Born out of red wine and a passion to create new music, the Cedars and the Stars began with home recordings of Chicago artists Chris Belkofer and Elizabeth Vivion. For a period of time the focus was on songwriting in their home studio, until relocation to Milwaukee spawned a further desire for collaboration with others who might further flesh out the songs which would become the basis for the forthcoming Cedars and the Stars EP. Once in Milwaukee, they began to expand their musical acquaintances. Within the period of a year, they added Dan Niedziejko, Kenneth Sabbar and Joshua Anderson, all veteran artists and players from notable Milwaukee bands such as Dawn of Man, the Dark Horse Project, Dorian Gray and Miss Trixie.
The group began to develop songs and recordings over the course of a year, fleshing out compositions which applied Chris’ penchant for traditional shoegaze and dream pop jangle with Liz’s dark country/blues vocal approach. Strains of Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits can be heard amidst walls of guitar and synthesizers, completing a combination of alternative influences from the past thirty years.
Assembling vintage gear and knowledge from his years of studio exposure and experimentation, Dan Niedziejko worked closely with the band to painstakingly record the four song EP in his Bay View studio Indian Not the Arrow. After working so long and hard on the tracks, they enlisted the expertise of Kramer for mastering at Noise Miami. Kramer’s resume is a who’s who of some of the most influential bands in independent music: Galaxie 500, Low, Bongwater, Daniel Johnston, King Missile and Ween among many others. Kramer’s careful ears where just the right finishing touch for a project of such effort.
Cedars & the Stars are hard at work creating new songs for a full length release in 2012 while playing shows that showcase the intimacy of their music and energy of their creative convictions. Like their music, 2012 will be a build to crescendo that will find them further to their musical vision: to bring the emotion of their songs through their hands and hearts and to each member of the audience.