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June 28, 2010

Sonos brings soaring sound

Asheville Citizen-Times (NC):

Forget what you think you know about a cappella singing groups. That's the message of Sonos, a six-member, Los Angeles-based crew that's bucking all preconceived notions of glee club cheese with an inventive modern edge.

The six young singers — Paul Peglar, Jessica Freedman, Ben McLain, Chris Harrison, Rachel Bearer and Katharine Hoye — use their tight vocals-only arrangements to reinvent indie rock faves.

Freedman chatted about the band ahead of their debut in Asheville at Lexington Avenue Brewery on Tuesday.

Question: How did this band get together?

Answer: We were all studying music in different forms in college around Southern California. We met while performing individually around Los Angeles. Some of us we were into jazz, some of us were into opera and some were even into acting and performance, so it's a quite a mixed bag.

One thing we all had in common was interest in a cappella. It's a unique project but it came together very organically.

Q: Do you sing both covers and originals?

A: Our first album (“Sonos Sings”) is all covers. It's songs that we all love, or songs that we felt we could creatively reinvent using only voice. Our next album, which we're working on now, is going to have originals on it.

Q: Explain the dynamics of keeping a live show interesting with your voices.

A: The biggest surprising element of the show is our use of effects pedals and loops on our voices. A cappella carries a stigma, so people don't expect the sound range we create. We use distortions normally put on guitars, and our bass singer uses an octave pedal that makes his voice sound like a bass guitar.

Q: Is it tough touring bars and clubs as an a cappella act?

A: Some places are more appropriate than others, but we're really adaptable. Our first gigs in L.A. were at the Hotel Café, which is a trendy, dark little bar. We were unusual for that kind of place, but the crowd embraced us. We now play a lot of clubs and middle-size theatres.

Q: What's next for the band?

A: In addition to our new album of originals, we're recording a Christmas album. Then this fall we're going to tour for three or four months.

Posted by acapnews at June 28, 2010 10:08 PM


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