ALEXA PLAY GRACE (I THINK I’M IN LOVE AGAIN) BY BAD SUNS RIGHT THE FUCK NOW. OR I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU BY THE 1975 — IDK ONE OF THOSE…OR BOTH AT THE SAME TIME. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

Y’all — I have a new band crush and this one’s got me DOWN BAD. I’m talking “my parents suspect me making financially questionable decisions” down bad. I’m talking “I spent a Monday evening making an iconic fan gift” down bad. It’s also “I literally can’t talk about anything else so please just let me vent first because I will calm down after I do” down bad. Ask anyone who’s watched my Instagram stories, recalls the fact that I booked a last minute trip to “see my sister in Portland for her birthday”, or knows the fact that I got myself set up on Twitch and Discord just to stay connected to this band how bad it is.

Folks, it is my honor to introduce y’all to my new friends and newest music crush: The Never Ending Fall.

In case you’re wondering to yourself “where have I seen these guys before? They look familiar!”, let me quickly validate you in saying that yes, they are the boys behind many folks’ favorite TikTok series, “Can It Kirkland?”. And not only are they doing the Lord’s work with this series, but their music fucking SLAPS and I need to scream into the internet void about it. These are multifaceted men we’re dealing with.

Photo Courtesy of band manager Chalisa.

The Never Ending Fall (aka NEF for short) is made up of friends Jack Miller (vocals, guitar, piano), Pearce Eisenhardt (guitar), Tommy St. Clair (drums), Conrad Boyd (guitar, vocals, synths), and Johnny Hohman (vocals, bass). Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, they’ve been playing music together since they were in the 4th grade. Idk about y’all, but my heart = already melted.

Now, before moving to LA and becoming the TikTok darlings they are, the boys used to be a jazz/funk jam band, making “junk” music as they called it. From the research I’ve done, they were pretty well known in Bmore, literally organizing their own festival and playing galas. But, it was time to move to LA for more opportunities.

A Tiny Trip

Like a lot of people, I got used to hearing the unsettling but always welcome “Hello! And welcome to episode (number) of ‘Can It Kirkland’“ from Johnny Hohman (aka Kirkland Post Malone) on my For You Page. I thought for a long time these boys were nothing but friends who were just making TikToks for “science”.

Eventually, a TikTok of them saying “hey, by the way, we’re actually a band” made its way to my For You Page and I was intrigued. So I checked out the song they had just released, “Like She Does”.

This song is a sunny, rockabilly bop that immediately hooked me. It was as if the old classic rock snob in me perked up her ears like “huh, maybe they do make music like they used to”. What I love about it is that it’s one of those rock songs that is prime sweet talk and I’d be damned if it didn’t make me feel like a hot girl every time I listened. So I added it to my playlist.

From there I was partially paying attention to them. But it wasn’t until the mighty TikTok and Instagram algorithms co-conspired and worked overtime to give me the push I needed.

One day, I was innocently scrolling through my Instagram explore page: a confused mismatch of fashion, Christian influencers, astrology memes, tarot reels, music, celebrity news, and therapy tips. I ended up finding a video of NEF guitarist Conrad Boyd playing a jazzy arrangement of “A Whole New World” from Aladdin. I clicked on it and was instantly mesmerized. Not only did he play it with such passion, but from my 12 years of guitar playing, it reminded me of the joy I got when my guitar teacher showed me how beautiful it was to incorporate melody lines with chords. And damn, this man was making that guitar SING!

A few days passed but I kept thinking about that cover, occasionally going back to listen to it. After a week of it hanging out in the back of my mind, I decided to comment that I was kind of obsessed with it. (Hell, I’m still obsessed with it.) From there, I followed Conrad, Johnny, and the band IG account to stay connected.

But this was just the beginning.

Hopping on the Hype Train

I had seen them advertise on TikTok that they were going on their first nationwide tour and they were gonna do something big to promote it: a 24/7 Twitch stream until they sell out the tour. They called it The Never Ending Stream.

The first few days of the stream, I honestly forgot it was happening — but in my defense, I was driving from Ventura to Sacramento and back to LA because I was seeing Bad Suns for the 4th and 5th times this year. (I’m in emotional debt to them — of course I saw them 5 times this year. More on that soon.) When I settled in on Saturday night after my trip, I decided to tune in. And boy did I tune in at the BEST time.

The band was dressed up as the Scooby Doo gang, filming their Halloween Kirkland and establishing the most hilarious lore with the chat. I was laughing in my room SO hard at the amount of chaos. I felt like I joined a cult in the best way.

