Body and soul
The Candid Few
Local R&B band The Candid Few recorded their new EP, Fig. 5—a brief, soulful exploration of the heart’s darker chambers—cheaply and simply.
“Our recording style has been very guerilla,” says guitarist Josh Skroch. “First we started laying down a lot of basic tracks at my house and did a scratch track of all the songs so we could get them copyrighted. Then we did a search for a cheap studio because we didn’t want to pay a ton of money.”
The trio settled on Irealous Entertainment, a recording studio that flanks the back of Top Notch Barber Shop in Sparks.
“And now it’s in production. It’s going to be on CD at the end of the month,” says Skroch.
The record is now available on both iTunes and Amazon in mp3 format. Its cover depicts the phrenology of the heart, with the words “passion,” “lust,” “love” and others pointing toward the chambers through which they pass.
That image fits a band whose explicit purpose is to evoke the heart’s deep murmurs.
“I think with any musician it’s just a desire to express [and] reflect human emotions and human experiences,” says lead singer Joel Primus. “Sometimes it’s best expressed through music, and some of us are blessed enough to have a talent that allows us to do that.”
The Candid Few are essentially a soul band. Primus, who has been singing since age 10, scales the limits of plaintive and smooth, but he’s less given to explosions of exhortation than other soul singers—his voice mostly operates within its own deep cavern.
The backing music behind Primus, though, doesn’t exclusively belong to R&B.
“It’s the hardest thing to describe honestly,” says Primus. “I guess I come from more of a rhythm and blues background and a hip-hop background.”
Skroch has more of a traditional rock background.
“I have a lot of blues background too—a lot of the bluesmasters like Hendrix and Clapton,” he says, “which blends with our hip-hop-style beats and soulfulness.”
Drummer Dominic Kelly name checked Rush and Dave Matthews Band as primary influences.
“I like their drumming styles,” he says. “Neil Peart from Rush just has his own style that compares to no one else. And Carter Beauford from Dave Matthews Band has more like a funk feel. I like the mix of rock and jazz and trying to throw it all together.”
This sort of blend leads to the cool nighttime slink of “She Lives Inside Me” and “The Night is Calling,” the entirely electronic backing of which simultaneously recalls the trance pulse of Ne-Yo’s “Closer” and the electro-experimentation of Gnarls Barkley.
The Candid Few started operating as a band 18 months ago, according to Skroch, but have been playing together in Central City Church for five years and were looking for another outlet.
“We’ve been doing worship music and songs based around gospel,” says Primus. “At some point we wanted to expound upon experiences in our lives and make a music project that wasn’t so isolated or focused solely on Christian or worship music.”
The Candid Few’s atmospheric soul isn’t meant, however, to undermine their church background.
“There are so many experiences that human beings go through and each of us wanted to be able to express that,” says Primus. “That’s not to say that church music is bad by any means, but outside that there are different emotions, and you want to express that in a respectful way.”