By Lauren Friederman
The Brenna Haffey Trio, one of the many musical performances from After Dark 2015, is set to release an EP on Saturday through iTunes and Amazon.com.
The self-described alternative soulful pop group is composed of three Baylor students: Houston sophomore Brenna Haffey, Waco sophomore Sam Still and Austin sophomore Isaac Lill.
The EP, called “Sketches,” will feature six songs: “Grownup and Gone,” “Time,” “Undercover Lover,” “Crash and Burn,” “Misery” and “Go.”
“Sketches” is a project the trio started working on last semester. Over the course of a few months, the trio spent late nights at the studio recording, but it was all worth it, Haffey said. It took three to four months to record all six songs on the EP. Each song was written and arranged by members of the trio, Haffey said.
“It’s pretty near and dear to our hearts,” Haffey said.
The experience was unique for the members of the trio, Haffey said. Still, the group’s guitarist, pulled out the banjo for one track, so Haffey got to play the bass even though she said she doesn’t normally perform with it. Lill, percussionist for the trio, added some flairs and harmonies.
“It was always a lot of fun because we weren’t really working. We were kind of creating,” Haffey said.
“It was a creative journey and we all evolved as a group,” Haffey said. “Our group dynamic improved, our musicianship improved and we just grew a lot closer because of it.”
Their song “Grownup and Gone” kickstarted the whole project, Haffey said.
“The goal was to write a song that stylistically appeals to a soul audience, based on a relatable story,” Haffey said.
A video-producing group approached the trio after an open mic night at Common Grounds with a request to produce a music video for the song, Haffey said.
“We realized, well, that would entail us having something professionally recorded. So then that’s when the whole studio search started, and we cranked out that song in seven hours,” Haffey said. “Two days later we did a video and so the whole project for the music video and the song was done, mastered and on iTunes in four days.”
The project inspired the trio to record more songs and produce an EP.
One of the songs they subsequently produced is called “Time.”
Haffey and Still were in a guitar store when Still picked up a guitar and started playing. Haffey liked and started writing the words to go with it, she said.
“We just wrote a song right there. It just kind of happened. It’s one of those spur-of-the-moment songs,” Haffey said. “Those really are the best songs in my opinion.”
The song “Time” is very personal for guitarist Still.
“It’s a breakup song,” Still said. “That was a time when I was going through one of those, and it was really tough on me because it was a girl I had been dating for about two and a half years.”
The last song on the EP is named “Go,” alluding to an aggravating event Haffey endured, she said.
During Haffey’s freshman year, she said had an awkward encounter with a boy who followed her to her room to flirt with her despite many cues she was already in a relationship. After a great deal of thought, Haffey finally found the right words to tell him to leave, she said, both angering and inspiring her.
“I was fuming and then I wrote that song,” Haffey said. “All my friends know that the lyrics are quite literal, whereas I crafted them such in a way where they could also be metaphorical and people could understand them.”
Haffey said she enjoys the reaction she gets when she plays the song for audiences.
“It’s a very gratifying experience to hear my friends laugh when they heard the song for the first time, for the reason that they know what every line meant, and then to hear people laugh because they just related to the funny story,” Haffey said.
She said she hopes to pursue a career in music after she graduates from Baylor.
“It kind of turned from [my dad saying] ‘oh my daughter does music because she wants to’ to [him] actually believing in me to pursue this as a sustainable artist,” Haffey said.