Meant To Be: Great Good Fine OK, A Pop Paragon

Vortex Music Magazine

We caught up with Jon Sandler, one-half of the Brooklyn-based synth pop duo, as he prepares for the band’s series of shows along the West Coast including a stop at the Doug Fir on July 24.

Great Good Fine OK came together in a manner that could double as the plot of a love story. It was spontaneous and impulsive. Two musical styles, perfect for each other, came together on a fateful night in one of the world’s most romanticized epicenters for music: New York City.

Jon Sandler and Luke Moellman met through friends and—as is common amongst musicians—threw out the idea of collaborating on a project. “Whenever musicians are friends, it’s just sort of a thing that you say… ‘Let’s do something together! Let’s write something together. Let’s create something together,’” Sandler explains. “Most times it never happens.” And the two’s contrasting prior experiences might've seemed like it would add further complications to their joining forces. “He [Luke] and I came from different backgrounds musically; he studied jazz and was producing, and I come from a singer-songwriter, pop background,” Sandler elaborates.

In what can only be described as serendipity, the two musicians ran into each other on the street one night in Brooklyn, and the familiar offer of a collaboration came up in conversation once again. “That night, Luke sent me the music for our first song,” Sandler says. “I wrote the lyrics and the melody to that song that same night, and that was that.”

What came out of that songwriting session was their first single, “You’re The One For Me,” which landed them a record deal in less than eight months. Both were part of other bands and projects at the time, but chose to focus on Great Good Fine OK full-time after the unprecedented success of the irresistibly dreamy dance pop that came together in their first single. This was something special.

Since then, Great Good Fine OK have built a reputation for lush, sophisticated synth pop that is both complex and danceable. They released two EPs, Body Diamond and 2M2H, in 2014, and they’ve released a handful of singles over the past year. “We’re having fun putting out singles because we can put them out whenever we want, which ends up being once a month or once every other month,” Sandler shares. “We won’t release a single unless we absolutely love it. Every song we’ve put out, we are just as proud of. They’re kind of like our kids.”

“Each [single] is a little different, but most of the time it is Luke creating a musical blueprint that I then work on lyrics and melody over. Then, when I feel good about something, we get together and go over it and shape it together,” Sandler remarks. “We’re not really thinking about an album right now, but we are planning on putting out much more music in the near future. That said, something could happen that could inspire us to want to make a full-length album. We’re just staying flexible and going where the inspiration takes us.”

About to embark on tour, Great Good Fine OK has set their sights on the West Coast and performing. “Both Luke and I take our live performances very seriously. We try to put our musicianship first,” Sandler says. “If someone really wants to know who we are, seeing a live show is important. We try to make it more than just a concert—more of a show and an experience. We have lights and lots of dancing,” he laughs. “We have a lot of fun and we hope the [audience does], too.”

Don’t miss your chance to catch Great Good Fine OK live when they perform at the Doug Fir on Sunday, July 24.

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