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San Francisco Sonic Indie Rock Band Split Screens Releases Second Album, Before The Storm 9/9

"...a glorious menage of shimmering riffs and shining vocal hooks, creating the perfectly languid soundtrack to those much-traveled roads that so many of us yearn to be a part."   - Gold Flake Paint

Split Screens release sinuous album, Before the Storm, out 9/9.  The ethereal style of this album flows cohesively from one song to the next, peppered with bits of jazz, gospel, soul and pop, offering a unique melting-pot of dream-inducing tunes.

Lead singer, songwriter, and frontman, Jesse Cafiero, utilizes visual cues when making his music as much, if not more, than audio prompts. Cafiero plays with the album’s central message of escapism through psychedelic breaths of his lap steel and wistful lyrics. A vinyl enthusiast, he directed Before the Storm to flow in two sets (think a side and b side), looking to release the album on vinyl as well.

Cafiero, a skilled multi-instrumentalist in his own rite, played the majority of instruments on his first album Split Screens EP. To create the more upbeat pop music on Before the Storm he enlisted band members Phil Pristia (guitar), Debbie Neigher (Keys), Kyle Kelly Yahner (percussion) along with Rory O’Connor (Tycho, Com Truise) who was the session drummer for the entire album. Cafiero also invited Geneva Harrison (Bells Atlas) to play vibraphone and Greg Waters (Guy Fox) on baritone and tenor saxophone.

Split Screens traverse the vast musical landscape with each song on this album a milepost marking different territories. We start our journey with “Stand Alone” exploring the insecurities of falling in love with organ melodies and horn snippets. Further down the road, “Home” stands out with its funky R&B feel, celebrating life’s simple pleasures. Rounding out the album, “Time to Wait” ends our trip with transcendental melodies and candied harmonies broken up by synth-y guitar riffs that leave listeners at ease, having arrived at their destination.

Listen to their single “The Sinner” here

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Native of small town Pine Plains, New York, Cafiero started Split Screens after relocating to San Francisco in 2010. In San Francisco, Cafiero continued working as a sideman, but his interest in psychedelic music, coupled with his discovery of the sonic possibilities of the lap steel guitar changed the course of his creative life. “I became a songwriter, vocalist, guitarist and bandleader. I’ve always written melodies, but didn’t think about writing songs until I started working on my EP,” Cafiero said. The Split Screens EP was recorded with producer/engineer Jeremy Black (Apollo Sunshine) whose use of analog tape delay added an expansive aura to the music’s poignant, heavily layered melancholy. Before the Storm shows Cafiero moving to a new level of melodic and lyrical sophistication. “I’d like to write fun songs with nonsensical lyrics, but it’s against my nature,” he says. “I’m more interested in exploring and understanding the hidden undercurrents that flow through life and inform our relationships.”


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LeeAnn Brown

You can see LeeAnn on the weekends at a grungy venue in Detroit, head banging to some raucous live band, or spending time in with a glass of wine and her pup, Harley.

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