@ (pronounced “At”) is the folk-pop project of vocalist/guitarist Victoria Rose and multi-instrumentalist Stone Filipczak, who owe their musical bond to the power of text messages. Although the pair initially met years ago, it wasn’t until spring 2020 when they began sending each other music between their respective cities — Rose based in Philadelphia and Filipczak in Baltimore. A few exchanges down the line, Rose sent Filipczak an early recording of a song she’d written called “Star Game” asking him to contribute drums. She didn’t anticipate what he returned to her: “I didn’t like it at first. It felt jarring to hear my music so arranged,” she says. “I almost plotted to end the collaboration.” But it wasn’t long before she came around to the potential of what she and Filipczak could create together.
Filipczak’s version of “Star Game” wound up being the second track on @’s debut album Mind Palace Music, initially released in April 2021. Rose admits that she didn’t even think her bandmate would ever want to work with her in a formal capacity, given Filipczak’s niche background sharing bills with artists like Black Pus (Lightning Bolt drummer Brian Chippendale) and Guerrilla Toss. But with his keen, inventive ear for musicianship and Rose’s penchant for confessional lyrics and vibrant melodies, @ grew as an amalgam of their unique musical backgrounds and complementary strengths.