Jocelyn and Chris Are (Finally) Hitting The Road With Their ‘Ghosts’

All the hard work was about to pay off for Jocelyn and Chris. Everything was set up perfectly. The upstate New York-based sibling rockers had performed on NBC’s Today show, a tour was fully planned, and they were about to release their new album, Favorite Ghosts. Then the world came to a screeching halt due to the pandemic. Suddenly everything was on hold.

The duo, however, weren’t about to take things sitting down … except that’s literally what they did, with a camera on, and an audience of viewers tuned in at home. “We hunkered down, and we started doing a ton of live streaming” Jocelyn says, “we called them our couch concerts.”

Those couch concerts kept the momentum going for the twosome, and now they’ve picked up right where they left off. Last month they finally released Favorite Ghosts, and they’re currently on a tour in support of the album that will last well into the fall.

“Being able to go out and actually see people, and look in their face, and know that they’re hearing us … I’d missed that so much, and I didn’t realize, I think, how much it was affecting me until we were able to go out into the world again,” Jocelyn says of being back to performing in venues, “It was like oh my gosh, there was this whole part of me that was missing for a long time. I feel like EVERYBODY feels like that.”

I caught up with Jocelyn and Chris to find out more about how they prepared for this tour, the long wait to release Favorite Ghosts, and the power of radio … yes, radio! The duo also discussed their retro fashion sense, and where you might find them when they’re not on stage.


You’re going to be on tour through the entire summer, and into the fall. Is this the tour you wanted to go on in 2020? 

Chris: This is actually more than the tour we had originally planned.

We had our biggest tour ever planned for the summer of 2020. We were gonna go out for like six weeks, do the whole country. Then, obviously, nothing happened that year.

Since then there have been some switch ups, and we’re working with a new agent, and this is our busiest touring year ever, by far.

Coming out of the past two years into what is our busiest year is such a blessing. We can finally go out there, and play music for people, and see people, and do the thing that we love to do.

Jocelyn: We definitely hit the ground running. It was a little bit of an adjustment, to go from 0 to 60, kind of. Like, oh my gosh, do we remember how to play shows again?

The good news is I think we do.

Since this is your longest tour ever, other than pack extra socks, and underwear, is there something else you had to do to prepare? 

Jocelyn: Mentally I think I’ve kind of had to psych myself up for it. Physically I definitely needed to get in shape to go out there and be able to jump around for an hour and a half every day.

Now we have a few weeks of shows under our belt, so we’re kind of back in the rhythm.

What’s your pre-tour workout routine? 

Jocelyn: I like to jog outside, that helps. I try to do some jump roping, because I feel like if you’ve seen the live show experience, when we’re not doing our couch concerts, jump roping is probably the closest approximation to what I do on stage, because I jump around a lot.

I don’t know for you, Chris, do you stretch your hands? {laughs}

Chris: {laughs}

No, honestly, just trying to get in better physical shape, because it’s a lot of being outside, and standing up forever, and running around the stage, and carrying big lighting cases back and forth from the trailer.

It does end up being pretty demanding, so just making sure that I’m in good enough physical shape that nothing bad will happen when I try to lift a lighting case.

Jocelyn: Rehearsing the music, too, but also getting back into rehearsing talking to a crowd, because that’s not something that has ever come super easily to me, talking in front of people. I’d much rather sing in front of people. So it sounds kind of dorky, but rehearsing talking is something that I actually do.

When we get out there we can get back into the routine, and riffing with the audience again, and that’s the best, but the baseline I kind of have to practice.

The tour is in support of your new album, Favorite Ghosts. Well, it’s new to listeners, but you wrote and recorded it a while ago. How did you handle sitting on these songs for so long, and when did you know it was the right time to start releasing singles, and ultimately the album? 

Chris: So, honestly, we handled sitting on the songs by continually tweaking them. I think that’s pretty much what everyone did. {laughs}

Basically we had it like 95% of the way done in early 2020, and then all of a sudden we weren’t releasing it for two years, so we were like, well, let’s see if we can improve what’s already there. We reworked a lot of things, and I think it’s in a better place than it was.

Jocelyn: I think some of the songs ended up in unexpected places because we had that extra time. I went through so many rewrites.

Chris: As to when we knew it was time to release stuff, we released the first single last summer to test the waters, and it went so much better than we thought it would. It was a song called “Sugar and Spice,” it’s track one, and it spent 14 weeks in the Billboard AAA (Adult Alternative Airplay) Top 40.

We played shows all over the country last summer, not nearly as many as this summer, but there were multiples places where we would go where people would be singing along. That was kind of our indication that people were ready for new music, people were ready to come out and see shows again, and support the music, and were ready for it all.

Also, at that point we were way too sick of sitting on it, so we were like, even if they weren’t ready we would’ve just been like, screw it, we’re putting it out there.

In the downtime of the pandemic you managed to score quite a big name to play on the album. 

Jocelyn: Yeah, our friend Byron Issacs is on bass on the record on a couple tracks. He plays bass for The Lumineers. He was holed up just like us, which is why he had the time to record on our record. He’s awesome. Super nice guy.

Was he your friend beforehand? How did that relationship happen? 

Jocelyn: We played a show with his original band, Lost Leaders, at a radio station event in Jersey. I remember because it was this crazy pavilion by the beach, and there was this huge thunderstorm that night, so we had to move it inside, and we were just hanging out, and kind of hit it off, and have kept in touch.

