Second Story Garage: Dave McGraw & Mandy Fer

Dave McGraw & Mandy Fer perform “Serotiny (May Our Music)” at Second Story Garage music video studio in Boulder, Colorado.

Science and music have a way of mingling in the mind. Tom Scholz, mastermind of the band Boston, was an MIT grad and engineer for Polaroid. Brian May, guitarist for Queen, graduated from “We Will Rock You” to academic astrophysics.

Dave McGraw used to be a wildlife biologist. The scientist is now a singer as one half of the indie folk duo Dave McGraw & Mandy Fer. Back when he was studying endangered birds in far-flung deserts, he found himself “penciling lyrics on data sheets with binoculars in hand,” according to a band bio. Fer, meanwhile, studied music in Spain, where she honed her acoustic guitar chops after developing her electric lead playing.

The two met about five years ago in Flagstaff, Ariz. Place is an important factor in their musical evolution. They now live in the San Juan Islands, a remote archipelago north of Seattle that is said not even to have cell service. It was in this place, with all its natural spoils, that the duo recorded their latest album, Maritime.

The album was released in March, and the duo hit the road. McGraw and Fer passed through Colorado in early April and then again a month later, when they made some time to swing by the Garage and perform “Serotiny (May Our Music),” “Dark Dark Woods” and an as-yet untitled song that was only a couple of weeks old when they arrived in the studio. They also sat down to chat with Quentin.

What they brought us: A 16-ounce container of Sudbury cactus food.

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