Facebook, Lolcats, Instant Netflix — the Internet’s given us lots to be thankful for. And no one is singing their praise louder than Pomplamoose. In the past two years, the San Fran–based indie pop duo has turned their home-recording project into not only a YouTube sensation but a veritable bid for rock ’n’ roll stardom. Oh, and they’re making a living off it, too.
Since forming in 2008, Pomplamoose (a riff off the French pamplemousse, or “grapefruit”), multi-instrumentalists Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn have taken the Web by storm. Currently, the Pomplamoose YouTube channel boasts more than 300,000 subscribers and a hearty mix of original and cover songs, all recorded in the pair’s Bay Area home. (Their take on Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” is nearing the 8-million-views mark as I type.) As Conte puts it, there are only two rules to the Pomplamoose model:
1. What you see is what you hear. (No lip-syncing for instruments or voice.)
2. If you hear it, at some point you see it.
(No hidden sounds.)
As such, the pair’s “VideoSongs” are a lighthearted and laid-back affair, packed with cross-cuts of Conte and Dawn playing all manner of instruments, messing with a handful of pedals and effects, and offering sweet little band-to-fan asides about shows, merch, and their musician buddies. Vocally, Dawn is Pomplamoose’s go-to gal, her voice a sweet and soulful mix of high-register cries and low, honeyed speak-sing.
“I guess I kinda don’t like how there’s such a pedestal for music culture and especially for band culture,” Conte recently told NPR. “It just feels fake; it feels like smoke and mirrors. I feel like music doesn’t have to be like that. It can be something that’s very normal and very accessible.”
In keeping with their all-access approach, the Pomplamoose family (which consists of Conte, Dawn, and a handful of friends-turned-backing-musicians) take to the road this week for a short West Coast tour. The band makes their non–Web-based S.B. debut this Saturday, October 22, at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club at 8 p.m. Be there or be L7, n00bz. Call 962-7776 or visit clubmercy.com for tickets.