Seryn is a 5 piece band who calls Denton, Texas their home. When listening to the well layered textures of guitars, ukulele, accordion, bass, viola, banjo and various percussion, it's hard to imagine This Is Where We Are is the band's debut effort. The band's strength resides in their vast musical talent and understanding of dynamics. Their beauty is gracefully displayed through chilling harmonies. Each member and their voice carry the same importance. One is not complete without the other.
It is in this craft that the young band shines so bright. It has earned them a sound that isn't easily defined, but still proven triumphant. What may first appear as straight folk songs, later transcend into menacing walls of sound. The term "Folk-Pop" has been thrown around and maybe it loosely fits, but we will leave the definitions up to you.
The Denton Record-Chronicle said "Seryn's set was so dynamic that you could feel the key changes in your feet, through Festival Hall’s concrete floor!". While the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported, "Watching Seryn perform, it's hard to convince yourself that those crystalline, multi-part harmonies are not pre-recorded or some kind of sleight of ear." You can see where this is going...
This is Where We Are was produced by Britton Beisenherz (Ramble Creek), and recorded over the course of a few months. The experience felt at their live show seems to be captured well in these recordings, which was something of great importance to the band. The band has created their own buzz in the most traditional way too by winning people over at their shows. It's not often that a band without a record out is able to play so many great bills and sold out shows. Much less, be nominated for awards such as Best Folk Artist, and Song of the Year (Dallas Observer). There is no shortage of regional press on them either but the band is excited to take their sound, their show, and their new record on the road. They will be traveling all over the US in the coming months. Go see them play and you will be sucked in!
Voted by Paste Magazine as the Best Performance of SXSW 2011
"I fell in love with this band’s recorded music just in time to book them for our SXSW day parties, and they dominated the showcase...the majestic swells make it feel like you’re watching Arcade Fire before their first album." – Josh Jackson (Paste Magazine)
Nathan Allen- guitar, vocals
Trenton Wheeler,- ukelele, banjo, vocals, kalimba, accordion
Chelsea Bohrer- viola, percussion, vocals
Aaron Stoner- bass, vocals
Chris Simmelbeck- banjo, drums, accordion, vocals
"This Is Where We Are" - 2011
Our 10 Favorite SXSW 2011 Performances (Seryn #1)
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"We had 32 acts play our party in Austin, Texas, over two days during SXSW. From nearby Denton, Sery..."We had 32 acts play our party in Austin, Texas, over two days during SXSW. From nearby Denton, Seryn impressed enough to be named our favorite act of SXSW. Watch the video below of the song “We Will All Be Changed” to see why."
Dallas Observer Music Awards Winners (Seryn takes home five)
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Seryn Best Group Act, Best Album (This Is Where We Are), Best Song ("We Will All Be Changed"), Be...Seryn
Best Group Act, Best Album (This Is Where We Are), Best Song ("We Will All Be Changed"), Best Male Vocalist (Trenton Wheeler), Best Instrumentalist (Chris Semmelbeck)
Last year was when Seryn formally introduced themselves to the music lovers of North Texas. This was the year they became fully embraced. After losing out on all three nominations the band received in our 2010 Dallas Observer Music Awards, this year Seryn takes home victories in five of six the categories in which it was nominated. And their label, Spune Records, takes home the award for Best Label this year.
It's not hard to see why the band has so endeared itself. Despite two band members taking home individual honors at this year's awards (Trenton Wheeler as Best Male Vocalist and drummer Chris Semmelbeck as Best Instrumentalist), Seryn truly is a collective, with the group providing myriad onstage focal points, each member singing and performing every word and every note like it could be their last.
That's the whole idea behind this band, actually — that there are greater forces at play than any one individual can provide. The band's name, a reference to their serendipitous formation, and their sound, a rousing brand of indie folk that swells and swoops and lulls and roars, back this up. This year's Best Song winner, "We Will All Be Changed," mines this territory brilliantly, as do the rest of the songs on the band's January-released Best Album winner, This Is Where We Are.
That album's title, perhaps, best explains this band's draw. Seryn is just starting out and, for now, simply happy to be a part of the conversation. This humility, paired with the collective's supreme talent (guitarist Nathan Allen, violinist Chelsea Bohrer and bassist Aaron Stoner each could've given Semmelbeck a run for his money had they been nominated in the Best Instrumentalist category), bodes well for their future.
