Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pitstop: Friend Roulette

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(Photo from Big Ugly Yellow Couch)

Considering my obsession with all things ARMS, it shouldn't really surprise anyone that I found Friend Roulette. ARMS' Tlacael Esparza is among its ranks alongside Kyle Olson of Hospitality, and Bryn Bellamy and Matthew Meade of Illuminator. It's a veritable who's who of New York City band members that all came together to make a rather exciting brand of chamber pop.

When I first heard "Sailing Song", it became incredibly clear that I was in for a unique experience. The percussionist's chops are displayed early on alongside swooping bass clarinet and hammered violin pizzicatos as Julia Tepper and Matthew Meade liltingly harmonize.

Where Friend Roulette differ from your standard chamber pop group is due in part to their diverse instrumentation making use of it band members eclectic musical talents like John Stanesco's EWI (an instrument mostly used in jazz) and also in their shying away from cutesy pop dressings. Friend Roulette's music is fun, dreamy, and prone to dark coloring - moments that prove some of the most memorable. There's always something interesting to listen for (not surprising considering the band is about six members strong).

Friend Roulette are currently working on an LP but for you now you can listen to their awesome four song EP.

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