Appearing from the burrows of Long Beach, the band Greater California formed in the summer of 2000. Setting out as a three-piece, it soon became very apparent that the band wanted more from their sound and decided to explore the idea of adding instrumentation. Inspired by the works of Love, Brian Wilson, the Velvet Underground, the Zombies and Nick Drake, they entered into their first recordings naturally inclined towards the musical era of the sixties. With the studio being an ideal environment to push boundaries, the band emerged not only with an organ player, but with a completely new direction and their first album, “The Little Pacific.”
With their first release making its debut in the CMJ Top 200, Greater California established their own distinct sound with critical acclaim. The band toured the west coast and continued to play shows in and around the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas, opening up for such notable acts as Calexico, Papa M, Rock Four, The Kingsbury Manx, Jesse Sykes, Fruit Bats and The Minders.
During this time, the band had the good fortune of acquiring a wurlitzer electric piano. Immediately feeling the influence that its sound had upon the music, Greater California began the concept of writing an entire album around its beautifully hypnotizing tones, and appropriately naming it “Somber Wurlitzer.”
Recorded over the last year in the sleepy town of El Cajon, with the band purposely tracking in dimly lit rooms between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m., an obvious late-night feel encompasses the album and is present throughout. The majority of the album was recorded this way, and so most of the days started late, bleary-eyed, sipping on coffee and teas, thinking about what kind of musical parts would be put to tape once the late evening arrived. The result proved to be beautiful and strange, and in the end, the music of Greater California turned out exactly how everyone had hoped it to, warm and full of melancholy.
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