Alpenglow's New Album 'Callisto' Shimmers And Rocks

Mar 17, 2016

The band Alpenglow got their start just a few years ago at Middlebury College. After two locally grown releases, the band has since moved from Vermont to Brooklyn, New York, and is on tour now supporting the new full-length album called Callisto.

Alpenglow band member Graeme Daubert spoke with VPR about the new album.

What did you listen to growing up and what actually ended up influencing your music?

"You know, my dad listened to Crosby, Stills & Nash and Jackson Browne; your typical Dad rock music. I mostly just listened to Top 40 until I had a friend in ninth grade who said he was going to teach me everything I needed to know about music and he kind of introduced me to indie rock, like The Arcade Fire and Wilco and then, like, The Velvet Underground."

People often say, 'The band is great on a record but you need to see Alpenglow live!' Why do you think that is?

"I think up until now, we've always written songs live as a four-piece band. And before we ever record them, we always try them out at concerts. And the process between the live show and our record is the live shows are where we kind of try things out ... and then if we love the songs enough live, we'll put them on a record. I think that's the opposite of how lots of bands do it. A lot of bands, you know, figure out their record first, and then they find a way to reproduce that record as closely as possible, live. And for us, it's always been the opposite. We've been playing the songs off Callisto for the past two years, really. We're just now releasing the record but people have been hearing the songs for a while."

The song, "Solitude" gets a redo on Callisto. What's different?

"That song has been with the band since basically the beginning ... so we had that first version of it and then the second version that made it onto the EP Solitude and that was a longer, folkier version of the one that's now on Callisto, which we kind of wanted to put that song on there to give our audience a comparison point  between where we left off with the folkier EPs and the newer, more, I guess New Wave-y, if you want to say that, Callisto record. It's like a better-constructed song, I think, and it has all the elements of production that you can find on the rest of the record, which are the synths and more driving guitars and rhythm section."

You made it onto your record label in an unconventional way. How so?

"It's a record label for the digital age called Chizu Records. We're actually the first band on the label. This guy kind of reached out to us out of the blue. Apparently, he heard our music in a juice bar in Tokyo and he wrote to us and said, 'I don't have much of a label but if you guys want me to kind of attach my name to whatever you're doing and kind of share it with my community of artists and friends, I'd be happy to help in that way.' And we said, 'Why not?'"

Alpenglow is Graeme Daubert, Peter Coccoma, Elori Kramer and Kenneth Root. Alpenglow plays Higher Ground in South Burlington on Friday, March 18.