up in Sun Valley, because it's a liberal town that encourages arts and creativity. It was a good place to learn and practice music alongside my friends who were also doing similar things. Los Angeles nurtured and shaped my abilities and inspired creativity. I was able to thrive in that sort of environment where there was a real music scene with a competitive nature.

Q: Synths are making a comeback, but I don't know that I've heard it paired with an acoustic guitar. But, it works. I really like the sound.

A: (Dan) We started this project with Beth writing the songs.  We didn't start as a band with certain instruments already in place.  We took her songs and imagined how we wanted them to sound and then built the instrumentation around that.  It's been a point of ours not to limit our style sonically, so we like to use whatever we can to create our overall sound.

We recently added a 4th band member on bass (Tre Hester), so that I could play electric guitar in addition to synths and sampler. 

Q: Is there any new music on the horizon?

A: (Beth) Yes! We are currently recording a 4 song EP, that will be released early next year on Eye Four Records. Plus, we have plenty of new songs that we're working on. If you catch our live show, you will hear a lot of music that isn't recorded yet.

Q: Speaking of the live show, are there plans for any 2015 dates outside of Florida?

A: We are booking 1-2 weeks around the Southeast for early 2015, but hoping to expand on that throughout the year.

Q: 'Blistering' received lots of praise on many blogs. Was it a bit surreal to know that people across the globe are listening to and enjoying your music? A pinch yourself moment so to say?

A: (Beth) Totally. It was pretty awesome to physically translate text in German to English so we could read one of the blogs! We are all very grateful for the attention, and we just want as many people as possible to hear our music.

(Aimless Skylarking) 

That's awesome, that'd make me smile like crazy too. Ok, one last question.

Q: Does anyone have other creative outlets besides the music? Art, photography, poetry, etc...

A: We're all going to answer this one...

(Beth) My secondary outlet is yoga. My practice makes me a better human.

(Trė) Playing as many shows as possible, playing solo acoustic and singing. I have secret aspirations of being a standup comedian.

(Jessica) Running helps keep me grounded, which coincides with drumming, because of rhythm and setting a pace. I'm also a coffee nut. I brew my own cold brew coffee.

(Dan) I do live sound for a living so I'm surrounded by music all the time, whether I'm on stage or behind the mixing board.

(Aimless Skylarking) Very interesting answers. Comedian, yogi, runner, and a musician.

(Sabals) We're a silly bunch.


Sabals are: Beth Bynum (Vocals/Guitar), Dan Bynum - (Guitar/Synth), Tre Hester (Bass), and Jessica Vacha (Drums). 

Be on the lookout for new music announcements here.

For more information about Sabals: