Marian Hill know they bring “sax-ual” vibes; it’s intentional. The Philadelphia-bred duo made up of producer Jeremy Lloyd and vocalist Samantha Gongol couldn’t have more wholesome roots — their band name comes from “Music Man” characters Harold Hill and Marian Paroo, whom they portrayed in a production at Havertown Middle School. However their sensual, hip-swaying full-length debut “ACT ONE,” instigates not so innocent themes.
“We like each song to be its own world,” says Lloyd from a car en route to Colorado with Gongol. “On almost every song on [‘ACT ONE’], the sound came first — the instrumental won’t be fleshed out, but I’ll have an idea of the beat. Then we’ll sit in that world we want to create with that beat, and figure out what the song’s melody and lyrics are all about.”
This time, it’s the horn-heavy, come-hither track “I Want You” or the smoky beat dropping “Down.” With “ACT ONE,” the duo take a step away from the boudoir — a domain they owned with their 2013 EP “Play” — creating tunes that are more likely to get you on your feet than into bed. But still, getting in the groove is important for Gongol, whose sultry vocals define the act.