We are Jeneric
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We are Jeneric

Band Folk Pop


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August 24, 2007 - We Are Jeneric is an indie pop duo from Altamont, NY. They say their latest CD "sounds like one month in an old funeral parlor, surrounded by melting candles inside old wine bottles, clocks that don't tell time and great big, giant mirrors taken from abandoned train stations."

We Are Jeneric wrote and recorded Hansel and Gretel; Stories from the Stove in a month. The project was part of the "Record Production Month" or "RPM Challenge," in which artists are given 28 days to produce a full-length album. The challenge was held in February.

We Are Jeneric is primarily the work of Jen O'Connor and Eric Krans. But they say "sometimes there are more, especially when the ghosts decide to play along. We Are Jeneric lives in a haunted house, but they're all related to Jen, so that's okay."

The featured track, "The Last Song Ever Written," was, in fact, the last song the group wrote for the challenge.
- NPR All Songs Considered

Sometimes I hear music that just begs to be heard alone, at night, while pondering general existence and other miscellany. It is at these moments that I find refuge in artists that have provided me with such an experience in the past, Sufjan, Dntel, and Hot Chip to name a few. Ladies and gentlemen I am proud to announce a new addition to the lineup: We Are Jeneric. Perfect, intimate, folky bedroom music for musing on your future and singing along to under your breath. The kind of music you want to share with your friends on a mix cd with handdrawn artwork and a meticulously scribbled track list. It’s precious and beautiful and I think you’ll like it. Head over to their aforementioned myspace and pick up their album “In The Parlor With The Moon”.
- The Tape Is Not Sticky

Thursday, May 22, 2008
The RPM Challenge is a pretty awesome idea. Simply put, they challenge bands to write and record an album of 10-songs or 35-minutes in just 29 days. It's resulted in some really interesting music, and I was just sent a copy of In the Parlor With the Moon by Albany's We Are Jeneric that was created for the project. The album is actually the second that We Are Jeneric has made with the rules of the project in mind, but it's the first one that's made it's way to my ears. Anyway, this duo creates some perfectly crafted bedroom pop in the comfort of their own home and it sounds amazing!

Using their skills as multi-instrumentalists, Eric Krans and Jen O'Connor expand on the traditionally simple sounds of bedroom pop with all sorts of extra sounds and melodies. The music is still sounds simple and breezy, but it's built on a lot of gently strummed guitar, quiet harmonies, and beautiful, light percussions. There's a lot more too it though as harmonicas join in, some brass instruments appear here and there, and environmental sounds make their way onto the mix. It sounds pure and natural, as if it were created on the spot and recorded in one take giving it a dreamlike feeling.

I haven't had too much time with the album, so I'm still digesting all the lyrics and the lighter touches within the music, but like any great piece of art if I keep at it long enough I will realize the full beauty of all of it. At times the band reminds me of so many different acts that it's difficult to name all of them, but bands like Beirut and The Antlers immediately spring to mind and it would be difficult to discount any influence the Elephant 6 gang have on this duo. I'm really enjoying this thoroughly, and I think most of you will appreciate it as well.
- Pop Tarts Suck Toasted

What started with a box of Nerds and a shared love of Emerson and Thoreau has turned into a gorgeous musical arrangement (not to mention marriage) for Jen O’Connor and Eric Krans. The two craft lovely, lo-fi tales of tea and turkey vultures in their haunted Altamont parlor when they’re not off rambling with the Hobo Banned. Keep on the lookout for Animals Are People Too, due out later this summer.

- Metroland

Regarding children’s literature, Anton Chekhov wrote that “one should give children only what is also suitable for adults.” Regarding music, We Are Jeneric seem to claim that the converse is at least as true.

Like an increasing number of area bands, the duo spent this February holed up, whiling away the deep winter on the RPM Challenge to record an album in a month. By the time the weather turned warm, the album had grown into a full-fledged LP, and the couple’s Altamont farm had become a cacophonous menagerie of wildlife. Animals Are People Too documents the creatures that cohabit their land. It’s a cute idea, one that Eric Krans outwardly recognizes as customary for children’s music, but not exclusively so. The end product is a collection of songs and musical sketches that can be as dark and eerie as they are playfully anthropomorphizing, and hang together like a concept album ought.

