Video: Natural Stranger Unplugged and Up Close

Natural Stranger posses a 90's grunge nostalgia and familiarity – yet their sound deviates into something original and different.  Based in Brooklyn, the band has released two EPs. Their first, "Summer So Far" expresses the excitement of moving to New York and warm nights, while their latest release "Talk About Our Demons As Friends" explores the dark camaraderie we have with our inner demons. 

I met Natural Stranger at a Jewish Temple somewhere in Park Slope to talk about their journey in the New York music scene and to play a few unplugged songs. 

They embody the melting pot that is New York. Bass player, Jino Arielly, came to New York from Israel, Ernest Hampson, vox and guitar, lived in Germany from ages 12 to 15. Joseph T Paz on drums came from a long string of musicians and guitarist, Kevin "Sully" Sullivan came from New Haven. They met working at the same music store about a year ago and found a shared love for music. Together they have a solid and defined sound that's somewhere in between the angsty cool of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the melodic temperance of Bright Eyes. 

"The attitude that everyone brings to this band is very positive, people are just really easygoing with things," Arielly said. "So nobody is like in other person we all give our space to each other. There's not a lot of ego."

Listen to their latest EP below:

Review: Of Clocks and Clouds at Fontana's

Of Clocks and Clouds played at Fontana's in Chinatown, NY Thursday September 4. (Photo Courtesy of Of Clocks and Clouds)

Of Clocks and Clouds played at Fontana's in Chinatown, NY Thursday September 4. (Photo Courtesy of Of Clocks and Clouds)

A calm glow hung around Chinatown Thursday night. Walking into Fontana's was no exception. The red backlit bar into the basement could have been an entrance into a punk rock vampire flick. There might not have been any blood-sucking immortals at this concert, but there was a dark thrill about Of Clocks and Cloud's set. 

It began with a moody electronic beat that gently escalated into a hard-hitting song. Joe Salgo, vocals and guitar, led the band with just enough guitar to make the sound full but not jarring. A subtle light show illuminated the 20 or 25 guests at the show. Despite two bands before them, the audience was captivated.

Easing the audience into the set, Salgo's soft voice in "Carry" and the controlled rhythms of drummer, Ross Procaccio, complimented each other. There's a hazy affect about Of Clocks and Clouds sound. Each song has a certain sense of fogginess, but the density of the fog fluctuates. In their next song "Psychic Realms" there's a moment of clarity and the fog parts for a moment. 

Usually the band only consists of Salgo and Procaccio, but this time around they were joined by bassist, Cav Loria. The presence of the bass grounded the moments of dramatic climax like the guitar solo in "Tripping on the Far Side of the Sun." 

OCAC has a precise and clean sound, partially due to the never-flinching drum skills of Procaccio. That clean sound was showcased in a Black Sabbath cover. They're not afraid to show their darker influcences and roots while still having a planned and thoughtful execution. 

A new untitled track teased at some innovative melodies and drum patterns. If it's any evidence of what's to come, it's something to look forward to. 

Live, the band has a sophisticated energy that you might not be able to tell by their casual appearance of jeans, t-shirt and sneakers. But that un-done look forces the audience to look beyond the flashing lights, the obnoxious dancers and broken beer bottles and just listen. 

Decide for yourself at their next gig: 

Greenpoint Music Festival / September 20 / 12 pm