After transitioning from a solo act to a full band, the Sarasota musician releases ‘Dopplegänger.’
Lesa Silvermore’s performance last month at Growler’s Pub wrapped up in fitting fashion. Surrounded by more than 300 guests, who filled the North Tamiami Trail bar and local music hot spot, she and her bandmates powered through the final songs of their set, soaked in bubbles and their instruments covered in confetti and streamers.
It was a party to say the least.
“There was so much confetti,” says Josh Scheible, who plays bass. “I had streamers stuck between my strings and fretboard; I was spitting out confetti. It was very Lesa.”
Silvermore and her band were celebrating the release of her debut LP, “Dopplegänger,” a 10-track milestone that takes listeners on a journey from her earliest songs as a solo acoustic singer and songwriter to her newest material, recorded with a full band at Matthew Frost’s Birdhouse Records in Nokomis.
It was a moment she’d been looking forward to for more than a year. Silvermore, 25, had played in pop-punk bands as a Booker High School student, but for the past few years, she’d been performing on her own. The idea to form the Lesa Silvermore Band came about a year earlier, when Silvermore decided she wanted to record a full-length album and flesh out her songs with a full band. She just needed bandmates — and a little push.
Says Silvermore: “I was always saying, ‘I wish I had a band; what would it be like to record my own full-length album?’ A friend of mine told me, ‘Stop talking about it and just do it.’”
So she sought out local musicians she wanted to work with: Josh Scheible on bass, Toby Norton on lead guitar and Doug Rogells on drums. A subscriber to the school of thought that nothing motivates like a deadline, she booked studio time and got to work.
The four musicians worked together, rearranging old songs and crafting new ones just for the album.
“We had the studio days booked,” says Scheible. “So we met up a lot in the weeks beforehand and worked really hard on the parts. I was new to the material, so we really tore every song apart and picked at them until they were just right.”
As a full band, Silvermore says she has options that simply weren’t available as a solo performer.
“It was awesome to see the songs become fleshed out and take life,” she says. “We recorded the tracks live, but we overdubbed a lot of layers — vocal harmonies, organ parts. It made me appreciate the songs even more.”
Performing live, she says, the advantages are even more evident.
“You have to play differently solo than you do with a band,” she adds. “You have more room to breathe with other musicians. They keep me on track and in time, and there’s a different energy having people with you to enjoy the music you’re creating. When you really lock into a moment and you can look to your bandmate and share it — it’s great.”
Following the studio time, Norton moved and Rogells, who plays in several bands, was pressed for time. Silvermore connected with drummer Dave Cornicelli, and the band become a trio.
“The lineup was perfect for the studio,” says Silvermore. “And this lineup is perfect for a live show. Dave brings a lot of energy to the band — it’s a rock ‘n’ roll show with him. It worked really well, so we decided to stay a trio.”
The band started as a means to record an album, but she says the chemistry was there to keep everyone performing together. And when the mixed and mastered album finally arrived in the mail a few days before her birthday, Silvermore says it was the best gift she could’ve asked for.
“I opened the door, and the CDs were sitting there,” she says. “I had instant happy tears. This was something I wanted for so long. I popped it into my car’s CD player with the windows down and rocked out. Before this, I never wanted to listen to my own recorded music. I’m satisfied with this, and I’m proud of it. I wanted to write something I wanted to hear.”