The sound of Gypsyblood is somewhat like hearing an old familiar song playing at high volume in a distant room, the melody smudged within the walls, making it impossible to discern the exact tune. It's like watching old home movies in a hazy, distorted soft focus. There's a rare, comforting timelessness to the Chicago quintet's distortion-ravaged and hook-laden tunes on its forthcoming debut album, Cold in the Guestway due April 12, 2011 on Sargent House.
Gypsyblood formed in 2009 when longtime friends and former bandmates Adam James and vocalist/drummer/bassist Kyle Victor healed the somewhat fresh wounds of their previous band's breakup (initiated by Victor storming off stage after the last song and hitchhiking home.) The pair later made up and James invited Victor to hear demos of new songs he was working on. Gypsyblood was born shortly thereafter and the pair quickly wrote an impressive 50 songs together within two months.
Of those 50 initial songs, the pair recorded 30 tracks working on their own in the dead of Chicago winter in an old building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The songs were captured on equipment normally used for film audio recording. Faint sounds of the band's bustling neighborhood outside can be heard at times throughout. There's a distinctly haunted, living presence to both the recording and the songwriting of Cold In the Guestway that cannot be replicated in a sterile studio environment. Many musicians and other lucky few who have heard Gypsyblood have succinctly remarked, "my new favorite band." ?Dave Davison of Maps & Atlases, who brought the band to Sargent House, remembers the first time he heard, Gypsyblood. "One evening I was walking to get dinner when I was called into a parked car containing Chris Alvarez, Kyle Victor and Adam James. They were listening to the first mixes of the Gypsyblood album Cold In The Guestway and upon hearing the songs, I immediately wanted a copy for myself. When I finally got sent a copy a week later I was hooked! I first met Kyle and Adam while they were playing in the band Karma With a K. Gypsynlood offers a more refined, but equally raw version of the music that I've come to enjoy from Adam and Kyle and their live performance is every bit as entertaining and even sometimes scary as it ever was. Whether in a small gallery or outdoor festival stage, the way that Adam is able to utilize and incorporate space into his performance is part of what makes him truly fantastic frontman."
Gypsyblood's songs tend to start dissent among listeners trying to describe exactly of what their songs are reminiscent. Some common references include a strange amalgam of Pavement's early hazy-pop singles, The Jesus and The Mary Chain and early Guided By Voices. Put simply, it's a noisy, soft-focus approach to classic pop.
"Everything revolves around that feeling of restless old souls, a timeless aspect to the music," explains vocalist/guitarist Adam James. "We've all been on this planet -- whether we were in a past life, or whatever. We've all been singing these same notes for decades and now it's finally getting out to people's ears. It's something that comes from deep down within. It's unique to anyone who understands it."