Airlands is the phoenix rising from the ashes of Stars of Track and Field – a band that was released from Wind-Up Records after 2 full-length albums and 7 national tours supporting acts like Jeremy Enigk, Twilight Singers, The Smashing Pumpkins, Blue October and Joe Arthur. These touring bedfellows should provide clues to the dreamy but hopeful sounding tracks that comprise Airlands’ debut.
Wandering territory that could equally house XTC, Snow Patrol, My Bloody Valentine and Peter Gabriel, Airlands’ frontman – Kevin Calaba – charismatically drives the ponderous arrangements with a voice that is by turns raspy and breathy, sometimes sounding like Dave Gilmour sometimes like Ozzy sometimes – as on the track Blood is Sunshine – like Shudder to Think‘s Craig Wedren. The cumulative effect is powerful but soothing. The project is full of potential for translating across a wide audience.
MusicZeitgeist: Help us better understand the person behind the name and the music
Kevin Calaba: I’m a native Oregonian, who now has the pleasure of calling Brooklyn home. I love baseball. Dogs. Good Lighting. Reading at night. Harmonies. Sigur Ros’ incredible audio quality. The funk guitar in James Brown’s “Sex Machine.” Coffee and Crosswords before 9am but only for an hour. The E-Bow. ’75 Sunburst Telecasters. Cello. My Wife, Marz. But most importantly, playing music with other people.
MZ: Hate to ask, but how would you define the sound you are making?
KC: We’re calling it “Atmospheric Post Indie Rock.” I never know how to answer the question “what kind of music do you play?” It’s a bit like, “what kind of subway system does Denmark have?” which is I guess to say, more complicated than a few words in a title. For a while I wanted to say soul-stranaut, but I don’t want to sound like an asshole. A lot of people are saying Peter Gabriel meets Bon Iver. I’ll take that. But I’ve been doing falsetto longer that Vernon…so there.
MZ: So you are based in Brooklyn now? What’s your scene like?
KC: We are rehearsing at the Music Garage, across from TV on the Radio, usually about 4 times a week. It took about a year to find all the players. The whole thing really happened backwards. I made a solo record (Kickstarter) and then found a good group of ladies and gents to form a band, and stay somewhat true to the album.
MZ: What’s Next?
KC: We have a showcase on April 2nd at the Rockwood, Stage 2, and then we hope to play in Brooklyn once before heading out to LA for the summer to make an EP.
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