Gold & Smog

The tectonic shift of Greater California

For Long Beach jazzbo hep-cats Greater California, success hinges on the details. Like glockenspiels. Yeah, that thing marching bands use when they need to get ethereal at halftime. But, says Greater California singer/guitarist/trumpeter Terry Prine, that plucky little glockenspiel went the distance just when they needed it.

"We couldn't afford and didn't have the space for a real vibraphone, so we had to settle on the glockenspiel for now," says Prine. "Although it does have that marching-band stigma, it has a charm that is somewhat toy-like and surprisingly complimentary to the keyboards."

It's all part of Greater California's upcoming sophomore album, Somber Wurlitzer. While their debut album, Little Pacific, was all broad emotion, Wurlitzer is mood-specific, somewhere between pseudo-nostalgia and a nearly empty Vegas lounge. Pacific reflects a perfect California day, but Wurlitzer takes place a little later in the evening, says Prine: "The majority of the album was recorded between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m., so it definitely encompasses an obvious late-night feel—very warm and full of melancholy.

"Sometimes people get caught up in thinking that California is only and exactly how Hollywood portrays it," he continues. "We want our music to remind them it's much bigger and more sincere than that."

 
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