For the next few days, I was tuned in whenever I could be: during my morning routine listening to Jack and Johnny deliver the morning news, during my WFH workday hanging with Pearce and Tommy when I didn’t have meetings, in the evening to wind down while they had band practice and made dinner, and a couple times I fell asleep to Conrad on the graveyard shift. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been this committed to a band. It’s giving peak Jonas Brothers fangirl days.

The stream lasted a little over an entire week. 174 hours to be exact. I tuned into the finishing festivities as I went to see Jensen McRae at the Troubadour. Literally I was listening in during the hour-long traffic drive to the venue and the 40 minute drive back home. The amount of love being communicated as I drove was honestly overwhelming to witness — but in the most beautiful way. I’m still not over the fact they got a cake for chat to celebrate it. That was so fricking cute.

The cake said “We Love Chat” 😭

All Aboard the Love Train

My heart has been so FULL thinking about how these boys brought together people from all over the world to foster such an amazing community.

And I have to say: this might be the first time that I’ve fallen in love with every single member of a band because each one brings something really special. So give me some space to fangirl before we get into the music.

Pearce, known for his luscious locks, stoic reactions to downing any liquor, and amazing cooking, has a very peaceful and nurturing energy. He’s also the man of many nicknames lol. It’s no wonder TikTok has claimed him as their boyfriend (he is taken y’all, respect my girl Britt). He shreds and holds the rhythm down like he’s been doing it for 40+ years. He gives me old school southern rockstar vibes.

Tommy meanwhile, has the “taking care of business” vibe, which also fits the way he steadily pounds on those drums. Truly everything he does is fair and just. He’s the one reliably in Discord giving us all the tea on what’s been happening on tour. Literally his back is tired from being the most active member in our Discord chat. I ended up screaming with him and Johnny about what I do for work and he was the one that was like “let’s do what we can to make a collab happen!”

Jack has a “fuck it, let’s do it live!” energy, which is honestly key to being a great frontman. He’s quick to start and continue a bit without it getting stale. Literally so many inside jokes are because of him. Prime Jack was him spraining his ankle that Saturday night of stream by being a goofball and having to get a boot to help him heal. He slayed and got us all saying “new boot goofin”. Not to mention, he shreds like crazy and his voice is so versatile it’s insane.

Johnny has the “yeah let’s do it but let’s think it through first” vibe. On TikTok, you almost assume he’s the maestro of chaos since he commands “Can It Kirkland?” with a crazy look in his eyes. But really, he helps ground the band and that was best shown in the way he made all the technical infrastructure for the stream happen. On top of that, he’s so so so wise and sweet. Chat lovingly called him Tech Support Johnny for a reason. He’s the one that got me screaming about my job because being an “audio guy” he was excited to learn that I wanted my company to collab with them. I can’t tell you how excited I am for this friendship.

Yes, this is the fan gift I mentioned earlier. Conrad mistakenly called Grogu Guru while he built a Lego version during a late night stream. And I love continuing a good bit.

And, as if I haven’t hinted at how talented Conrad is, he’s the most exciting guitarist I’ve listened to since Lindsey Buckingham. Yeah, I think he’s that talented. I am unashamed to admit that I’ve listened to his experimental jazz fusion album on Spotify many, many times. And even though I don’t listen to this kind of music too often, color me curious now. On top of that, the man’s a sweet, yet sarcastic and goofy ray of sunshine. Like, seeing him jump and dance all around the stage doing rockstar shit with such joy really lights me up like nothing else these days. Also, shoutout to him for always responding to my Instagram DMs. What a sweet man.

It’s something almost Beatle-esque how every member exists as a whole person, but still contributes a bright light to the band’s magic. They’re just so easy to love.

From Junk to Rock and Beyond

On that note, let me talk more about NEF’s music. Like I mentioned before, they have roots in the jazz and funk scene of Baltimore. Which, I didn’t know was its own scene until a friend from the DC area said that checked out. Their main release on Spotify is their album Space City which has such a fun vibe to it. Listening to it got me thinking “have I been totally sleeping on jazz and funk music?” (The answer is yes, even after my NOLA trip). It’s not the typical kind of music I’ve been into but it’s helped me continue to be curious about different genres. So yeah, I trust these boys for good music recommendations.

As they’ve transitioned into more of a traditional rock sound with “Like She Does”, they’ve paved a way to maintain the improvisation of jazz and the fun of funk in a more indie rock direction. Not to mention, some sick synths lurking in the jams. The result is a super exciting band to listen to, especially live.

