Bring together a group of longtime friends, a love of music and talent on various instruments, and a new band is formed.
Black Litmus is nearing a year old, having started practicing in early 2019. The band has already released a single and a six-track extended play (EP) record, and they are preparing for their first show on January 4.
Members of Black Litmus are all in college now; however, they met when they were students at Severna Park Middle School. Though they all had backgrounds on different instruments, it was their friendship that cultivated the formation of Black Litmus. Nowadays, band members are scattered around Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states attending college, so they record and rehearse during summers and on other school breaks while at their respective homes in Severna Park.
Jack Yearwood plays the keyboard and synthesizer, and is also involved in production. Jack Benedict, who writes some songs, is a vocalist and plays the keyboard and rhythm guitar. Warren Louie plays the bass. Josh Ohler is the drummer. Joe Matthews is lead guitarist.
Black Litmus released their first single, “#5,” in July. Soon after, they released the album “Stages Demos,” which includes six songs, each with a distinct style, including punk rock, psychedelic rock, sleeper rock and heavy metal.
Though their songs include different genres within pop music, they know who their audience primarily is.
“We cater to the average young adult and teenager,” Benedict said. “We attract high school and college kids.”
As the band is still young, they are also still working to carve out their identity and uniqueness.
“It is one thing to play what is popular and another to take what you know to create a new style,” Ohler said. “We want to play our own music.”
Black Litmus is also benefiting from some band members studying music and living in a musically vibrant city. Both Yearwood and Louie attend college in New York City and are studying jazz.
Yearwood said, “There are lots of diverse musical tastes in NYC and with different bands there. I take what I learn there and bring it back [to Black Litmus].”
Louie echoed Yearwood’s sentiments.
“New York is a central hub for most genres of music, and there is always something happening,” Louie said. “I am exposed to more, and I take what I learn to Black Litmus.”
As the bonds of friendship are at the heart of the group, all band members expect Black Litmus to continue to record and perform for the foreseeable future.
“We're all really good friends,” Ohler said. “We'll see each other in the summers and winters. As long as we're always in Severna Park, we can put together gigs for at least a couple more years.”
Black Litmus songs can be found on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music and on YouTube.
Black Litmus will perform their first live show on Saturday, January 4, at 7:00pm at the Metropolitan Kitchen and Lounge in Annapolis. Tickets can be found at www.mt.cm/events.
For more information, find Black Litmus on Instagram and Facebook @blacklitmusband, or reach the band by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.