Luca DiVergilio, Trevor Dalrymple, Ethan Strain and Ryan Stearns sat at an East Lansing library, looking over towards a “pretty girl” who sat next to some laid-out magazines. Looking over at each other, they put the pieces together and came up with the name Pretty Jane and the Magazines for their new band.
Following the release of their debut single “Someday,” Pretty Jane and the Magazines released their second single “Lexapro” on Nov. 4.
“[The] message of the song is running away to the mountains and getting away from all of these medications or all these things surrounding them that we feel kind of entrap you into a certain healing,” Strain, who is a guitarist, said.
The intended audience of the song is young people who battle with depression, especially those who take medications, to let them know that it "isn't the true solution to their problems,” singer Dalrymple said.
The song, like their band name, sprouted from breakfast at a house with their friends, where they talked about the antidepressant Lexapro and the insignificant impact it was having on them.
The occurrence triggered Dalrymple into thinking about all his friends who he knew were on the medication.
“It connected with all of us, though, because we really all thought about it for a minute," Strain said. "We're like, ‘There are so many of our friends that we see are struggling with mental health problems that are resulting from these means.'”
Dalrymple said the song does not suggest medications are bad.
“You're sort of hopelessly getting away from this thing that's really not helping,” Dalrymple said. “That's sort of the sentiment that we were going for at the end.”
“(‘Lexapro’) ended up being sort of almost like the overmedication of America's youth,” Dalrymple said.
Though the song touches on a sensitive topic, DiVergilio interprets it otherwise.
“It’s not much of a lament piece," DiVergilio said. "It’s more like a celebration of life. ...We're just writing about living life and being in the moment, getting away from the constraints that we feel that we're a lot of people are running away from. And the Lexapro thing is more of a symptom.”
Members of Pretty Jane and the Magazines came together in their unique and their own separate ways. Strain and Dalrymple met in their freshman year of college at Michigan State University, studying computer science and biochemistry/biotechnology respectively.
The duo frequently played the acoustic guitar together and built a bond that would soon earn them a career.
“Through blizzards, through rain,” Strain said. “We would always make it happen though, because we both really love music.”
On the other hand, DiVergilio and Strain have known each other since high school.
“(Dalrymple) and I are like roommates, and that made writing in our free time and stuff like that really accessible,” Strain said. “Over the summer, we ended up getting (DiVergilio) involved, and we've been writing ever since.”
Though they are students, they said the fulfillment and passion for their school do not match that of the music and work that they do for Pretty Jane and the Magazines.
“I think musicians get a lot of flack for being lazy and for being not doing anything with their lives,” DiVergilio said. “But really, it's like, it's the hardest thing I think we've ever worked at anything.”
Now as Pretty Jane and the Magazine have released two singles, they look into the future with eager anticipation.
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"We hope to keep releasing singles like we are right now every couple months or so, and eventually kind of culminate them all together into an album. Just write music for as long as we can,” Strain said.
Not only do they hope to create, but they hope to create with their mission in mind.
“We're looking for a way that we can sustainably do what we love for the rest of our lives,” DiVergilio said. “We don't think we're necessarily set on it being Pretty Jane in the Magazines, but I think we're gonna stick together as friends pretty much for the rest of our lives, as musicians for the rest of our lives.”
“We really hope to make the most of it and share what we can with the world,” Strain said. “That's what drives us.”
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