By Jeremy Hallock
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By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
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Hovering from an atmospheric blend of sensual goth-pop, orchestrated dance-rock, and analog keyboard noise, Baltimore band Celebration manage to blast out some unusual sounds. Fronted by spellbinding vocalist Katrina Ford, with backing keyboardist/guitarist Sean Antanaitis and drummer David Bergander, they're quite serious about creating music with raw energy and sensuality.
That suits their record label, British indie 4AD, perfectly. Many of the various 4AD bands—from Cocteau Twins to the Pixies and Throwing Muses—share an eerie, otherworldly vibe.
"It's all really moody music," Ford says of her labelmates. "You can tell that the people who run it are into arty music...detailed, emotional stuff. I was a big fan of the label when I was a kid. I remember staring at my Bauhaus records ... I never thought any band I'd be involved with would have any part in that [laughs]. When it happened, I was really thrilled. I felt like my life had kind of come full circle."
The label became interested in Celebration through mutual friend David Sitek (of TV on the Radio) two years ago and picked them up for 2005's self-titled debut. Their 11-song collection, The Modern Tribe, hit the street this fall.
Celebration's unusual style—a whirling, kinetic sound akin to Siouxsie & The Banshees and Yeah Yeah Yeahs—relies heavily on Antanaitis' multi-instrumental abilities. Handling various organs, electric keyboards, bass pedals and guitars, his task is carefully orchestrated.
"When we did this new record, we wanted to make more sounds than the three of us could actually make," says Ford.