Yet the first song they came up with, “Cold Day,” is a cold and moody synth-rock number that brings New Order to mind, a band Keefe says he never listened to much, though growing up he did spend nine years in England. One of the catchier tracks on the Billionaires’ debut, Really Real Forever (Too Soon), it’s an anomaly on an otherwise classic-sounding collection of orchestral pop full of spot-on, multi-part harmonies that take full advantage of a five-person line-up that includes singer Laura Jordan (until recently, Joe’s girlfriend), bright guitars, and sophisticated arrangements.
Really Real Forever inspired the Keefe brothers, along with Jordan, Farley Glavin, and Laursen, to leave for LA. Once again, Keefe found support from an old Boston friend, former Bullet LaVolta/Juliana Hatfield Three drummer Todd Philips, who works in the film industry and fronts a band called Model/Actress. Philips says he’d been looking to start a label, and “when I heard the Billionaires’ demos, I just thought it would be a good way to get it started. I thought the songs were incredibly sophisticated — like in a Brian Wilson way, but easier to listen to.”
The good news is that the Billionaires have every intention of becoming bi-coastal. Keefe plans to bring the band back to the Vineyard at least once a summer and, if all goes well, back to the Boston club scene he abandoned two years ago. “Our friends and families are all there, so we have to go back.”
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