Chicago hazy-pop band Gypsyblood has released a free 3-song EP for download in anticipation of the group’s forthcoming debut album via Sargent House in early 2011. Many musicians and other lucky few who have heard the band have succinctly remarked, “my new favorite band.”
The sound of Gypsyblood is somewhat like hearing an old familiar song playing at high volume in a distant room, the melody smudged within the walls, making it impossible to discern the exact tune. It’s like watching old home movies in a hazy, distorted soft focus. There’s a rare, comforting timelessness to the Chicago quintet’s distortion-ravaged and hook-laden tunes on its forthcoming debut album, Cold in the Guestway.
Gypsyblood’s songs tend to start dissent among listeners trying to describe exactly of what their songs are reminiscent. Some common references include a strange amalgam of Pavement’s early hazy-pop singles, The Jesus and The Mary Chain, kiwi popsters The Clean, The Fall, early Guided By Voices, The Flaming Stars, Best Coast, et al. Put simply, it’s a noisy, soft-focus approach to classic pop.
“Everything revolves around that feeling of restless old souls, a timeless aspect to the music,” explains vocalist/guitarist Adam James. “We’ve all been on this planet — whether we were in a past life, or whatever. We’ve all been singing these same notes for decades and now it’s finally getting out to people’s ears. It’s something that comes from deep down within. It’s unique to anyone who understands it.”
Gypsyblood formed in 2009 when longtime friends and former bandmates James and vocalist/drummer/bassist Kyle Victor healed the somewhat fresh wounds of their previous band’s breakup (initiated by Victor storming off stage after the last song and hitchhiking home.) The pair later made up and James invited Victor to hear demos of new songs he was working on. Gypsyblood was born shortly thereafter and the pair quickly wrote an impressive 50 songs together within two months.
Of those 50 initial songs, the pair recorded 30 tracks working on their own in the dead of Chicago winter in an old building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The songs were captured on equipment normally used for film audio recording. Faint sounds of the band’s bustling neighborhood outside can be heard at times throughout. There’s a distinctly haunted, living presence to both the recording and the songwriting of Cold In the Guestway that cannot be replicated in a sterile studio environment.
The name Gypsyblood itself fits nicely with the group’s aesthetic: the eternally restless gypsy spirit and the visceral music running through the veins of successive generations.”It’s post-consumerist pop music,” James suggests. It’s timeless and undeniably powerful.
Cold in the Guestway will be available everywhere in early 2011 via Sargent House.