Brothers Lazaroff Return With a New Record and a New Sound

 In Culture, News

Brothers Lazaroff has been one of the area’s favorite musical acts since forming in 2009, creating, as David Lazaroff puts it, “our own little culture.”

The band is on the threshold of releasing its eighth full-length album, “Sisters and Brothers,” which sees the members expanding their sound and incorporating a plethora of new elements and influences. Recorded in their own home studio, dubbed Room 18, and mixed at local studio Red Pill, the record took about a year and a half to complete. It’s the Brothers Lazaroff’s first new music release since 2017.

Often the band gets slotted into the “roots” or “Americana” categories, though Lazaroff says they strive to be “genre-less” in their approach to songwriting.

“It’s been a blessing and a curse for us that we love everything, so we’ve never restricted our influences—but we do try to have a cohesive sound. I think for Americana, we’re not Americana enough, for the funky scene we’re not funky enough,” says Lazaroff. “I think the way we write music is really part of the folk process. We refer to it as roots music. We love everything rooted in history and culture.”

Over the past four years, the group has performed at Jazz St. Louis, reinterpreting their back catalog in more of a jazz vein. Originally an experiment dubbed “Laz Jazz,” these shows led to a recording, “Laz Jazz At The Bistro,” in 2017 and opened the band up to exploring new musical avenues.

“It’s really made us look at our catalog in a different way,” Lazaroff says.

Also during this time, the group worked with beat makers to remix songs from their 2012 album “Science Won.” The project exposed the band to modern compositional approaches, like mixing and matching bits of their jams to create new and unique parts.

“Sisters and Brothers” also marks a change in the way the group records. “What’s really unique about this album is we let some of our good friends [Andrew Warshauer and Sam Golden, who also plays various instruments on the record] produce the record, which was really fun because usually Jeff [Lazaroff] and I produce ourselves,” says Lazaroff.

Lyrically concrete but musically more free form, “Sisters and Brothers” incorporates influences from psychedelia to art rock to avant garde but doesn’t come off as wanna-be jazz fusion or a rock band incorporating odd noises for the sake of being weird.

“Our alarms go off if we do anything forced or schmaltzy,” Lazaroff says.

From the bouncing bass and synth staccatos of “Accident” to the horn stabs and orchestral swirls of the title track, the result is an eclectic mix of influences that’s hard to label except as pure Brothers Lazaroff. Think “Bitches Brew” meets “Blood on the Tracks.” Or don’t.

“The longer we do this the more fun it is to get it to be un-describable,” Lazaroff says.

Fittingly, the band will introduce “Sisters and Brothers” to the world via two days of shows on Friday, Aug. 2, and Saturday, Aug. 3, at Jazz At The Bistro in Grand Center. Tickets are currently available online.

Featured image courtesy of Philip Hamer.

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