Ursa Minor
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Ursa Minor

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"For Longtime Artists, Dawning of a New Day"

This staunchly eclectic indie-rock band released its first album, “Silent Moving Picture” (Smells Like), back in 2003. Its second album, “Showface” (Anthemusa), has finally been released, and whatever mystery lies behind the long wait, the new music feels tough and loose, totally incubated. As ever, Ursa Minor lives and dies by the effort of Michelle Casillas, an assertive lead singer and a broodingly earnest songwriter. She used to play keyboards in the band and now focuses on electric guitar, which may account for the punchier underground-rock tone. There are guest turns by the guitarists Teddy Kumpel and Jim Campilongo, the violist Caleb Burhans and a handful of jazz-trained horn players. And the band still has one of the most flexibly rugged rock rhythm sections in New York, with Tony Scherr on guitars, Rob Jost on bass and Robert DiPietro on drums. (Mr. Scherr and Mr. Kumpel produced and mixed the album.) The songs run the gamut — power pop (“She Wants You”), ragalike rock (“No Other”) and retro-grunge (“Guerilla”) — and they’re often infused with surprising details. They make you want to see Ursa Minor in action at a place like the Living Room, where the band will play next Saturday. (Details on that show are at www.ursaminor.info.) - New York Times


"Showface", LP, 2011
"Silent Moving Picture", LP, 2003



URSA MINOR Biography

New York Times- “Tough and loose, totally incubated…one of the most flexibly rugged rock rhythm sections in New York”

Time Out New York- “The group [Ursa Minor]’s album Silent Moving Picture is one we keep coming back to, finding something new each time.”

Envisioned, fronted and founded by New York singer/writer Michelle Casillas, Ursa Minor has become a mainstay in NYC’s Indie Rock scene. The band delivers a timeless mix of vocal driven pop/rock with a primal rhythmic undercurrent; sharp and urban yet broad and free. “Ursa Minor blurs the line between folk, jazz, and experimental music...with haunting, spare, even cinematic songs.”-All Music Guide. Splendid Magazine calls their songs “warm works of natural beauty…appealingly tousled” and New York’s Village Voice describes Ursa Minor’s sound as “ethereal yet concise… wrought with enunciated keens and alto murmurs, moody drum snaps and strong melodies.”

Ursa Minor’s debut LP “Silent Moving Picture” was released by Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley, on Smells like Records; a label known both for championing new artists (like Cat Power and Blonde Redhead), and for releasing comprehensive series of works by Lee Hazelwood, and Sonic Youth.
“Showface”, the current LP by Ursa Minor, was released Summer, 2011. Since Ursa Minor’s acclaimed debut, Michelle has swapped her Fender Rhodes for electric guitar and her songs have a new snap in them. Her singing is startling and sexy; effortlessly rhythmic, with soulful vulnerability and a bold attitude. “Casillas [wields] a sensuously fragile inflexion and phrasing… lilting from yearning highs to crooning lows almost instantaneously.” -Movment Magazine. “She hits her notes effortlessly, sometimes giving them a full oboe-like resonance and at other times skittering over them like a hipster flute.” –Splendid Magazine. Bassist Rob Jost (Imogen Heap, Bjork, Wayne Horvitz) and drummer Robert DiPietro (Norah Jones, Elysian Fields) equally create the sound, contribute songs of great depth and strength, and sing harmony, while the infamous Tony Scherr (SexMob, Lounge Lizards, Bill Frisell, Feist) brings a sonic lightning with his electric guitars.

Bold and original -All Music Guide

The stormy vocals set alongside the haunting instrumental backdrop make for wonderful…any time of day music -Movment Magazine

Storm cloud through a picture window -Village Voice

The kind of voice you would follow anywhere –Splendid Magazine