Finding success with folk

'Soulful' sounding duo is having a good year after being nominated for Orange County Music Awards , releasing new EP.

August 26, 2010|By Candice Baker
  • Jessi Fulghum and Jeremy Brock of folk duo I Hate You Just Kidding.
Jessi Fulghum and Jeremy Brock of folk duo I Hate You Just… (Courtesy I Hate…)

Life's pretty sweet right now for Jessi Fulghum and Jeremy Brock, a pair of 22-year-olds with much older souls.

The duo has found surprise success with I Hate You Just Kidding (IHYJK), their musical venture, and with each other. IHYJK will perform a release show for its new EP on Sept. 4 at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa.

The duo performs dreamy, folksy pop — think acoustic guitar, harmonica and layered voices — that would be at home on the speakers of any indie coffee shop or Urban Outfitters store.

In the plaintive ode "My Little Dove," Fulghum describes of her struggle to hear the eponymous bird's music through the belligerent caws of raucous crows.

"O little dove, I can barely hear ya. Won't you come more near? You fill my ears with the songs I love," Fulghum sings.


Wednesday found the pair enjoying their only day off this week by preparing their very first breakfast — at noon — in their new Costa Mesa apartment.

"We first met two years back," Brock said. "We worked together at Calvin Klein, South Coast Plaza, and we didn't really start hanging out until after we both quit. I had been doing music for a few years prior, and when we started hanging out, Jessi showed me something she had done in high school and I liked it."

That "something" was a song Fulghum had recorded when she was 15. Sparked by Fulghum's unexpectedly fine voice, the two began writing songs together about cheeseburgers and other goofy topics. Fittingly, their band name came from a line of dialogue in "Home Movies," an Adult Swim cartoon.

The pastime quickly developed into more, when they decided to focus on writing "real" songs and performing live together. The real shock came when IHYJK were nominated for three Orange County Music Awards this year.

"I was at work, and I got a text from [publicist] Ashley Eliot, and she was like, 'Congrats, you guys were nominated for Best New Artist.' I wasn't even supposed to have my phone in my pocket," Brock said.

When he found out later that day that the duo also was nominated for Best Folk, the shock increased into incredulity.

"I didn't even know they had that category," Brock said.

Brock and Fulghum acknowledge that their music has a folk sound, but said they don't stick to the "rules" of any particular genre, feeling free to bring in rock and other styles as needed.

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