The Beauty of Seryn
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If The Psalters decided to reinterpret the music from O Brother, Where Art Thou? and invite the best...If The Psalters decided to reinterpret the music from O Brother, Where Art Thou? and invite the best post-rock, bluegrass, and alt-rock musicians they could get their hands on, that may be a fair comparison to Seryn’s debut full-length, This is Where They Are. The thing about this comparison and any other comparisons that may be drawn is that I typically hate almost all of this kind of music. In best case scenarios, I feel nothing one way or another about all of that hippy dippy crap, multi-instrumentation hipster garbage, and anything that one may recommend for fans of Monsters of Folk or any member thereto.
Seryn’s debut is harder to put into words than almost anything I’ve reviewed in some time. At times melodies harken to Cusackian muse Peter Gabriel, at others a much less irritating Dave Matthews Band, and still at others Polyphonic Spree with a rootsy, country soul. With a sound described on the press sheet as “folk-pop” for lack of any better terms, Seryn does one thing in particular remarkably well… they perform as a single unit. Some bands of remarkably talented musicians seemingly try to one up each other and perform as a group of musicians (a la Dream Theater), rather than one symbiotic unit working together for a common goal. Seryn not only succeeds in putting forth a unified, harmonious sound.
It’s nearly impossible to choose a standout track, because the album comes across like the band, as a unified product. In today’s iTunes-driven music landscape, it’s a breath of fresh air to be able to laud the construction of an album rather than a just a song. However, if one must choose a song to be the “favorite”, this newfound fan is forced to choose “On My Knees” for its simple feel and powerful message: “On my knees, I can see where my heart needs to be. When this life gets to me, I’ll be found on my knees.”
This is Where We Are is truly a whimsical journey of thoughtfulness, contemplation, love, strength, and beauty. Folk-pop with elements of shoegaze, bluegrass, country, alternative rock, and just about everything in between, the finished product is a singular sound and feeling of beauty and peace. For some, the soundtrack to a long afternoon drive for others the backdrop to prayer and meditation, the album likely has a place in nearly any person’s collection. For me, a new form of musical Prozac for when my days take my mind to places it doesn’t want or need to go… an album to keep me grounded and able to approach life with a clear mind and an open heart.
Seryn Daytrotter Session
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The way I see it, I'm on the wrong side of the glass right now. It must be my problem and no one els...The way I see it, I'm on the wrong side of the glass right now. It must be my problem and no one else's, though, I realize that so many more people than just myself are looking out from the wrong side of the window as well and there's no easy way to get over to the other side. Not yet, at least, there isn't. We have to get done what we have to get done, but what's seen out there eats at me. I'm somewhere not at all pastoral, not at all idyllic, but planted along the outskirts of this massive urban parking lot is a solid line of trees, with a pale blue canopy of sky and city-sized clouds ambling along as if they'd just eaten a thousand Thanksgiving dinners. There's no air-conditioning out there and, for me, that's usually a plus. It's summer. We're supposed to be sweating, most of the time. It's not supposed to be uncomfortable, but we are supposed to be glistening and salty. There's a persistent wind coursing invisibly through the air, shoving the trees back and forth, making them all look as if they're trying to shoo away swarms of mosquitoes with dozens of thin arms. The pine trees in the line are refusing the wind's advances, holding its ground, but the other trees are being abused. If this glass could be reduced to dust and the parking lot, the restaurants and cars smashed down into their original materials -- the rock and water, the wood, the chemicals and metals -- and placed back the way they used to be, undisturbed, and all that was left were the trees, us and the wind fussing with the lot, it's where Denton, Texas's Seryn would have us concentrate. We could all sit there together, but in silence, letting the hot sunsets and warm dawns fall over us like theater lights. Our skin gets sticky without us really knowing it and suddenly we realize that we've all gotten a little older together, even if it's just a few hours. We realize that, together, we've all moved into a blank night, the air temporarily more flattering and agreeable. The band, with its lush arrangements and thoughtfully haunting, often mesmerizing flings puts us into wonderfully open-ended, ponder-some thoughts. We're able to detach ourselves from so many of the stupid dramas and burdens that we heap ourselves with. Our shoulders often feel as if they weigh a million pounds and with the group's debut full-length, "This Is Where We Are," we're given a chance to be blissfully unaware of where this is, where we actually exist. We could be somewhere where we believe these winds originated, somewhere we'll never be.
