The Reflections, a Los Angeles-based duo comprised of Darian Zahedi and Jon Safley, delve into surrealistic backdrops anchored by Zahedi’s vocal lead and similar to those of Jonathan Bates’ Big Black Delta. Their dance-worthy bass lines in “Disconnected” resonate with supporting vocals and escalating percussion, reminding me of my love for post-rock progressions.
I was intrigued after hearing a couple of the band’s singles and an amazing remix by Gardens & Villa, but seeing the group’s live performance and their ability to fill a room with enormous sound and stage presence was what truly impressed me, so when I was given the opportunity to ask the LA locals a few questions, I jumped at the chance to get to know our Featured Artists a bit better.
How did you come together as a collaborative duo?
I played Jon a song I had tried to reconstruct after hearing it in a dream. It sounded like the way someone sounds when they try to describe a dream to another person, and when they start to say it out loud, its meaning is lost, the details are out of order, and the nuances escape words. When Jon heard the song, he focused in on one tiny part and said, “That’s it, that’s the song” as if discerning the meaning of the dream from one or two words. It turned out to be a cathartic experience for both of us, and we sort of got hooked and tried to keep creating on that page until we wrote an album.
You two formed The Reflections fairly recently, and you’ve already had shows at The Bootleg Theatre, The Echo, and most recently, a residency at The Satellite. All this without even an EP. What’s it like to move so quickly into the local music scene with so much success?
It’s nice to hit the ground running, but we put a lot of pressure on ourselves, which can sometimes make it hard to notice that things are going well.
Your profile describes your sound as “indie pop with dashes of chill wave.” Who are some of your influences?
It sounds odd, but I don’t believe influences are necessarily the palette that defines a band’s sound. They definitely help define the people that create it, though. Musically a few would be Roy Orbison, Brian Eno, The Cocteau Twins, The Cure, George Harrison…
I know Jon has previous band experience via his current involvement with Bleached. Darian, have you been involved in other projects or is The Reflections your first band experience?
I have had other bands in the past, mostly in New York. I’ve toured, recorded, etc., but this project is so far the closest to my heart. I have been playing music since I was about 10 years old.
Jon, what made you want to leave your drum throne and move to guitar and vocals in this venture?
Drumming was my first adventure in the musical world. Shortly after, I picked up a guitar. I sort of grew up playing both, but it seems as if it’s much harder to find a drummer than a guitar player in this town, which led to me only playing drums for bands. Evidently, you have to create a project if you want to play guitar the way you want to play it.
Having just finished your aforementioned Satellite residency, what’s next for you? Will you be touring? Can we look forward to the release of your full-length Limerence soon?
No touring plans as of yet, but our full-length is due out May 7th. We are really excited about the way it sounds. Kenny Woods, who recorded and mixed it, did an amazing job, and we just finished the artwork, which looks great as well. Also we will be releasing a remix EP and a single over the next few months. We are playing at The Satellite with Chief on April 1st and planning a record release show in May.
Gardens & Villa remixed your single “Disconnected” last month. How did that come about? Did you have an existing relationship with them, or did they reach out solely based upon hearing your music?
We were looking for good people to remix a few of our tracks. I thought Gardens & Villa had an interesting and unique sound and production sense and could lend that to one of our songs to take it somewhere completely different.
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