White After Labor Day
By Jessica Novak
White After Labor Day immediately gained popularity when it burst onto the Syracuse University music scene in 2007. But when the innovative pop-rock five-piece signed with Marshall Street Records last year, the development of the band took on a new dimension.
The band, comprised of singer/songwriter and pianist Anthony Cacace, guitarist Kevin Muldoon, bassist Phil Curtis, cellist Emily Elkin and drummer Brian Ludwig, integrates each member’s individual styles and influences, producing a catchy, yet unusual sound.
Drummer Brian Ludwig appreciates the work student-run Marshal Street Records puts into managing and promoting the up-and-coming band.
“It’s good to have [Marshall Street Records] pushing us forward and helping us out,” said White After Labor Day’s drummer and Syracuse University senior Brian Ludwig. “Working with Marshall Street lets us focus on music while they do business. It helps to smooth everything over.”
Since joining the student-run label, WALD has recorded a new album, released it digitally, and now plans to make CDs available upon their official record release party in October. The event will celebrate their accomplishments thus far and help create momentum to propel the group into the new school year.
“Not many groups come out of Crouse, so we’d like to get the music school out there,” said Ludwig. “We want to get kids more involved in pop music, not just classical, and stretch the SU name.”
Co-manager of Marshall Street Records, Andrew Beyda shares similar goals for Ludwig and his band mates.
“There’s often a disconnect between music on the Hill and music not on the Hill,” said Beyda. “If you move a show downtown, you lose people. We are working on getting our name and the band’s beyond campus.”
The label has previously worked to connect SU music to greater Syracuse by signing groups like Sophistafunk, a local band of SU alumni and locals, and by planning shows like last year’s Ra Ra Riot concert at the Westcott Theater, which attracted both SU students and locals. This year the label also created a new position, director of retail, to help foster relationships with people and businesses beyond the SU campus.
MSR is also affiliated with Syracuse University Recordings, which places greater emphasis on SU ensembles, while MSR seeks new talent outside of the classroom. The labels function as a class for students involved in the Bandier Program for Music and the Entertainment Industries, allowing them hands-on experience in the field.
“We want to provide value to the artist’s experience,” said Beyda. “But we also want to offer value to the students’ experience and keep them as our focus.”
So far, it seems White After Labor Day and Marshall Street Records are both enjoying each other’s company.
“It’s hard to judge your own stuff,” said Ludwig. “It’s good to have a critical party behind you.”
White After Labor Day’s self-titled album is available on iTunes, Amazon.com, and Cdbaby.com
image courtesy of White After Labor Day from myspace.com/whiteafterlabordaymusic