Stereo RV will continue to foster a community which connects with their deeply human music as they play their first headlining gig at the Heartwood Soundstage on Oct. 27.
It will be the third show the Portland-based husband-and-wife duo play in Gainesville this year as they close out their STYLE Fall Tour. Tickets to their Gainesville show can be found through the Heartwood Soundstage website. The show will start at 8 p.m. and and will feature indie-folk duo Faith & Majesty.
Myra Gleason is Stereo RV’s 33-year-old singer-songwriter. Her husband, Gabe Gleason, 26, beat-boxes and plays the harmonica and acoustic guitar. Together they create emotional pop music, which Myra Gleason said is rooted in her experiences working with children in the foster care system.
“When we first started writing, we were writing all these little love songs,” she said. “It was really hard for me to go back to writing love songs when I experienced so many [children] who never had a complete foundation to it.”
She said part of the way she helped those children, who she worked with for about seven years, was by taking them to the studio and allowing them to record their writing or poetry.
“It became this really amazing experience, being able to show somebody how to express themselves through song,” she said.
The duo’s story found its way to Brandon Telg, the 30-year-old city leader of Gainesville’s Sofar Sounds, in 2017 through an online article.
“It was really a 21st century connection,” Telg said. “I don’t think it could have happened in another generation.”
He said their work resonated with him because he was in the process of adopting his son out of foster care.
“I connected on their heart and what they’re trying to give to the world with their music,” Telg said.
In September 2018, he invited them to play at Sofar Sounds. When they returned to play Heartwood Music Festival a few months later, Myra and Gabe Gleason were surprised at the turnout.
“We were expecting maybe 10 people to be there,” she said. “We had standing room only. I think people saw the shock on our faces. One guy was like, 'We’re here to see you.’”
Telg said the duo building a “huge, die-hard fan base” in such a short time is unlike the experience of many other artists.
“They have an ability to really break down the artist-audience barrier and connect as humans,” he said.
The duo quit their jobs one and a half years ago and have spent that time touring, curating their set list and focusing on growing an “organic fan base.”
“Live shows are our absolute favorite,” Myra Gleason said. “It gives us the chance to explain the heart behind the songs and the stories. We get to look at people, and hug them, and have the most fantastic conversations.”
She said their music aims to remind people of their humanity.
“We want people to remember that, one, it’s hard being human, and it’s totally OK to be where you’re at, and two, the talents and gifts that they have are absolutely needed,” she said.
Myra Gleason said Gainesville has been the highlight of their touring experience.
“Being from the West Coast, having a following in a place you didn’t know you would have one is really cool to us.”
She said although they’re not in the inner circle of Gainesville’s music scene, they know a lot of artists in the community.
“We’re like the in-laws,” Gabe Gleason joked.
Myra Gleason also said word-of-mouth contributed to their exposure in Gainesville.
“We had 10 people reach out for house shows [while in Gainesville], and we could only accept three of them,” She said. “They were all packed.”
She said their first headlining show later this month will test if their music “is a real thing.”
“We’ve done so many house shows,” she said. “The next step in this city, and this market, would be, let’s see if we actually have numbers to do ticketed shows. It’s our first stab at our first headlining gig.”
“We needed to write a song that’s just about owning who you are and not even apologizing for it,” Myra Gleason said.
Once their tour concludes, they will return home to Oregon and begin preparing for their next release in early 2020.
“We’re really looking forward to ending our last tour of the year in Gainesville, because it has been such a huge support to us, even since the beginning,” Myra Gleason said. “It’s magic, the way you guys take care of artists and support them. If Gainesville sees something they like, they just hold on to it.”