I had the pleasure of chatting with Alec Koukol of Safari Room about the band, their discography, and their upcoming event this weekend at Your Brother's Bookstore in Evansville, IN.
Listen to the full interview here below!
Additional information about the band's Event In Evansville can be found here.
All Things Safari Room - From The band itself
Safari Room is the indie rock outfit and brainchild of Alec Koukol (Omaha-native, now Nashville-local).
“We’re not that different you and me,” Alec Koukol repeats throughout the swelling bridge of “Garden Talker,” and that line might as well be a mission statement for Safari Room. Koukol describes “human connection as a founding cornerstone” of the project’s ethos, and that message is a throughline for Safari Room’s entire discography so far. Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, Koukol is considered a transplant to Nashville, despite moving there almost a decade ago, and that’s where his music really blossomed. Though the city’s known for its country music exports, Nashville is what Koukol calls a “melting pot, commuter-transplant city,” one without a real rooting in any one specific sound. That, too, has influenced the way Safari Room operates. Koukol, as songwriter/vocalist/guitarist, is the core, and he’s surrounded by a revolving door of friends and fellow travelers that they call “the village.”
This looser, more collaborative process not only gives each Safari Room album a unique feel – it also helps ensure each song has its own clear identity. In 2018, they released their first EP, Actual Feelings, a collection of loungy indie rock tracks that laid the foundation for the lush, full-bodied sound they’d craft on debut LP Look Me Up When You Get There.
This fluidity also fits the band into a lineage of indie rock collectives from The Flaming Lips to Dirty Projectors, bands that appear as touchstones throughout the band’s sophomore LP Complex House Plants. “Speak Slower” buzzes and jitters with post-punk energy, the tranquil “All Is Said and Done” plods through galloping drums and drips with feedback, and “Your City Doesn’t Love You” trawls through sparse, ambient verses to arrive at a delicate admission: “Your city doesn’t love you, but I do.” That line, vulnerable as it may seem on paper, is entirely keeping in line with the band’s mission and Koukol’s approach to songwriting; the more of yourself you put out there, the more other people will be able to see themselves, too.
That line operates similarly to the way the line from “Garden Talker” does – it’s not just the climax of the song, it’s a statement of intent. Particularly coming off the pandemic, the world can be a lonely place--hell even--and so can your city. But when you’re singing along, things feel a little easier. The band is known, particularly in Nashville, for their special brand of indie rock, their live shows and the sense of community that comes from singing Safari Room’s songs together. That’s the band’s hope, and that’s what they’re going for on their as-yet-untitled third LP. These songs are the band’s biggest, boldest, and most personal yet; in other words, they’re Safari Room at their very best. - Zac Djamoos