by Natalia Hernández Somarriba
photos Silvio Balladares
“There are songs from all genres, but they all sound like us”.-Evan Rhodes-
When Evan said that, I had only listened to Crazyheart, the first single form the new group Beautiful Reactions, formed by Clara Grun, Evan Rhodes y Rodrigo Castro. I genuinely did not believe him. It didn’t seem likely that a record with such different song styles (dubstep, rock, latin and electronic) would manage to achieve a common sound. But the chele was right.
Perhaps what attracted me to this project, besides its band members - whom I’ve followed for a long time now, and have made me sing and dance more than a dozen times - is that feeling of “work in progress”. I don’t mean that the songs sound unfinished, I’m talking about that flow that I expect from music and people: that feeling of seeing someone and not knowing what has changed, but at the same time having the certainty that the mix of old and new work well together.
///download: crazy heart///
La Gotera studio is where the trio has been recording and playing. “Maybe at first we didn’t know what we were looking for, but as we were spending more time and sharing experiences together, we started chasing an ideal sound and knew what elements each one of us would bring to the table” says Clara.
These elements are the musical background that each Beautiful Reactions member had. Rodrigo comes from Punk Rock with groups like Q69K and Pequeño Parlante. Evan, on the other hand, has a background in electronic music, but he’s already experimented in Nicaragua with Run Dun Crew’s Money Tough album, a band which Evan produces, DJs for, and is the keyboardist. At the same time Clara Grun, has played trova, rock, and electronic music in different groups as well as being a pianist and vocalist since her teen age years.
I dare say that the real experiment doesn’t lie on the diverse musical tastes, but on the desire to find other sounds that come from what these three have in common and what alienates them. Perhaps this is the group’s accomplishment, though in the next installment they’ll have to devise a new sound experiment.
“We also use in lots of songs Clara’s voice as an instrument, cut and processed”-rodrigo-
Rodrigo Castro, sound engineer and musician explains the mix between electronic and instrumental or vocal sounds to which Beautiful Reactions aspires.
“We have crossed electronic and acoustic fields very well, there’s a song where almost all instruments are recorded - drums, conga, guitar, bass - and there’s another where the only thing recorded is a hi hat drum and the rest is electronic. Therefore we have sailed, I think, on both ends pretty well and it shows in the songs. You can hear which ones are more centered, which ones are more electronic and which are more acoustic”.
“We also use in lots of songs Clara’s voice as an instrument, cut and processed” says Rodrigo.
Crazyheart is the first single, which will be posted free online for a while, then they plan to release a music video and of course a concert tour.
They chose this song as the first single because according to Clara, “we feel that it is the most obvious and easiest to digest from what is Beautiful Reactions, and it sticks with the vibe the music has”.
She’s right about it, nevertheless, I must confess my three favorite songs are Get a Room, Blow my Mind and Crowded Ashtrays. Get ready the concerts, and hope that Beautiful Reactions hurry up and release the album.