Drawing inspiration from the haunting harmonies of Fleet Foxes and First Aid Kit and the detailed production of The Decemberists and Lord Huron, the three women who make up the band Pandafan are creating indie-folk music all their own. They call it mermaid folk rock but no matter what you call it, Grace DeNatale, Vanessa Grasing and Delaney Hafener are hard at work on their next album. DeNatale and Hafener grew up in Shirley and have been performing together since 10th grade. Now, students with Grassing at Purchase College, the three shared their busy summer plans, the new music they’re working on and what they’re listening to right now with Pulse.
Long Island Pulse: How would you describe your music to someone you just met?
Pandafan: We recently came up with the phrase “mermaid folk rock,” but we’re an indie, indie-folk group.
Pulse: How did Pandafan get started?
Pandafan: Pandafan started in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy when Delaney, Grace and their friend Joe Mineo were playing music around the kitchen table. They started playing around the New York metro area. Joe left the group after two years to pursue other musical endeavors and Vanessa joined the band. We’ve continued to write, record and perform ever since.
Pulse: What’s the story behind the name Pandafan?
Pandafan: It was a joke that stuck when we had to play our first gig. We did have someone tell us that we need a better story, so if anyone has a better story, let us know.
Pulse: What are you working on right now?
Pandafan: We recently released Running Wild a six-song EP and we’ve started to plan our next full-length album which we’ll begin working on soon. We also plan on releasing a single in early summer.
Where can we hear you perform in the upcoming months?
Pandafan: All of our shows are listed on our Facebook page and through bandsintown. A few of our upcoming shows are:
- Mt Sinai Congregational Church, June 3
Soul Sounds in Sayville, June 6
Guild Hall on July 10 to open for the band Reserved for Rondee.
Pulse: Who are you listening to right now and why should we listen to them too?
Pandafan: We’ve been listening to Gregory Alan Isakov lately. He has great songs and beautiful production along the lines of Lord Huron and Fleet Foxes. There’s been a huge indie-folk movement over the past five years thanks very much to Mumford and Sons, but there are so many great indie-folk artists beyond just Mumford. We’re heavily influenced by First Aid Kit and The Decemberists.