[TEENAGE TWEE] Almost Nearly, true to its name, was never meant to last. When Nicole Perry began writing songs on an acoustic guitar with Hurah Hurah bandmate Ross McLeron (after that twee-pop outfit's breakup), it was simply to fill a void. But while McLeron went on to form Southern Belle (in which Perry plays bass), Perry ultimately decided to flesh out Almost Nearly (which counts McLeron's girlfriend as a member) as a proper band rather than a back-burner side project.
The transition from filler to band picked up speed when Aviva Stampher, another former Hurah Hurah bandmate, joined on glockenspiel. Prepping to release a cassette of "journal-like" songs prior to Stampher's move to New York last August, a band name became necessary. Using their initials as inspiration, the girls settled on Almost Nearly, a moniker that's presented its own host of punch lines: "A lot of people come up to me, like all of my friends...and are like, 'Oh yeah, I almost nearly caught the bus today.' And they just think it's so funny and it's the first time anyone's ever thought of that. I think if I had a dollar for every time someone said that to me, I would not need to work. It's really funny."
Outside of music, the petite brunette has quite varied interests, from previously training as a trapeze artist with local performance troupe Do Jump! to presently pursuing a tattoo license. And the 19-year-old's affinity for storytelling and illustration is apparent just by looking at her—Perry has characters from children's literature tattooed from her shoulder blade to her calf.
Four seasons have passed since Almost Nearly's formation, and the band—currently rounded out by drummer Phil Gaudette, Nora Zimmerly (glock) and Marie Lewis (bass)—is set to release its more electrified debut LP in July, with Eskimo and Sons' frontman Dhani Rosa overseeing its basement recording (and releasing it on his Abraham Lincoln Records). And where psych-popper Alan Singley guested on that debut cassette last summer, members of Typhoon and E&S will contribute slide guitar, accordion and more to Almost Nearly's ever-expanding folk-pop sound. Pretty good for a band that almost nearly wasn't.
Almost Nearly plays Saturday, June 14, with Jared Mees & the Grown Children, Nick Caceres and Ah Holy Fam'ly at Backspace. 8 pm. $5. All ages.