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  • Bryon Harris

Brother Spellbinder - 'Speed of Sound'

Brother Spellbinder is a folk-pop group incorporating elements of folk, gypsy jazz and indie. The band features four members: Alzara Getz on ukulele and vocals, Jamie Wilson on guitar, Gabriel Beistline on cello and Stephen La Porta on drums. Alzara has a rich musical background; she is the daughter of Big Brother & The Holding Co.'s original drummer (Dave Getz) and grew up surrounded by rock n' roll. Her songwriting is inspired by an interest on people and how they heal emotionally, or not. With their unique arrangements, each member of the band brings their own style to the mix making for an outstanding musical experience. Their song, “Speed of Sound,” off of their CD, 'When The Earth Was Still Flat,' is a perfect way to introduce yourself to their music.

The song opens with an acoustic chord progression and a walk-the-line bass part that is soon accompanied by quiet ukulele strums in the background. A harmonica joins, conversing with the guitar, completing the engaging intro before the first verse. Alzara enters with a smooth and haunting vocal presentation that sends shivers up your spine. As she sings, you are transported to a place that is both ancient and contemporary. As the verse continues the arrangement is buffered by the addition of hand percussion setting a light and tasteful percussive beat. Very sweet melodic lines sing from the cello. The strings makes a beautiful addition to the instrumental arrangement giving the song, along with the ukulele, it's gypsy-around-the edges sound.

“Speed of Sound” is a poetic song about life's mysteries and uncertainties. “I don't know why the world is round/What is music but the speed of sound/We hear and sway/We dance and play.” As Brother Spellbinder takes you away with an enchanting musical performance, you are reminded that at the core of their music is a deep connection to humanity. "Every moral has a fairy tale/There's a human underneath each shell." The fragility of love is explored and well-expressed, "Maybe people shouldn't grow so close/ Every lover leaves a gaping hole." Before the song ends, a wonderful 32-bar instrumental interlude is jammed on where each musician, in the style of jazz, takes a turn with the melodic content. The cello and violin are on fire during this section.

Check out Brother Spellbinders' performance of "Speed of Sound."

"Speed of Sound" actually slows the world down a bit, yielding their talents to an artistic space where thoughtful reflections, vocal expression, dreamy melodies and rich instrumentation are stirred slowly to perfection. The instruments alone are enough to cast a spell on you, but when you add the expressive quality of the vocals, a musical experience that you won’t soon forget awaits. “Speed of Sound” is available via on Bandcamp. For more information regarding the band visit their website.

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