M Squared's second full length studio album, Under the Balloon (2015), is an eclectic mix of musical styles, sound clips, and collaboration between its three members. Evident in their songwriting, the album is a progression in the distinct sound that M Squared has developed over the last several years from incessant playing, writing and touring.
At the core, this instrumental band wanted to put together a concept album that delved into the lives and families of each of its members. Through soundbites of certain situations over the course of a year, the band interweaves these life experiences throughout the album and incorporates them in various musical compositions to guide the listener to a greater understanding of its members and music. As examples, the title track, "Light In the Dark", has the obscure imagination of a child stating, “the balloon is a gate…" while "The Dryer" takes clips from their 2014 interview at a Denver jazz station to introduce each member. The final track, "Kairos" which is the Greek term for “in the moment," started as an improvised drum solo, then each player added their own musical interpretation. What came out was a spoken dream sequence alongside a soundtrack that includes Middle Eastern violin, funk slap bass, sound bite mixing and shred metal guitar. Under the Balloon is sure to take the listener on a musical journey, one that compares to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, or the Beatles' White Album. From Latin, Blues, Funk, to Middle Eastern, Celtic, Jazz and more, M Squared's Under the Balloon is sure to please.
"It thrills me, it excites me, it's fresh and expansive, and I am grateful to you all..." - Erik Troe, Jazz Caravan Host KUVO, Denver Jazz 89.3
"This is extremely good music, three musicians, a rich, full, vibrant sound resonating with violin, piano, drums, bass, guitar and looping...this music is jazz -- jazz at its BEST. It's where your ear turns to it, clings to it, like you've heard it before and it's an old friend. But it's not. It's new music that sounds so good you just want to listen to it again and again until it IS an old friend." - John Cutaia, Photographer and Film Editor
released June 14, 2015
Barb Valente, Thom Sandrock, Troy Valente
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