Corbezzolo bandmates Marie Corbo and Noah Demland make music black as 'Midnight.'
When Corbezzolo bandmates Marie Corbo and Noah Demland discussed their musical histories in a recent interview, a picture at odds with the two-piece's rumbling, bass-and-drums rock sound began to emerge. Corbo started her music career in the coffeehouse singer-songwriter scene, crafting acoustic tunes as quiet as her speaking voice. Demland, meanwhile, moonlighted in high school rock bands before gravitating toward orchestral music, eventually earning a music degree from Ohio State University.
But when the two first connected in the fall of 2013, introduced by a mutual friend, they opted to set aside these quieter, more studied roots to make rowdy rock tunes better suited to the evening hours, a development that helps account for the title of the band's most recent EP, Midnight, which it will celebrate with a record release show at the Summit on Friday, Jan. 27.
“I found it so thrilling to hear [the music] at a different volume rather than just being acoustic,” said Corbo, who joined Demland for a mid-January interview at a Downtown coffee shop. “Instead of people coming up to me and saying, ‘This is music I want to listen to in the morning when I wake up,' I wanted them to say, ‘This is something that gets me going and makes me feel alive, and makes me want to start a revolution.' And it's hard to do that with an acoustic guitar.”
The duo tracked Midnight quickly, recording the EP's seven songs live — with no vocal overdubs — in two five-hour sessions at Musicol Recording Studios on back-to-back days in January 2016. Songs like “Limitless,” a deep, rickety number where Corbo sounds like she's plucking a bass strung with barbed wire, and the darkly ominous “Big Gay,” reflect this immediacy, like snippets captured during a live show — which was part of the idea, it turns out. “Part of what we really like about playing together is the chemistry between us,” Demland said. “We wanted to catch that in the recording.”
Throughout, the music projects a forest-darkness, driven by Corbo's deep bass tones, which have a way of shading even those seemingly sunny lyrical asides. “Got stars in my eyes,” she sings on “Big Gay,” a line she delivers like a woman attempting to mask more devious motivations.
“You can say any sentence and change the feel of it just by how you sing it,” Corbo said. “It can sound aggressive or sarcastic, nice or scary. It can also be more haunting when you have this demon-esque bass sound coming from behind you as opposed to a relaxing acoustic guitar. It changes the character of everything you're trying to convey.”