Piano is an instrument that doesn’t get much play time in today’s music scene. If a piano is used at all it’s used on a single track to show off some established artist’s musical chops. Long Island trio The Narrative establish those chops right off the bat then continue to put wannabe rock pianists to shame in their piano-centric self-titled full-length debut album.
A great rock piano sound would be enough for most bands to set them apart stylistically but The Narrative ups the ante with guitarist Jesse Gabriel splitting vocalist duties with keyboardist Suzie Zeldin. The two work well together with Gabriel giving his starring tracks a more rock and roll edge and Zeldin endowing her main songs with happy whimsy. The combination makes for an album full of variety that never gets too repetitive.
The album’s highlight track is “Winter’s Coming,” a beautifully crafted five minute ballad that combines the best of what this trio has to offer. Led by Gabriel’s vocals and backed up by Zeldin’s piano and final member Charlie Seich’s drums “Coming” builds at just the right pace, crescendos perfectly and ends strong even after five minutes. These musicians know how to fine-tune a song till all the kinks have been worked out, a skill made all the more impressive on a debut album.
The Narrative managed to create a unique style and sound all their own and did it in only 13 songs. They may not have a song built for mass radio appeal just yet, but for indie music lovers it doesn’t get much better than this.