Review: The Lady Crooners – The Surface

By Leicester Bangs

Formed in 2010 by songwriting siblings Nadia and Joseph Krilanovich, the duo were soon joined by sister Megan, and are accompanied by Kevin Conness on lead guitar, and Jason Braatz on bass. They released their self-titled debut in 2011 and their sophomore collection “The Surface” arrived in June this year.

Based in San Francisco, they play a heady mix of old school country, rootsy folk and back-porch Americana. As with many sibling groups, harmony vocals are at the fore and the arrangements, and their overall approach to their musical craft, draws comparison to Gillian Welch, Emily Barker and the Civil Wars.

I’m sure they’re comparisons that the group won’t object to, especially as “The Surface” is hardly in thrall to any individual or specific influence, and the original songs stand up to proper scrutiny. Indeed standout tracks tumble from the speakers one after the other, and launch track “Mercy” impresses immediately. The vocals are sublime and the chorus sticks around long after the song has ended.

It’s followed by “Negotiation”, a charming song, distinguished by jangly acoustic guitar, and wonderful voices. The title track continues the run with a gentle certainty and a mountain folk purity that is beguiling. Have a listen, should you get the chance.


Popa’s Tunes Review – The Surface

Stunningly beautiful harmonies with textured arrangements, skillful guitar work and catchy melodies The Lady Crooners will capture your attention.

Founded in 2010 by sibling singer-songwriters, Joseph and Nadia Krilanovich, The Lady Crooners invited Australian lead guitarist, Andrew (Kep) Keppie, to join and a dynamic trio was formed. So began an inspired session of long-distance songwriting. Music and lyric files raced back and forth via email from various locations around the globe as the band worked in their normal jobs of graphic designer, author/illustrator, and teacher/touring performer.

Joseph, Nadia, and Kep came together for the first time in May 2011 on an island in the Pacific Northwest to arrange and record ten songs. Their connection as a group was immediate. It became clear that the resulting recording, which captures the sound and feel of the band in live performance, was more than just a demo.

“Nadia and I started the band with the idea of making music and having fun doing it,” Joseph Krilanovich says. “It turned into a natural progression. Nadia will sing a bit of a melody, and I’ll counter with something on the guitar. We seem to be able to complete each other’s sentences, so to speak.”

With the concept of creating music that lives and breathes, The Lady Crooners are prolific songwriters and collaborators. Their music is a signature blend of rootsy folk pop, beautiful harmonies, and interweaving guitars. Their songs are intimate, soulful portraits of three mischievous romantics who love playing and creating music together.

“Nadia is the lyrical powerhouse,” Joseph Krilanovich says. “She’s a force to be reckoned with. She has a bachelor of fine arts from Western Washington University and a few children’s books published. She’s a creative person all the way around.”

Now based in San Francisco, The Lady Crooners have evolved into a full, wonderfully energized five piece group that delivers everything from haunting ballads to boot-stomping pandemonium, featuring Joseph and Nadia along with Bay Area talent: singer-songwriter Andrew Blair, multi-instrumentalist Ross Warner, and bassist Bret Cohune. Their 2nd Album The Surface was released in June 2013.

“We recorded it in a beautiful studio in Oakland,” Joseph Krilanovich says. “We put a lot of effort into it. There’s a tremendous amount of creativity between us that drives us forward, and writing songs is like having a lot of little love affairs. Songwriting comes easy for us. There’s always material we want explore.”