Folk songstress Dani Mari, and former hardcore punk rocker Todd Mendelsohn teamed up a year ago and formed the lo-fi shoegaze project, Lockets. Together, the unlikely duo create hypnotizing dream pop tunes with Mendelsohn playing guitar and synths, and Mari providing the vocals. Lockets just released their first album, Camera Shy, at the end of July and their song “Catch Me” was featured in the movie The Kitchen staring That 70’s Show‘s Laura Prepon. Mari and Mendelsohn were actually headed straight to the movie’s premiere in New York City following their interview with The Key on Tuesday.
The pair met through the Philly open-mic scene where Mendelsohn was playing what Mari calls, “Molly Ringwald soundtrack music” and Mari was playing her solo acoustic material. “I’d see her play and we became friends. Initially, I didn’t think it would be the greatest fit because she was playing folky stuff, but after giving it a shot, after the first time we tried doing some recording in my apartment and working on some songs, I felt like it fit really well.”
Lockets is quite a departure from Mari’s solo material and she describes the difficult transition, saying, “I was so used to picking up my guitar, writing a song, playing it, and then that was it. It was a challenge at first working with Todd, but it ended up being something that helped me grow musically, to be able to find different ways to write, rather than just being in my comfort zone… With a lot of the solo stuff I write, it comes from whatever is going on in my life and sometimes I won’t have any ideas for a new song, whereas, working with Todd, he usually has an idea for the song and has it laid out, and then it’s just kind of me figuring out what fits best with it and what we both like for it.”
The band does not aim to exactly replicate their recordings in their live set. “The record, everyone describes it as being really relaxing, dreamy, and chill,”Mendelsohn says, “and the live band rocks a lot harder, but that’s okay.” Their show Saturday at Kung fu Necktie will be the band’s first headlining show and Mendelsohn created a new visual performance for their entire set. Using his film school background, he edited clips from short films to accompany their music, just as he’s done for the group’s previous music videos.
Lockets’ 21+ show at Kung Fu Necktie Saturday features support by local bands Attic Dancers and Language Problem. The show starts at 7:30PM and tickets are on sale for $10 here. Below, stream Lockets’ album, Camera Shy.