Santa Carla. It sounds like the name of some mysterious, sun-soaked town on the Pacific coast. It's an evocative calling card for the industrious fellowship of local lads now on the brink of releasing their debut album. Since October, the Liverpool-based band have welcomed two new members into the fold, completed recording work on their first offering, and played a string of well-received dates around the North West.
With Motion Picture scheduled for release on Digital Wings Records from March 3 2003, singer and guitarist Simon Barber described his feelings on working with local producer, Mike Crossey (Ash, Atomic Kitten, Echo and the Bunnymen), who takes mixing duties on the album:
“We feel incredibly fortunate to have Mike on board,” he says “he's very much in-demand these days and to have him so keen to work with us is a great boost to our collective confidence. What's most important to us is that he's a dedicated music fan and a discerning listener who cares about songs before all else.”
Songs are indeed at the core of this band's emotionally charged set. From the tempestuous energy of 'Marianne' to the quirky humour of 'Mister Operator', the album showcases the band's distinctive blend of folksy melodicism and subtle funk inflections.
Brian O'Connor, the band's bassist, admits that Santa Carla are relishing the prospect of promoting Motion Picture over the coming year:
“As soon as the album comes out we'll be going on tour around the country. I think we're at our best when we're playing live, so I'm really looking forward to doing that non-stop for pretty much the rest of the year.”
Drummer Chris Pye for one is looking forward to the launch party, although he is quick to play down any sense of formality “to tell you the truth it's not so much as a promotional bash as just a way of marking the work we've done so far. Obviously we've got a lot of work ahead of us, but it will be nice to kick back for one evening and have fun just doing our thing.”
As well as promoting the album around the UK, the band intend to head back into the studio with Mike Crossey over Easter to record an EP. Simon recounts “yeah, basically it stems from Mike's enthusiasm for the band and the material we're coming out with. As soon as we finished work on Motion Picture he really couldn't wait to throw down some more tunes, so there'll be more to come from Santa Carla very soon.”
Motion Picture will be available to purchase from 03/03/03 at selected stores throughout the UK. You will be able to buy the album online here at glasswerk soon also.