Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Feb 01st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Older and Wiser

music audiafauna1Local pop/folk/electronica outfit Audiafauna grows up on debut LP, ‘Grow Down’

When it comes to thrift store shopping in Santa Cruz, there’s no deal that’s too good to be true. But nobody understands the value of thrift stores better than Krikor Andonian, the guitarist and keyboardist for local pop, folk, and electronica-laden quintet, Audiafauna. It was at a thrift store on Front Street in 2008, where Andonian—then a grad student studying plant ecology at UC Santa Cruz—met singer Kelly Koval, who was studying literature at the time.

“I noticed her in the store, and we ended up in line together and started chatting,” recalls Andonian, who now teaches at De Anza College in Cupertino. Their chat continued past checkout and evolved into a musical partnership, even though he admits, “We never tried to make a band. We just sat down and wrote songs together.” Koval made a lasting impression on Andonian, who gushes, “I really do love the way that she communicates through music and the lyrics.”

The pair debuted their first three-track EP, The Leaflet, in 2010, with songs chock-full of subtle electronic beats, plus chilling keys and strings. The opening track, “Fallen,” leaves the listener on pins and needles, as Koval sings an apocalyptic version of “Rain Rain Go Away,” combating the end of the world as swiftly and efficiently as a seamstress: “The day the sky fell from the heavens/ I grabbed my needle and thread/ and lifted my head up to the heavens/ and sewed it right back up again.”
Adding texture to the rich, assorted sound that is Audiafauna, is R2 the Specialist (drums/electronics), Alexis Hawks (cello), and Natural Bridges State Park employee Chris Lynch (violin/keys), all of whom are featured in the video for “Roots,” in which they alternate between playing instruments and pretending to do so with tree branches. In the chorus, Koval sings: “Somewhere there’s a tree that grows up endlessly/ for all of the life you share with your friends and family/ the roots sing to the core/ the roots sing to the core.”

music audiafauna2“Roots” is the second track off of Audiafauna’s 17-track debut LP, Grow Down—recorded and mixed by R2, whom Andonian affectionately defines as “the mastermind” and “The Wizard of Oz”— released on their Bandcamp page on May 5. Grow Down clocks in around the one hour mark, approximately 10 times as long as The Leaflet; with this duration, the band has succeeded in its efforts to showcase its miscellaneous music, influenced by all sorts of genres and artists.
Andonian says Lana Del Rey is a big influence for Koval, who has “been really into that minimalist, really simple … piano and vocals, subtle effects” type of sound. “For me, I’ve got one foot in the electronic world,” says Andonian, “building this world between folk and beautiful human melodies with [that of] the electronic. SBTRKT and James Blake have been super influential.”

He explains that Blake is “doing exactly what we want to be doing—really pushing the envelope as to what is pleasant in your ears. He manages to make harsh, abrasive tones palatable.”

On Friday, Audiafauna will celebrate the release of Grow Down, which took a year and a half to record, at Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park. Part of the proceeds will benefit Santa Cruz state parks. Asked why the band chose to perform there, Andonian said, “Rather than support a bar or a venue, it’s something we believe in.”

In an effort to further help the environment, the band was insistent on eco-friendly packaging for its new album. “Except for the CD, there’s no plastic in there,” Andonian says with pride. “The tray is made of recycled egg carton. The central thing that keeps it in place is made out of cork. It’s pretty much biodegradable.”

Audiafauna plays at 8 p.m. Friday, June 1, at Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park, 144 School St., Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $20/door. Visit brownpapertickets.com.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Throwing It All Away

Everybody’s for recycling, right? So why are we all doing it wrong? Our reporter gets down and dirty to uncover 10 secrets that will finally make the recycling process make sense

 

Aquarius Calling, Humanity Rising

Aquarius (11th sign after Aries) is the sign of service—serving one another, building community. Aquarius is fixed air, stabilizing new ideas in the world. When new ideas reach the masses the ideas become ideals within the hearts and minds of humanity. Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) are mental. They think, ponder, study, research, gather and distribute information. For air signs, education and learning, communicating, writing, being social, tending to money, participating in groups and creating sustainable communities are most important. One of the present messages Aquarius is putting forth to the New Group of World Servers is the creation of the New Education (thus thinking) for humanity—one based not on commodities (banking/corporate values) but on virtues. Humanity and Aquarius Aquarius is the sign of humanity itself. We are now at the beginnings of the Age of Aquarius, the Age of Humanity (rising). The “rising” is the Aquarian vision of equality, unity, the distribution and sharing of all resources and of individual (Leo) creative gifts for the purpose of humanity’s (Aquarius) uplifting. This is the message in the Solar Festival of Aquarius (at the full moon) on Tuesday, Feb. 3. We join in these visions by reciting the World Prayer of Direction, the Great Invocation.Tuesday’s solar festival follows Monday’s Groundhog Day, or Imbolc (ancient Celtic fire festival) the halfway mark between winter solstice and spring Equinox). The New Group of World Servers (NGWS) during these two days are preparing for the upcoming Three Spring Solar Festivals: 1. Aries Resurrection/Easter Festival (April); 2. Taurus Buddha/Wesak Festival (May); and 3. Gemini’s Festival of Humanity (June). Aquarius and the new and full moons together are the primary astrological influences behind all of humanity’s endeavors. The NGWS are to teach these things, calling and uplifting humanity. Join us everyone. (301)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Job Insecurity

Woman fights for her job in thoughtful, life-sized ‘Two Days One Night’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Jeffrey’s Restaurant

Why quick and friendly service matters at a local diner.

 

If you didn't live in Santa Cruz, where would you be living?

I would live in Kauai because the water is warmer, and I just love it there. Maureen Niehaus, Santa Cruz, Dental Assistant

 

Clos LaChance Wines

Pinot Noir 2012

 

Striking Gold

A taste of Soquel Vineyards’ five gold medal-winning Pinots