the Spring Standards
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New York’s harmony-heavy indie/folk rock trio, The Spring Standards are, in no particular order: James Cleare, James Smith and Heather Robb. Each member of the band is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, and they use their strengths as a trio to create a sound that listeners might expect from a band twice their size. With an emphasis on three-part harmony and a variety of instrumental switching, their range and energy make each live show a unique event.In fact, the band’s performance set-up is as distinctive as their sound: They take a drum kit and break it up among the three of them, and then they set up along the front of the stage. So, whoever is playing bass (James and James alternate between bass and guitar,) is also stepping on a kick drum…and whoever is playing guitar is also stepping on the high hat (and sometimes playing harmonica simultaneously). Heather, in the middle, switches between melodica, keys, glockenspiel and snare drum, often playing several at a time. And even with all this going on, their harmonies are astounding.
An independent band in virtually every sense of the word (no label, no publisher, etc,) The Spring Standards have let their music speak for itself, and have seen a path unfold for them that just seems to get better and better. Their EP ‘No One Will Know’ (co-produced by Rhett Miller of The Old 97s,) was released last August and celebrated with a packed New York CD release party at The Bowery Ballroom. Within weeks of the release, the band celebrated their national television debut on NBC-TV’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
The Spring Standards are ‘an energetic force of three-part harmony circling over a rock n’ roll sound with an old country aftertaste. From small towns to big cities, they explode on stage with spirit, spontaneity, and a style all their own.’ NY MAGAZINE weighed in at an early New York performance with this praise: “The crowd at the Bowery Ballroom hadn’t come to see them (The Spring Standards). Chances are it had never even heard the band, which has yet to put out an EP. But in a matter of minutes, this loud, energetic trio had made converts of everyone. Tight, soaring harmonies were set against old country twang as the band exuded a pure, childlike joy of playing as many instruments simultaneously as possible. Dressed in a black prom dress, front woman Heather Robb jumped around the stage like the unaffected younger sister of Karen O, banging on pretty much everything in sight, Including a snare drum, keyboard, and glockenspiel.”