Nestled in the foothills of the Finger Lakes is the college town of Ithaca, a community rich in the arts with a vibrant indie music scene. It was there six years ago when Julia Felice and Harry Nichols set out to record a few songs. Rather than release them on an EP, they held out until they had enough for a full-length album. Diving for Falls was released in 2014, with Felice on vocals and keys, Nichols on guitar, and Julian Dalton on drums. For the release show, they enlisted the help of Samuel B. Lupowitz on bass guitar and Joe Massa on lead guitar. This lineup eventually became known as The Whiskey Crisis.
Over the past couple years, Julia Felice and The Whiskey Crisis have distilled their sound. Devil on Your Back has a more distinctive flavor than its predecessor. Felice’s deep and sultry vocals are complimented by the band’s jazzy blues stylings. The sound is full and robust, and the instrumental breakdowns give the musicians an opportunity to flaunt their skills.
Over the course of 11 tracks, Julia Felice and the Whiskey Crisis demonstrate that they can perform a range of R&B songs – from the spirited numbers “Waste” and “Count Stacks” to the slow, soulful songs “Help Me Break” and “Come Over.” The song “Denim” has a funky 70’s vibe, but overall the entire album seems timeless and classic – with songs which could fit in as easily on a playlist with Joss Stone and Amy Winehouse as with Carole King or Janis Joplin.
The band is celebrating the release on April 1 with a hometown show in Ithaca at The Range. Follow Julia Felice and the Whiskey Crisis on Facebook for upcoming shows and purchase information for Devil on Your Back.
Key Tracks: Help Me Break, Count Stacks, Albatross