Sunday, May 09, 2010

Vitamin D - Bartlett Bridge

Hear The Track Here

Of absolutely no interest whatsoever to you guys but I have noticed that there seem to be a lot of online PR agencies these days, specialising in pumping new indie musicians to people like me. I am amazed at the amount of net labels, PR companies, management and God knows what else has little old me on their mailing list, and I am definitely an under-the-radar pundit so I pity those reviewers whose heads are firmly over the parapet. One of the strongest of these outfits, and one of my own favourites is Ariel Publicity whose Christina Duren suggested I look at a couple of their bands so I chose Vitamin D because I sure as hell need some of that. Vitamin D appear to be a NYC based band, certainly that's where most of their live dates are, which I suppose is great for New Yorkers but as pointless as knowing the ins and outs of my mailing list to the rest of us I suppose. Anyway, my interest level was raised significantly when I noticed the inscription on the entry page to their website. 'trumpety thought pop' is what it promised, and it that doesn't pique your interest then nothing will. Does this, nay could this, mean that this is a band that gives precedence to (gasp) a trumpet??

Oh well, it least it won't be emo then eh? (Ed: best not bet on that!)

Although only trumpeter, composer and, I guess, main man Dennis Cronin is mentioned on the website, Vitamin D appear to be a five piece band. That is certainly evident on Bartlett Bridge, a track from the bands new album called, surprisingly enough, Bridge. Having lived and worked in NYC, I know just how tough a musical town it is. You really have to have something to be able to stand out from the millions of wannabees and yet, at the same time, embody somehow the feeling of a NYC band or people just don't want to know. To my ears, Vitamin D sound quintessentially New York City, from the calm, relaxed style of the music to the lyrical wanderings excellently vocalised to fit the music. Having lived with Bartlett Bridge for a good while, I've grown quite fond of the place and its summer laziness even though it pissing down with rain outside (Ed: as always). Can't say I liked all of it, but what I didn't like was probably down to personal (and technical) choice.

Musically, I'd say that the track was a kind of jazzy pop, although that may just be down to the presence of the trumpet parts which is undoubtedly going to give it a jazzy feel as opposed to say a hard horn section. Moreover, trumpet?? Not exactly the instrument of the hour is it? Ahhh, but then you haven't listened to this particular use of the instrument and obviously need to give it a listen. As a cranky old fart I remember my father listening to blue jazz, and getting me completely transfixed in the process with muted trumpet sounds. Now while Dennis doesn't mute his trumpet he does play with taste and knows the value of a well struck note, and plays with a lovely blue tone that really helps this track to score. Think Herb Alpert with soul and you'd be halfway there. That doesn't detract from the solid musicians supplying the backing because in almost every respect it's right on the money. The sticking point for me was the awkward bridge but, believe me, this is a minor, minor flaw in an excellent - and very different - song.

MUST HAVE and r-e-l-a-x

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