We’re taking this show on the road. We’ve gone remote to bring you a special on-location EarthQuaker Session featuring Baltimore-based psychedelic soul band Celebration.
Celebration takes the name to heart. They rarely perform live, but each show is, well, a celebration. There’s usually a theme, and the band enlists their friends to transform DIY venues into hand-built spectacles rivaling any stadium show. For the release of their 2011 album Hello Paradise, they recruited a team of roughly ten or fifteen people to spend the better part of two days turning Baltimore’s 2640 Space into a cloud-themed dreamland – they sold cumulus cotton candy at the merch table and projected images of birds flying across the ceiling while they performed.
Today we’re cozied up in Celebration’s dimly-lit rehearsal studio to witness a performance of “Armies and Leggies,” so the theme is night-vision.
Vocalist Katrina Ford uses a Pigtronix Keymaster to interface with her vocal effects – the Warden compressor lends her vocals a character-driven, soulful quality reminiscent of classic studio gear, while the Avalanche Run reverb and delay gives her voice a lift with its pillow-y ambience.
Meanwhile, multi-instrumentalist Sean Antanaitis handles synthesizer, organ, and bass pedal duties with help from the Westwood transparent overdrive, Pyramids stereo flanger, and Space Spiral modulated delay – punctuating Ford’s vocal phrasing with sharp organ outbursts and spacey psychedelic strings doused in electronic ambience.