In the past few years, life has taken Long Island singer/songwriter Andrew Accardi of indie rock band Robbers across the country and back.
“I was moving a lot, I lived in Montana, Connecticut…and I learned a lot about myself,” Accardi said.
When I last caught up with Accardi, he thought he would soon be working on a fifth Robbers album. Instead, along with John Favicchia and Mike Gagliardi, he created the haunting, jazzy single “Lavender,” under a new band name. “The music is so different, it’s such a new aesthetic that it needed a new aspect,” Accardi said.
Still, fans of the band will find familiar notes in the music the three are doing under the name Cosmic Harvey & Celestial Mind. There’s more improvisation, which gives the single a jazz feel, but the lyrics are still detailed, creating a vivid story filled with a deep meaning we’ve come to expect from Accardi. The new single is out Sept. 10
Long Island Pulse: Last time we spoke you were getting ready to start working on a fifth Robbers album, what happened with that?
Andrew Accardi: I was living in New Haven, Conn., when we started the fifth Robbers album but over the course of time realized the new songs just needed a new aesthetic. I’ve changed so much since the last record in 2012. The music is so different. I thought, let’s put Robbers aside.
Pulse: “Lavender,” is quite a departure from Robbers’s previous music. What made you go in this direction?
AA: I’m at my most honest now. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself between moving a lot, living in Montana and Connecticut. This represents me now, the mix of my passions and thoughts from music to comic books, constellations and movies.
Pulse: What inspired “Lavender?” Does it have any specific meaning for you personally?
AA: It’s the choice I made to change aesthetics. When I decided to go away from Robbers and start this new thing I kept thinking, ‘is this a bad thing, but Robbers doesn’t feel right, and it’s important to do what matters.’ “Lavender,” represents that. It talks about what ifs and how it’s important to be who you are and to be honest and make that decision.
Pulse: Now, the most recent members of Robbers are also part of this new project. What’s it been like to change directions as a band?
AA: Right off the bat, we’ve been changing. John had seen Robbers perform at Paramount, reached out and said if I ever needed a drummer to fill in to give him a call, so after our drummer moved, I did. We jammed and right away I knew I couldn’t not let him express himself and that began to turn Robbers into a new thing. That was 2012. It brought the aspect of improvisation to the group, that’s how we evolved.
Pulse: What do you love about improvisation?
AA: We are more in the moment of the performance where you never really know what’s going to happen. It just keeps everything new and spur of the moment and that’s what a live show should be.
Pulse: Where can we hear that improvisation? Where will you be performing?
AA: We’re getting a show together for Brooklyn in October and hope to have those details soon.
Pulse: The single is out Sept. 10, can we expect a full-length album to follow?
AA: We’re going to start recording in about a month and when we do we’ll have a better idea of when an album will come out, probably end of this year, early next.