TVD Live: Seryn at Union University in Jackson, TN
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Last week, I was lucky enough to sit in with Rachel Hurley when she recorded her show The Warm Up at...Last week, I was lucky enough to sit in with Rachel Hurley when she recorded her show The Warm Up at Ardent Studios with a band I’d never heard of before: Seryn.
After witnessing the massive amount of talent that they were able to cram into just a few songs in a stripped down set (which you can check out here), I knew I’d have to see them in full force. Using their show at Union University in Jackson this past week as an excuse to get out of town, I hauled ass to the chair nearest their production of sound, sat down, and got ready to have my ears elated with the always enjoyable sound of gorgeous compositions.
Opening act Sam Robertson set the mood. Her melodies reminded me of fireflies on a summer night. Although she stood alone on stage, the crowd was behind her emotionally charged performance. Subtle and sweet guitar work was an able host to her delicate vocal works. Running through a number of her own tracks and even showcasing an Ida Marie cover, her set was the perfect warm up to an evening of dense acoustic instrumentation.
Local act and hometown favorite TJ Hester took the stage next. Rocking a full band and and a half dozen tracks, his songs were always greeted with praise and the growing percussion of hands being slapped together to show apprecation. Running through a Smith’s track or two, Hester repeated Robertson’s bent on showing off their own taste, which ended up satiating the audience, setting them up perfectly for what was to come.
As Hester ended his set, Seryn graciously accepted the stage like a stranger coming in from the cold only to tell the most interesting of stories. Starting slowly, and patiently building the atmosphere, they were able to hook the crowd with a small taste, leaving them eagerly coming back for more like an Oliver Twist who actually gets what he requests. Playing through a handful of songs with over a dozen instruments (ukulele, accordion, guitar, vibraphone, drums, only to name a few), Seryn showed their musicianship as each member over the course of the evening picked up at least three different pieces of musical equipment.
Following in the footsteps of European post-rock acts like Efterklang and mum, crescendo seems to be the name of Seryn’s game. Songs were built like the Pyramids with subtle changes over a period of time, building and bubbling until a sudden culmination of sound and emotion where-in Seryn would explode like an atom bomb, except this was no test. Seryn blew up the stage, capturing the heart of every audience member to the involuntary compulsion of clapping at the conclusion of each and every song. Tracks “Our Love” and “River Song” stood out, swooping in to cradle the ear, slowly building until it becomes impossible to not be involved.
I’m not lying when I say that Seryn is probably my new favorite band, and I’m not wrong when I say that they’re a band to watch in the coming years as their rise to success is secured by their talent and heart. Garnering accolades at SXSW with Paste magazine and winning the hearts of fans all over the country, Seryn’s name is sure to be tossed around quite a bit in the near future.
Check out their video from The Warm Up as well as visit their website to pick up their LP This is Where We Are.
