Neptune's Core Opens Up About 'Evolving,' Musical Influences & More

By Taylor Fields

January 25, 2022

After releasing their debut album, Can't Have It All, in 2020, indie rock band Neptune's Core wasted no time working on and releasing their second album Evolving just a year later.

Evolving, released in the fall of 2021, showcases eleven diverse songs written and performed by the band, comprised of two pairs of sisters, Sofia Richter (singer/guitarist) and Hannah Richter (bassist), and Jacqueline Cywinski (guitarist/singer) and Kaitlin Cywinski (drummer).

Speaking to iHeartRadio, the group described their band as "an alternative indie rock band, we really appreciate diversity within music style; each song we write sounds different from the others. Sofie and Jacqueline come up with smooth harmonies and captivating lyrics. Kaitlin adds a cool drum rhythm, and eventually throws in some fills. Hannah lays down a cool, funky bass riff. Jacqueline and Sofie explore dissonance with colorful guitar chords. We work together and build off each other to achieve our own unique sound and end up having a great time in the process."

Learn more about Neptune's Core, their new album Evolving, and more in our exclusive interview below.

Tell us about how you came together and formed Neptune’s Core?

"We are two pairs of sisters, so Kaitlin and Jacqueline met when Jacqueline was born, and Sofie and Hannah met when Hannah was born! Sofie and Kaitlin met in 3rd grade during elementary school, and Jacqueline and Hannah soon after. The four of us bonded through a shared love of listening [to] and creating music! Neptune’s Core started out as a fun way to experiment with playing covers and writing original tunes. We originally played open mics and neighborhood parties but soon realized we wanted to pursue music more seriously."

Where does "Neptune's Core" come from?

"We liked the idea of being in an indie rock band with a space-related name. We came up with the name 'Neptune's Core' late one night, and it just stuck. Being an all-girl band with the name Neptune's Core feels cool!"

Who are some of your biggest music influences?

"The Chicago music scene has been very supportive and encouraging of us. It’s a very healthy and friendly scene. Artists like OHMME, Twin Peaks, LaLaLaLa, Dehd, VV Lightbody, Whitney, White Mystery and Liam Kazar and venues like Schubas, Double Door, City Winery, Fitzgeralds and Martys have treated us like a real band since we were young when we first began. That has always provided confidence in allowing us to explore our music."

Specifically, here are some other influences:

Sofie: "Bachelor, Ohmme, Nina Simone."

Jacqueline: "Angel Olsen, Hole, Julia Jacklin."

Kaitlin: "Velvet Underground, The Shivas."

Hannah: "No Doubt, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie."

Tell us about your new album Evolving?

"Evolving is our second full-length album and it has both our earliest and latest material on it. 'To Fall Apart' was actually the first song we wrote together as a band. Sofie brought it to the band four years ago. She didn’t even know how to play guitar at the time, so she just wrote a cool melody and some oddly deep lyrics for her age. It's crazy how much the song has continued to evolve over time. 'Mistake' and 'Bring Back the Light' are the two most recent songs on the album. We came up with an album order on our way back from a week-long camping trip in Minnesota. We wanted to sequence the songs in a way that made sense musically and lyrically. The order flows and feels right. We’re honestly so happy with the final product! It’s over four years worth of material. Evolving stays true to its name; it really shows how much we have evolved as musicians and people throughout time."

What were some of the themes that inspired the songs on Evolving?

"Sofie and Jacqueline see songwriting as a creative outlet that allows them to express their emotions. The songwriting process is challenging, yet so relieving. Sofie wrote 'Bring Back the Light' at a time when several people in her life were feeling disconnected from themselves. She poured all of her emotions and concerns into that song and ended up creating something beautiful in the process."

Do you have a favorite song on Evolving?

"'Drowning' is the lead track of the album. When Sofie first brought the song to the band, everyone knew there was something interesting about it. When the first Am6 chord strikes about halfway through the song, it feels insane. It’s our favorite song to play live; we always end our sets with it. 'Drowning' illustrates how much we have evolved as a band over the years. The strong melody, deep lyrics, dissonant guitar chords, beautiful bass, and crazy drums all make the song incredible. The dynamics of 'Drowning' are what bring it to the next level. It's truly one of our favorite songs and demonstrates the quiet to loud variance that we love. 'Turning Red,' a song about having a crush on someone, was our lead single from the album and is another song people really seem to relate to."

What’s next for you?

"We are working on a lot of new songs and playing a lot of gigs. We want to be able to put ourselves out there and playing gigs is a great way to do this for us. We love performing and playing live. It’s so rewarding and exciting connecting with an audience. Our old and new fans have been very supportive and that not only feels great, it inspires us to do more and be better. In regards to releasing music, we want to take our time. We just released our second full length album in two years with all of our existing songs, so we are spending our time writing new ones. We are also looking forward to playing gigs and fest this spring/summer."

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