In the indie folk-rock world, Grand Rapids based band The Crane Wives are most definitely the next big thing. Formed in August of 2010, the quintet has been making a splash in the Michigan music scene ever since.
Formed by five friends in Grand Rapids, The Crane Wives have become a cohesive unit when it comes to producing endearing, vocal-heavy folk tunes. The band in fact features three part vocal harmonies. Kate Pillsbury, Emilee Petersmark and Dan Rickabus each bring a unique flavor to the band’s vocal dynamic, sharing the spotlight beautifully.
In addition to creating The Crane Wives engaging vocal melodies, Pillsbury and Petersmark also play acoustic guitar, while Rickabus brings a rumbling sort of drive to each song as the band’s percussionist. Joining Pillsbury, Petersmark and Rickabus are Ben Zito on bass guitar and Tom Gunnels playing banjo. The result of each individual talent is a wonderfully charming, eclectic sound that is unlike anything else in the indie-folk community.
After completing work on their debut, “Safe Ship Harboured,” in April of last year, The Crane Wives released the album with a party at Grand Rapids’ Founder’s Brewing Company in May. The album was incredibly well received and the good buzz only continued to grow with The Crane Wives’ live performances.
As the fan base of The Crane Wives grows, so does the band’s geographic range, with the quintet beginning to expand to play shows not just in Grand Rapids, but everywhere from Traverse City to Chicago. With no sign of this growth slowing down, the band is gearing up for a second album and many more live shows. (The band is even looking for a van to be able to do more long distance touring!)
Don’t expect the onslaught of excitement to deter the band’s energy, though. While all five members have jobs or attend school, they are hugely focused on what The Crane Wives could become. Suggesting that their second album will have a more live-music, rock feel to it, the band is determined not to fall into the sophomore slump. Judging by the body of work they’ve put out thus far, I don’t think there’s much chance of that. ~Hayley Serr, Feature Writer
Make sure to like The Crane Wives on Facebook, follow the band on Twitter, and check out their website to pick up a copy of “Safe Ship Harboured” and see upcoming show dates.