But not only was Walker an ideal life partner, Clark also saw in her a muse. Walker too wrote music, and she and Clark decided to put together an ensemble they called “Nancy” alongside bassist Jacob Bly, keyboardist Jamie Blum-Marciano and guitarist Terence Blum-Marciano. The Blum-Marcianos serve as the new ensemble’s primary singers/songwriters, with Clark and the rest contributing vocals as well.
“Originally it was a bit of a joke,” Clark said of the name Nancy for the five-piece band, adding that it was actually “borrowed” from a neighbor who lived near the Blum-Marcianos, in whose basement the ensemble practiced and recorded.
But it also hid a darker meaning.
“Usually ‘Nancy boy’ is kind of a bit of a derogatory term, so we’re responding a little bit with some of the content we’ve written,” Clark said.
Nancy will unleash its debut album at a special showcase at the Bright Box Theater in Winchester Oct. 24, where they will share the bill with Matti & Debbie of Boston. It will also be the first time the group has performed together publicly.
Each of Nancy’s members brought something to its musical sound, be it folk or indie influence. Their song “Talking in Circles” has a folksy vibe about it, with Clark’s steady drumming undergirding an insistent guitar riff from Walker.
Clark, who worked as a recording engineer at D.C.’s vaunted Pearl Street Warehouse before Nancy came to fruition, not only drums for his new band but has recorded his own music in the past as well. He’s self-taught on the drums and also plays guitar, bass and a bit of keyboards and says his influences include Nick Drake, Led Zeppelin, Delta Sleep and Ben Howard.
“I think everyone at some point or another [was] classically trained or has deeply studied music,” Clark said of his band, adding that married band members Jamie Blum-Marciano and Terence Blum-Marciano are both public school music teachers by day. “I would say [Nancy’s sound is] indie rock, maybe a bit of post-’90s emo and post-rock mixed in there,” he said of the band’s sonic landscape.
However, the industry has changed so much that DIY bands like Nancy need to focus not only on playing live but on building their brand off-stage.
“The music industry is not on a linear curve. … There’s so many things behind the curtain that are changing very rapidly,” Clark said, adding that while bands can look at merch sales as a steady stream of income, the pressure is on to get their music into higher-profile settings with subscription services—what Clark calls “placement.”
“If you’re a DIY musician, you have to become savvy [on] how to adapt in music and either get the exposure that’s going to help you grow or maybe a small placement in a film that’s going to help you have some money coming in [beyond] playing all the time,” he said.