Call it the curse of the uncategorizable. Or call it indie pop-rock genius.
Indianapolis’ Extra Blue Kind aren’t going to make it easy for you. They’re not going to fit neatly into that little niche genre, thereby facilitating ready categorization. The vocabulary of words you’ll need to describe their sound is going to be fresh, varied, thoughtful. Or hell, you can just forget about trying to explain the music and just enjoy it.
Explains singer-songwriter-frontman P. David Hazel, “I always tell people that I have no idea how to write an Extra Blue Kind song, and I have no idea how to describe it to people, either. Extra Blue Kind has always been kind of eclectic. It’s like a mixtape of stuff.” For proof of this, you need look no further than EBK’s debut release, The Tide and the Undertow (Opulent Records).
To help meld together their eclectic elements, EBK enlisted the help of their musical hero, Vess Ruhtenburg (Zero Boys, United States 3), on Tide. What resulted is a brilliant debut from start to finish, shimmering with EBK’s crisp, upbeat arrangements, Ruhtenburg’s stylized approach to recording, and their shared musical philosophy.
Hazel’s voice, first and foremost, is flexible and dreamy, rich and beseeching. The backing vocals and harmonies are beautiful, high notes mixing perfectly with Hazel’s wide range. And the songs are well crafted, the power-pop–leaning guitars pointed and neat, smooth and straightforward; the drums and bass adding just the right undercurrent of groove and desire.
Though Hazel’s the creative vision behind EBK, the other members play above-the-title roles the songwriting process. “Sometimes one of us will bring a song and everyone will contribute,” Hazel says. “Sometimes we’ll get a case of beer and write an album’s worth of songs in one night. We approach every song in a different way.”
Behind Hazel (vocals, guitar), then, you’ve got Randee Eimer (drums, programming), Trevor Walthen (guitar, vocals) and Jeremy Blount (bass, vocals). Live, the four read each other so well, crashing out the melodic tunes with such a singular mind, you’d never guess they hadn’t been together for years. But such is Hazel’s leadership, his creative vision.
May 2006 found the band in New York City, recording an EP with Junior Sanchez and Ray Martin (Gorillaz, Bloc Party, Madonna) and showcasing for labels large and small. Through the summer months, though, the band members are back to doing what they do best: Logging the miles on the rental van and playing their hearts out, night after night.
Fresh and invigorating, ear-pleasing and challenging, yet comfortable, like that best friend you never knew you had—that’s Extra Blue Kind for you.
Extra Blue Kind is currently on tour in support of “The Tide and the Undertow.” (Opulent Records)
Music Video For Pinch, Blink, Stay Alive recently featured on Much Music's The Wedge January/06! Video created by 14 year old Fernanda Frick of Santiago, Chile.
For more information please visit http://www.extrabluekind.com or http://www.opulentrecords.com.
Check out their music videos at www.myVidero.com/ebk