Entertainment, Interviews, Music, People, The District, The Features, We Love Music

Q&A with Ugly Purple Sweater

Ugly Purple Sweater

Ugly Purple Sweater is a indie-pop-folk group based in DC. Founded by Sam McCormally (vocals, guitar, & more)  and Rachel Lord (vocals, banjo, melodica, & more) in 2008, the band now includes Will McKindley-Ward on electric guitar, Rishi Chakrabarty on bass, and Mike Tasevoli on drums. Ugly Purple Sweater mixes mesmerizing guitar and banjo (and a bunch of other instruments) with beautiful soaring vocal melodies and dulcet harmonies. Their songs often blend darkness with light, minor keys and longing juxtaposed with a bright beat and jubilant vocals. Singer Sam Cormally’s clarion voice has a purity and depth at times reminiscent of Rufus Wainwright. Check out the video for their song “DC USA“, the title track from their brand new EP. Ugly Purple Sweater celebrates the release of said EP, DC USA at Black Cat this Saturday, January 12th, along with Kingsley Flood and Kindlewood!

This week We Love DC’s Alexia Kauffman had a chance to ask Sam McCormally some questions, and here’s what he had to say.

Alexia: How did you first start playing music?

Sam: I personally started playing and writing music when I was really little. I remember when I was about 8 starting to write songs, but having literally no idea how the music I heard on the radio was made. I had a little cassette tape boombox (remember that?) with a microphone, and I would set it up on top of my bureau and record myself singing and strumming guitar. I had a fantasy that I would slip the tape into my friend’s older sister’s tape player so she’d think it was the radio, and that way I could tell what she really thought of it.

Ugly Purple Sweater started 2008, when I surreptitiously intercepted an invitation for one of my other bands to play at a Barack Obama fundraiser. I had been writing some songs and posting them on MySpace (remember that?), and I thought it’d be fun to try them out. Rachel sat in on a couple of songs with me, and those were by far the most popular, so we started playing together all the time.

Alexia: What song or artist or album first made you fall in love with rock music?

Sam: Will (who plays electric guitar in the band) says his first rock and roll love was Jimi Hendrix. I wish I were as cool as that. My first exposure to pop music (and I’m using the “big tent” meaning of the phrase) were my dad’s Simon and Garfunkel tapes. But the first record I ever got excited about all by myself was TLC’s Crazy Sexy Cool. I loved that album so much that I actually recited, in front of my entire 4th glad class, the rap in the middle of “Waterfalls.” I still kinda like that song, but needless to say it was not a canonical performance. Continue reading

Entertainment, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Dance for the Dying, Ugly Purple Sweater @ Red Palace, 9/29

photo courtesy of Dance for the Dying

Today We Love DC is giving away a pair of tickets to see Dance for the Dying, Ugly Purple Sweater, and  Fire and the Wheel at Red Palace, this Saturday, September 29th! Tickets are on sale now through the Red Palace website or Ticket Alternative, and tickets can be purchased at the door. This is an EP release party for Dance for the Dying. Check out Dance for the Dying’s song “Thug Love“, and Ugly Purple Sweater’s ”The Water’s Edge“. 

For your chance to win these tickets simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address until 4pm today. One entry per email address, please.

For the rules of this giveaway…

Comments will be closed at 4pm and a winner will be randomly selected. The winner will be notified by email. The winner must respond to our email in 24 hours or they will forfeit their tickets and we will pick another winner.

The winner will be on the guest list (plus one) at Red Palace the night of the concert. The tickets must be claimed with a valid ID. The winner must be old enough to attend the specific concert or must be accompanied by a parent or guardian if he/she is under 18 years old.

Saturday, September 29th

Dance for the Dying (EP Release)

Ugly Purple Sweater

Fire and the Wheel

Red Palace

Doors 8pm/show @ 9pm/$8/18+