By Annie Reuter
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – “I like to say that music is the language of our friendship,” Heather Robb says of her band, The Spring Standards, who will perform at the CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival Tuesday evening.
The Brooklyn-based trio, made up of Robb, James Cleare and James Smith, met while in high school, and what started as friendship quickly turned into a band. At fifteen, the trio began playing and writing original material together.
Years later, after a brief separation followed by a reconnection, their three-part harmonies and energetic live show has continued to captivate audiences.
Having played CMJ before, Robb said it’s different being a New Yorker at a New York festival.
“In a lot of ways you feel more at ease. You feel a greater sense of, ‘I’m from New York. I know this city. This is our community,’” she says. “You feel more interested in creating an atmosphere where bands traveling from far away can feel comfortable as opposed to trying to feel comfortable yourself.”
On any given night in New York, bands from all over the country and the world can be found performing. Robb says because of this, the nature of the City rarely changes much during CMJ.
“CMJ is an opportunity for musicians to take in the global community a little more and reconnect with that principle of ‘We’re all in this together,’” she said. “It’s too easy to feel like we’re all competing and we’re all vying for the same. That’s not what it’s about. All of us are in an artistic community together and it’s a great reminder of that.”
Described as “an energetic force of three-part harmony circling over a rock n’ roll sound with an old country aftertaste,” Robb explained the band’s unique sound.
“We don’t sound like much else out there. It’s something you’re not going to get from a bunch of other stuff you can potentially see [at CMJ],” she said. “We have a lot of new material we’re really excited to be sharing. We love playing live, that’s the lifeline of who we are. To see a band live that really loves to play live; I think it’s a special thing.”