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Standout Track: No. 1, “Make a New Friend,” a shambolic indie-rock number with a disco-driven beat. On it, singer and guitarist Dave Lesser, a 28-year-old Capitol Hill resident, complains about networking at shows: “Cementing relationships/Oh, what a chore.” Drummer and vocalist Leah Gage, who lives in Columbia Heights, says she doesn’t relish the formalities involved in penetrating the local scene, either. “Getting that process started is like joining a club,” says Gage, 27. “It can be disenchanting.”
Musical Motivation: For Lesser, Brenda’s primary songwriter, the band came out of a rescue mission. “My brother had a guitar in his room he was using for BB gun practice, and I was like, ‘That’s not cool,'” he says. “So I took it.” When he was 21, Lesser turned to books to learn chords, but he says he quickly realized he kind of sucked—-and that he “never was gonna be good.” Eschewing the classical pieces his brother’s nylon-string guitar is often used for, Lesser settled for simpler, punkier numbers. “I never thought I would be in a band and I never thought I would write music,” he says.
Friends with Benefits: In the hallway of his office building, Lesser happened to overhear Gage, then a stranger, telling her boss about one of her bands. “I remember I was so jealous of her because I was trying to start a band and I couldn’t find anyone else to be in a band with me and this one other guy,” Lesser says. “And here she was [imitating Gage]: ‘Oh, whatever, I go up and play, Rock & Roll Hotel, whatever, I don’t care.'” Lesser chatted her up, and a friendship was born. That wasn’t so hard, was it?
Listen to “Make a New Friend” after the jump.
Brenda plays Aug. 16 at The Dunes.