The Vespers are one of those lucky young bands who are becoming a word of mouth sensation though they’ve only quietly self-released one record. With two sisters on lead vocals and two brothers filling out the sound, the foursome are distinguished by an arsenal of instruments and the kind of harmony only siblings can create. They have toured from Boston to Austin, hitting everything from festivals to college campuses. On The Fourth Wall out April 3rd, they create infectious folk-pop with both the buoyancy of youth and deeper spiritual themes. They’ve already been tapped for the PBS Show “Bluegrass Underground” along with artists like The Civil Wars, Sarah Jarosz,The Black Lillies, Scott Miller and more.
The lead vocalists Callie (21) and Phoebe Cryar (19) were brought up in a musical family in Nashville, honing their gifts as young kids singing background vocals on Music Row. While their pure harmonies are described as “ghostly and haunting” and “honey sweet,” they both have expansive characteristics to their vocal and instrumental abilities. It was a chance meeting at a campfire jam that brought the sisters an earthy grounding in brothers Bruno (20) and Taylor Jones (22), who were drawn to gritty southern rock and the depth of their father’s record collection that included soul music from the likes of Stevie Wonder.
Everyone in the band contributes to the songwriting, the only outside track is influential bluesman Son House’s “Grinnin In Your Face,” but the most prolific writer is Phoebe who contributed to nearly every song, including “Better Now,” the record’s opening track. “It was drawn from the biblical story about the man blind from birth who was healed, and no matter how much he implored – they wouldn’t believe it was possible, ” she shares. On “Lawdy,” the song starts out as a swampy old mountain tune before growing into a full-bodied Sunday morning spiritual. “We were originally playing it really fast with drums,” says Callie, “but we slowed it down to be more bluesy. I wanted to hear that sound of Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.’”
The Vespers also offer a full share of effervescent pop songs like “Will You Love Me,” “Jolly Roger” and “Flower Flower.” Callie and Bruno wrote the latter when he said he needed a “summertime jam.” Callie hummed a melody, and the tune quickly sprung up on the banjo, ukulele, drums and bass. “Most of our songs come about really organically like that, without planning to write. It just happens and we try to let it flow,” says Bruno.
In addition to the Nashville shows, The Vespers are touring through Boston, NYC, Birmingham, Chicago and more. The Vespers Website
“I think I may be saying this band’s serene name with reverence before long. These four are great…catchy but not predictable, and they have a cool sense of structure…they’re entering big time ‘tell everyone’ mode.” Craig Havighurst – Music City Roots, String Theory Media
Tues April 3 – Free Show at Trevecca University
*8pm Boone Center
Wed April 4 – Music City Roots
Thur April 5 – Grimeys – 6pm