Music From Chelsea Settles Season Premiere
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Chelsea Settles - Airdate: October 11, 2011 Ingrid Michaelson - Be OK (Theme Song) Asia Whi...Chelsea Settles - Airdate: October 11, 2011
Ingrid Michaelson - Be OK
Asia Whiteacre - Bad For You
(scene: Chelsea helps customer pick out clothes during her shift at a retail store)
Donora - Shhh (Remix)
(scene: Chelsea visits medical center to discuss losing weight with doctor)
Regina Spektor - Us
(scene: Chelsea discusses weight issues with her doctor)
Seryn - So, Within
(scene: In an effort to change her lifestyle, Chelsea rids her house of all junk food)
Molly Marlette - Cause for Concern
(scene: Chelsea brings her laundry to a laundry mat with her grandmother)
Doubting Paris - Three Sides Reverse
(scene: Chelsea and her mother discuss Chelsea's future)
Donora - Photograph
(scene: Chelsea reflects on her relationship with her boyfriend Rory)
Florence + The Machine - Dog Days are Over
(scene: Chelsea realizes her boyfriend can't make her decisions for her, takes matters into her own hands)
Midi Mafia - Last Call
(scene: Chelsea attempts to go to a club for her friend's birthday)
Margo May – Blue Shoes
(scene: Chelsea walks through her town and reflects on why she's depressed)
Cold War Kids - Out of the Wilderness
(scene: Chelsea sits atop a mountain and has a breakthrough that she must take the difficult steps to make change in her life)
Lucy Schwartz - Life in Letters
(scene: Chelsea meets with truck driver who will bring her car out to LA)
Shadow Shadow Shade - Did Not The Lights Go Out For You
(scene: Chelsea rides to the airport to head to LA with a mix of excitement and fear)
The Blue Pages - Keep Me Dreaming
(scene: Next On - What's to come on Chelsea Settles this season)
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Denton's Seryn produces one of the best CDs of the year
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By Preston Jones Posted 11:47am on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011 D Magazine recently coined a pair of p...By Preston Jones
Posted 11:47am on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011
D Magazine recently coined a pair of phrases -- "Dust Bowl hipsterism" and "nature folk" -- that will likely be rolling freely from the lips of snarky scene observers the next time you are out at a show. The idea, voiced by music writer Christopher Mosley, suggests that faux authenticity -- which is to say, a group of big city musicians playacting in their songs as though they've survived hard times and lived to sing about them -- is in vogue at the moment, particularly with those bands regularly written about by local music journalists.
Leaving out the obvious point that the entire piece was designed to do exactly what it did -- stir up comments and traffic on the website -- Mosley does make a semi-valid point.
During the last 18 months, sprawling, folk-influenced collectives -- stalwarts like Telegraph Canyon or the Dallas Family Band and its satellite acts, such as the Beaten Sea -- have found considerable favor with audiences and tastemakers (although obviously not Mosley).
Denton's Seryn is, perhaps more than any other area band at the moment, on the cusp of stardom. At the very least, this quintet's near-flawless debut, This Is Where We Are, should reveal to those who have somehow missed the band perform that this is one fearsomely talented outfit.
And that's where Mosley goes off the rails: Just because the music strikes him as being too precious or somehow artistically hollow doesn't mean it isn't good -- particularly when there is a notable groundswell among local musicians. Sometimes, a song is just a song, whether anyone's lived a life or not.
To wit: Nathan Allen, Chris Semmelbeck, Aaron Stoner, Chelsea Bohrer and Trenton Wheeler make richly textured, densely layered music that nevertheless feels light as air. Produced by Britton Beisenherz at his Austin-based Ramble Creek Studios, This Is Where We Are mixes epics -- the seven-minute Beach Song; the six-minute Our Love -- and intimacy (the untitled instrumental closer feels like a happy accident, a moment where the tape just happened to be running).
The 10-track album is rife with harmonies so close you can scarcely slip a blade of grass between them. And bombast becomes Seryn. They're unafraid of a boisterous chorus (see the band's signature tune, We Will All Be Changed) or an explosive spike in volume.
Most impressively, Seryn has managed to capture the energy that it has onstage, where everything is a blur of strings and fingers and voices hurled into microphones. Much of the record was captured as live as possible; that unmistakable vitality courses throughout even the most subdued moments.
This Is Where We Are, like many other debut efforts from 2010, pulses with a confidence that shames some of the lifers still knocking around bars and clubs. This is what passion sounds like, feels like; Seryn marshals its considerable skills in service of songs that embed themselves in your mind. If this is the apotheosis of "nature folk," I'll take it. It is one of the year's best albums, local or otherwise.
"This Is Where We Are" by Seryn Review
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Seryn formed only two years ago or so, but they’ve already been making significant waves in their na...Seryn formed only two years ago or so, but they’ve already been making significant waves in their native Texas, garnering such accolades as “best folk artist” and “song of the year” from local newspapers. This Is Where We Are is the five-piece’s debut album, and it’s a solid debut, to say the least. More accurately, it’s the kind of album that you’d expect from seasoned veterans, not a group that’s only been around for a handful of years: it’s big, bold, and sweeping, full of anthemic songs that aim for the nosebleed section without ever losing their warmth, intimacy, and intricacy. It’s a delicate balancing act and one that Seryn pulls off with aplomb.
