Club Soccer Bandmates Give Each Other Space to Innovate

The Clive Davis duo’s unique style extends beyond sound and into the songwriting process.

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Clive Davis juniors Nico Brunstein and Nando Dale pose in a photo anticipating their song “Fitzgerald.” (Via Instagram)

By Claire Jones, Contributing Writer

Cohesion is far from a priority for Club Soccer. The musical duo, made up of Clive Davis juniors Nico Brunstein and Nando Dale, straddles the line between retro Beatles-like tunes and modern dream pop. 

“Genre shouldn’t matter,” Brunstein said. “We just want to write what we want to write. While it is very indie and psychedelic-oriented, sometimes we might write a Bossa Nova or Kumbaya.” 

After meeting as first-years living on the same floor, the two quickly became musical collaborators. But the first time the two tried writing together, Brunstein said they didn’t feel like it was going to work out. However, a year later, they decided to try again. This time, instead of writing music together, they wrote individually and then came together to collaborate. 

“They way we record everything makes it sound whole together,” Dale said. “Even if we have different genres, it sounds like the same band.” 

When writing music, neither of them has one distinct process that they follow. Dale said that their song “Fitzgerald,” which was originally written for a class assignment, was inspired by a short film his friend had made. 

Brunstein had only composed electronic music before this year, but he recently learned how to play the acoustic guitar. He said that the songs that he writes are typically inspired by movies he watches or original characters that he has come up with. 

“We’re trying to tell these overarching stories,” Brunstein said. “Even if the song’s genres might not feel cohesive, the stories do.” 

The pair recently released a music video for their song “It’s Not Time to Relax,” which was directed by Tisch junior Albie Smith, with cinematography handled by Tisch junior Andrew Lin. 

Dale wrote the song when he was on spring break but felt like he should be working. He said the song was served a partly motivational purpose, to drive him to work harder at what he was doing. 

“I’m originally from Brazil and I had this realization that I have to stay in this country,” Dale said. “I love this place. I don’t have as many opportunities for work as American people so I realized I needed to work harder.” 

The two worked with Smith and Lin to get this idea across in the video. 

“The music video was a metaphor of the caterpillar morphing into a butterfly,” Dale said. “We were trying to talk about the artistic cycle of thinking you’re not good enough.” 

They hope to continue releasing music videos for upcoming songs in the same form. Brunstein said it’s important to them that the people listening get invested in their characters and stories. 

Right now they’re focusing on continuing to produce and refine the songs that they have already written.

“We were started out with the plan to write four songs but then that grew into six, then eight, and then 15,” Brunstein said. “Now we’re just focusing on picking out the best and making each song the best they can be.” 

Once Dale returns from his time studying abroad in Berlin, the duo hope to play more live shows and venture into the next chapter of Club Soccer. But for now, they’re excited to explore multilingual songs in Spanish and Portuguese. 

“I think they’ll take people by surprise,” Brunstein said. “But I also think they’ll help us expand into those market and demographics.” 

Email Claire Jones at [email protected]