New indie pop band uses youthful nostalgia and life experiences to write songs


Courtesy of Trevor Laffin

Members of So So and Much More, Michael Casoria (right) and Joshua Keith Marrow (left).

Marbeth Salinas, A&C Reporter

So So and Much More is an indie-pop influenced band filled with spirit and emotion that conveys feelings of melancholy, happiness and heartbreak with their album “What a Time,” which was released this past summer.

The band consists of members freshman industrial design major Joshua Keith Morrow, who plays most of the instruments and is the primary writer on the album, and Michael Casoria who is responsible for the production and recording of the album.

Originally from Hendersonville, the band formed this past year during Morrow’s senior year of high school and Casoria’s transitional period after high school graduation.

Mutual friends introduced the two in high school, who immediately hit it off as music partners, and soon they formed a band prior to So So and Much More. A few years later when Morrow began composing songs about a recent break-up, he approached Casoria who was also dabbling in production.

“I started showing him all the things I was doing and luckily he was super stoked,” Morrow said.

Morrow and Casoria grew up near Asheville, a city known for its underground music scene and counterculture. Its unconventional environment impacted them as musicians.

“Asheville is open to as weird as you want to get,” Morrow said.

The members both agree that being surrounded by its culture and music influenced them.

“Wherever you live determines who you are,” Morrow said.

Their music influences include Hippocampus, STRFKR, Young the Giant, Sure Sure and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Not only that, but Morrow admitted being surrounded in the mountain area got him into bluegrass music at an early age. While Casoria says the music from the 80s is what really impacted him. “The first band I really got into was the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Listening to (John Frusciante) playing guitar was very inspiring for me,” Casoria said.

Their lives outside of music have also been a huge factor in their music. Currently, Marrow is a full-time student while Casoria is in the construction business.

“Construction is very similar (to music). You start with an idea of what you’re going to do and then kind of go through the thought process and slowly work on it,” Casoria said.

The record is filled with somber lyrics juxtaposed with a nostalgic sound of drums, guitar and bass resulting in an album that synthesizes a variety of emotions.

“Sonically it’s very melancholy,” Marrow said.

Although all the songs were written by Marrow, Casoria admitted all the songs have personal meaning to him even though he didn’t write them. When Marrow presented Casoria with all the songs he had written, Casoria was able to rapidly connect with each song on an emotional level. This made it easy for Casoria to produce all the songs on the record, he said.

“It kind of came naturally,” Casoria said.

The album’s nostalgic experimental pop sound was a sporadic result that happened as they were working on the album. It describes a variety of events that Marrow was experiencing at the time.

“The album covers a lot of emotions,” Marrow said.

The title of the album, “What a Time” was an intentional contrast to its gloomy lyrics.

“It’s like, ‘What a time that we’re in!’” Casoria said.

At the moment, the duo are content with the sound and material they have released so far. However, they have not thought or planned their direction as a band.

“We want to challenge ourselves musically, it’s really easy to turn into a formula.” Casoria said.

The band said they hope to target every kind of human emotion and feeling with their music.

They want their sound and music to mature organically without forcing any type of direction or sound and reflect the current period in their lives.

“We don’t want to put it in a box. We want to be as open as possible,” Marrow said.

The duo admits as they mature in age, their music will as well. They said they hope that with this project they captivate a variety of emotions simultaneously and ensure their listeners that it’s OK to feel a range of emotions without being stigmatized.

Marrow said that a lot of hip-hop culture emphasizes on clout and materialism.

“It’s almost not OK to be a human being,” Marrow said. He said he wants his music to be a cathartic experience for his listeners that will give them the opportunity to cry, laugh and rejoice to album and the live shows.

He wants his listeners to know it’s OK to be whoever you want to be and to embrace what comes in one’s way.

So So and Much More’s next upcoming shows will be at Noble Kava bar on March 1 and 3rd Place on March 28.