There are not many muses as evocative as the salty, salty sea. With that Pacific mistress nearby, The Crescendo Show knows this well. “The ocean is always tied into a lot of our music,” says Ricky Carlson, banjo, guitar, drum and back-up vocal Renaissance man for the Corvallis-based indie folk band. “It’s a pretty vast subject to write about it.”
Four months have passed since the band came in a close second behind Sol Seed for EW’s Next Big Thing, and Crescendo has been studiously preparing for the studio ever since. After pooling gig money for the past year, the quartet is ready to record its first professional album. “In the past we’ve done all our recordings in my apartment,” Carlson says. “It’s a band-funded album. That is what has kept us out of a professional studio in the past; we didn’t have the money to do it.”
The band — also featuring Kailyn Kubiak (lead vocals, guitar), Nathan Porter (lead vocals, guitar, piano, accordion) and Matt Kellam (bass, back-up vocals) — will be hitting Jackpot! Recording Studio in Portland Jan. 2 with originals like “Mermaids.” As Carlson describes it, the song is about “turning into a mermaid — trying to figure out if you feel more at home in the ocean, or if you’re supposed to be a land creature and you’re not really sure.”
But perhaps Carlson’s favorite song on the upcoming album is “The Green,” which sounds like the perfect ditty for the season of overindulgence. “It’s got a character who just kind of stays up all night and does questionable things and gambles and drinks too much and goes out dancing all the time,” he says. But in days that follow, “He’s always in pain because of it.”
The album, which is due out in the spring, will feature Kubiak more heavily as a lead vocalist and carve out space for some piano and a drum kit. “It’s going to be a little more darker too,” Carlson says. “A lot more minor songs are on this album. We’re excited — these songs feel the most natural for us.”
Carlson points out that they chose to record their first pro record at Jackpot! not only because the price was right, but because they would also be working with sound engineer Kendra Lynn. “We have three males and then Kailyn,” he says. “We thought it was important for her and for us to get another female on the project.”
The Crescendo Show will be previewing some of its new material at the Sam Bond’s show where the band will be joined by local singer-songwriter Caroline Bauer, whom it met during the Next Big Thing process. “We listened to her and related to her music quite a bit,” he says.
The Crescendo Show plays with Caroline Bauer 9 pm Thursday, Dec. 19, at Sam Bond’s; $3-$5.