It’s temping to simply describe Seryn’s sound as “folk pop/rock”—think somewhere between Fleet Foxes, Shearwater, and Jonathan Inc.—thanks to the homespun beauty of their melodies, their menagerie of instruments (guitar, banjo, ukulele, violin, and accordion, to name a few), and the group’s stirring vocal harmonies. However, that doesn’t really give you any indication of just how much this album rocks, and rock it most certainly does, in a barn-storming, floor-stomping, heart-wrenching sort of way.
What’s more, Seryn’s ability to rock is matched with an almost preternatural aptitude for restraint and slowburn. That is to say, for all of their sturm und drang, Seryn’s songs move purposefully, often starting with little more than a single guitar or simple, hushed vocal, and building from there. You’ll hear no post-rock freak-outs or sudden stop/start dynamics on the album, though. Rather, Seryn and producer Britton Beisenherz slowly layer the instruments and vocals, giving them all plenty of room to breathe. The result is a lush, beautiful mix that takes its time to wind its way into the listener’s heart and soul. When the album’s crescendos invariably do come, they hit with all the more oomph because of the patience involved in their creation, execution, and experience.
The best example of this is “Beach Song”, which contains This Is Where We Are‘s biggest moments, as well as some of its subtlest. The song begins with a languid acoustic guitar, pensive vocals, and cryptic lyrics, but eventually becomes a storm of sound as accordion, percussion, and violin whip things up. In what could very well become my favorite musical moment of 2011, though, a seemingly insignificant banjo emerges as the song’s lynchpin, moving deftly to set everything else—pounding drums, soaring violin, majestic vocal harmonies—on their proper path. A similar pattern emerges on many other songs on the album, including “Towering”, “Our Love”, and “River Song” (watch the video), and it never ceases to have an impact.
In my original draft of this review, I ended on a snarky note, and even threw in an Arcade Fire comparison for good measure. But after some reflection, I realized that snark wasn’t appropriate when talking about an album as heartfelt and well-crafted as This Is Where We Are. This is good, honest, soul-stirring music of the finest kind, music that never feels the need to announce itself or overstate its worth (which makes the simple statement of the album’s title all the more fitting). Music that, for all of the jams it kicks out, remains humble and understated. That slowly but surely does its own blessed, glorious, beautiful thing—and there’s no denying it once it begins.
This Is Where They Are
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With its much-anticipated album out, Seryn prepares for its next move 10:34 AM CST on Thursday, F...With its much-anticipated album out, Seryn prepares for its next move
10:34 AM CST on Thursday, February 3, 2011
By Lucinda Breeding / Features Editor
So what in the world has the fuss been about?
The fuss is on This Is Where We Are, the debut release of a group that puts tight harmonies, surprising percussion and literary lyrics into an indie rock context that, at times, sounds as deep and intimate as chamber music.
“I think it’s the one thing we were waiting for,” said lead singer Trenton Wheeler, who plays guitar, ukulele and accordion. “Not having a record out was the one thing that was sort of holding us back. We wanted to keep moving forward as a band, but we really couldn’t until we got into the studio and got this album done.”
For one thing, there was an appetite for a recording not just in the booming Dallas-Fort Worth indie music scene, but also from the likes of Pitchfork and a handful of other go-to music magazines and websites. This Is Where We Are dropped on Jan. 25 to a friendly audience, and reception has been good. More than good.
This Is Where We Are is an honest recording of an honest live set, where the music begs to be heard as a sum greater than its parts. Chris Semmelbeck’s percussion puts a shimmer here, a heart murmur there and a full-on lub-dub where the music calls for it.
The Denton band just released its debut album, This Is Where We Are.
Remember Paul Simon’s Graceland? The record that showed Western audiences how basic and beautiful African percussion can be when a judicious musician knows how to place it? Seryn doesn’t have the fat-cat studio money to apply the beats that cemented Simon’s maturity as a musician, but their home-brewed rhythm section achieves a wildness and abandon that rings true.
Wheeler’s agile tenor isn’t so different from his playing — he has a lively, sinewy sound that can do either soft or strenuous. Cheslea Bohrer’s fiddle and drum can be both meaty and angelic. Guitarist Nathan Allen and bassist Aaron Stoner give Wheeler and Bohrer the aural counterweight the songs call for.
