Demarcus had recently returned home to Georgia from New York after finishing her degree at Juilliard. Apathetic to creating music for financial gain or status and notoriety, she struggled with the sound that her music school had forced on her. Stale and unhappy, she desired a bit of renaissance in her life.
That reawaking came in the form of an unstable and insecure first impression of Kirslis, who, disheveled and wayward, hopped off a train and into her life. Although DeMarcus would initially keep Kirslis at arm’s length, the two would end up spending momentous time together. Inevitably the rapport was life-altering. Kirslis found a musician who could respond to his quirky songwriting style and DeMarcus found a kindred spirit to encourage her and provide musical freedom.
The unintentional blending of music theory and self-taught DIY roots music would produce the matchless makeup of Cicada Rhythm. With an antique sound borrowed from the vintage console record players in your grandma’s living room, the band’s self-titled record flawlessly captures an authentic old-fashioned twang and drawl. Demarcus’ vocals swell, shrill, and sharp on tracks like “The Keeper” and “Walking Late”; her voice rises the way a hymn clings to the rafters in an old, country church. In contrast, Kirslis’ lyrics move with country swagger and a darker strut on tracks like “Dirty Hound” and “Static in my Dream.” Universally, deep strings build around the lyrics, with a melancholy yet pacifying contrast that is remarkable. It is this melding of light and dark that defines and separates the band from the commonplace and trendy Americana movement of today. The genuine and unpretentious sounds directly reflect the band’s desire to make music for music’s sake.
It is that candidness that makes the duo an authentic slice of Americana, worthy of consideration and acclaim. Cicada Rhythm is more than a band, they’re a chronicle of serendipitous events.
Find out for yourself by listening to “In The Garden” below: