New band blooms at OPRF

Flower Grease is not just a band. Through their creative project, OPRF seniors Emma Cabrera, Marianna Koch, and Jasmin Feliciano have found an outlet extending to photography and graphic design.

Cabrera, Koch, and Feliciano thought of their name on a rainy day when, out of nowhere, they came up with the idea that the rain smelled like flower grease.

The band formed last year during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We started the band because we were bored,” said Feliciano. “We’re all very creative people and were looking for a way to express that together.”

Cabrera and Koch already knew how to play guitar, but Feliciano taught herself both bass and guitar in a matter of months. In the fall of 2020, the band started making music.

The instrumentals in their music are performed by all three girls, with Koch and Cabrera on guitar and Feliciano on bass. The vocals are performed solely by Koch, and both songs the band has released feature her voice.

Flower Grease classifies its music as indie rock; however, the band is interested in exploring other genres. “We want to make whatever music we want, but with the music we have released so far, we would probably be labeled as indie rock,” Cabrera said. So far, the band has come out with two singles: “miso suup” and “the bench.” The band describes its music as chill, easy-listening, and D.I.Y.

Nina Cleofe, a visual artist who did a photo shoot with the band, says her favorite thing about their music is their unique addition to the genre. “I love that they’re bringing a new, rare thing to the indie music scene, in that they’re making their voices as artists of color in a majorly white subculture,” said Cleofe.

Their songwriting process is pretty laid back. “Usually one of us will come up with the guitar, Jasmine comes up with the bass, and we collaborate to come up with lyrics,” Cabrera said. The guitar part will usually come first, followed by the bass, which is played over and over again until they are able to come up with lyrics as a group.

Fan Meg Chyna, an OPRF senior, says Flower Grease’s music reminds them of “childhood nostalgia” and summer. The music has “a good mix of stuff and they change it up so you don’t get bored,” said Chyna. “It sounds reminiscent of the popular indie songs (like popular indie artist Current Joys)… but it’s different.”

Being a fairly new band, they have only played at a few venues. The band’s favorite performance was at Val’s Halla Sept. 10, where they performed along with another OPRF music group, “False Publication.”

“Val’s Halla was really fun because the audience was the most engaged and supportive,” Feliciano said.

Chyna saw the band perform at Val’s Halla. Besides the band’s two released songs, Flower Grease also performed an instrumental song they are working on and an improvised “jam session,” where one band member started playing and the others joined in.

“That was incredible because you could really tell they were connected as a band, and they genuinely enjoy each other’s presence, and just making music together,” said Chyna. They also appreciated that the band made an effort to connect with the audience by talking in between songs and occasionally telling jokes.

The band has also played other shows including “Tough as Nails” at School of Rock, and some house shows.

With the band being all seniors, the stress of applying to colleges and the busyness of the school year tend to get in the way of creating music and rehearsing for shows.

However, the band is looking forward to putting the finishing touches on songs and releasing them as an album this coming year. “We have most of our stuff recorded, it’s mostly just about trying to make them perfect. Recording songs and performing them have two very different standards with us,” Koch said.

As far as upcoming performances go, they are discussing a possible performance Nov. 6 with Chicago organization “T.A.C.O” (Teen Artists Creative Oasis).

Meanwhile, Cleofe is looking forward to what comes next for the band. “I can’t wait to see them grow in popularity and be able to say I knew them in high school.”