A Seryn live set moves like a worship liturgy. The band brings a crowd into a shared emotional space with songs such as “Towering,” a slow march of harmony and welcome. Then the five-piece convicts the crowd with feverish numbers like “Bete Noir” with Wheeler musing:
“Caught within is a poor explanation.
It’s all I can hear.
It’s always been there.
How can I erase what’s come?
And look for rest where there is none
And with everything behind
and caught between, in hell confined.
Letting go, I’m exposed.”
Finally, redemption is on the horizon, even if it its mysterious, as on “So Within.” The band chants in harmony:
“Come on, on, on, on, on, on.
You’re chasing me always.
Come away, way away.”
The album, though, is less a musical liturgy and more a gallery of emotional impressionism. The body of work is just as powerful, yet a little more distant.
“We all have a version in our heads that is way better than it ever could be, and live and recording are just the best we can do to get it out.If we could plug you into our brains, you could hear what it really sounds like,” said guitarist and vocalist Nathan Allen. “The recorded version of any song is a different expression of the same song. It’s the difference between a painting and a photograph.
Drummer Chris Semmelbeck contributes some handclaps to Seryn’s harmonies.
“I’ll tell you this, when I hear the record, it makes me realize how kick-ass Trenton’s vocals are. I mean, I knew that — it’s not like I didn’t know he can sing — but listening to it reminds me of how awesome a singer he is.”
“As strange as this sounds, I think acoustic instruments sound more human,” Allen said. “I know. I know how that sounds, because I’m sure [synthesizer inventor Robert] Moog poured all his heart and soul into the synthesizer. I know that my guitar was made by a machine — it’s a cheap guitar I have. I know how this sounds. But to me, when I hear acoustic music, it seems like it’s somehow more human.”
The band released its debut through Spune, a record and production company that represents Denton Americana artists Doug Burr, Glen Farris, Eyes and Ears (another project of Seryn’s Allen) and other Texas folk outfits, including Monahans and Telegraph Canyon. Wheeler said Spune took things nice and easy for Seryn, and understood that the band wanted to keep artistic control over their music.
“We were playing an end-of-summer show, and Glen Farris, who books shows for Spune, was there,” Wheeler said. “Glen pretty much immediately told Lance [Yocum, Spune owner]: ‘Hey, this is a band you need to see.’ He came out to see our live show and we started talking about making a record.
“Lance is what you call good people. He’s down-to-earth. He isn’t in it for Spune. He’s in it for everyone.”
Spune assembled the region’s most sought-after studio personnel to record, engineer and mix the record.
Bohrer said the band is probably more like a democracy than most. She and Wheeler agreed that the musicians listen to each other and watch each other on stage.
“We even set up the stage so that the musicians curve backward,” Wheeler said. “It’s vital that we can all see every single musician on stage.”
“I think our best shows have been when we’ve been able to have the most eye contact,” Bohrer said. “When we’re all able to connect with one another in that moment, that’s when we make the best music. That’s what I think. Seryn music is really a direct result of the connection between all of us as musicians. That and Trenton’s vocals.”
Allen said the musicians brought all their natural intensity to making This Is Where We Are — which meant that making the album was painful in turns.
“Are our fans excited about this album? Yes. And we’re excited about people having the album. Are we excited about it? No. We’ve heard every single song 500 to 1,000 times on headphones at the computer, listening to every little detail.” Allen said. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we got this record done. It was important to get the record finished and out there. But it’s not exciting for the band. We’re moving forward.”
Success for Seryn isn’t about record sales — though none of the musicians are sad to see Spune pressing another batch of CDs.
“In terms of goals, I want to play in Africa,” Bohrer said. “I think that’s something all of us would love to do. All of us have Africa in our hearts, I think, and it definitely affects our music. But I’m glad that we’re always doing other things.”
Wheeler said Seryn is committed to more music, even though being a band means working through projects when the musicians are riding separate creative waves.
“It’s definitely not easy,” Bohrer said. “Sometimes, we have to go, ‘Halt!’ Are things not working because you’re hungry, angry, lonely or tired, or all four? But for me, just playing usually makes all of that work somehow.”
Wheeler said even when the rubber doesn’t perfectly meet the road when Seryn makes music, it’s the music that counts.
“Sometimes, when there is steam pouring out of your ears, the best thing to do is just shut up and play,” he said.
