First, I pay my respects to the fallen Prince, whose legacy will always live in thriving artists like the band whose news I am honored to bring you today.
“EM-I-LY! EM-I-LY! EM-I-LY!” chanted the audience, following Brother StarRace Vocalist Emily Woods’ ridiculously good solo, “Sign Up” at Schubas Wednesday Night. Although the band does delicate work compiling lyrics, all I could care to listen to during this song was the power in Woods’ lungs. While some people cheered her on throughout this imploring song, I stood mesmerized, working to separate every single note…and to “make it count,” something she belts.
Arranged by Communion Music, Brother StarRace headlined for three other bands, which included Australian reggae/hip-hop/jazz group Jakubi, swaying the crowd in preparation for StarRace. It was a smooth transition between the two bands, which share the quality of soul. Alongside Jakubi and Brother StarRace Wednesday night were CYN and AyOH, whom I unfortunately did not get to see.
The entire Brother StarRace set Wednesday night focused on support for one another with lyrics like “We know what you’re fighting for” pounding through the room. Lead Guitarist Danny Kulasik periodically joined Woods and Frontman Richards Juarez on the mic to further empower that support. The band is enduring a coming of age, complete with its success thus far and fear of the unknown.
This is a clear message, as in a previous post-performance interview with the band, that struggle is what Juarez and Woods highlighted. “We fight so often,” Juarez said of the band, questioning the worth of its collective endeavor. Woods alluded to a constant uneasiness from a combination of exhaustion and lack of physical payout after the art has been written and presented.
“It’s an internal fight, but then we talk about it, and we play a show, and we’re all fine again,” said Juarez. He referred to the desire for a “normal” life with a lucrative career as a temptation.
Anne Debre’s bass, Justin Doebert’s rhythm guitar and Scott Paloian’s drums mix to give the walls a racing heartbeat, as the name of the band implies. Mentioned in my show preview, members of Brother StarRace work toward a collective, rather relatable goal to live their lives immersed in nothing but music. The sound of a heartbeat represents the determination to achieve the goal.
Alas, music as a career is a paradox. Specifically, the band showcases a combination of excitement and anxiety by coupling the reverberating words, “I’m so damn scared” with a climbing guitar riff. But this band wants to present to you its ambitions, regardless of that fear of the unknown.
And I feel it deep down that the fight will soon pay off.
Check out Brother StarRace’s album, Passion Prayers, on iTunes, and most recently, on Spotify.