It should come as no surprise to hear that Krans and Jen O’Connor received plenty of assistance from their Hobo Banned-mates, but the duo’s true third member is the parlor of their 19th-century farmhouse, in which the album was recorded. Fragmentary tracks like “The Bats and the Bugs” and “A Sister and Brother in the Kitchen Trying to Fly Like Eagles by Jumping Off of Counters” utilize lo-fi production techniques, like incantatory vocals mixed beneath clattering percussion and found sounds (church bells), to generate that “bedroom confessional” quality. A parlor is a meeting place, though, so much of the album is upbeat, uninhibited, and socially inviting. “The March of the Coyote” opens the album with ragged, brassy fanfare, calling to mind Beirut’s polyethnic dabbling. Similarly, “Crawfish and Frogs” lilts forward at an Afro-Cuban clip, and “Hey Mama Oriole, Over Here It’s Me” draws its spirit from a West African guitar riff.

Throughout, Krans stretches his voice to suit the various idioms, reaching for a mannered falsetto on “Turkey Vultures,” and reverting to a spoken reggae toast to chastise an invasive woodchuck on “Sir Charles the II.” Meanwhile, O’Connor’s voice provides steady counterpoint, doubled to spooky effect on “Murder of Crows,” and feathered into the toy-piano lullaby “Deer, Oh Dear.” The album’s strongest tracks, though, are the one’s in which the parlor has been filled (at least ostensibly), and a crowd of humans sing the part of “Nocturnal Animals” coming out of hiding.

As a whole, Animals Are People Too isn’t a bunch of “Old MacDonald” or even “Rocky Raccoon.” As the title suggests, animals can serve the same social functions that humans can, and, to rural people, their stories can be as relevant as the ones of their human neighbors. Sure, there’s something playfully childish about all this, but kids (and squirrels) have more fun anyway.

- Metroland

We Are Jeneric – Animals Are People Too 2009 couldn’t go by without another We Are Jeneric release, right? This lovely band of lovers were one of the first Capital Region bands to take on the RPM Challenge three years ago which produced their Hansel & Gretel album. The following year produced In the Parlor With the Moon. Much work for this year’s album, a tribute and conversation with the animals that live in and around Jen and Eric’s 18th Century home, happened in February during the challenge period but the final version was completed in the months following. The “release party” for Animals Are People Too occurred in that home, on their land to a semi-private audience of friends. It was the perfect setting to experience these songs which are so charming, rambunctious and exuberant! Gone is much of the melancholy of the two previous albums, replaced by a joyful, playful romp through many eclectic styles. This album receives Best Lyric of 2009 — “Too little broccoli, too much Chuck” from “Woodchuck Charles the II part II”. You have to hear it…

http://heartstack.org/2009/12/15/favorite-albums-from-2009/ - Heartstack


Animals are People Too (LP 2009) airplay WEXT, WCDB
In the Parlor With the Moon (LP 2008) airplay WEXT, WCDB
Hansel & Gretel (LP 2007) airplay WCDB, WRPI



Many moons ago Eric met Jen in the elevator of a college dormitory. Now, more than a decade later their music is inspired by the old haunted farmhouse in which they live and the ghosts who occasionally serenade them to sleep. They are influenced by the sound of church bells, by Jen’s canned apple chutney, and by the wild animals that roam their farmland. Once upon a time Jen and Eric lived in Thailand where they got caught in many monsoons, listened to lots of Buddhist chanting from the nuns who lived next door, and ate a great deal of chili peppers. It refined their sound. They returned to Altamont, NY where they met a bunch of Hobos who traveled with trumpets and singing saws -these were the clever multi-instrumentalists they had been scouring the world for. We are Jeneric and Sgt. Dunbar & the Hobo Banned quickly joined forces creating what became the B3nson Recording Collective.