Thursday, November 15, 2012

Vermouth to release debut album

Los Angeles based-band, Vermouth (, confirmed today that their debut album, RetroFuture Pop Exotica will be released on Tuesday January 21, 2013 and will be available in stores and at all major digital retailers including iTunes.
Vermouth is the brainchild of Justine Kragen and Steve McDonald, whose eclectic assortment of influences create bite-sized chunks of catchy lounge-pop music that are both melodic and offbeat.  Influenced by Martin Denny, Henri Mancini and the B-52’s, Kragen and McDonald’s sonic mixology seamlessly blends diverse genres into their own inventive cocktail. Track listing from RetroFuture Pop Exotica is as follows:
Velvet Circus
My House
Costa Rica
Google Boy
Go Go Dancer
Gretchen The Iguana
Blue Sky
Over the Counter
Sea Anemone
This past September, Vermouth recorded a cover of the Jimi Hendrix classic “Crosstown Traffic” in anticipation of the dreaded closure of the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles (aka ‘Carmageddon II’). Paying homage to Hendrix’s use of kazoos and guitars, noted Vermouth’s offbeat sense of humor and posted a free download of the song here:
Live, Vermouth is a dynamic seven-piece band of multi-instrumentalists whose musicianship is what separates them from so many others. Equal parts exotica, surf, gamelan, sixties pin-up glamour, and b-movie soundtracks, Vermouth employs a seasoned bartender’s worth of instrumentation to the fold. Intricate harmonies, atmospheric guitars, vibraphone, horns, upright bass and drums are just the tip-of-the-iceberg when it comes to creating their sound. On stage, the band rarely misses a chance to come up with a visual enhancement that is both stylized and magnetic.
In addition to writing and performing in Vermouth, Justine Kragen sings in Nevenka, an Eastern European Women’s Folk Chorus performing in a variety of Balkan languages. She also sang and toured with Petra Haden and The Sellouts – opening for The Decemberists and the Foo Fighters at venues such as the Ford Amphitheater, The Pantages and the Henry Fonda Theater in Los Angeles, The Fillmore in San Francisco and World Café Live in Philadelphia.
Both Steve McDonald and Justine Kragen hold BAs in Music from UC Santa Cruz and are formally educated in Western orchestral music, traditional Latin American music and Balinese gamelan. They were also orchestra members in the Los Angeles-based Gamelan Burat Wangi where they performed at Disney Hall (broadcast on National Public Radio), The Getty Center and The Los Angeles Indonesian Consulate. Prior to forming Vermouth, they both were founding members of Santa Cruz-based Gamelan Anak Swarasanti where McDonald helped pioneer the merging of gamelan with live electronic sound manipulations.
A record release show and tour dates leading up to the release of their debut will be announced shortly.

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