88 Palms Brings the Tropics to Montauk

What’s better than tropical sex bangers? The musical super-duo making them. 88 Palms is bringing their tropical tracks out east for the second time this season and we couldn’t be more pumped. In preparation for their Saturday showing, we chatted with one half of the band, Ria Bouttier, about the origins of 88 palms, the ’70s and the current sonic soundscape.

You’re a very new duo, but have both been in the music biz for some time. Tell us the story of 88 Palms.

I met Morgan not too long after I moved to NY through a mutual friend who is this really awesome producer/engineer, Jonathan Kreinik, who I’ve known for a few years. I moved to New York two years ago to work for a record label and as a DJ, which I’d been doing back home in Utah for a few years and had kind of hit the ceiling in that scene. After about a year I realized I hated working on the business side of music, watching the bands have all the fun creating and performing. I did a little “for fun” track with JK who shares a studio with Morgan. I knew Morgan was involved with Midnight Magic whose tracks I’d already been DJ’ing in Salt Lake and loved. Morgan heard it and asked if I wanted to come in and do some tracks with him so of course I said yes. First day in the studio we had written about four songs in a couple hours and decided we had a pretty good thing going!

You describe your music as, “tropical sex bangers.” Can you elaborate on that?

Haha! Well…these are a few of our favorite things. To me one of the coolest things about music is its ability to transport you to another place and time, or to a person. Morgan and I are both from the desert so we love warm, beach-y, tropical places. My dad is from Mazatlan, Mexico so I’ve also spent a ton of time growing up on the beach and am madly in love with the ocean and coastal life and the soundtrack that goes along with that. You can’t really cruise with the top down passing palm trees and babes in bikinis listening to speed metal, can you? Sex is pretty obvious, for whatever reason Morgan’s production style really brings out this sultry hyper sexualized Jessica Rabbit kind of thing in me, which I don’t think too many people are mad at. I like the adage, “sing about what you know,” and I know a lot about lusting after beautiful men. Ideally on the beach. I’m in love with falling in love.

Favorite aspect of the ‘70s. Go!

Studio 54. I’ve been really obsessed lately with the height of the disco era, that level of style and music. I don’t know if it’s been matched since. My dad was a disco DJ in the ’70s in Mexico so I was raised on a lot of that and he has pretty hilarious stories about John Travolta and Bob Dylan partying down there. People like Grace Jones, Donna Summer, Cher, Bianca Jagger, during that era were just absolutely slaying this glamorous avant garde look. I also love what various producers and songwriters were doing with all of this new technology that was emerging at the time and becoming more readily available, particularly with modular synths becoming more accessible. MIDI appears around this time, polyphonic synths, the Minimoog was huge. That blew popular music wide open in a totally new way that people had never heard before. That’s how the dance party started.

This is your second time at the MBH. What are you doing differently this time around?

I’m gonna pull some babe into the pool with me this time. Haha! Our live set is ever so slightly different each time, we almost kind of look at it like jamming. Morgan and I are able to create stuff on the fly so easily. We are adding a bit more in, doing a newer song. Hoping that these old analogue synths don’t melt in the sun now that it’s August. Morgan uses a lot of sensitive vintage equipment. They don’t like the heat so much so thankfully it’s a bit cooler now.

Any new singles or upcoming EP’s coming from camp 88 Palms that we should be aware of?

The next single is a track called ‘Hollywood Son’ which is more mellow than ‘Bright Lights,’ which is our current single. It’s the West Coast track, it’s all Hollywood Boulevard, Chateau Marmont, the beautiful sons and daughters of the old Hollywood Elite kind of coming into their own, cruising down Santa Monica Boulevard with the top down. We have a ton of material, but we are holding off on an EP release date until we hear back from a few labels. Having already done the whole record label thing, I would really rather focus on just creating and writing and let someone else handle all the business of distribution and PR for the time being.

Song of the summer?

I had this Poolside mixtape on repeat all summer. It’s absolutely perfect for cruising to the beach.

What’s the last thing on your summer ‘16 bucket list?

One last cartwheel into the pool at MBH!!

88 Palms is performing at the beach house on Saturday August 27th at 4:00 PM. 

Peep the rest of our calendar and RSVP here