A Moment With Modeling

Recently, I had the pleasure of talking to Modeling, a three-member indie, art-rock band known for creating introspective music influenced by film scores, visual arts, and personal life encounters. The band comprises the talented Brogan brothers – Connor, Ryan, and Cuinn – who focus their musical essence on powerful analog synth tones and intricate electronic textures.

First, we delve into the group’s songwriting process with Connor, keen to understand the group’s creative origins. He shed light on the imagination behind their debut record, 2022’s Somewhere Before. Connor revealed, “What inspired the aesthetics or the sonics of the record was a bunch of photographs and moving images, like GIFs, and things like that, that I had put together from different photographers and artists that spoke to me emotionally. It’s a lot of foreign places, desolate areas, and cities at nighttime. We feel a lot of emotions when the picture and sound are together.”

© Modeling Music

Modeling then revealed an intriguing connection between their music and the world of cinema. “[…] We would write our songs to scenes from movies on mute. It helped us finish the song and identify trouble areas. You have the song, you pair it with the scene, and if there’s something that […] takes you out of the scene, then you know what to fix.” Curious to know more, I probed for specific films that had influenced their music. The band enthusiastically listed a selection of movies that had played a significant role in shaping their creative journey. These included “The Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014),” “The Neon Demon (2016),” “Only God Forgives (2013),” “Her (2013),” and “Under The Skin (2013).” It was clear that their unique fusion of music and cinema had been a powerful source of inspiration throughout their career.

The debut record Somewhere Before, released in 2022, was entirely recorded at their home studio. When asked about the sense of accomplishment performing these songs in front of an audience, Connor reflects, “If we stop and think about it, […] it is kind’ve cool to see that progression, but you don’t really notice it happening. Then, there’s a show like [FORMAT Festival].” Ryan adds, “At the time we finished the album, it was really relieving more than anything. […] Months pass, you play the set live, and when you just play those songs over and over again you get sick of them pretty quick.”

© Modeling Music

A standout track on Somewhere Before is “Until it Ends,” positioned strategically in the album’s midsection. When discussing this particular piece, Modeling shed light on the challenge of capturing and conveying its emotive essence during live performances. “The technical aspect of it,” Connor says, “is adding a drum set. There are no real drums [on the record]. Adding [real drums] on-top the electronic stuff added some depth.” “There is [a little] guitar,” adds Ryan, “but I think just having the live instrument brings the energy. Live, I think, having [those] out there more gives it a different kind of energy.”

The band, as part of their latest U.S. tour with stepmom (full dates below), returns to Tulsa on the 27th of October at the Vanguard (and a solo show November 18th at Heirloom Rustic Ales). Inquiring about the Tulsa crowd and their reception, all three members express enthusiasm, referring to Tulsa as a “second hometown.” “We play the Whittier Bar a lot.” Connor recounts, “and that was the first venue that let us into [Tulsa’s tight music] scene.” “We see a lot of familiar faces there,” Ryan says. “It makes us feel welcome. Oklahoma City is like that as well.” “Honestly,” Cole adds, “we play Oklahoma more than we play Arkansas.”

© Modeling Music

Modeling’s website and tour tickets can be found here, along with streaming links for the debut record.