Mephistopheles1981, eagle-eyed observer of the Sri Lankan diaspora, writes in with a tip on L.A.-based rock band The Slow Signal Fade. The quartet features Sri Lankan-born Marguerite Olivelle as its lead singer, and a bunch of other people that I don’t care about because they’re not Sri Lankan. (Just kidding, Ron Ulicny, Chris Walters, and Christy Greenwood! You guys seem nice, too.) According to a cached Google page from their website-in-progress, the band “formed in fall of 2002 through an array of failed alliances, random acquaintances, circumstance and numerous ads in the LA based classified paper The Recycler.” They went on to record a five-song E.P. called the “Kindling E.P.,” setting some sort of land-speed record in the process:
Their first demo turned into their first album, “Kindling E.P.,” and was recorded in only eight hours.
“We had to pay studio time and didn’t have enough time to listen to the CD before we released it,” Walters said.
I don’t know that I would necessarily want to advertise that aspect of my debut album, but fair enough. This year they released a second E.P. called Through the Opaque Air. So what does The Slow Signal Fade sound like? Lots of stuff, apparently:
Armed with a vast collection of esoteric and sometimes conflicting influences, they have crafted a unique sound….a delicate blend of power and intimacy that sits comfortably and transcends genre.
Their musical influences vary from the likes of classic rock bands including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Doors….through early post-punk and pop like The Cure, New Order, The Police, and U2…..to the modern sonics of Mogwai, Tool, Sunny Day Real Estate, and Fugazi. The SSF’s evocative style, colorful melodies, and engaging percussions provide the foundation for the beautiful, timeless and ethereal vocals that draw inspiration from singing legends ranging from Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington, to Chrissie Hynde, Sinead O’Connor and Cat Power. This band provides a musical journey that leaves an indelible mark on the listener, a refreshing balance of musicianship and candor. [Link]
And what do people who aren’t in the band think they sound like? From Popmatters:
It’s Disintegration-era The Cure as done by The Cranberries, all epic slow tempos and one-note guitar lines fronted by Marguerite Olivelle’s lovely, pitch-perfect, urgent vocals. It’s a combination that shouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable as it is, but the wall of sound on display is exotic, acid-washed, and somehow really accessible. [Link]
A quick listen to a few of their songs, especially “Push Pull Push,” leads me to think the Cranberries comparison is particularly apt. However, as the great LeVar Burton once said, “You don’t have to take my word for it!” since free MP3s are available at their website.