MEET THE BAND: Liz Kelly (vocals, guitar), Karah Vance (keyboards), Devin Randazzo (drums), Ty Craerner (bass)
COLLECTIVE THOUGHTS: Bandleader Liz Kelly can lay claim to the fact that she was one of only a handful of women to be part of the locally based Davenport Collective, a loosely organized community of artists, musicians and poets who worked out of a studio space in a Lakewood office building. She played in the Dreadful Yawns, a terrific local indie rock act, as well as other groups. Eventually, in 2010, she started her own damn band with keyboardist Karah Vance, dubbing it the Village Bicycle. Since forming, the band has shared bills with acts such as Bleached, the Black Belles, Gardens and Villa, Cloud Nothings, Death of Samantha, Rubblebucket, La Luz, the Suzan and Herzog. To date, the band has released one single and two albums, but its new album, Terraforma, arrives on digital platforms this week.
A CAREFREE SOUND: The band recorded the album in Brooklyn, New York, at Carefree Studios with Ian Hersey, the guitarist from the indie rock act Rubblebucket. "Rubblebucket used to come through Cleveland and Ian extended the offer to record our album," says Kelly. "It was an amazing experience. We went for two weeks and did four days one week and then a week lapsed and another four days. It was a lot of fun. It wasn't as urgent as other recording experiences. It can be a special experience to record an album and know what you're doing is going to permanent. I can get tense. He was good at keeping everybody calm, and he was good at making artistic suggestions without imposing."
WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: On the past records, the band did an entirely live set up but for Terraforma the band tracked bass and drums live and then overdubbed keys and guitars. Kelly has said that '90s female-fronted bands such as Elastica are her "go-to sources for inspiration," and those influences come across on the album," which opens with the noisy "Dog Heaven." "Any One But You" features upper-register vocals and off-kilter guitars that have a Breeders-like quality to them. "I think the songs are different," says Kelly. "I don't know if we went for a different approach. The sound is a little more artistically fulfilled. We have come further as a band and communicate better as musicians. That's the main difference — we've grown together as musicians." The band now has a booking agency that has booked a few dates for a 10-date tour. The upcoming show at the Happy Dog serves as a kick off for the tour.
WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: thevillagebicycle.bandcamp.com.
WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: The Village Bicycle performs with Extra Medium Pony, Longface and Sweepyheads at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Happy Dog. — Jeff Niesel