Street Choir, Sympathetic Friend

October 21, 2013
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Formed in 1999, Street Choir is a band that cut its teeth on the sidewalks of San Luis Obispo CA. Founding members Benjamin and Matt Lemburg “heard a sound that set them free and wanted others to hear that same sound.”

There was, however, an obstacle to this musical liberation, as the band “struggled to understand where their music should be performed.” They weren’t meeting an established convention: “It wasn’t club music, it wasn’t church music, and it didn’t fit any genre as much as they wanted it to.”

Ultimately, they decided to share their music with whoever will “get it.” And now we have Street Choir’s seventh album Sympathetic Friend. This album – the result of two years’ worth of recording – almost never came into being; after all, the band had grown far apart, geographically speaking: one member lives in Vegas, another in Texas, and another in Kansas City. Seems music can transcend such distances…

The album’s title track begins with a contemplative-sounding jingle that you’d hear from 90s alt rock. It rather reminds me of the Gin Blossoms.

An engaging multi-voice chorus takes the forefront on the track “Kill Me Till I’m Blessed.”

On “The Chooser,” the lead vocals sing about a “lonely place to be,” but the song ain’t ever depressing, because the instrumental component stays spirited and soulful. There’s also some stellar bluesy fretwork on the background guitar.

The pace is slowed down considerably for the tracks “Try” and “Go Home.” Things get a bit experimental as well. And there’s something here of the religious vibe that the band mentions in their bio about the brothers’ early exposure to music in church.

Though not necessarily religious, there is something devotional about “The Spark.”

The intro to the track “Lonely” is appropriate in its wistful tenderness.

“Love and a Car Crash” is a catchy title for a song. But is it a catchy song? Have yourself a listen at: http://www.reverbnation.com/rpk/songs/1038837

Not sure why Street Choir has “struggled” to find a consistent venue. A large chunk of this album is pretty easy music to get into. There’s no lack of talent either. And don’t we all need a ‘sympathetic friend’: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/sympathetic-friend/id720974314

Join the ‘choir’ at: http://www.streetchoir.net/
 
Ray Cavanaugh – owleyesgatsby@yahoo.com

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