Sam Bond’s Garage bookends Sol Seed’s year quite well, and what a difference a year makes. On Dec. 31, 2012, Sol Seed played its first New Year’s Eve show at Sam Bond’s; the reggae fusion band will be reprising its role of ringing in the New Year with laid-back, back-beat cheer for 2014. Squeezed into those 365 days in between, Sol Seed has toured nonstop, nabbed the title for both EW’s Next Big Thing and Best of Eugene’s Best Local Band, surpassed the band’s Kickstarter goal ($7,200 instead of $5,000) for recording its upcoming album, Family Tree, started recording said album and, of course, toured some more.
“Phenomenal” is how bandmember Sky Guasco describes touring this fall, a period of bouncing around the West, staying with friends and family along the way and making new music friends like The Green — one of Hawaii’s top reggae bands. “It was our most successful tour financially, and we made a lot of great connections.”
In December, Sol Seed began recording Family Tree at the local Telos Studios. Guasco says the band chose Telos because “first and foremost, they’re local,” but the studio also has “top-notch engineers.” Halfway through the recording process, and it’s already clear that Sol Seed is crossing into some new, horn-heavy frontiers. In addition to Graeme Pletscher’s saxophone, band mentor Frankie Hernandez will be jumping in on trumpet; trombone will also be making an appearance.
“It’s going to be a fatter sound,” Guasco says. “We’re focusing a little bit more on Latin grooves.” Family Tree will also go deeper into dance hall, ska and hip-hop sounds. “We’re bringing in a lot of artists,” he adds. “We’re reaching out to the people who made it possible.”
Sol Seed will complete recording between the holidays and a January tour in Hawaii. The album is due out March 2014, but you can hear a hearty preview of Family Tree on New Year’s Eve.
Sol Seed plays with singer-songwriter Ariella Hubbard 9:30 pm Tuesday, Dec. 31, at Sam Bond’s; $6.