There is one point that Vestibules songwriters Coy King and William Chamberlain make abundantly clear: this band is all about the lyrics. “Like I said to the other members of the ensemble… if you can’t hear what Will is singing then don’t play,” says King. “The other stuff is embellishment, and we love that, but if that usurps being able to hear the story then the wrong elements are in lead.”
Chamberlain certainly demands attention on the band’s debut recording, a demo EP called A Rose for Orla’s Grave. His distinctive, raspy howl aches with emotion as he finds release for a backlog of love songs that didn’t quite gel with his previous band, A PostWar Drama.
“That’s why I started writing these songs and taking them to Coy,” says Chamberlain. “Because back then I didn’t have an outlet for that type of music.” When the pair started to work together, they found their songwriting styles to be extremely well matched, and soon the two were finishing each other’s songs and growing into a true collaborative effort. The duo made a cursory live debut back in December of 2009, but now they have a more solidified lineup, with Jason Fusco (ex-Fire Zuave) committed behind the drums. And while Vestibules define themselves as a three-piece, they have added what King refers to as “attachments,” including Eric Johnson on pedal steel and The Hot Fries horn trio. (“They are named for what they live off of,” explains Fusco.)
Overall, the impact is much more powerful than your typical singer-songwriter fare, especially with King’s uniquely melodic interplay on the double bass and the rich vocal harmonies shared among the core members. But with Chamberlain’s guitar being the only fretted instrument, these arrangements have required particularly delicate precision. See months of hard work come to fruition on the intimate Highwire stage this weekend. The $5 cover includes a copy of the demo plus refreshments.
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