You just wrapped up your Junior year of college and you’re ready to use your 75%-of-the-way-complete Econ major to try to get a summer internship. What I described is the exact opposite of how Playyard members Henry Morris and Michael Sack are operating this summer.
Instead, Playyard is wondering how many new songs they can get out to their audience, where they will record without their dorm room, and if the weather will be good to go skate (of course it is… it’s Santa Monica). The first single of the summer is now out and you’re going to want to get in on it. “Close” is a reflective tune, driven by soft chords and a mellowed-out vocals. They also dropped a re-mastered version of “Close” with electronic Santa Barbara duo Laszewo; much more “dance-y” as Michael describes it.
“This song is an honest and faded confession about a past relationship. As we all get ready for our own version of a ‘hot girl summer’ there’s going to be so much reflection on our past year in COVID and what we’re leaving behind as our lives go back to what they were before” – Henry Morris
The fellas have built quite the audience base, seeing over 50,000 monthly listeners and roughly 2 million total streams. Each new track a little more intricate than the last, Playyard is poised for a year of substantial growth. We got to sit down with both Henry and Michael to learn more about their background and how “Close” came to be.
Complete Q&A Below
Playyard! or should I say Henry and Michael. Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with Deviate. What’s up these days?
What’s up! Thank you for talking with us. We both just finished our third year at UCSB and I think we’ve both really come into our own as artists this year. We’re starting to write and release music that truly showcases our lives as broke kids living in a beach town haha.
Dude, you’re preaching to the choir. I was in California a few weeks ago and things seemed to be opening up a little more. Any hint of some live shows soon?
We’re starting to piece together a huuuge show in LA. We’re thinking of hosting the event in a warehouse downtown with art, other music, and stuff. We want to go all out on this one especially because we want to throw it ourselves using our friends and the network we’ve built.
How did you two come in contact with each other?
I (Henry) was close friends with Michael’s cousin in high school and she suggested that we dorm together instead of choosing random roommates. We had never met before the first day of school and it only took us about a week to write our first song together. Our personalities were oddly similar to the point that we ended up kicking it everyday since for the past 3 years.
Can you elaborate on what you two share in common besides music?
I wish I had a good answer to this but 95% of my personality is related to music in some way. The other 5% is my economics major, which we both happen to be studying. I (Henry) was adopted into Michael’s friend group from home and a running joke is that we’re twins haha. At the end of the day, we both agree that music and the people we meet are the most important things in life
We are obsessed with the new tune… “Close”. What experience is the song in relation to?
Although it might sound like the song is written about a washed out confession regarding a past relationship with another person, I (Henry) wrote these lyrics about a relationship with myself. During this past year in lockdown I developed habits and routines that came to define me. Some good and some bad. As things are starting to go back to normal I’ve had to deal with the parts of myself that I need to let go of in order to embrace a stronger social life. When the chorus says “but are we really that close” it’s a question of self reflection over anything.
I definitely get the laid back, beachy vibe from all Playyard tunes. What about growing up in Santa Monica has inspired your music?
Growing up in Venice was a really interesting experience. I think that all the life experiences I’ve had all come together and show in everything I make. The same is definitely true for Michael as he’s also always been surrounded by beach bums and skater kids. The beach life style we have now: skating everyday, hanging out on our friends balconies overlooking the water. It’s hard not to be influenced by that kind of environment.
You two have 2 fantastic singles so far in 2021. What’s next in store for Playyard this year?
We worked with another Santa Barbara based group, Laszewo, on another rendition of “Close” that is coming out the first of next month. This is a far more dancy and electronic version with both our vocals and Kiki’s vocals (the singer in Laszewo). I really can’t wait for that. Our goal is to drop a song every 3ish weeks until we run out of music so this summer will see a lot of releases!!
What’s been your weirdest interaction with a fan so far?
I’d love to eventually have one of these stories but I guess we’ll have to wait until the show this summer haha.
On behalf of the Deviate Team I’d like to thank Henry and Michael for taking the time to answer our questions. These two are as real as real can get. We can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer holds for this duo!
Michael and Henry of Playyard are the definition of Deviates