Enter a new universe with the band Franny Verdugo, made up of musicians Risa Rubin and Tony Tricks. Despite living on opposite ends of California, the duo has found a way to transcend the distance. Their brand new, self-titled, EP consists of five beautifully crafted experimental, artpop, dream-like songs.

With each song evoking an onset of sincere nostalgia, it’s hard to not get lost in the music. The collaboration between the two artist is duly noted in their song Dream Swing, as the songs melodic build-up showcases both their talent and compatibility as musicians. The entire compilation is mesmerizing as each song drips with various sounds and rhythms. Franny Verdugo is a must listen, and should become the soundtrack to all the beautiful high and lows you experience in life. Read the interview and get to know these warm and talented, budding artists!

Could you introduce yourself?

Tony: Hi. I’m Tony (Tricks). I love making music, margaritas, and long walks on the beach.

Risa: Hi! Yes, my name is Risa Rubin.

How would you describe your music?

T: Diverse. Every new project is very different from the last. Maybe one day I’ll settle within a particular genre.

R: I would say its spiritual, thought provoking music, thats what I hope it is.

If you had to choose one song to describe your style, what would it be and why?

T: Strawberry Fields Forever by The Beatles. I love pop and I love psychedelic rock.

R: From our music? If so, I think the second song Rise With Me. I really like the way both of our ideas come together in that.

Do you feel as though your environment has influenced your music? Why or why not?

T: Absolutely. Santa Cruz is so beautiful and full of so many creative people it’d be hard not to be influenced by it.

R: Yes, absolutely. I was raised in a very high-stress household, which I think amplified a lot of emotional instability for me. After I moved away from that, I spent a year reading a ridiculous amount of self help books and paying for natal chart readings, hoping to rid myself of all that instability. (haha, it didn’t really work) But these songs came out of that.

Top 3 main influences?

T: Brian Wilson, John Lennon, and Phil Spector.

R: For Franny Verdugo it would be the show Enlightened on HBO and probably Kate Bush and Joanna Newsom.

How did you guys meet and start making music together?

R: Through our mutual friend Andrew (who I went to high school with), who was Anthony’s roommate at the time. I really love Anthony’s music and asked him to help me record some songs when I was living in Berkeley, and then later we decided to collaborate.

What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?

T: Weird stuff like nature, cosmic vibrations, and the sky.

R: I think for me they are pretty much all about wanting to be better than you are, and believing that you are better than you are, but finding yourself failing time and time again. It’s something I feel every day where I feel I’m constantly caught between two poles. Wanting so badly to be enlightened and good, but actually finding I might be worse than the average person.

If you could bare witness to one moment in musical history, which would it be?

T: A recording session at Abbey Road Studios in London sometime in the sixties or seventies.

R: I guess the 60s, I feel weird saying that cause I feel like thats always the answer. But it looks fun.

You can have any artist open for you, who would it be?

T: Madonna.

R: Ha I think at this point we are lucky if any artist opens for us.

What has been your biggest challenge as a band?

T: Living halfway across the state from each other!

R: We live so far away from each other that we haven’t even gotten a chance to find out what that is.

Could you briefly describe the process of making your music?

R: I would write the lyrics and the melodies for most of the songs, and then go to Santa Cruz and Anthony would record them. Then he would sit with them and do all of the rest of the instrumentation and produce them and turn them into something magical. The last song is all him

Any last words?

T: Franny Verdugo is a made up person.