Portland, Oregon-based danceable alt/rock band Crown Point, fronted by vocalist/guitarist Jon Davidson and guitarist/vocalist Russell Stafford, and rounded out by bassist Peter Arvidson and drummer Kaycee Kay, is pleased to announce the release of a new EP, Curtains. A seven-song collection of melodic, lyrically-driven rock songs with heart, the band easily maneuvers between danceable hooks and sonic layering on its latest offering.
Taking its name from the album’s opening track, “Curtains Drawn,” a highly energetic, melodic rock song, a la Muse, Curtains chronicles the metaphorical curtains that so often stay closed on people’s lives, keeping them entrenched in darkness, fear, and apathy.
“The album as a whole deals with some pretty dark themes, such as terminal illness, death, war, religious imperialism, freedom of choice, and how little time we have on this earth,” explains Davidson. “And, yet, does it with a beam of hope.”
Writing as a band, rather than as on their debut EP Wolves, where Stafford and Davidson would bring in their own songs and make them into Crown Point numbers, Curtains was written as a collective unit, with give and take and compromise occurring for the betterment of the final album.
“That’s the great thing about working with these guys. What I heard in my head isn’t nearly as good as what you will hear on Curtains. When you have four like-minded driven people, I think that everyone is going to bring something that the others don’t expect,” recalls Stafford. “That was an exciting part of this album, watching it flourish with creative input from everyone involved.”
“Each band member has pretty disparate influences,” elaborates Davidson. “Everything from The Rolling Stones to Live to Thrice to Tool to The Receiving End Of Sirens to Awolnation to Needtobreathe, and certainly hints of all these bands show up in our music.”
Quite a diverse music palette between the four members, and yet Curtains, with its diversity, came out quite cohesive. From the beautiful grace of “The Room,” a simmering, late-night or blurry-eyed morning pop number, through the revved up, danceable rock of “Afterbirth,” and to the subdued “Head First,” the album doesn’t play on one genre or sound, but sounds completely Crown Point.
“We were able to tie together a lot of different styles in a cohesive and unified way,” says Stafford. “From the completely stripped-down ‘Records On The Radio’ to the straight-up danceable alt/rock of ‘Afterbirth,’ the album makes sense.”
“We really like the way that we were able to create a bonafide rock record without the use of heavy guitars. It retains rock, alternative, indie, and pop elements while creating a sound that we’d like to think is pretty unique,” Davidson furthers.
“Set Fire” soars with big hooks, a sunny melody, and a rocking rhythm section pushing the song to new heights, while “Better Run For Cover” tones it down a bit for a more introspective, but equally powerful number.
“We used a ton of interesting vocal effects to replicate what we do live. We added electronic elements. We added driving, danceable kick beats. We layered guitars and vocals, yet for the most part, we stuck to creating an album that we can replicate live,” discusses Davidson, when asked how the band plans to pull the record off live.
“We made an album that really draws from our unique musical backgrounds and tastes. We didn’t try to pigeonhole ourselves into a specific genre, but rather let the songs and sound go where they belong,” says Russell, when asked to sum up the record. “I think both Jon and I are very deliberate and focused of writing songs that make sense in that regard. A song like ‘The Room,’ for instance. You can hear just in the music that it is a very longing, emotionally charged song. Skip to ‘Afterbirth’ and right off the bat, you know that the song is a poignant and focused arrow of a song. Listen to the lyrics in every song and you will hear echoes of unity in the music behind them.”
One listen to Curtains and you will realize what the Portland quartet is trying to say: Hope is there, in the midst of the chaos that is life. Look for the band to tour relentlessly in support ofCurtains, including an appearance at 2013’s SxSW Music Festival.