Their story is, as fate would have it, a romantic one. Eric Carranza and Nora O’Brien "met in a dark alley in the wee small hours of the morning," as Eric tells it, and that's not an exaggeration. Let's set the scene. Enter Nora - talented filmmaker, musician, and above all, storyteller - complete with a gorgeous voice and endearing wit, stage right. Then on stage left, Eric - multi-instrumentalist, musician-about-town, and improv comedian (although he might not describe it that way) - saunters in with a guitar, hands Nora a glass of wine, and suggests they just "see what happens." Nora won't let Eric look at her when she sings, at first. But after renditions of old standards and obscure favorites, a last minute show cancellation sends them onto a stage in real life. Show leads to show, and recordings become part of the picture. Friends and fans are eager to bring a piece of this story home with them, and so something tangible comes together: For Lovers.
This album is Hot Date's first, and is "a reflection of our excitement, that new idea moment and the rush it gives you," as Nora told me. Being a veteran of the local music scene, Eric knows that each band has its own way of doing things. For the novel project Hot Date, he explained that "the songs have been mostly improvised by Nora and myself in moments of joyful play." These concepts are clearly evident in For Lovers, as Nora's sweet and sultry vocals are matched by a myriad of jazz, rock, and blues influences. You can hear the smiles behind their voices, the sass in the strings, the playfulness in percussion. Fresh, fun, and original, it is simply a delight to listen to.
The niche of modern romantic jazz-pop they exemplify is shared by popular groups such as The Bird and The Bee and Bitter:Sweet, as can be heard on stand-out tunes "A Toast" or "Sex and Melodrama." It's not a common style of music being made today, and it's refreshing to set ears on a quality compilation that stands out from the rest. This album is a collaboration of luck, chemistry, close friends, and the best kind of spontaneity. Musical, that is. What were you thinking?
Join the handsome couple Hot Date and special guests (and fellow romantics) We are the Willows and The Person and the People to celebrate the release of their debut album on Friday, February 13 at the Bedlam Lowertown, 8pm - 11pm.*
*date not required.
Special thanks to Eric and Nora for sharing their personal insight on the making of the album. xoxo