The Fragrance renames, expands to My Double, My Brother

The Fragrance changes their name to My Double, My Brother to identify with their audience.

My+Double+My+Brother%2C+formerly+%22The+Fragrance%2C%22+released+their+full-length+cd+%22What+We+Found+Beneath+the+Ground%22+at+a+listening+session+at+the+annex+last+Friday%2C+March+4.+%7C+Jacob+Tomita%2FTHE+CHIMES
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The Fragrance renames, expands to My Double, My Brother

My Double My Brother, formerly

My Double My Brother, formerly "The Fragrance," released their full-length cd "What We Found Beneath the Ground" at a listening session at the annex last Friday, March 4. | Jacob Tomita/THE CHIMES

My Double My Brother, formerly "The Fragrance," released their full-length cd "What We Found Beneath the Ground" at a listening session at the annex last Friday, March 4. | Jacob Tomita/THE CHIMES

My Double My Brother, formerly "The Fragrance," released their full-length cd "What We Found Beneath the Ground" at a listening session at the annex last Friday, March 4. | Jacob Tomita/THE CHIMES


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Not long ago, the members of the worship band My Double, My Brother flew under the moniker The Fragrance, playing alongside other student teams at Biola to lead chapel praise music.

Any band that is renamed normally goes through drastic restructuring — and perhaps students might have noticed that The Fragrance did not lead worship this past year, prior to the announcement of the band’s new epithet.

Reason behind name change

“We felt like The Fragrance was an appropriate name for us as a worship team,” guitarist and producer Andy Leong explains. “It reflected our desire to usher people into the presence of God in a worship service setting. But, outside the worship context we felt that The Fragrance came off sounding self-righteous, or at least relatively presumptuous. That could have the effect of separating us from our audience.”

Their former name comes from 2 Corinthians, and is a metaphor for the goodness that others can sense when the goodness of Christ is present. As a worship band, they strove to embody that vision of worshipful servants witnessing to the church.

However, with their new voice and direction, they wanted to project a more side-by-side nature with their listeners, rather than a position of assumed leadership.

“To a non-Christian audience, ‘The Fragrance’ could suggest a sense of ‘look at us, we have it all together and we have all the answers, so you should try to be like us,’ which is not the posture we want to have towards our listeners,” Leong said.

The band wants to tell its audience, especially those who are not in the Christian faith, that they experience similar things as everyone else, and want to identify with the listener as a peer or brother.

Band’s name comes from poem

The phrase “My double, my brother” comes from a Charles Baudelaire poem called “To the Reader,” referenced in T.S. Elliot’s poem “The Wasteland.”

Baudelaire was heavily scrutinized by critics who claimed his poetry was too grotesque, and he writes the poem to explain that everyone experiences the same grotesque world that he does.

He ends the poem with the line “you hypocrite, my double, my brother” uniting both he and his audience within the same world. The band seeks to send a less confrontational message –– and take the reference as a friendly invitation to a conversation and experience.

Inside the recording process

For the past six months, the band has been diligently recording their latest full-length album “What We Found Beneath The Ground,” keeping tours and performances of any kind on hold.

The majority of the recording sessions were held at Leong’s and lead singer, senior Joel Hasemeyer’s, garage that had been converted into a makeshift studio, affectionately named The Study.

Nearly everything was tracked there, save for the drums, which were recorded at a Hume Lake studio. The entire album was engineered and mixed by Leong himself.

Subject matter of new album

Hence, the band retains its literal independent credibility, and its work ethic has been focused and driven since its earliest recordings. Some of the songs on their latest album are actually new versions of older demos, but the majority is new unreleased material.

Thematically, the album vocalizes attempts to reconcile the Christian faith with the realities of a broken world, and an examination of living in the midst of conflicts that lie between the two.

The subject matter ranges from the hope of being rescued, to the contemporary influence of post-modern ideology –– all of it woven with artistic value, prioritized equally with having a strong message.

For a band with little to no professional equipment to their name, they have certainly done an uncanny job at fooling the listener.

Leong’s production value does its job of making the band sound great without drawing attention to itself. The songwriting is sharp with an unpresuming poetic grace, and the band members craft a wildly varied atmosphere of sound, sampling creative homemade sounds and diverse instruments.

Band welcomes new member

The newest member of the group, drummer Matt Bushyeager provides an added flair to previous acoustic demos. It seems that, as a group, everyone stepped up their game to produce a record that presents them as being reborn musically, along with their vision and name.

Resolutely rooted in community, the band is not one to neglect its closest fan base, and recently put on a private listening party to family and friends. This I had the privilege of attending, and I can attest that the record is a truly artful and enjoyable journey. The band has never sounded so good.

Their long journey and hard work is paying off in a fresh way, and what My Double, My Brother has found beneath the ground might just be something you’ll want to discover as well.

Catch them this Saturday at the Hope Amphitheater at 7 p.m. for their official album release show.

My Double, My Brother is: Joel Hasemeyer, Andy Leong, Linzy Spann, Evan Eliason, Matt Bushyeager.