On their first album, And How!, the San Francisco trio known as Weather Pending creates deep, sultry, continuously unfolding music with a sound that’s vaguely familiar and surprisingly unique, a fever dream of exquisite beauty. The band’s electronic grooves and the smoky vocals of singer Janie Oliver draw you in, enticing you with their understated charm. Bass player and producer Rob Cross accompanies Oliver’s luminous vocals with the dark, melancholy rhythms of hip hop and dub reggae, profound tones that swirl and dance with the force of a restless ocean while guitarist Brian Bloi’s chords color with shimmering overtones that emote with aching melodies. The album’s ten songs have a cinematic, one drop, hip hop flavor driven by the subliminal swing enhanced by guest drummers Max MacVeety (Crown City Rockers, Zion I) and Derek G. Taylor (Nino Moschella, Alice Russell, Hyim, Darondo).
The trio comes from different backgrounds. Oliver was influenced by theater, studied classical music, and sang a lot of jazz. Cross produces and loves dub, reggae and hip hop. Brian Bloi spent time in Nashville, Miami, and France - a musical gypsy with a cinematic approach to guitar. They’re avoiding formulas and letting music unfold with an honest, uplifting message.
And How! is a group effort, a mix of home recordings and studio work, assembled by Cross at Broken Radio Studios in San Francisco. It was recorded live to two inch analog tape on a Studer tape machine, with overdubs done at Cross’s home studio. MacVeety and Taylor, though recorded at different times, play simultaneously on almost every track, giving the music a sense of swing most electronic music lacks.
Hafez / Four Tet / Lenny Breau / Michael Jackson / The Human League / Vince Guaraldi / Deepfried / The Postal Service / Portishead / Bill Frisell / Air / Fleetwood Mac / Sneaker Pimps / Les Paul & Mary Ford / Björk / Mazzy Star / The Cinematic Orchestra / Ani DiFranco / Chet Atkins / Les Nubians / scores / Your Mom / Massive Attack / Billy Holiday / Morcheeba / Pink Floyd / Rumi / Little Dragon / Esthero / Goldfrapp / Buddha / Daniel Lanois / Koop / Thievery Corporation / Bloi / The Books / Sly & The Family Stone / Pat Metheny / Saint Etienne / Stereolab / Tricky / Junior Boys / Radiohead / Aimee Mann / Antony / Leonard Cohen / Mom / The Flaming Lips / Jesus / Emmy Lou Harris / EVH / SRV / Django / Jaco / Annie Lennox / Paul Simon / Beth Orton / Talking Heads / Bittersweet / Azure Ray