SERYN CD RELEASE
• When: 10 p.m. Friday
• Where: Dan’s Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St.
• Details: Cover is $7.
• On the Web: www.spune.com/seryn
THE SOUND OF SERYN
Is Seryn a hybrid of Americana, indie rock and bluegrass? Yes and no. The Denton band employs the bravado of the accordion, the Appalachian dialect of the banjo, the rock posturing of the acoustic guitar, the soprano of the fiddle and the subtle thump of the upright and electric bass. Chelsea Bohrer, the band’s violinist, occasional tom drummer and vocalist, said the band is the beneficiary of both technique and intuition. “Yes, all of us have some formal training. I played violin through middle school and picked it back up when we got together. But we’ve all done a lot of self-teaching,” she said.
But what has stumped music journalists and fans alike when it comes to identifying Seryn’s sound is the band’s universal love for African music. It drives tracks like “This Is Where We Are,” with its hand claps and drumming. It’s also in the yodeling guitar on “River Song.”
Seryn Share Their Influences
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Seryn are a rare kind of band: Their brand of indie folk is immediately accessible, yet it still gro...Seryn are a rare kind of band: Their brand of indie folk is immediately accessible, yet it still grows on you with repeated listens.
Layers of beautiful instrumentation make This Is Where We Are a rich debut from these Texans, but the sublime fusion of guitar, ukulele, accordion, bass, viola and banjo only tells half of the story. The group's true appeal lies in its chilling harmonies, with each member playing an equally important role.
The Denton Record-Chronicle called one of Seryn's recent live performances "so dynamic that you could feel the key changes in your feet, through the ... concrete floor!" The Fort Worth Star-Telegram described the same performance as so impeccable that it must have been an auditory magic trick, or "sleight of ear."
You'll be able to hear for yourself on June 9, when Seryn come to San Diego's Tin Can Ale House. In anticipation of the show, check out this video of their performance at Paste Magazine's SxSW party. The band was also kind enough to provide us with a list of influences, which you can find below.
1. Max Klinger: 19th-century German artist. Really amazing stuff, and he was kind of a prodigy as well. Pre-dated Freud with his series on fetishism, most notably The Glove -- Nathan Allen (guitar, guitar, geeeter, banjo and guitar. And some mouth sounds.)
2. Free Willy: The ultimate human triumph film about an animal. Bonus: MJ is on the soundtrack -- Aaron Stoner (bass, trumpet, cello and bear roars)
3. Cerulean: Not a real color; it's a pigment. Everyone in the band's favorite crayon, and such a cool word -- Trenton Wheeler (ukulele, banjo, accordion, sings the sung songs)
4. Ties: They really help to pull an outfit together. What was once mere clothes is now an ensemble -- Chris Semmelbeck (drums, banjo, pump organ, guitar, accordion, bells, earthquake stomps)
5. e.e. cummings: His poetry is like a painting or a song on paper. It unravels me -- Chelsea Bohrer (violin, percussion, and bird chirps)
Source: Seryn Share Their Influences | NBC San Diego
Dallas Observer’s Top 40 Local Songs of 2009:
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Dallas Observer’s Top 40 Local Songs of 2009: # 18 Seryn’s “We Will All Be Changed” A single en...Dallas Observer’s Top 40 Local Songs of 2009:
# 18 Seryn’s “We Will All Be Changed”
A single endorsement alone does not a band make; the band, of course, has to stand on its own merit. And the Denton-based Seryn proves quite capable on that front, displaying a maturity far greater than its eight-month-old existence would imply. Nowhere else is this baby band's promise more evident than in its rousing anthem, "We Will All Be Changed."
The song starts off innocently enough as a catchy folk pop ditty with its pretty acoustic flourishes and hints of mature vocal harmonies. Then, just over a minute into the song--quite suddenly-- there's a change of pace, one that juxtaposes the beautiful folk of the song's start with a rousing, chant-along chorus. On record, it's makes for a fine device. Live, however, it serves as an instant wake-up call, providing a infectious energy surge to the band's surrounding environment.
It's clear enough from first listen that the musicianship and songwriting prowess is there with this new act, whose brief catalog showcases a heavy Arcade Fire influence in its decidedly less heavy fare. This exhilarating first impression serves too as a fine introduction to a band well worth keeping tabs on as it continues to grow, gaining both experience and exposure in the process.
