Heady would be an understatement when referring to Nedelle Torrisi and her band, Cryptacize. At once, there’s no mistaking apparent intellectualism and social consciousness in the confident bunch. As soon as they get to making music, it’s again easily obvious that Nedelle and crew have training and experience under their belts. And while this daughter of an ex-priest and an ex-nun (according to her Wiki) is accustomed to the spotlight, the spotlight’s also no stranger to her partner in crime, guitarist Chris Cohen, formerly of Deerhoof and also currently with Asthmatic Kitty littermate, The Curtains.
Nedelle and Chris and pals visited us for a Live Luxury Wafers Session while still in the process of moving to LA from the San Francisco Bay Area. They left an interesting imprint – a jazzy blend of showtunes and lounge singing emitted as lovely and clear, pitch-perfect vocals from Nedelle, met with grindy guitar riffs from Cohen that sound like he’s opening an aluminum tin in the wilderness with a Swiss Army Knife: jagged and roughly off-kilter (thus skyrocketing appreciation for the delectable contents accessed). The pair consciously creates a complimentary balance of honey-sweet and vinegar-sour, smooth and pokey, harmonious and cacaphonous. The more Cohen’s guitar ruffles and roughs you up, the more palataby pleasing the innocent lilting vocals and Disney-esque keys become.
Cryptacize brightly enchants in their video for New Spell. Nedelle naturally tends toward camp-bordering theatrical, but I’m convinced she’s a bundle of authentically spunky fun. While Cohen’s demeanor is serious business, Nedelle endears with warm, childlike enthusiasm – an adorable and infectious ray of sunshine.
Having both recorded projects on Kill Rock Stars and Asthmatic Kitty, the core of Cryptacize also seems to be friends with everyone we’ve ever met. I might be exagerrating a tiny bit, but that goes a long way toward vouching for their sincerity and goodness.
I just knew reading that radical Bucky quote in Rob Breszney‘s weekly email this morning served a cosmically connected purpose. He said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” -R. Buckminster Fuller
This quote reminds me of Cryptacize. The band proudly goes forth in unusual fashion. Their music strikes differently from the expected buzz in the ear. I fully agree with Bucky, by the way. And while I don’t think Cryptacize wraps themselves in a lofty manifesto to take over the world, I do believe they are crafting a world of indie music with wider boundaries. Certainly their bold presence, supported by an awesome label and a fall tour with Sufjan Stevens, leaves a mark on the face of indie music, undoubtedly creating a wave whose ripple pattern remains yet to be determined.
Listen to the Exclusive Live Tracks (option/click to download):
Buy the latest Cryptacize album, Mythomania.