Of all the musicians who should shout out their parents on stage, Julia and Esmé Eubanks really owe theirs a big thank-you — especially going into their biggest show yet at First Avenue's Best New Bands showcase on Friday.
For starters, the sister bandmates in the fuzzed-up rock quartet Creeping Charlie can credit much of their moody but melodic sound to Mom and Dad.
"They lived in Seattle at the height of the Nirvana and Pearl Jam craze, and Esmé and I were both born there," singer/guitarist and songwriter Julia Eubanks said. "So we were pretty much born into that sound."
They can also credit their dad for finding them a good drummer to play behind Julia's first batch of songs in 2020: They enlisted his drummer and one of his best friends, Jack Malone, who also plays with Jim Eubanks in their hobby band, Nucleus Accumbens.
Almost two years and a couple of dozen gigs later, the 56-year-old father of three is still happily drumming behind the two young women less than half his age.
"I was kind of expecting at some point a different drummer would step in," Malone admitted, "but Julia said, 'Hey, if it works, it works.'"
It certainly does work. The chemistry within the group is a testament to the cross-generational appeal of Creeping Charlie's throwback, guitar-bleeding, loud-quiet-loud brand of indie-rock music.
As Julia put it, "Jack's generation put out 90% of the music I listen to. So of course he's a good fit."
There's also a discernible comfort factor for Julia in having both her kid sister and her dad's good buddy in her budding band along with guitarist Harry Miles. They've helped Julia build up her confidence to become one of the Twin Cities rock scene's most promising young songwriters.
She started dabbling in tunes while a student at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis. Her home demos became real recordings during the winter of 2020, when she recorded a five-song EP, "Asymmetrical," at Winterland Studio while home on break from Occidental College in Los Angeles.
"We hadn't played any shows yet, and I wasn't even really thinking it'd be a real band yet," Julia said. "I just wanted to try recording those songs."
With help from Minneapolis promotions company Tinderbox Music, those tryout songs became bona-fide hits at college radio stations around the country during the spring and summer of 2020. That radio play gave Julia the drive to make Creeping Charlie a real band.
One problem, though: The world was locked down by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"At least it gave us time to work on our stuff more," Julia glass-half-filled it.
By the time Creeping Charlie first stepped out to perform during the summer of 2021, the quartet had already worked up a full album's worth of new material. Then when the group got around to recording again, those new songs were well-tested and refined from the live shows.
The debut LP issued a year ago, "How to Kill Creeping Charlie," was thus a lot more amped up, energetic and roller-coaster-y than the prior EP.
Standout songs include the Breeders-flavored heavy thumper "GTFO" and the ironically titled, Built to Spill-like "Quiet," but there are also several more mellow and downcast tunes deeper into the LP to soften the noise.
One of the album's softer charmers, "When It Rains in L.A." — now garnering radio play from 89.3 the Current — was born during Julia's time at college studying diplomacy and world affairs, but it also harked back to her high school days.
"I was thinking back to having bad acne and the awkwardness of that period, compared to how a big, grand city like L.A. practically shuts down over a little rain," she explained. In other words: "It's about not letting small things hold you back."
While the band now has to work around Esmé's anthropology studies at DePaul University in Chicago, Julia no longer has her own schoolwork holding her back.
"She's writing some of her best songs yet," Esmé offered about her sister, who promised even better stuff soon.
"After the Best New Bands show, I really want to take a break from live shows and focus on writing and recording, on sending our stuff out to producers, and really getting serious," Julia said.
She's not done with school yet, it seems.
Best New Bands of 2022
When: 7 p.m. Fri.
Where: First Avenue, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls.
Tickets: $12-$15, axs.com.