Alpha Rabbit’s “Let it Grow,” their sophomore album blending themes of love and conflict with a modernized musical approach.

Alpha Rabbit's sophomore album, "Let it Grow," releases on February 23, 2024, under Mint 400 Records. Seamlessly continuing from their previous record, the album explores themes of love and conflict with a modernized spin on the concept album. Comprising Joseph Wolstenholme, Jaime Parker, and Jake Foy, the band's multi-instrumental talents shine in their rocking yet intimate collection. Live performances are a regular feature in Central Jersey and the Jersey Shore. We caught up with the Rabbits to learn more about their process and what makes them tick!

Q: In your opinion, what are the essential qualities that make a “good songwriter”?

Good songwriters tell stories and their songs take the listener on a little journey. They have to be good with lyrics, malleable with melodic structure, open minded to collaborate if in a band setting, and open to different influences. They need to try and listen to their song from an outsider perspective and with a fan’s ears. Usually if the audience is digging the tune, nine times outta ten the band is digging it too, and vice/versa.

Q: What is the basis for writing attention-grabbing music in this day and age?

Telling the truth. Being different and unique. Also, writing great melodies. Bringing vulnerability and authenticity into the music. Many artists are being told to be concerned with image and their brand instead of their band. As a result, while attempting to create this 360 degree brand that involves so many different factors other than music, the music takes a back seat and sounds like it. So much music sounds the same now because instead of being pioneering, the artist either chooses or feels pressured to sound like an artist that has already proven successful. It doesn’t pay to takes risks. In reality, standing out is not a bad thing at all.  

Q: What has it been like working with an indie record label as opposed to working on your own?

It’s been great! We love the support we get from Mint 400 and we have found friends and new musical inspiration from our label mates. It’s been great to have guidance from a label that cares about supporting your product.

Q: Can you pinpoint some specific songs and songwriters that changed the way you write music?

Dim has a Paul Westerberg and Evan Dando thing going on in their songs. 

For Jake, Brian Eno’s solo records in the 70s have a big influence on his arrangements. Tracks like “The True Wheel” or “Cindy Tells Me” really stick out. Jake also likes artists with a DIY feel. “Like Flies on Sherbert” by Alex Chilton or “Down in Bermuda” by Jonathan Richman are big ones. Kevin Morby’s music, such as “Campfire” have had a notable influence. Jake is also a big Animal Collective fan. He listens to the track “Fireworks” more than any sane person should. 

 Jaime has been forever changed by songs including “Carnival”,  “People are So Fickle” and “Private First Class” by Kevin Devine, “When I Died” and “At the Bottom of the Sea” by The Thermals, “Father”and “Twin Size Mattress” by The Front Bottoms, “Pictures of Success” by Rilo Kiley, “Range Life” by Pavement, “Miss You So Bad” by Trick & the Heartstrings, and “Wrecking Ball” by Bruce Springsteen. 

Q: Do you find it hard to be inspired by artists that are younger than you, or are you motivated by their energy? Can you name any new artists you find inspiring?

We play with all sorts of bands and to us whether they’re older or younger is irrelevant. It’s inspiring to see new bands doing their own thing.  Pushing Tigerlillies out of New Hope, PA are pretty awesome, UgLi is always stellar and the Warhawks are on point too. Type Advantage is super cool, and while not a band anymore, we really loved Party Muscles from Philly.

Q: For your new album, what inspired the lyrical content, album title, and overall vibe?

Musically, spiritually, sonically and psychologically this new LP is almost an answer or companion piece to our prior album Eternity however not as dark as the former. The theme for Let it Grow is hope through the darkness and coming out the other side, grown. Eternity tore down to rebuild where Let it Grow builds to thrive.

Q: Do you find that you ruminate over writing songs and hold on to them for a long time before including them on a record? Or do you prefer to write them, release them, and be done with them? Do you ever re-visit old material to do a re-write or once it’s done it’s done?

We do both. Primarily we stick to newer material however we find ourselves from time to time to time revisiting a song we couldn’t get a year or so before and attempting to get it down with a rearrangement. This just happened with a song that we are finally bringing into rotation after four years of pocketing it. Rewrites after the recording don’t happen unless it’s a live variation. We play the recorded songs in our set somewhat differently over time. 

Q: Were there any lessons you learned in the writing and recording process for your current release that you will take with you into your next project?

Let it Grow is a leap for us in combining musical styles and odder instruments. We are still bringing each other songs that expand what we want to do musically so the next album will be bigger and bolder with styles, genres, instruments and influences. It’s what keeps Alpha Rabbit…well…Alpha Rabbit! 


alpha rabbit indie rock mint 400 records punk rock trenton nj