As someone who listens to music from first cup of coffee to hitting the sack, a lot of the music I hear can go in one ear and out the other without really catching my attention.
I first heard Jacksonville-based Seven Springs at UNF’s Battle of the Bands event and to say the least, my interest was piqued. After the band departed the stage, I quickly chased them down to add them to my “List of Bands to Interview.”
Jump ahead a few weeks later, and the indie-pop rock collective invited me to a unique “unplugged” Thursday night practice session at their drummer’s home for an interview.
This was only the second time I had heard the band live, but it was remarkable to find that a box, a shaker, an acoustic guitar and Cabrera’s melodic vocals could produce such an alluring sound. As I listened to the band jam, it was easy to see what had intrigued me the first time I heard them.
Seven Springs is composed of lead vocalist and keyboardist Raquel Cabrera, drummer Daniel Haralambou, bassist Michael Carter and lead guitarist Austin Pillsbury.
One of the many reasons the group has a peculiar sound, is that Seven Spring’s members come from such a wide array of backgrounds.
Haralambou, who most recently joined the group, said he had never played in a band before Seven Springs, but had played in his church worship group for many years, while the other three members have gone through numerous bands over the years.
Besides their diverse backgrounds, each member has different influences ranging from Regina Spektor to The Killers or even local Jacksonville bands such as Bernard.
So how does a group of such misfit styles and different influences come together and turn four individuals into successful band?
Pillsbury said by bringing everyone’s unique influences and styles to the table, the band comes together to produce a sound that connects with the crowd and really draws them in, leaving them yearning for more.
The band has gone through countless changes in their recent formation, and has dropped and added several members over the past few months.
Cabrera, who started her first band at only 15, said she has faith that this time around, something is different, and the band feels that they have finally found their core group.
“Raquel actually reached out to me and was like, ‘Hey we should jam or something.’ So we just met up and it just felt like an instant connection with Austin and Raquel,” Carter said. From there, Carter said the group added Haralambou to complete the package.
Though the group is just a few months old, the band has already had tremendous success.
In the band’s first show at Murray Hill Theater near downtown Jacksonville, Seven Springs said the crowd was instantly drawn to the band in one of their most memorable performances.
“There were a lot of people,” Cabrera said. “They all drew to the front [of the stage] when we came up there and it was really awesome. I felt like we really connected with the audience.”
Carter said as someone who had played in a lot of different shows with several bands, the Murray Hill show seemed different. “It felt like a new breath,” Carter recalled.
From there, the band continued to play shows throughout Jacksonville, having success everywhere they went. When Seven Springs entered UNF’s battle of the bands, Haralambou had only played two previous shows in his life.
“I was nervous as all get out. I think I changed my shirt twice cause I was sweating so much,” Haralambou said with a laugh. “Every show since then I feel like I’ve been a lot more comfortable on stage and it’s just because it’s the people who you’re with.”
Seven Springs ultimately won the event and received the opportunity to play in the Ozzie’s Spring Ticket Music Festival at UNF where the local band would be performing alongside seven other well-known artists such as The Ready Set and Boys Like Girls….at least that’s what was supposed to happen until the band received word that they had been dropped from the lineup due to an overbooking error by the Osprey Production staff who were hosting the festival.
Despite the disappointing news, the group has big plans for the upcoming summer and is eager to continue their recent streak of accomplishment.
During the next two months, the group plans to concentrate on developing their sound through practice and local performances.
Seven Springs also has plans to record their first official EP with the help of a friend and Jacksonville University’s recording studio under their soon-to-be-changed-name of “Raquel & Lights”. The EP will feature six original tracks all written and produced by the band.
Upon completion of their EP, the group plans to finish the summer with a bang and tour throughout the state, branching out from Jacksonville.
During the interview, the group told me something that was really surprising to hear coming from a band. The group expressed that they didn’t care about their image or becoming popular or famous, but that they were in it to connect with the audience and give them a break from their busy lives.
As someone who has been to one of their shows, I can see what makes Seven Springs such a standout band.
When you shift the focus from the band to the audience, it makes a huge difference and I think the crowd can see that they genuinely want to show people a good time.
Though the group collectively agrees that their future as a band is uncertain, they plan to run the course and see where Seven Springs can eventually take them, and after just a few short months, it looks like the band might have more in store for themselves than they first expected.
To see a short video about the band, check out the YouTube video below.