He did a really interesting thing, we didn’t give him any direction besides “play a cool bass line,” and he gave us back three different tracks – one was the safe track, one was medium level movement, and one was an absolute off the wall crazy track, so he gave us a few different flavors that we could choose from. We ended up using the crazy one a lot.

You’re taking an interesting approach to releasing this album, with the physical album having come out before the music appears on any streaming service. What went into that decision? 

Jocelyn: We’re so proud of this record. Of course, I would love people to listen to it however they want to listen to it, (but) we would love it if people see it as an album, as a full body of work, so that’s a priority for us, giving it to people as a whole thing. Part of that strategy is being able to say – hey, people who’ve been waiting for this record, here it is in full.

You can get a digital version, but we wanted to give it to our friends in radio, and our fans first. We’ve had great radio success, so we wanted our radio family to be able to have the album before it gets sent to streaming platforms.

It will be on streaming platforms eventually. We’re going to release it in a series of chapters over the course of the summer, and the fall.

I think people are used to getting an album, but I think Spotify is used to getting a song or two at a time, so we’re kind of speaking both languages with the release.

Based on your experiences, how are you seeing people discover your music? So many people just assume everyone discovers music on streaming, but I feel like that’s not what you’re going to tell me. 

Chris: We have found getting in front of new people, playing shows, playing support slots, playing festivals is a huge way. I think the connection you can make when you’re in the same space as somebody, and you’re playing a song for them right there in that moment, there’s just something so special about that, and there’s nothing that can really beat it.

Also, radio has been huge for us.

One of the things radio has going for it is different markets have different vibes, so the radio station that’s in Northern New Hampshire is probably going to have a different regional vibe, and the people there will have different musical tastes, than the radio station that’s in New York City.

The people that work at the radio stations, I think the whole model is they have a trusted taste in music, and they know their market, and they know what the people in their market are into, and what they’re going to like. That kind of a connection with a more localized community, I think, is a really strong way to connect with people.

Jocelyn: We’ve been really focused on radio because I feel like it’s something that we’ve uniquely been able to fully dive into because we’re indie, we’re doing this ourselves, we’re scrappy about this.

You can’t knock on the door of Spotify, but you can knock on the door of a radio station, and you can show up, and you can meet people, and you can say, “Hey, here’s my CD. I would really appreciate it if you would listen to this,” and they do. So that’s been a thing for us, where we meet actual people, and form these relationships with music lovers who introduce us to their communities, and it’s been really powerful.

Spotify is super convenient, and it’s awesome, too. We’ve had people come up to us after shows and say, “I found you because you came up on my daily mix,” and that’s awesome, but I just love going into a community and knowing there’s a whole crew of music lovers there that are invested.

It’s really interesting you said you can just knock on the door of a radio station. I feel like pre-streaming that wouldn’t have been the case. 

Jocelyn: Right. It’s totally switched.

And radio still exists. Every car has a stereo. 

Jocelyn: Right! And radio listenership is actually up. It’s increasing. It’s funny, I feel like a lot of people think that Spotify is the new wave, and radio is out with the old, kind of, but they’re both very much alive. It’s really cool.

I think people are just listening to more music, it’s not that they switched completely from one to the other. 

Jocelyn: Yeah, exactly.

We gotta talk a little bit about your clothes, because for your show at Mercury Lounge in NYC earlier this year you were both wearing magnificently sparkly pants. How would you describe your fashion ideology, and where have you come across some of your favorite finds? 

Jocelyn: I would say it’s like if you walked into the ‘70s with … I don’t know …

Chris: More elastic waistbands, and a Bedazzler.

Jocelyn: Yeah, we love sparkle, we love retro, and we love thrift shopping. Actually, I love thrift shopping, but Chris is addicted to thrift shopping.

Chris: Thrift shopping is awesome.

Jocelyn: More often than not he’s like, “Let’s go! Let’s go shopping,” and we go to Goodwill, or Salvation Army. That’s where we find the majority of our clothes. Someone else donated it, and we’re like, “Yes, it’s probably actually from 1975!”

How do you pack for tour with all those clothes, or are you going to find a Goodwill or Salvation Army in each city? 

Jocelyn: That’s a great idea!

Chris: Honestly, that is a great idea.

Jocelyn: Could you imagine if we had to find out outfits for the show on that day?

Chris: I feel like there’s a YouTube video concept in there.

Jocelyn: That’s extreme thrifting. Thrifting with a deadline.

There could be an unfortunate show where you’re in some kid’s old little league jersey because that’s all you could find. 

Jocelyn: Yeah, “All I could find was this …” That would be hilarious, though.

Honestly, I’m down. I feel like we should set ourselves a challenge, and we should try to do that. That would be really fun.

As far as packing goes, the good thing about some of the clothing made in the ‘70s and ‘80s is it’s made of plastic, so it doesn’t wrinkle. Most of my clothes, like this shirt (I’m wearing), I don’t think you could destroy this shirt if you were actively trying to.

Chris: I wouldn’t iron it. It would melt. But anything other than that …

Jocelyn: I can ball this up, and shove it in a suitcase, and it would be fine.

We try to pick clothes that are not too sensitive, because they definitely get beat up on the road, for sure.

I guess if they’ve survived 50 years … 

Chris: They’re probably alright for a suitcase.

Jocelyn: Yeah, they’re like, I can take it, do your worst!


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