Posts Tagged ‘Greg Rutkin’

Since 2011, the New York band LVL UP has grown up from a dorm room demo collaboration into a full-fledged songwriting force. From their indelibly catchy debut album, Space Brothers, to their 2016 Sub Pop Records release, Return to Love, the band never lost the spark that made their warm hearted indie rock tick. Now, after seven years together, LVL UP are calling it quits, but not before issuing an emotional swan song. “Orchard,” the group’s final single, feels like a fitting end to a musical project based on college friendship. It’s the sort of tune you might imagine playing over the closing credits of a buddy movie as the sun sets in the rearview mirror.

On “Orchard,” thick guitar chords and a haze of synthesized flutes evoke the feeling of humid summer air, while downturned vocal melodies convey a sense of nostalgia for a time that hasn’t quite ended yet. Midway through the track, all the instruments save the drums fall away, leaving the vocals bare. “Watching water run through the fingers,” sings vocalist and guitarist Mike Caridi, as if he’s trying to freeze time as it slips by. By the end, though, drummer Greg Rutkin has shifted to an upbeat pattern, putting an optimistic spin on the melancholy mood. It’s as if a new beginning were forming inside the song’s finish, a new era emerging from the close of the last one. “Orchard” may be the epilogue to a great rock act, but it’s also a reminder that there’s life after the breakup of a band.

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More spicy-hot gumbo to spoon into your ears. LVL UP write great songs and there is just something charming  about them. This band is simply infectious! For me, The Closing Door might be among my favorite songs thus far of theirs. It hits all the right spots and is a song anyone can get into. Definitely recommend giving this band a listen. Hopefully some new product will be out this year.

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Originally released July 16th, 2015

LVL UP is Greg Rutkin, Nick Corbo, Dave Benton and Mike Caridi. Susannah Cutler makes keyboard contributions on The Closing Door.

The character in ‘Blur’ is a person who despite his demeanors, is living in loneliness and nostalgia. There’s something subtly striking and tragic about someone living in the past, which the character in Blur is doing, in an increasingly monotonous and cyclical sense throughout the video.” the idea of a character doing burnouts in an empty lot. I thought that was a hilarious but depressing visual, that said so much to me about this character’s inner life, and we jumped off from there. Mike’s songs deal a lot with nostalgia, loneliness, and memory, so it felt right to document and dramatize parts of his life that he’s put into the music as well.”