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It is my absolute pleasure to introduce to you one of the next great Denton bands. This is Seryn . A...It is my absolute pleasure to introduce to you one of the next great Denton bands. This is Seryn . A group of musicians who have been playing together since March of this year, which is astounding considering the level of depth and harmony of their music, and in their short existence have created something truly special.
I got a chance to sit down with the band after their show last Friday night at Hailey's club in Denton. It was the most packed I have seen the club for an opening band in a very long time. At least sixty people were crowded around the stage to catch the outstanding, yet all too short performance from Seryn. At least it seemed to short to me, and I am sure to most of the audience as well. I found myself craving more when their set ended. Like ice cold water on a hot day, their music is crisp and refreshing, and I can not get enough. The imagery packed into their set is unreal. Its like listening to the soundtrack of a great love story, breathtaking drama, and a dark tragedy all rolled into one over the top, unparalleled performance. It is big and beautiful and should be experienced live.
The band itself is just as unique as the music they produce. Formed through a combination of spontaneity, circumstance, passion and a bit of luck the five members of this group have found something in each other that is coveted by every band who aims for success. They have found a sound that nears perfection in its composition and delivery, and a shared passion for what they do. Talking with these five is simply a treat. They are all equally in love with their music and their band. They radiate both enthusiasm for their craft as well as the confidence that they can perfect it further.
The future is bright for this band. Seryn has something very special going on. They are tremendously talented and have an excellent report within the music community. 2010 is going to be an exciting year for this band. You are going to want to pay attention to them and hope for a studio album sometime in the future. As for now, enjoy them live in concert as much as you can because these guys will go far!
The Rising Sound of Denton-Based Seryn
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Some Telegraph Canyon fans were visibly puzzled as they trickled into Good Records for the band's re...Some Telegraph Canyon fans were visibly puzzled as they trickled into Good Records for the band's recent album release show in Dallas. Some strange, other band was setting up its gear and instruments on the store's green stage. No, this wasn't Telegraph Canyon promoting its brilliant The Tide and The Current—that performance would come later. Instead, the band serenading them was actually Denton-based Seryn.
The 6-month-young Seryn boasts an impressively "together" stage presence, complete with a rolling intensity to rival even Telegraph Canyon's phenomenal poise. Actually, the two acts share a lot of similarities. Most notably: Both acts fill a stage with a nigh platoon-sized cache of instruments. And while Seryn may only have five members to counter Telegraph Canyon's seven, both bands share beautiful arrangements (both in instrumentation and in vocal harmonies) and an epic, "big sky" sound that, at times, seems more fitting washing over dilapidated wooden pews in an old church than the usual torn-up couches, vinyl booths and barstools of area venues.
So far, Seryn has only recorded a handful of demos and played about a half-dozen shows outside of the Denton house show scene. But very quickly the band has managed to stack up some pretty impressive gigs, like Spune's Ice Cream Social event a few weeks back and Telegraph Canyon's Dallas release and its home-town release show at Lola's last weekend.
But the band's performance at Good wasn't without its faults. When the band continuously builds in intensity, and the harmonies soar all bluegrass-style, the songs achieve a cinematic feel worthy of a pre-Buena Vista Social Club Wim Wenders road movie. But when the band's songs don't reach that level, they fall a little flat.
After talking with founding member Nathan Allen, it seems clear that there's a reason for that.
"We're kinda still in a transition phase," he says, explaining that a good portion of the band's material was actually intended for his solo-acoustic project. "And because we're all writing and collaborating together now, we have a lot more time to spend composing the songs."
But it's still a promising start, as those songs have managed to pique the early interest of both Spune Productions and Telegraph Canyon.
"We're undone, and we've been shaking our heads and laughing about how much people have been willing to put us out there," violinist Chelsea Bohrer says. "It's a little ridiculous, but it's amazing...So far, the only hurdles we've faced have been because of living together and trying to figure out who keeps eating all your chips."
All original material. Set: 30-45 minutes
We Will All Be Changed
On My Knees
Of Ded Moroz
PDF RiderTech Rider and Stage Plot 2013
There are no upcoming dates at this time.