You may not know Denverâ€™s South of France by name, but thereâ€™s a pretty good chance youÂ may have heard their music in a beer commercial. South of France founder JeffÂ Cormack is not only making indie toes tap with catchy tunes like the new singleÂ Civilization, but heâ€™s simultaneously running a very successful film and TV audio productionÂ house, Play + Record.
â€œI love making music for commercials. Itâ€™s kind of like a school project.â€
Between his production house and his band, Jeff and his South of France partnerÂ Kelly are are working harder than ever. One of the things keeping the duo creativeÂ and saneÂ is the occasional shot of gluten-free Titoâ€™s Homemade Vodka. Kelly jokes, â€œA lot of Titoâ€™s. It fuels whatÂ happens in this house.â€
Small clubs or TV commercials, warm indie rock and danceable booze have always gone hand in hand. Jeff and Kelly have taken fullÂ advantage of the unique position theyâ€™ve earned and use South of Franceâ€™s music in TV spotsÂ whenever appropriate, like for Blue Moon Brewing Company. But as Jeff runs his company and pushes indie rock to the masses, he realizesÂ something may eventually have to give. â€œI always joke that itâ€™s all going to take off at the sameÂ time and Iâ€™m not going to know what to do. Obviously, everything helps with everything else.Â The better the band does the better the business does and vice versa.â€
South of France started in 2012 in Denver, with the first show (oddly enough) played inÂ Brooklyn. In the early days, Jeff really wanted a female singer to collaborate with. After notÂ having any luck with Denver area singers, he ended up meeting Kelly in a very roundabout way.
She was living in California at the time, but thousands of miles werenâ€™t enough to keep theseÂ indieÂpop sweethearts apart.Â Kelly explains, â€œI was working at an advertising agency in LA and I was good friends with a girlÂ that was a music writer. She was one of the first people who wrote about one of Jeffâ€™s demos.Â He was looking for a girl around LA that was serious about music. Jeff asked my friend if sheÂ knew of anyone that would be a good fit. She read the email, saw me sitting across the room,Â and said, yes I do!â€
Kelly would later say â€œI doâ€, not only to South of France, but to Jeff as well. The pair quicklyÂ hit it off. In June of 2015, Jeff posted on his Facebook wall, â€œWell…I’m pretty dang excited that IÂ get to marry this amazing lady. I can’t wait to continue making weird pop songs, playing crazyÂ shows with amazing bands, traveling the world, and eating vegan meals with her until we bothÂ become old and crazy.â€
Back in 2012, Jeff couldnâ€™t have been more happy and relieved to have metÂ Kelly. South of France finally found the creative marriage it was looking for. Jeff remembers, â€œI hadÂ tried to work with a bunch of different girls in Denver and they wanted to sing to sing, butÂ nobody was really gung ho serious about starting a business. That’s what it is when you start aÂ bandâ€“ it’s a business.â€
The business of South of France and Mr. and Mrs. Cormack hunkered down in theÂ Denver music scene. They currently reside just west of Denver in Golden which, coincidentally,Â is the home of Blue Moon beer’s parent company, MillerCoors. â€œWe just really like it here.â€ Jeff saysÂ proudly of his home state, â€œColorado is a good place because itâ€™s central. There are so manyÂ cool things happening here and it’s growing. Denver really embraced us when we put out theÂ album [Another Boring Sunrise, 2012]. I didnâ€™t really know anyone in the Denver music scene,Â but when we put the album out, people reached out and said they really wanted to play showsÂ with us. That wouldn’t happen in LA.â€
As Jeff continues to make music and soundÂ for big clients such as Showtime, South of France are feverishly writing and recording their nextÂ full-length. The early 2016 release will feature the bandâ€™s latest national attention grabbingÂ single, Civilization. When asked about the new recordâ€™s title, Jeff and Kelly sayÂ theyâ€™ve settled on a name, but perhaps not, because when they came up with one, â€œIt was aÂ Titoâ€™s night.â€