Massage: Reflecting the Process

Mike Ayers on September 24, 2021
Massage: Reflecting the Process

When the members of the Los Angeles-based group Massage first coalesced in 2014, they were happy just playing some songs together in a garage.

Guitarist/vocalist Alex Naidus had already spent years as the bassist for the buzz-band The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and was looking for a more low-key way to continue making music. After relocating California, he hooked up with another ex-pat New Yorker, Andrew Romano, and the old friends started jamming on the various song nuggets they each brought to practice. But, once they released their debut album, Oh Boy in 2018, Massage organically became much more than just a hobby. And, despite navigating a maze of day jobs and family responsibilities, the quintet recently released their second album, Still Life, a nostalgic 12- song collection that dips into the themes of maturation and hopeless romanticism.

Naidus, Romano and keyboardist Gabrielle Ferrer share lead vocals throughout, yet the music still blends seamlessly. “It was a long process to get to this point,” Naidus says. “We write about what it’s like to live the way we live. It’s incredibly straightforward and obvious. [Our material] feels like a reflection of the process.” Their initial release is embedded with a hazy, timeless sound that, at any given moment, nods to the likes of The Feelies, The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Stone Roses.

For Still Life, they spent another couple of years writing a second batch of songs and, finally, found time to finish the LP during the pandemic. While Massage doesn’t have any immediate plans for a big tour, they hope to start embarking on some mini jaunts in the near future. “We think of ourselves as music fans, first and foremost,” Romano says. “Sonically, that informs us. Hopefully, the way we sound makes people feel the way we feel as fans.”