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When it comes to creating fertile breeding grounds for independent music, few places are as ideal as college towns. Not only are they points of convergence for youth, adventurousness, and curiosity–and maybe, just maybe, some drugs and alcohol–but they also tend to harbor the necessary infrastructures for supporting local artists.
As evidenced by the recent flourishing of songwriters including Sarah Jaffe and Doug Burr, the town of Denton, Texas appears to be fostering a formidable music scene at present. Its latest luminaries are Seryn, a quintet whose debut record, This Is Where We Are, will be released January 25th by Velvet Blue Music.
Although Seryn’s music makes some of the same twangy, folksy allusions as their aforementioned hometown counterparts, their identity is original and distinctive, a trait rendered most obviously in their expansive instrumentation. Ukulele, banjo, accordion, violin, cello, and trumpet all make thoughtful appearances throughout the peaks and valleys of “We Will All Be Changed.” The track begins with the mournful exhalations of an accordion and some briskly plucked strings, both of which belie the explosive choruses which are to follow.
It is in these choruses that Seryn truly assert their identity: part Freakwater, part Arcade Fire. Soaring vocal harmonies boil over alongside the rousing rat-a-tat-tats of snare drum, the intensity of the composition climbing steadily upward until one last glorious bit of harmonizing lets the listener down gently.
“We Will All Be Changed” would be an ambitious piece of songwriting for a group with many a recording session under their collective belt; the fact that Seryn can execute a song like this so well on their first album speaks volumes about their talent and chemistry.