This Way to the EGRESS
Photo via This Way to The EGRESS’ website, art by Saddle Sarah
I’m not sure how everyone else defines Americana, but we, as a nation, have borrowed from so many cultures, that Americana to me is exactly what this band portrays. This Way to the EGRESS is a fusion of many things, all of which are worldly. To describe themselves, they say they span the following genres: “punk, Balkan, Klezmer, blues, reggae, and ragtime with Americana folk-rock,” according to their website. They’re currently performing through the northeast, and they have an upcoming album entitled Great Balancing Act to be released May 19.
They gave me a chance to listen to not only the first album’s single “We Won’t Go,” but the entire work, to be officially released May 19, 2015. My verdict on this, their third studio album, is this: Molto Bene. Not only is this album worldly and sophisticated, but the tone of the entire work entices listeners to clap or snap or dance.
Great Balancing Act features 12 new songs, all which seem to showcase a different singer on every other song. In an album with such diversity in style, EGRESS has also maintained a cohesive project from start to finish. Track one through twelve evolves from up-tempo “Let’s Not Pretend”, into a slow-down volta by track six (“You Never Know”), and rounds off with “Lucy, a song about your mother.,” which follows an almost narrative structure.
Not only did I experience a great album when all of the tracks are played in order, but EGRESS has created a great album for a listening party, shuffling the songs or including one on a playlist could work easily. As for fans of their other work, don’t worry, this new project stays true to the soul of what EGRESS has provided in the past. That being said, it also has a brand new feel, and is their best album to date. My favorite track is “Rogue Trip,” another loosely-narrative song, full of unique percussion and bittersweet brass: “The world is a book, and for those who don’t travel, they’re only reading a page.”
I have provided their Spotify Playlist below so you can really experience the EGRESS’ sound.
As with most bands with more than four members, and especially with such an eclectic sound, it’s sometimes best to just list the members and their respective instruments:
“Tyrant” Taylor Galassi – Frontman and accordionist
“Saddle” Sarah Shown – Pianist, fiddler, leading lady and singer
“Krispy” Zach Martin – Drums and glockenspiel
John “Toobie Doo” Wentz – Tuba and singer
Jaclyn “The” Kidd – Electric guitar and 6-string banjo
Joe “Bone” Lynch – Trombone and backup vocals
“Easy” Chet Sullivan – Trumpet and backup vocals
This group comes together to create a sound fitting for a soundtrack to American Horror Story: Freakshow or Fallout 3. It is an amalgamation of so many things and at such a high recording quality, that no matter your tastes, you’ll find something note-worthy. Below is their video for “Clarence.”
Clarence music video from This Way to The EGRESS’ Youtube
I spoke with them about their upcoming projects and plans, and for a little insight on what they do.
S16: What should fans expect from this new work?
EGRESS: Fans should expect a few new directions infused with the Egress sounds they know.
S16: How long did you work on this album?
EGRESS: 9 months total. We wrote, practiced, crowd funded, recorded, mixed and mastered in 9 months. We did pre-production for about 3 months.
S16: What was the strangest part of making this album?
EGRESS: Adaptation. We had to adapt to getting up every morning to the hustle and bustle of NYC (which was glorious). Also, some of us were staying with different friends every few nights! The recording process itself was different for us as we did a song everyday. It was a whirlwind of hard work and music-filled memories!
S16: Will you be visiting Charlotte or North Carolina?
EGRESS: We are in the midst of planning our route for our tour in support of the new record Great Balancing Act. We definitely plan to tour through North Carolina!
S16: What was each member’s trademark touch on this work?
EGRESS: I think Taylor’s trademark is his vocals and the songs themselves. My trademark would really be the same, the songs I wrote. For the guys I think it is the ‘doowop’ vocals on the end of “Lucy” and Jaclyn’s surf guitar riffs on songs like “This Side of Jordan” and “Rogue Trip.”
S16: Can we expect any videos to come from this album? If so, which one(s)?
EGRESS: Yes, we are pushing for a music video for our 2nd single, “Let’s Not Pretend” and hoping to have it released in early April.
Here’s to hoping that EGRESS visits North Carolina soon, because, while I am currently satiated by their discography, I MUST see them live. This long distance relationship just won’t work with such talent. You can purchase their upcoming album via their website on May 19. Most of their older CDs and EPs are still available in their shop, and you can see them live in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York during the month of February. For more tour dates, click here.