AK: Getting Started

A group of teenagers from the valley just released their very first CD. Gerygone & Twig used Kickstarter to raise money to produce the album called, “The Slee-py.”

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Photo courtesy of Gerygone & Twig.
Photo courtesy of Gerygone & Twig.

The Wasilla based indie-folk band already has a small group of devoted fans. Now, with the new CD they are reaching more listeners in zip-codes across the nation.

Imagine an evening sitting in your living room with dim yellow lights, indie-folk music floating throughout the room. You and your friends are sipping some Kaladi coffee. This is what four-piece, teen-band Gerygone & Twig created at the First Presbyterian Church of Wasilla for their CD release show a few weeks ago. Not to mention, they brought a cake shaped like a banjo.

The band met through friends and during choir at Colony High School in Palmer. Member Rainy Hastings explains how they chose the name Gerygone & Twig.

“Well, a Gerygone is an Australian songbird whose name translates to ‘born of sound’ and twig is also a verb which means to understand especially using your eyes,” Rainy Hastings said, explaining how the group came up with its name. “I think it’s a good metaphor for our style, the way we like to incorporate words that people don’t know and how all of our lyrics have a way deeper meaning than what they sound like they mean.”

From band bios to concert posters and their music, the group has a poetic, folksy style.

The bands primary instruments are guitar, banjo, violin and upright bass, and they often take turns playing them.

“Another signature part of our band is that we are pretty rich in harmonies, we sing together a lot,” Hastings said.

The groups influences are Sufjan Stevens, Fleet Foxes and Andrew Bird.

Photo courtesy of Gerygone & Twig.
Photo courtesy of Gerygone & Twig.

Determined to create an album, the band made a Kickstarter page online. Member Grace Kari said before they made the page, many of their family and friends didn’t know what Kickstarter was.

But the group was inspired by Alaska musician Marian Call, who also completed a successful Kickstarter campaign. She raised over $63,000 for her trip to Europe to tour and record a live album. Taking the lead from Call, Kari and her band set out with a smaller goal of raising enough money to record on their own in the Valley.

“We were like, we can do that! And so, we spent a long time making a stop-motion,” Kari said. “We made 1800 dollars to cover cost of the Slee-py.”

When the funds were raised, Gerygone & Twig purchased a small ProTools work station and recorded everything using just one microphone. Member Alex Lindgren says, friends with experience recording helped show them the ropes.

“We learned a lot in the process of doing this, then came the technical things like mixing and mastering,” Lindgren said.

Band member Grace Kari is happy with how the CD turned out

“The results were exceptional and way beyond our expectations,” she said.

Gerygone & Twig will be playing with another local band “Marching Band Solo” at Jitters Cafe in Eagle River on April 27, from 3-5 p.m.