"Fy the Fly" from the album The Modern Tribe
Hovering from an atmospheric blend of sensual Goth-pop, orchestrated dance-rock, and analog keyboard noise, Baltimore band Celebration manage to blast out some unusual sounds. Fronted by spellbinding vocalist Katrina Ford, with backing keyboardist/guitarist Sean Antanaitis and drummer David Bergander, they're quite serious about creating music with raw energy and sensuality.
That suits their record label, British indie 4AD, perfectly. Many of the various 4AD bands — from Cocteau Twins to the Pixies and Throwing Muses — share an eerie, otherworldly vibe.
"It's all really moody music," Ford says of her labelmates. "You can tell that the people who run it are into arty music ... detailed, emotional stuff. I was a big fan of the label when I was a kid. I remember staring at my Bauhaus records ... I never thought any band I'd be involved with would have any part in that [laughs]. When it happened, I was really thrilled. I felt like my life had kind of come full circle."
The label became interested in Celebration through mutual friend David Sitek (of TV On The Radio) two years ago and picked them up for last year's self-titled debut. Their 11-song collection, The Modern Tribe, hits the street this month.
Celebration's unusual style — a whirling, kinetic sound akin to Siouxsie & The Banshees and Yeah Yeah Yeahs — relies heavily on Antanaitis' multi-instrumental abilities. Handling various organs, electric keyboards, bass pedals, and guitars, his task is carefully orchestrated.
"When we did this new record, we wanted to make more sounds than the three of us could actually make," says Ford. "We wrote the songs, added musicians and extra parts. On this tour, we've added a musician named Colin McCann [of Baltimore band The Wilderness], who's playing extra guitar, keyboards, and percussion ... kind of like a mini-Sean [laughs]. Having an extra musician helps us make the sounds on stage that we wanted." —T. Ballard Lesemann
Celebration share the stage with Dragons of Zynth and The Specs at the Map Room (1650 Sam Rittenberg Blvd., (843) 769-6336) on Fri. Oct. 26 at 10 p.m. Cover is $8. Visit www.myspace.com/celebrationcelebration and www.themaproom.net for more.