the singing limbs
Words by Sarah Leighton

The Singing Limbs’ music is music for the brain and the booty.

The band recently played on the historic stage at the Great American Music Hall, giving everyone a taste of their soon-to-be-released EP. As the band opened their set with "Stay," the first song off their new record, the crowd was unable to contain themselves as they were transported through space and time with each solo.

“Stay,” as described by guitarist and singer Cam Gibbons, “exemplifies our roots best — it’s a bit of soul, a bit of psych, and it’s a great example of the way we communicate as musicians.” That complex sound reflects the diversity of the city they come from, making them a band that is quintessentially San Francisco.

Eclectic, tight, groovy, and soulful are all adjectives at the core of living in San Francisco, the very city The Singing Limbs happily call home. As such, it is no surprise that their sound is a varied mix of soul, psych, and rock that you can’t help but simultaneously dance to and feel on an emotional level. Their live shows burst with energy and exude a sense of interconnectedness — a kind that often takes other young bands years to achieve.

The Singing Limbs consists of Cam guitar and vocals, Mike DeLuccia on drums, Dom Colombini on bass, and Josh Greenberger on keys and vocals. Dom and Josh met Mike and Cam through the San Francisco-born site Craigslist. When Cam and Mike posted for a keyboardist, they mostly heard back from amateurs. Just as they were giving up, Josh found their ad.

Josh didn’t visit Craigslist on that day to find a band to join. Instead, Josh was searching for last-minute concert tickets to see Vulfpeck, a band they would discover later that all four of them regarded highly. Unable to find last-minute tickets, Josh decided to try out. According to Josh, "Vulfpeck was the band that brought me to the group, so it’s fitting that one of the few covers we’ve played together was Vulfpeck. Sharing a taste in music has been really important to the band, to find our musical roots and to just connect with each other as people."

Around the same time, Dom posted an ad on Craigslist as a bassist seeking a band. Instead of posting all the things he could play, he posted things he didn't want to do. “At one point I think we (Cam and I) had lost all hope in finding the right fit, and then [Dom and Josh] just crashed right into us. Fate is funny like that,” Mike said. Upon seeing Dom jam out on bass with his (then) extremely long dark brown locks, they knew they were pulling together a very special team of musicians.

The Singing Limbs recently recorded their first studio EP, which is set to come out in February. With deep roots in the Bay Area music scene, they decided to record at Tiny Telephone with local legends John Vanderslice and engineer Beau Sorenson. Cam couldn’t have had a better time: “Recording at Tiny Telephone was such a great experience, we had a deadline that kept us focused and determined, but in a space that was welcoming and creative. Working with sound engineer Beau Sorenson really helped us find our sound in the studio, and was like having another member of the group for a weekend. And geeking out over gear with John Vanderslice was a trip.” The Singing Limbs produced their EP on analog tape, knowing that the process required immense dedication and preparation to produce a richer, more authentic sound. Their distinguished tightness comes out of this dedication and preparation for the EP.

During the four days of mixing and recording, they adequately captured a snapshot of their current place in their journey together. “[The songs] were the first songs that we co-wrote or composed together," said Cam. "You can hear how each part played was an individual’s unique voice that blends with the group.” The fact that no two songs sound the same makes for a a pleasant identity crisis — and even though they’re all different, they share the singular goal of making you want to dance. Each song is introspective and vulnerable, but also displays a shared consciousness among the band members and the audience. That shared consciousness is felt through every song; the diverse sounds gradually unveil different perspectives and take you on a musical excursion. You can’t help but get wrapped up and whisked away.

What’s next for the Singing Limbs? The band won’t kiss and tell, but they are planning some shows to support the release of their EP, including a stop at Bottom of the Hill on the 31st. Stay up to date on their adventure through their website or follow them on social media.

The Singing Limbs, The Post Maker, Klez
Bottom of the Hill
January 31, 2017
8:30pm, $8 (21+)

Raised in the Bay Area and schooled in the mountains of Colorado, Sarah is a lover of live music, ugly dogs, international travels, and vintage treasures.

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