Release Radar: The California Honeydrops

Brynn Anderson

Contributing Writer

The California Honeydrops are a band from Oakland, California that creates music for those days with perfect weather, when you’re running a little behind because you’re in no rush, and want to live in the moment. The lead singer, Lech Wiernzynski, and the drummer, Ben Malamet, founded the band back in 2007 while they performed in the subway stations of Oakland together. 

Originally, the band pursued success for financial reasons, but as time went on, they realized the importance of keeping jazz and live performances alive. The band was interviewed by the Music Preserves Foundation in 2019, and in the interview, they explain how important they find live performances, calling it a “communal experience” that creates human connections. When the band started years ago, making music was very simple and authentic when now, due to the development of new technology, a lot of bands just have to “press play,” as Wyszynski explained. 

The California Honeydrops have seven studio albums, all possessing American Blues and R&B undertones, and all songs all have dominant, upbeat, jazz-filled tones. Their most popular songs include “When It Was Wrong,” “All Day,” “All Night,” “Get Real High,” and “Soft Spot.” Their newest album, released on October 7, 2022, called Soft Spot, is filled with lots of brass band inspiration from New Orleans. They have performed all over the country with artists like BB King, and make an appearance at Jazz Fest in New Orleans every year. This band has a unique backstory and are the perfect level of underground, but with only 650,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and 28,000 followers on Instagram, it is shocking how small their following is. This band is so talented, they sound so natural together, with their sounds fitting like perfect puzzle pieces. All of their songs remind listeners to slow down and be present.