Smooth, Like Butter
Pasadena City Hall was bright and sweaty on the 103 degree afternoon that SoCal Indie-Rockers It’s Butter agreed to meet up with me. City Hall is gorgeous (its the first thing that comes up on a Google search for photogenic spots in the area) and if I had to pick a place to end up in Southern California, it would probably be Pasadena. The city feels busy, but it isn’t overbearing like Los Angeles or San Francisco. It’s hip, liberal, trendy, fun, creative, and the generally quirky atmosphere was what helped me pick it’s epicenter to host my shoot with the duo. The band and the city share a lot of these same qualities, however that’s not why I’m about to spend the next few paragraphs praising this particular duo so highly. Past the inexorable catchiness of their sound (which I think more and more listeners will start to notice in these upcoming months) and their cool, humorous, quirky attitudes is something that is hard to find in a band nowadays: heart.
Britta Raci and Diego Patino are making music that means something authentic and true to them, made clear not only in their unique style of playing together, but also Raci’s deeply moving, however blunt lyrics. There’s absolutely nothing to hide with It's Butter. The duo developed their moniker after a friend commented on the music they were writing: “Smooth, like butter” and just like that, these two valley kids set off on a mission to "make happy music for anxious people" (a phrase the band is coining as their growing fan base becomes more and more apparent). With influences like No Doubt, Hiatus Coyote, and Sublime (and dare I point out the gnarly Lamb of God tattoo on Patino’s forearm?) the duo has played around masterfully with genres like pop, reggae, alternative rock, and r&b to develop their crisp, fresh sound. I really haven’t heard anything like It’s Butter, but I’ve loved every bit of it so far.
Diego is “Colombian Spice,” Raci jokes; they add that he’s only been in the states for about 5 years. Before meeting at the Musician’s Institute of Los Angeles, Patino had already heard of his future bandmate online and started learning how to play her music. “[Britta] writes the music, then I come in and add a beat,” Patino laughs, “she’s a really incredible song writer.” The respect the two have for each other is blatant, something you pick up on within the first five minutes of conversation with them. “I write the chords, basic structure, then Diego cleans it up.” Raci comments. Besides the admiration for each other’s talent, something I also respect a lot about these two is their commitment to style in their music. This is not the classic story of two high school pals who picked up a guitar and just started jamming (though, this method works plenty often, too) their music is refined, there is a vision in mind, and you’re hearing exactly what the band wants you to be hearing. Raci excitedly points out that they’ve been recording music themselves and have even been experimenting with some fun new styles of doing so, such as recording the track live with no click and delving deeper into their psychedelic sides (an influence you can hear radiantly in their newest release “Forty-Four”). Diego tracks the drums at a studio, but most of the music is recorded DIY style in a friend's living room. This is pretty rad given the high quality content they’ve dished out.
The 2017 release of the band’s self-titled EP allowed them to gain some heavier traction amongst the local DIY scenes in Los Angeles, and it paved the way for the band to gain notoriety at many DIY events and music festivals such as Spooktacular, and PlutoFest in SCV. They were even awarded “Most Outstanding Performance” by Downbeat Magazine for their single, “Forty-Four”. All very impressive, but for me the most astounding part of it all is the fact that their upcoming tour this September was completely put together and booked by the band themselves. The “Where’s Willy?!" Tour will start at O’Donovan’s in Pomona on September 14th and take the band through Northern California for the first time, appearing on the radio in Davis and eventually ending in a grand way at Berkeley’s legendary punk venue, 924 Gilman. By the way, Willy is a happy piece of melting butter on a stick, and he’s come to stick around in the form of the bands logo/mascot. Willy is adorable and its your mission as a music enthusiast to seek him out during the bands September run of CA.
When they aren’t playing music, they’re writing music. The duo has completely immersed their life in making music. Raci informs me she’s composing for High School choirs, and I think that’s awesome, and it must take an incredible amount of patience and discipline. Patino already masterfully showcases his skills with his time in It's Butter, but he also plays as a session drummer for a few House gigs in LA. Raci, a cannabis enthusiast and part-time bud-tender in Hollywood, likes to spend plenty of her time outdoors, close to nature when she isn’t making music. She’s a forward thinker, open verbally about her mentality, personality, sexuality, and tenacity and it’s something that certainly helps cap off the bands sound with her brutally honest lyrics. Like the modern re-imagined Jenny Lewis for the modern age ( at least Jenny from Rilo Kiley’s early years), Raci is “talking about things that you don’t often hear talked about” in her music with a blunt tone. She’s writing from experiences in the real life world and it’s speaking to us, letting us know we’re not alone out here. “If the words are just words then why am I scared?/If the people still talk then why should I care?/I'm still the one in control so I can't be scared/Say whatever you'd like but I am aware/” are the words Raci belts out during the chorus of “Forty-Four”, lyrics that I think poetically summarize what the band is all about.
At 21 & 22 years old, the two-piece rock outfit has plenty on their plate (I’m assuming it’s all soaked in butter, by the way). With a steady flow of music releases, a self-made tour coming up, and a fresh new sound in the underground Los Angeles music scene, the band is quickly on the rise and Faded Morgana deems itself extremely grateful and fortunate enough to meet these two passionate alt-rockers before they blow up and are much harder to contact! Jokes aside, the band is doing really well for themselves and in no time they’ll be bringing their fresh blend of pop, rock and r&b to your sound systems. Britta and Diego are the kind of musicians you like to like: respectful, talented, witty, and fun and their music speaks for itself. I can’t wait to hear what’s next from this Valley born rock duo, and I’m sure whatever it is will be packed to the brim with creative musical choices, refined style, and lyrics that will leave you feeling grounded in your own life. With so much ahead of them, the band must feel a bit of that anxiety they sing about, although i’m sure its coupled with excitement and eagerness. But, like Raci says in the bands latest single, “Words are just words” so I can’t wait to see the next actions they take.
If you're in California, don't miss It's Butter at one of their Tour Dates in September! Check them out below!