The Boston Globe sums it up, “Little band. Big Sound.” No more needs to be said. Although the only thing “little” about Sirsy is there are just two of them. The rest is bigger than balls on a buffalo.
Listen to the power in their latest recording “Coming Into Frame”. You can feel it. It’s crank-up the volume music, even when the heartfelt ballads kick in. And why so much power? Melanie Krahmer on drums and vocals, Rich Libutti on guitar. That’s why.
And, according to Sirsy a lot of credit goes to Grammy-winning producers, Paul Kolderie and Sean Slade (Hole, Radiohead, Dresden Dolls, Pixies). According to Melanie, known as Mel to fans and friends alike, “Our fans have said that the energy of our live show hasn't translated onto our previous recordings. They are going to notice a different energy level on this record and it's because of how Paul and Sean worked with us."
Do you know what a click track is? It's like a metronome and is used in recording to keep things perfect. Some believe it can take away from the spontaneity of a recording artist. According to Mel, "On some tracks, Paul and Sean didn't use a click track on purpose. The result is a few of the songs vary in tempo to suit the mood and energy of the song." In other words the recording is real. Rich, the highly talented guitarist for Sirsy says, “It seems ridiculous to remove tempo changes. Listen to ‘The Cost Of You’. It speeds up at the end. That gives it the intensity there.”
So “power” and “real” are the key words to describe the new recording and Sirsy itself. As Aftertaste Magazine said regarding Mel, “Bursting and belting out emotion and substance, she can be the queen of ‘in the groove’ rocking or be simple and delicate.” And get this, she also plays a full drum kit while standing up (she’s been featured in Modern Drummer Magazine), handles bass (played on a keyboard with her drumstick), and even throws in an occasional flute solo. Rich Libutti plays everything else, including seething guitar; bass (on a keyboard at his feet); and he is the anchor to Melanie's on stage tornado. Just the two of them because, “We never found other musicians who understood”, according to Rich.
And they write. They write clever, smart songs that have more hooks than a tackle box. They both write the music. Mel takes care of the lyrics and they might set you back a few feet. They could even be called “dark” which is weird because when you talk with this duo the conversation is usually littered with laughs. But Mel says, "Calling the lyrics dark is appropriate, or maybe introspective says it better." She is a student of the English language and lyrics are a natural art to her. But she studies before the work begins. “I do love to listen to other artists to get inspired lyrically.” Like Coldplay, or a somewhat obscure Irish band called The Frames. And, at times when a "more down home feel is needed", Bruce Springsteen.
“I listened to a Jackson Browne tune 'Shape of A Heart'," Mel said, “and immediately wrote the words to our song, ‘Gold’.” “I didn't take anything directly from his song, but it set a mood for me." In "The Cost of You", there is a poetic line which says, "But I spent the cost of you". It calls to mind, the Joni Mitchell song, “Case Of You”. But Joni’s drinking a case of him and still standing on her feet. Mel’s had it up to here. She’s done.
Sirsy plays over 200 shows a year, bringing their indie rock sound to the masses and are about to expand nationally. “Coming Into Frame” will bring them beyond their east coast/mid-west comfort zone and into new territory including the south, and west coast. You will normally find them in the headline slot but they have also been special guests of such musical stalwarts as Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Maroon5, Train, RaRaRiot, Boys Like Girls, Third Eye Blind, Lifehouse, Blues Traveler, Cheap Trick, and many more.
Although the lyrics can be a little dark or introspective and the power of Sirsy can get pretty intense, “there is no sadness there”, Mel says. “On stage we radiate joy. It’s just us being free and playing music."