GTPulse: Take an Intentional Breath with The Accidentals

It’s quiet here a lot. Despite the silence, being isolated has made it difficult for me to do things with intention. Beyond using nervous energy to cook or bake it’s hard to focus. I’ll start a movie and find myself staring out the window 20 minutes in. I’ll start cleaning up my closet to lose my attention to trying on every dress I own. A runway show produced by quarantine brain. An old boss once told me about something she called pregnancy brain. At 7 months pregnant she explained to me how details would slip her mind, she couldn’t focus and she found herself doing things like asking the waiter what comes in the spinach and swiss omelet. Quarantine has made me feel a bit the same. A little discombobulated at times. Traverse City-based band The Accidentals have been reminding people to take a moment to relax and quiet their brains for a moment with their Facebook Live-streamed Daily Breathers.

Savannah (Sav) Buist, Katie Larson and Michael Dause make up The Accidentals. The band formed in 2012 when Sav and Katie met playing music in school, with Michael joining in 2014. They’ve enjoyed a lot of success and have toured nationally. COVID-19 has had an impact on their schedules, but not their music.

“We’re used to being on tour. So, you know, we’ve done 200 shows a year for six straight years without taking a break. And now all of a sudden, we’re in one place for over a month, which is a big shift,” Sav said. 

Just because they’re not on tour doesn’t mean they’re not connecting with new and old fans, however.

Photo by: Shervin Lainez

The band hasn’t had contact with anyone but their families since early March. They’ve been using their quarantine time to work on their music and connecting with their fans is just another way for them to do so. Every day at noon, for around 10 to 15 minutes, Katie, Sav and Michael stream a few songs and a few book suggestions through their band’s Facebook page. 

“We really just want everyone to have a second to breathe in all of this. It’s also for selfish reasons, we also need a second to breathe. It’s a way to keep us in a routine. Really, they’re a way for everyone to get centered and reflect on something they’re grateful for. Right now it’s easy to get pulled into the abyss of wondering about the future and missing the past,” Sav said.

Sometimes the breathers are with the entire band, sometimes they’re with only one member. They’re always subdued, comfortable and lovely.

The band will play a bit of their eclectic mix of folk, rock and pop songs before talking about a book they love from Traverse City’s Brilliant Books. A Daily Breather from last week featured a book Katie likes on making origami. They later partnered for a video with singer-songwriter Kat McDowell to show viewers how to make origami of their own.

“Honestly, we work full time right now. We have not slowed down by any means. Every time we turn around there’s another email because everybody is so creative right now,” Katie said.

Photo by: Shervin Lainez

Beyond the Daily Breathers, the band has been doing virtual music workshops for middle schoolers, consulting other musicians on audio recording software and working on their own musical creativity.

“My motto for the last month or two has just been ‘no pressure,’” Michael said. “If I’m talking to anybody or wanting to do a project or even learn something new with some free time I tell myself, ‘no pressure. If you feel good do it, if you don’t, don’t.’”

“Before we were just touring and trying to keep up with a schedule. Now…we’ve set up a stage in our attic. It’s back and forth. We do the Daily Breathers to practice gratefulness and try to practice being present. The album that we wanted to put out is all about perspective and looking at things from an outside point of view. You live your whole life feeling like you’re moving too fast or you’re sitting in one place, but really you’re moving at exactly the pace you should be moving.”

Doesn’t that feel relevant?

The Daily Breathers can be found on the band’s Facebook page, The Accidentals. If you miss it live, they’re archived on the page. Take a moment out of your day to breathe and take the pressure off of yourself. The dozen thoughts buzzing around your head can wait.

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Categories: GTPulse