What does a vocal band have in common with a train station in Center City? The name Market East, of course! Along with being the name of a train station, Market East is a band originating in Philadelphia made up of Kurt Cain-Walther, Max Perla and Vincent John. The band is preparing for the official launch party of its self-titled EP Jan. 27.
Each member has played in different bands since his early teens, but Market East has a more collective experience than most on the music scene today. “Myself [John] and Max have been friends since we were 10 years old. We grew up playing in bands since we were about 13 years old. We met Kurt through the Philadelphia music scene. We started hanging out a lot, then had the idea to start a group that had something a little bit different than we had done before,” guitarist and vocalist Vincent John said.
Recorded throughout September 2011 and released by Santa Ana Records Jan. 9, their EP consists of six tracks, each named after a different girl, with titles such as “Sofia,” “Violet” and “Elena.”
“We were actually toying around with the idea of calling the record ‘Girls,’ but we felt that it might be a little bit redundant, so we left it as self-titled,” John said.
The second track, titled “Genevieve,” reveals that this girl could have meant something more than just a friend: “Genevieve belongs to me. Put on a song and dances slowly next to me, by the window where she sleeps, the smell of lilac in her leave, in her leave.”
Market East offers up a unique listening experience, unlike many of the records being released today. The band accomplished this distinctive sound by recording in an apartment with high ceilings in Center City. “We wanted to go for something very organic and very pure, just three guys in a room so you kind of felt like you were there. We even left the windows open, so if you listen to the record there are a couple parts where you might hear a bus go by or city banter,” John said.
“The idea was to make everybody feel like they were there with us and to use the ambiance as an instrument unto itself,” John added.
Typically, bands like to write or have an outline of the lyrics before constructing a melody. Market East does things a little differently by coming together to craft melody first, lyrics second. “Typically what happens is we focus mostly on the melody. I’m usually playing the guitar, and the three of us are sitting around humming different melodies. That’s sort of the fundamental basis of the songs,” John said.
As for touring, Market East will travel anywhere a bus or bikes can take them. “The idea from the get-go was to be able to ride a bike to practice and take a bus to a show and just do it very, very stripped down. We have all been in bands with vans, trailers, amps and lots of equipment. So it’s a beautiful thing to us to be able to hop on a bus and go to New York or wherever and do a show,” John revealed.
When you attend a Market East show, expect to hear their own material along with a few of the band’s favorite cover songs, including Phil Spector’s “Be My Baby” and Phoenix’s “Lisztomania,” to get the crowd excited.
What does the future hold for Market East? According to John, the band plans to “promote this album in a D-I-Y fashion. We are trying to establish a grassroots fan base in Philadelphia and surrounding regions, and we are hoping to continue to grow as writers and musicians together as a band.”
To learn more about Market East, you can visit www.marketeastmusic.com and purchase their self-titled EP on iTunes for $5.94. The band’s album release party will take place Jan. 27 at Kung Fu Necktie, located at 1250 North Front St., and will include a live performance.