Five surf-rock heartthrobs from the golden reveries of Utah: meet Lucky Blue’s family band, The Atomics.
Pyper wears blue denim dungarees by ALEXA CHUNG for AG, white t-shirt stylist’s own, white leather trainers by ADIDAS (worn throughout). Lucky wears pink printed shirt and blue jeans both by THE KOOPLES and black trainers by ADIDAS (worn throughout). Starlie wears tan suede jacket by THE KOOPLES, polka dot cotton blouse by EQUIPMENT, tan suede vintage skirt by JANEY LOPATY and white leather shoes by AGL (worn throughout). Daisy wears blue denim dress by ALEXA CHUNG for AG and gold sequin brogues by AGL (worn throughout).
Although only 16, Lucky Blue Smith has blown up like lightning this season. With almost a million acolytes on Instagram – mostly screaming teenage girls – and shows for Tom Ford, Fendi and Bottega Veneta already under his belt, he has become that rarest of things today: a male modelling phenomenon. I’ve heard tales of casting directors tearing Benjamin Jarvis’s picture off their boards (poor boy) and replacing it with Lucky. He’s the most sought-after blond bombshell around.
So in the sunny hills of Montecito Heights, Los Angeles, I’m sat around a picnic table with Lucky and his sisters Pyper America, 18, Daisy Clementine, 19, and Queen Starlie, 21. Those are their actual names, and all make up brand new rock outfit, The Atomics. Lucky was only 11 when they started playing covers of The Ventures at car shows, and 12 when Hedi Slimane photographed them for Vogue Hommes Japan – but already their trajectory into Californian rock’n’roll stardom was underway.
With their long bodies, blue eyes and bleached white hair – except black-haired singer Starlie – they look like indie’s answer to the Malfoy family. Hailing from the Mormon heartland of Utah, a couple years ago they relocated to a two-bedroom in Hollywood where they were home-schooled by ex-model mother Sheridan and musical father Dallon.
With a fondness for 50s surf music and car shows, there is something very Grease, very Happy Days about The Atomics. On the one hand they are preposterously, unsettlingly attractive; on the other, quite sweet and homely. It all started one magical Christmas morning.
Lucky Blue: One Christmas, we all got instruments. I was six or seven.
Pyper America: I got a guitar, Daisy got a bass, Starlie got a guitar, and Lucky got a drum set. I think we really started to take it seriously later, when we were learning covers that our dad taught us.
Had any of you actually asked for instruments?
Queen Starlie: We kind of talked about it, but then it was my parents’ idea to get them for Christmas.
Daisy: My dad, he teaches us everything, and he’s a big part of the writing process too, so everything we know comes from him. And my mum, she always had us practicing a lot, and always helped with the costumes and ideas
What sort of costumes?
Pyper: We had this inspiration from bands from the 50s, how they all wear suits, how their backing singers all wear matching dresses or something like that.
Can you describe the town you’re from, Spanish Fork?
Daisy: Spanish Fork is a pretty small town in Utah, an hour south of Salt Lake. There’s a lot of strong family values there, and it’s a pretty conservative town.
Pyper: It’s right next to really beautiful mountains.
Daisy: And really pretty lakes nearby, and my high school was in the middle of corn fields when it first was built. Everyone’s really friendly there, for the most part. It’s a quiet, nice town, really clean.
Lucky: Our first show was on the city library steps. And we used to play car fairs at this one diner that was there, and state fair shows, you know, stuff like that.
Pyper: It was fun to play at the car shows because people would bring their old-school hot rods, and the owners would be like older so they would appreciate our music, The Ventures covers we would play, just because they grew up listening to it.
If a genie offered each of you a wish, what would you wish for?
Lucky: I would have an island for my wish.
Pyper: You don’t want a house on it?
Lucky: I can build a house. You can’t really come up with an island that easily. What would you do, Pypes?
Pyper: If I had one wish, I would move my family into a better living situation, just because being crammed into the two-bedroom apartment we’re in right now it can get a little intense; it can get very intense.
Daisy: We spend every waking moment…
Pyper: Oh my gosh…
Queen: Daisy and I share a bed, we sleep in the same bedroom, we’re all in a two-bedroom apartment. We know everything there is to know.
Pyper: I don’t have any, uh, questions. So my wish would be to all move into a bigger house, so we can all have our space, have like a rad music room, an art room, a pool. That’s my wish.
Queen: Today I wish for everyone to just be super confident with their bodies, and with themselves. Genuinely like, I know the struggle, and I think that it’s really important and would change a lot for people. That’s my wish for today.
Daisy: I wish that I can keep pursuing what I want to do, and really work hard, and hopefully inspire other people to follow their dreams, I guess.
Photographer: Columbine Goldsmith
Fashion Editor: Sarah Paulsen
Words: Dean Kissick