Kimmy Drake's Beach Day Transforms Into the Carries, Plans Debut Album

Photo courtesy of The Carries
Beach Day was the ideal name for a band from South Florida. Until it wasn’t.

A few months ago, after a short hiatus, the duo — fronted by Kendall native Kimmy Drake — re-emerged as a four-piece under a new moniker, the Carries. It had something to do with complications with their former label, Kanine Records.

Drake, the band’s lead singer and frontwoman, spends most of her time these days in Hollywood or Miami Beach, where we recently met her at Dirt, just off Collins Avenue. The place perfectly suits her healthy, vegetarian lifestyle. Over a bowl of soup, she says confidently that things are much better than they might appear to be.

“Well, the band didn’t break up,” Drake assures us. “The band has always been me and Skyler [Black]... We still work with [Kanine] because they own two of our records. We always have to work with them, like, forever... I feel fine with that."

Drake has an easy laugh and an easy smile. She explains the metamorphosis of Beach Day into the Carries as something natural, a moment of growth in terms of both size and sound. To Drake’s guitar work and Black’s drumming, they’ve added the work of bassist Connor Lawhorne and an additional guitarist, Lowen Gruseck. It’s a combination that’s really clicking at the moment. In Lawhorne, Drake has someone to compliment her songwriting with “the perfect basslines” and with Gruseck, she doesn’t have to worry about teaching someone over and over again how to do the job.

“It’s hard to find members who want their careers to be in music," Drake says. "[They’ll say] ‘I really want to be a chef, but I’m just doing this for now.’ This isn’t what their career goal is. Those people [musicians] are far and in between because it’s a tough choice. I’m going to be broke for a while, but it’s going to pay off in the end.”

The current evolution of the band, the Carries, is a bit slicker than Beach Day but no less charming. Their first single, “Runaway With You,” is as gentle as the breezy declarations of Camera Obscura, the shoegaze of the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and the sun-bleached rhythms of a Best Coast. It also has echoes of the defunct indie band, Rilo Kiley, and their brilliant songbird, Jenny Lewis, ringing throughout the song. This sunny, pop number is as bright and colorful as any pastel Art Deco monument on nearby South Beach.

“We just wanted a fresh start," Drake says. “We’ve had the same band name for five years. The new music is different. I think it’s more polished. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a garage rocker for life.”

While there will always be a place in Drake’s heart for that Midwest bluesy garage sound à la the Black Keys or White Stripes, she’s equally excited about the direction the Carries are moving in. If Beach Day fell into the category of “messy, but fun,” then the Carries slip neatly into the “fun" category.

“Now the recording is different. We’ve added strings. That’s something I’ve always wanted to do but never got to do,” Drake explains, while promising that she hasn’t completely abandoned her roots. “A third of the record is rocker-like garage songs. I can’t let that go.”

The Carries are hoping for a 2017 release of their debut album, but a concrete date is still up in the air. At the moment, they have six songs in the bag with at least another four on the way. The search for a new record label is also on. For the time being, they’re focusing on reintroducing themselves with as big a splash as their movie namesake because yes, the Carries are named after the Stephen King story. However, this isn’t dark, emo music and no one is singing about pig’s blood. “We were thinking of names forever," Drake says. "One day I was at the park and it just came to me. The Carries. That’s so cool. I was thinking of the movie and I just thought it was a cool-ass band name. And it kind of fits. I’m realizing that sometimes you’re not in control and things just pop into your head.”

This notion of a band dedicated to an outsider is something Drake can get behind and many understand. “I feel a little bit like an outcast in this town, like I don’t fit in,” she says. However, the Carries bring an enthusiasm and an energy that everyone, not just telekinetic high schoolers with mommy issues, can fully embrace.