What  are your names?

Marley Rae and Brian Frederick

What is the duos name.

Subtle Smiles

How did you come up with the name?

It was a quasi-joke that one of us tagged on the other’s Instagram page. Later on, when coming up with a band name, we re-discovered it and loved it.

What is your genre of music?

Indie-pop with some house, trip hop, down tempo, and even drum and bass thrown in the mix.

Give us a little bio about you.

We met through the band, Bootleg Orchestra, Brian having recorded the bands EP, and Marley joining the band as a Backup singer shortly after finishing the album. We went on a few dates and fell for each other. On our one year anniversary we wrote a song together that inspired Brian enough to go ahead and produce 20 tracks over the following 2 weeks. Those 20 ideas became the basis for ‘Significant Other’, our new album.

What made you go in to music?

M: I grew up with two singers for parents. My brothers and I were encouraged to join them for their church choir practices, sing for talents, and learn any instrument we fancied. My parents supported my desire to become a singer, providing me with vocal lessons, a piano, and a family who loved to sing in harmony.

B: Both my parents come from musical families. My Dad sang and my mom’s brothers all played guitars. It was a natural thing to want to do and was supported by my parents and grandparents, who bought me a drum set when I was 13 years old and  I immediately started a band with my cousin and two friends.

Are you a signed?

Yes! With the great people at Donut Sounds Record Company

Your latest release    ‘ Inside Outside  ‘ tell us more about the single.

The lyrics were originally written to a one minute beat that Brian had created. After completion, we liked it enough to try and expand the idea to what it is now. From there, it took on a life of it’s own lyrically. Thinking about how people can go through life guarded and unwilling to be vulnerable, Marley wrote ‘Inside Outside’ wanting to encourage people to abandon their defensive tendencies, to express their true selves, and start living in light than darkness.

Describe the track in two words.

“Electric Hello”

What was the writing process like?

Most of the songs started out as 1 minute songs, primarily drum loops and chopped up samples that carried a strong vibe. Marley then would lay down a melody, sometimes with words, sometimes just humming along. In fact, we loved one of those so much we left it on the record the way it is. The song ‘It’s the Truth’ doesn’t have any formal lyrics. It just felt right, so we left it. We recorded a lot of the initial vocals right in our living room and a lot of her chopped up and effected vocals are actually just her singing into some guitar pedals on the floor of Brian’s old apartment.

What was the recording process like?

We Recorded the drums at Hybrid Studios in Santa Ana, CA. Beautiful room with a great sound. We also recorded final vocal takes for the bulk of the album at Hybrid. For a few of the songs (‘Subtle Smiles’, ‘Grow’) we tracked vocals board the Queen Mary inside a cabin using a vintage AKG mic going into a Helios Type 69 Preamp into an SSL buss comp into my interface and laptop. It was really fun.

Who did you work with on the single  with?

We had Uriel Trujillo track drums on a few songs, including ‘Inside, Outside’. He plays tucked right into the pocket and totally got what we were going for, plus he’s a super nice guy.

Where can we buy the Single  from?

You can name your own price at

Will we see an EP or Album and if so what can we expect from it?

We just digitally released our album ‘Significant Other’ on February 21st. Cassettes are on pre-order now and vinyl is coming early Summer.

Do you have any shows coming up or a tour in planning?

Planning on putting together a show for our vinyl release in Long Beach, CA

If so where will you be heading?

No tour planned as of yet

What else can we expect in 2019?

Another single, Vinyl, at least one video

Do you have any collaborations coming up with any up coming artists?

We are working with a bunch of our good friends on remixing the entire album, which will be coming out with the Vinyl in early summer.

Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?

Always! Just reach out to us at our Instagram or via email at or

Do you play any instruments?

M: Piano as well as a classically trained vocalist

B: Drums, bass, keys, guitar

Who are your influences?

B: Lead and Thoughts and Spears, Portishead, Bonobo, Thievery Corporation, Radiohead, Tool, Cocteau Twins, Mark Farina,

M: Bjork, Cocteau Twins, Earth Wind & Fire, Sufjan Stevens, Sonnymoon, Broken Social Scene

How do you get inspiration to write songs?

Its great to workshop ideas out and just sit around and noodle on an instrument.

Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?

M: Graduating from university, pursuing a career in Speech-Language Pathology, writing new music, and developing my art directing skills for photography and video.

B: A few more albums out with Subtle Smiles as well as a few solo albums under my ‘Broken2th’ moniker.

When you’re not doing music, what do you do?

Marley is a photographer and model. She’s currently working on finishing her AA in Communications with plans to transfer to a 4 year.

Brian is a Junior Mix Engineer at Picture Head and a +26 handicap golfer. He also masters local band’s and artists’ music out of Hybrid Studios in addition to running Stacks FX, an effects pedal company, with his business partner Miguel Vasquez.

What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?

Lead and Thoughts and Spears – ‘Lions Dream’

What’s the best advice you have ever been given?

Don’t be afraid of failure.

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and  just as an artist?

M: Collaboration over competition helps everyone. Don’t look at your fellow bands and artists as anything other than a teammate. When we help each other, we help ourselves and we all grow as a result.

What quote or saying do you always stick by?

M: “Don’t think about creating art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” – Andy Warhol

B: Leonardo Di Vinci – ‘art is never finished, only abandoned’

Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?

The Observation Bar on the Queen Mary for a drink

Your coming off tour;

1/ Where do you go first?

Home, shower, and get in our comfy bed

2/ Who do you see first?

Our cat, Mulder.

3/What do you eat first?

The Attic  and Rose Park Roasters

When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?

1. lyrics

2. My busted ass laptop

3. Laptop charger (that barely works)

4. A good attitude

5. To tip your bartender and sound person

Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.