By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Some Telegraph Canyon fans were visibly puzzled as they trickled into Good Records for the band's recent album release show in Dallas. Some strange, other band was setting up its gear and instruments on the store's green stage. No, this wasn't Telegraph Canyon promoting its brilliant The Tide and The Current—that performance would come later. Instead, the band serenading them was actually Denton-based Seryn.
The 6-month-young Seryn boasts an impressively "together" stage presence, complete with a rolling intensity to rival even Telegraph Canyon's phenomenal poise. Actually, the two acts share a lot of similarities. Most notably: Both acts fill a stage with a nigh platoon-sized cache of instruments. And while Seryn may only have five members to counter Telegraph Canyon's seven, both bands share beautiful arrangements (both in instrumentation and in vocal harmonies) and an epic, "big sky" sound that, at times, seems more fitting washing over dilapidated wooden pews in an old church than the usual torn-up couches, vinyl booths and barstools of area venues.
So far, Seryn has only recorded a handful of demos and played about a half-dozen shows outside of the Denton house show scene. But very quickly the band has managed to stack up some pretty impressive gigs, like Spune's Ice Cream Social event a few weeks back and Telegraph Canyon's Dallas release and its home-town release show at Lola's last weekend.
But the band's performance at Good wasn't without its faults. When the band continuously builds in intensity, and the harmonies soar all bluegrass-style, the songs achieve a cinematic feel worthy of a pre-Buena Vista Social Club Wim Wenders road movie. But when the band's songs don't reach that level, they fall a little flat.
After talking with founding member Nathan Allen, it seems clear that there's a reason for that.
"We're kinda still in a transition phase," he says, explaining that a good portion of the band's material was actually intended for his solo-acoustic project. "And because we're all writing and collaborating together now, we have a lot more time to spend composing the songs."
But it's still a promising start, as those songs have managed to pique the early interest of both Spune Productions and Telegraph Canyon.
"We're undone, and we've been shaking our heads and laughing about how much people have been willing to put us out there," violinist Chelsea Bohrer says. "It's a little ridiculous, but it's amazing...So far, the only hurdles we've faced have been because of living together and trying to figure out who keeps eating all your chips."