Retro Pop / Rock / Indie
Curtains for You
Record Label: Spark & Shine
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Every so often, a colleague will recommend a new book or song that I just have to hear. Such was the case when Alex Steininger asked me to check out Curtains for You, the five member indie band from Seattle, Washington. Mr. Steininger hadnít steered me wrong yet, so I decided to check them out.
Curtains for You began their musical journey in 2004. Members included Peter Fedofsky on piano and vocals, Matthew Gervais performing lead vocals and guitar, Mikey Gervais on guitar, sax and vocals, Nick Holman on bass, euphonium and vocals and Dave Lawrence on drums. With their retro-pop style, they soon became mainstays of the Seattle pop scene. In 2006, Curtains for You made their CD debut on an EP called Speaking in Circles. A full-length album entitled Heavenís Waiting was released a year later. The album received a great deal of attention from the indie scene and the band was signed to the Spark & Shine label in 2009.
Curtains for Youís music is heavily influenced by the British Invasion of the Ď60s. Songwriters Matthew Gervais and Peter Fedofsky often find themselves compared to lyrical artists John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Harry Nilson and Brian Wilson. The lyrics are dramatic and often sad as in The Pugulist and Postcard. Their music is refreshingly untainted - in a world of music enhanced by electronics, Curtains for You refuses to use anything but their own voices and the music they play with their very own instruments.
The music of Curtains for You grabs your attention right away. This is not your everyday sound. Singer Matthew Gervaisís vocals are very reminiscent of Ď80s bands such as The Kinks, and the music varies from swing to pop to rock. The four-part harmonies are simply beautiful. I love listening to bands that can harmonize - thereís such beauty in listening to voices that compliment each other so beautifully that they donít even need music.
With a band that harmonizes this well, music is something of an afterthought, and yet, one canít ignore the music performed by Curtains for You. Using brass instruments in a pop or rock band is unusual in this day and age. Chicago was one band notable for its brass section. It just adds a polish to the music - something different that grabs your attention. Curtains for You not only uses the familiar saxophone, but also the euphonium, a brass instrument that looks somewhat like a smaller sized tuba. The resultant sound mixed in with that of the guitar, piano and drums added to the vocal harmonies of the singers is something that lasts with you long after the music stops.
Prior to hearing about this band from Alex Steininger, I had no idea who Curtains for You was or what kind of music that they played. Now, I canít wait for their new album, What A Lovely Surprise to Wake Up Here, scheduled for release October 20, 2009. Curtains for You is an independent band with a refreshingly clean sound. Check them out at www.curtainsforyou.net or http://www.myspace.com/curtains4you.