Performing with Moxie
Members of Moxie perform recently on the Brattleboro Town Common.

Performing with Moxie

Windham County’s new teen band offers ‘a fusion of musical styles’

BRATTLEBORO — The young members of the band Moxie chose the name “because on a practical level, it's short and easy to remember,” said guitarist Leander Holzapfel. “Also, we feel like it describes our music pretty well.”

The band members - Rei Kimura, 14, of Brattleboro; Daniel Snyder, 15, of Guilford; David Cohen, 15, of Westminster Station; and Holzapfel, 16, of Marlboro - first met in January 2017.

Since then, the four, who knew one another in various combinations but had never all met as a group, have developed a sound that they describe as “bouncy pop, indie rock, and chamber indie” - a sound “full of moxie” and reminiscent of the '80s.

Taking inspiration from Lake Street Dive, Childish Gambino, and The Strokes, the band members blend a “fusion of musical styles” into their song writing.

“We all get to write our own parts, so nobody feels uncomfortable playing something that somebody else wrote,” Cohen, the bass player, said.

“It is super collaborative” and “we have so much fun doing it,” Holzapfel said.

This past winter, Moxie released two singles on Bandcamp: “Blue Skies” and “Living in A Bubble.” The group also has recorded 15 unreleased songs and is “shooting for sometime this fall to release an album on Bandcamp and other platforms, like Spotify.”

Despite the young age of Moxie's musicians, band members don't see that as a factor in their identity.

“The only way that it actually contributes is what other people kind of force upon us,” Cohen said.

“I wouldn't say that we start our process with 'Oh, we're in high school,' but, you know, an announcer might,” he added. “That's a really big difference.”

One unavoidable consequence of age: logistics.

“Leander's newly licensed, but before that, they [Moxie's families] had to drive us to the gigs, to practices, and they had to get us what we needed,” said Kimura, the lead singer and guitar player. “So, they've been super helpful and morally supportive as well.”

Young musicians inspire one another

But their age also comes with benefits - it gives them an edge.

“Especially in Brattleboro, there's not much in the way of bands, so a new youth band or something like that will get people's attention,” Cohen said.

And Kimura agreed: “With places like the Stone Church and 118 Elliot, there have been more opportunities for youth musicians to inspire each other and to work with each other.”

Still, “getting gigs in Brattleboro, getting the word out, and having a crowd there is really hard,” she said.

But eventually, “if you play out enough, people will recognize [the band] and want to start coming,” Cohen said. “We have probably like eight people that come to every single one of our shows, which is cool.”

Most of all, their support comes not from a specific person, but the “people who look alive when we're playing,” and “people who dance,” Snyder, the band's drummer, said.

“Just people who care and want to be there,” Cohen added.

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