FREE MP3: THE CINNAMON BAND: I’M ASKING YOU
Songwriter/guitarist John Harouff and Drummer Neil Campbell are the two heavy-hitting henchmen behind The Cinnamon Band who make one hell of a first impression. Growing up in Staunton, VA and playing in bands together since age twelve, the two first won attention as high school students comprising two-thirds of the shapeshifting noise-pop act The Union of a Man and a Woman, including from Darius Van Arman who signed the group to Jagjauar. Fast forward to 2010, we find the duo have expanded and matured their music pallet, trading angular riffs and odd time signatures for hummable melodies and aural clarity. The Cinnamon Bands is a vehicle that allows Harouff’s refined song crafting to really shine, showcasing his knack for creating succinct pop songs in a rock band context. “It’s the most honest combination of things that we’ve done- for years, we played loud, bombastic ‘experimental’ music and I liked that,” says Harouff. “But I’ve always loved ‘pretty’ music, and was never able to make it myself. Suddenly I started combining the two ends of that spectrum, which isn’t unusual- they work together.”
Harouff’s warm and resonant vocals have often been compared to Bruce Springsteen while the band’s powerful sound, thanks largely to Campbell’s ferocious drumming, have merited a wide range of comparisons from U2 to Mogwai to Wilco. And like Wilco or say, The Walkmen or Band of Horses, The Cinnamon Band mixes up progressive leaning indie rock on one hand with classic arena rock and even country on the other.
After opening for Sub Pop duo Handsome Furs at a local show, they once again made a strong and lasting impression, this time with the Fur’s Dan Boekner (also of Wolf Parade), who invited the band out on a 30 date tour across States. But the good fortune and Canadian hospitality did not end with the tour, as they were then invited up to record at Wolf Parade’s studio Mt. Zoomer in Montreal with Wolf Parade’s Arlen Thompson. The stunning result of the session is their debut EP All Dressed – four tight songs of close harmony vocals and incredibly catchy melody.
Keep an eye out for The Cinnamon Band’s debut EP, All Dressed out August 10th on the Post Modern Recording Co.