They’re sitting on an incredible single called “Bad Taste” and I’m choosing to talk about it because this is my way of applying pressure for a release date. (Because now I can. 😈) The boys have been teasing this song for MONTHS because the original release date was October 28th. But then a bunch of exciting things happened so it’s been on hold til further notice. Luckily, they played it in band practice on the Never Ending Stream and I recorded it. I’ve been listening to a crunchy screen recording for literally weeks.

Is it bad that I’m claiming an unreleased song about having bad taste in men as my anthem? Probably but I don’t care because this is a fucking banger (and it’s also a little true if we even start talking about my love life). They artfully combine a driving rhythm, haunting synths, and straight shredding with Jack’s gruff rock voice in this song. It’s perfect. No notes. I WANT IT NOW Y’ALL.

Never Ending Fall Because You’ll Fall in Love More Every Day

There are so many things that make NEF so special to me: the way they creatively mix rock, jazz, and funk; their personalities; their entrepreneurial mindset; their passionate approach to building a community; and just the way they invite you to have fun.

In a time when everything is so chaotic and I’m personally tired of taking everything so seriously, I feel like I can be my truly joyful self while listening to and interacting with NEF and the NEF fam. And that is so special because I know I’m not alone in it.

Being part of the Never Ending Fam on Discord and Twitch is honestly such a beautiful thing. See, this entire year, I’ve been through this character arc where I’ve realized isolating myself is not healthy for social butterfly like me. Yes, I’ve come to value self-care and regularly have quality time with myself, but it’s also important to have a sense of belonging with people who love the same things you do. And I really feel that with this community.

I’m beyond excited to see what’s next for NEF and just like I do with Bad Suns (yeah, it’s THAT bad), I will not rest until everyone is sick of hearing about NEF from me. They’re on tour until the end of the year and I would highly recommend going to any show you can. I mean I literally flew to Portland to see them (just don’t tell my parents I did that lol). If you’ve made it this far, congrats you get to listen to their music! I promise it’s worth the wait.

Highlights

This was 3 years ago and everyone (except Pearce and Johnny) looks so different omg.

Look Out

Aww the first Space City song I took a strong liking to. I remember listening to NEF’s entire discography on Spotify on my way to a second date with a trumpet player at a jazz club in LA and thinking to myself how bummed I was to get there and have to stop listening to their music. Also trivia: Tommy’s sister Madeline was in the band before. She shared lead singer duties with Jack (you can hear her sing lead on the song “Confidence”). I love how you see the joyful synergy in this song. I haven’t seen a recent full performance of this song, although I know they played it a couple times on tour so far. But, I can so clearly see how in sync everyone everyone would be. Also I fucking love the way the guitar interplays with the horns in this song. Not to mention, “look out! here comes the girl I love”? Y’all know what you’re doing. 😏

Trisha

Brb changing my name to Trisha. Jk, that name does not fit me and also Jack said he wrote it about his neighbor’s dog. But Jesus Christ what a jam. They’ve been playing this song while on tour and it’s INSANE how they’re able to just jam on it. Every member gets a moment with it and it’s pure electricity. You can hear a bunch of passion behind the song, so you’re left wondering: “damn Trisha, you messed up big time.”

Marvin

Jack is a BEAST in this song. The verse where he basically raps is WILD and it’s a goal to master singing along to this song. This is a great example of their “junk” music where they’re not afraid to jam and improvise. It’s super exciting to listen to and I would like to see it done with their new rock flair. Mostly because I want to hear Jack spit some bars.

Zephyr

Ok this is where I’m caught red handed being a “Conrad girlie”. But in my defense, it’s iconic that he has a solo album. This instrumental snuck into my top listened to songs in the last couple months because of how interesting it is to listen to. It’s melodic, but there’s also so many twists and turns in it that keeps my mind engaged. It’s also so special to know that Tommy played drums on this track. Conrad, if you’re reading this, I will not only buy another instrumental album from you but I will literally help fund it. I mean it, let’s make that meditation album happen. Or at least DM me the SoundCloud link when you have it 😉

Cabo

This little ditty from the band exactly captures the fun vibe that NEF will always have. I remember listening to this song for the first time and thinking to myself, “oooh ok boys, I can hang with this.” And before long, this short song took up residence in the back of my head where it lives rent free these days. It’s groovy, it’s catchy, and you just wanna vibe all day to it. It’s the bouncy keys in this song for me. Also, new dream unlocked: I would like to buy a condo just so someone could take me from it down to Cabo. Anyway, love you NEF, can’t wait for more.

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