The New Respects

from NPR, Feb. 7, 2017

NPR: World Cafe Nashville: The New Respects

"We want to be in a space that invites anyone who wants to come to be there," The New Respects bassist Alexis Fitzgerald says.

The Fitzgerald siblings — Darius and twins Alexandria and Alexis — and their cousin Jasmine Mullen realized as teenagers that there was really no established template for the band they wanted to be: a coed quartet of Tennessee-bred, African-American kids initially playing a variation on folk-rock. Their response was to keep at it, experimenting with whatever styles struck their fancy at the moment and sifting through the influences they'd absorbed from their upbringings. (Mullen's mom, Nicole C. Mullen, rose to contemporary Christian popularity in the early '00s as a singer and songwriter of inspirational ballads and, as homeschooled preacher's kids, the Fitzgeralds were steered toward modern gospel and Motown.) Now in their early 20s, they're releasing their bright-eyed take on throwback rock 'n' roll, peppered with blues and soul references and calibrated for maximum pop effect, under the moniker The New Respects.

The way that Jasmine, the lead singer, springs off of the darting, furtively funky pattern laid down by guitarist Alexandria, bassist Alexis and drummer Darius in "Money," a track that debuted last month and also appears on a five-song EP due in March, captures the foursome's musical interplay.