French Cassettes gear up for newest album release

By Sydney Wood, buzz staff writer

With the upcoming release of French Cassettes’ latest album, the San Francisco-based band is beyond excited to share their music with listeners. 

“Rolodex,” which releases on Dec. 11, is French Cassettes’ second album comprised of eight written, demoed tracks recorded over five years.

Signed to Tender Loving Empire, French Cassettes has released one album, one EP and a string of singles. The members include bassist Thomas Huerta, drummer Rob Mills, guitarist and producer Mackenzie Bunch and guitarist Scott Huerta. 

Scott Huerta, the band’s singer, guitarist and songwriter, said French Cassettes’ music falls under the umbrella of indie music, specifically indie rock. 

Huerta said his music is influenced by Electric Light Orchestra, The Magnetic Fields and The National. He began playing music when he was 12 years old and said he always assumed he could make a career out of his music. 

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“I just always kind of believed in the fantasy as a kid and never doubted it,” he said. “I was like, ‘I think I’m gonna be good at this, and people who are good at this make a career out of it and are successful and are popular.’”

Huerta said he spent many lonely recording sessions at 5 am creating demos for the album. He experimented with the unplugged sound of his acoustic guitar and the omnichord during his songwriting. 

“I was staying in a closet at the time.  I was sleeping in a little bed in a closet in San Francisco,” he said. “I would just stay up all night and record ideas, and then I would send them to the guys, and if they liked them, then we would be like, “alright, that’s going on the album.’”

Huerta said he gains inspiration for his songwriting by finding moments in songs. He said certain micro-moments within the songs he enjoys give him ideas for his songwriting.

“In my experience, at least, it does kind of automatically map out a song that you want to write,” Huerta said. “It kind of just is a very, very useful songwriting tool. So yeah, mostly just like tiny micro-moments that I love and music that I listen to inspires all of my songs.”

He said he wants “Rolodex” to strike listeners with the same kind of imagination that he experiences with his favorite songs and wants listeners to find micro-moments within the band’s music. 

“I would love to be annoyingly just a byproduct of people somewhere listening to Rolodex and finding a spot that made them think of like a family member or just like a picture they like or city they’ve been to,” Huerta said. 

Although Huerta spent years recording demos that would eventually be on “Rolodex,” he said a downfall of creating multiple demos before recording the album was that the band had to translate the demos before re-recording them for the album.

“That’s the easiest part, I finally got these ideas, and they already sound good,” he said. “And then, of course, it’s not as easy as I thought to let go of some things when you had all these demos that you listen to for five years.” 

Huerta said finding the time to create demos for the album was easier than he expected because he was unemployed at the time. The other band members’ talent and receptiveness to his ideas facilitated the album’s creation. 

“They were really easy to just like, ‘Alright, let’s try it,’ and then we just run through and maybe the first time is like a train wreck,” he said. “But then they were always very patient and very smart about helping me figure out my own songs and adding great sections and adding really great melodies and instrument parts.” 

As the release date of “Rolodex” approaches, Huerta said he couldn’t be happier that people will get to hear French Cassettes’ music. He said he loves receiving messages and questions from listeners about the band’s music and can be contacted through French Cassettes’ Facebook and Instagram accounts. 

“We’ve worked so so hard on this, and I had a great time, snd I think it’s easily the best music that we’ve made,” he said. “So I just feel a type of happiness that even the worst news could not take away from me.”