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The music of piano-based rock quartet City of Squares (formerly The Briar Rose) combines the ferocity of powerhouses such as Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson with the sophisticated sensibility of poets like Sarah McLachlan and Damien Rice. Built upon a crooked tower of blues and soul, their distinctive brand of modern rock comes complete with edgy riffs, sultry undertones, danceable grooves, and attitude to spare.
By enhancing catchy melodies with story-driven lyrics, the band succeeds in being both entertaining and thought-provoking. Jenna Paone (Lead Vocal/Piano) delivers simple truths and complex, intimate poetry in a voice that is endearingly raw. Her words and images, whether in an electric party song, raunchy blues grind, or symphonic ballad, leave lasting imprints as they tick by. She’ll have you singing along with her during the show and mulling over what she said long after the last set’s over.
But don’t be misled by the depth of the lyrical content or the pop-inspired hooks. What Paone, Jon Francis (Drums), Samm Bahman (Guitar), and Bill Ferri (bass) have created is a true-blue rock and roller-coaster ride of sound that twists, dips, climbs, and every now and then just comes crashing down. Sometimes sweet, sometimes downright dirty, it’s a sound that has earned them comparisons to everyone from Fiona Apple to Maroon 5 to Coldplay; a sound that pierces as it rolls on- vibrant, dynamic, and full of life.
The band hails from Boston, Massachusetts.
The Briar Rose - August 2010 (Mix One Studios)
City of Squares - March 2011