IY
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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Four young Ithacans, one great CD. IY's freshman album, "Further Gone", is an eclectic mix of musical influences and styles. This is not your typical happy-go-lucky ride through zippy land. It has a mellow and somewhat dark undertone to it. There are moments where it feels like Jimmy Buffett or a young version of the Beatles in a jazz club, and there's even one song with a dark jungle beat reminiscent of Donkey Kong ("Track Five", which is actually track six on the CD).

The album features amazing keyboard work by Nate Terepka, especially on "Concerta I" & "Right on Time". John Zinder on bass and Dana Billings on drums keep things flowing nicely. Chris Frank, lead guitar and vocals, is a superb talent. He has a strong voice that carries the band's message and tone.

My personal favorite and recommended track is number thirteen, "Twenty-Third Hour". The lyrics will hit home, I guarantee it.

- Derek Stockholm
- Buzz Magazine


This week I offer a special delight. The band is IY (pronounced 'eye why'); the album is "Further Gone."

At a time when most of their peers are frantically searching for direction in life, these four late-teenagers from Ithaca, New York are producing music of a caliber that most bands will never reach, and if they do, few will have achieved as much before they could legally drink.

And this is their second album. The disk is a sophisticated smorgasbord of musical entrees, with styles, sounds and simplicity sure to satisfy everyone.

Track one sets the tone for the album. The disc begins with deep tribal beats, transporting the listener to a mysterious jungle of sounds, only to be brought safely back by a soothing voice that seems to penetrate the very core of the soul. A subtle, yet captivating guitar strums in the background, eventually giving way to a Led Zeppelin-Smashing Pumpkins guitar sequence that makes you ask, "How old are these guys again?"

But as quickly as it dazzles, the guitar is quieted as a bow is pulled deliberately across the neck of a cello, producing a peaceful yet eerie interlude between the invigorating punk riffs and pulsating rhythms that propel the song forward at the next moment. The journey is brought full circle as punk retreats into the shadows and acoustic again basks in the spotlight. The soothing voice is audible once more, oozing from all directions, as the closing mantra-like words "no worries" settle into you soul like spiritual sediment in fine wine.

With this elaborate musical collage, the band sets the bar for the remaining 14 tracks of their masterful disk. "Further Gone" is an album about life, highlighting its idiosyncratic, complex and fulfilling nature. By employing a wide array of sounds and pulling influences from all directions, IY has woven musical cloth bearing the pattern of life itself. When you combine the band's lilting lyricism with their depth of musical prowess it is easy to forget how relatively young these artists are.

I got lost in the disk's fifth track; its upbeat feel and catchy yet conscious lyrics trapped my in a hall of musical mirrors. I got up and danced on waves of gentle guitar riffs, and careened around the room spasmodically during an intricate and inviting drum solo.

Further displaying their musical dexterity, IY moves from this pseudo-pop neo-hippie grooving to cool and contemplative instrumentals two tracks ahead. A sensual piano plays under a canopy of spacey sounds, entrancing and encapsulating the listener. At precisely the right moment, a drumbeat begins and a guitar sounds, giving rise to imaginative meanderings, as the mind is caught in the web of enticing sounds. From a distant point, harmonious voices can be heard and the instrumental slides seamlessly into the next track, a thought-provoking lyrical gem, laden with mesmerizing piano and blistering six-stringed synaptic assaults.

One track later the boys have slithered into a sultry, smoke filled club, producing a sexy, blues driven, jazz-infused number concerning the dichotomy of life and death, positing that "to die is our reason to live."

"Further Gone" is a superbly assembled menagerie. IY combines jazz, blues, folk, and pop with clever lyrics that drip with maturity and mindfulness. Bring a sponge to their show on November 20 and be sure to soak up some of what these amazing young artists have to offer.

- The Juniatian


Discography

Further Gone - Release Date: 7 December, 2004

The Things That Tie Them Down - Release Date: 14 February, 2003

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

They couldn't have known it then, but when two hundred parents and peers saw 11-year-olds Chris Frank, Nate Terepka, and Dana Billings per-form “Let it Be” at their middle school talent night, it was more than a show. It was a beginning. The three found John Zinder in a community jazz band soon after, and in May of 2000 "IY" was born.

Six years later, IY means two full-length albums full of meticulously crafted songs, inspired live shows, and an unbreakable bond between four best friends, living, writing and working in their house on the lake in Ithaca, NY. Because they've grown up together, their music reveals a level of crea-tive trust and unity most other bands only dream about. IY songs are dis-tinctly focused, often complex, and shaped with artistry -- just like the friendships behind them.

The songs begin with writers Chris Frank (guitar) or Nate Terepka (piano) as lyrical pieces that could play comfortably in a coffeehouse. But once bassist John Zinder and drummer Dana Billings get their hands on the music, each song becomes a room you can walk inside, soaked with groove and ready to energize even unfamiliar crowds. The result is truly extraordi-nary indie pop that looks backward -- with gentle nods to classical, blues, and world music -- but moves forward.

When their self-recorded, self-produced record Further Gone was fin-ished, IY found a record label that fit their creative mission. I-Town Re-cords, founded by reggae heroes John Brown's Body in 1996, is run by its artists; they believe two bands are stronger than one, twenty stronger than ten, and as one band moves forward, so do they all.

IY has quickly become a prominent member of the label: The Ithaca Journal hailed Further Gone as the "Best Pop/Rock CD of 2004"; their shows have stunned audiences across New York and Pennsylvania; Austra-lian singer/songwriter Lucinda Hearn (The Understudy) chose them to pro-duce and engineer her EP in their home studio. MTV Books was so im-pressed by Frank's and Terepka's lyrics, they chose IY to pen a short story in the forthcoming Lit Riffs volume, alongside contributors Bernie Taupin, David Sedaris, Ellis Paul, and Martin Sexton.

In 2006, IY will begin to meet the masses. With a loyal fan base, a new record in the works, and scheduled performances at venues like the leg-endary Bitter End in Manhattan, IY is ready. For warm, richly lyrical, feel-good indie pop like this, it's only a matter of time.

Pretty remarkable for a band whose members are only nineteen years old.