THE VINDYS: GOING NONSTOP
By GUY D’ASTOLFO
This is a busy weekend for the Vindys.
On Friday, the rock quartet will open for Hunter Hayes at Cleveland’s House of Blues.
On Saturday, the Vindys will release “Keep Going,” its second album and first full-length one.
Also on Saturday, the band will perform in the morning at the Record Connection in Niles as part of the Record Store Day celebration, and then play another set in the evening at the Federal Frenzy festival in downtown Youngstown.
The new album is a high-water mark for the band.
It has a timeless – almost throwback – style that’s built around Jackie Popovec’s expressive vocals. Slinky, sultry and jazzy by turns, the songs showcase the band’s distinctive style and place in the regional scene.
Built on a musical foundation that is mature and confident, the overall effect of “Keep Going” is that of a vision that’s been fully realized.
In a recent interview, Popovec, who wrote the songs, said she was pleased with how the album turned out.
“The first [album] we released was for fun,” she said. “We were all over the board on it. This one is different. This one came out just as I wanted it. This one is me.”
The nine songs in the collection fit together to form a whole. That was the goal, said Popovec, explaining that it took a while to find the right groove.
“I had a lot of songs ready last year, but I wanted [the album] to be cohesive,” she said. “I was having trouble writing and reached out to my colleagues. I began writing with Rick Deak (SinOMatic, Radio Lark). We wrote alt-country, which is not my thing, but working in a different genre got the creative juices flowing for what I wanted to do with the Vindys.”
Deak mixed the album, which was recorded at Peppermint Recording Studios in Youngstown and mastered at Cauliflower Audio in Cleveland.
With a few years under its belt, the band members’ comfort with each other is noticeable on the album.
“The cohesive sound stems from knowing each other,” said Popovec. “They’re part of the arrangement. I came to my bandmates with chords and lyrics and said, ‘What kind of riff can we do here?’ They came up with a lot of things I didn’t think about.”
John Anthony is the Vindys guitarist, with Ed Davis on drums and Clay Colley on keys. All three are graduates of the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University. Scott Boyer, a Slippery Rock State University grad, plays bass on the album.
The first single, “Too Long,” was released earlier this month. The new album also includes updated versions of two Vindys favorites from the first EP: “Bang” and “Red Wine.”
With the band’s pop sound and ability to adapt, it’s no surprise the Vindys caught the ear of touring pop-country star Hayes. Popovec’s voice and stage presence also helped it secure the opening slot at Friday’s House of Blues concert.
Hayes was looking for a female-fronted act to open its Cleveland show. The Vindys submitted a video to him and wound up getting the nod.
The band will play its set in acoustic mode, in keeping with Hayes’ request.