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Courtney Kaiser and Benjamin Cartel create the homespun pop/rock of KaiserCartel, a Brooklyn-based duo that features the talents of both songwriters. Kaiser, the main vocalist of the group, launched her career singing backup for John Mellencamp and the Wallflowers. She issued a solo album in 2004. Meanwhile, Cartel began playing the saxophone as a young teenager before making the switch to drums. He, too, began pursuing a career in music performance and eventually crossed paths with Kaiser after sharing a bill with her at the Knitting Factory in New York City. The two became romantically and musically linked, and KaiserCartel soon hit the road in support of each musician's own material.
Upon their return to New York, the two began writing new songs together, utilizing each other's talents to create a sound filled with harmonies, acoustic guitars, keyboards, xylophones, and percussion. After releasing a series of raw, earnest EPs, KaiserCartel traveled to Los Angeles to work with producer Matt Hale. The result was March Forth, which marked the band's full-length debut in mid-2008. To finance their next release, Cartel and Kaiser reached out to their fans via PledgeMusic.com, eventually gathering up enough donations to record 2010's Secret Transit. ~ Andrew Leahey
- Brooklyn, NY
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