|Released: March 7, 2016
Produced by: David Bourgeois
Too Much To Me
Where’s The Rain
More Than I Say I Do
Cut the Cord
Because of You
Here To Stay
Lead Vocals, Keyboards
Jocelyn and Chris Arndt are a sister and brother duo who produce soulful and bluesy originals on their debut album Edges. This record is packed with dynamic yet accessible hooks energetic grooves, and unique and interesting arrangements led by guitarist Chris Arndt. The music complements the rich and stunning vocals of front woman Jocelyn Arndt, with the whole collection serving as a showcase for her soulful melodies which find a nice balance between power and emotion.
Composing songs since they were kids, the two would practice in their living room with Jocelyn developing a distinct vocal style, inspired by big, distinctive voices such as Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Joan Jett and Freddie Mercury. Chris built his classic-rock-influenced guitar skills by studying Jimmy Page, David Gilmore, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn and other guitarists from the seventies and eighties.
Edges took a little over a year to record but Jocelyn and Chris had been composing some of the tunes since high school, making this album a sort of snapshot of their musical lives thus far. The pair write songs as a team, with Jocelyn focusing on the melody and the lyrics and Chris providing the instrumentation and song structure. The album was produced by David Bourgeois, who also worked with on the group’s 2015 EP, Strangers in Fairyland. Much of the record was done in Upstate NY, in a proper studio as well as using a remote recording system, with various other studios being used while on tour, including some vocals tracked at the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
The album commences with “Shame”, which starts with Jocelyn’s vocal hook right from the jump, launching into an accessible, melodic, and bouncy rocker. The lyrics all about sweet musical revenge, with Jocelyn adding;
…definitely me at my sassiest…while the guy I’m singing about may have gotten the last laugh, I definitely got the last chorus…”
“Too Much To Me” follows as a more vocal-centric track with the music acting as a strong rock rhythmic guide to a country-tinged sarcastic rant. “Where’s the Rain?” features a methodical delivery of every lyric and vocal inflection, complemented by Chris Arndt’s squeezed out bluesy guitar notes. “More Than I Say I Do” is a piano ballad with a sparse arrangement throughout, making it very effective, especially the finely picked guitar lead during the bridge. This song is also notable as the first ballad written by the Arndt siblings.
“Jagged’ features a cool bass groove by Kate Sgroi accompanied by a wah-wah drenched guitar and jazzy piano, which gives it a real Steely Dan vibe during the verses. “Hot” was the lead single from the album and it includes a plethora of rock and blues instrumentation, including Hammond organ and harmonica by guests Danny Louis and G Love respectively. “Mystery” has subtle, smoky, almost spoken vocals during the verse with predominant organ and strong backing chorus ensemble giving it a Southern Gospel feel. The song uses good restraint and doesn’t break into full power mode until the chorus section. “Cinderella” follows as a straight up blues rocker with a choppy arrangement to let the lead vocals soar. “Cut the Cord” is a sad, minor-key piano ballad, which Jocelyn said was about;
the last, pin-drop moments of a crumbling love story, the dregs of something that used to be good circling the drain.”
The album wraps up strong with three interesting tracks. “Because of You” begins with a good picked guitar over a piano intro before it breaks into a driving strummed, flanged groove accompanied by funky bass and drums. The song started out as a guitar jam Chris would practice to, later developing into a full song with lyrics about the happy conclusion to a long, tired search for love. “Dry Cereal” starts with an interesting arrangement of piano, organ, guitar riff, later exploding into a groove-driven full arrangement with dominant bass, marimba, and other cool instrumentation to accompany the quirky lyrics and catchy hook. “Here to Stay” closes the album with a fun, sing-songy groove in the realm of a classic, upbeat jazz tune, complete with brass, reeds, and a heavy organ presence.
Jocelyn and Chris Arndt continue to tour heavily in support of Edges and look forward to planning their next full length album starting this summer. The duo is very grateful for the support they have received thus far and look forward to making more great music in the future.
Jocelyn & Chris Arndt online