CORNER is a five piece Indie band from Portland, Oregon. At the core it’s me, Crystal Lariza, and my sister, Angela Lariza. We’ve been singing together since middle school. I’m the songwriter, and she is the right hand (wo)man.
What’s it like playing music with your sibling? It’s an amazing connection that goes way beyond the vocals. It's getting ready for a show in a divey bar bathroom. It’s locking eyes on stage and trying not to bust up laughing. It’s knowing instinctively where the other person is at and understanding how to support each other in the creative process so we can make damn good music.
We’ve been really lucky. Growing up in an artsy house, we were encouraged to explore creative ideas. For us, creativity and family were always intertwined. As we’ve continued to sing together, our musical family has grown beyond our wildest dreams. In 2012, Angela and I formed CORNER after roping in three of our coworkers from Portland City Grill. Mike Cook (bass), Ray Maestas (drums) and Max Cheswick (lead guitar) had all played in bands in different parts of the country before moving to the Northwest.
I still remember our first practice. It was winter, and our practice space was a glorified shed with no heat. I had brought a bottle of whiskey, a few songs and no expectations. I started to sing and, like magic, everything fell into place. With the low boom of the bass, some twangy electric melodies and a kick drum heartbeat, my songs had been brought to life!
Fast forward to 2018, CORNER has played throughout the Northwest and put out two EPs. We’ve spent the last year creating our newest project, a lush sounding eight song EP titled, Where You Are.
When we set out to record Where You Are, the goal was simple: pick the best songs and give them the respect and time they deserve. These songs are stories of connection, loss, self-love and growth (we did manage to sneak one drinking song in). Our producer, Patrick Tetreault (The Pearls), has been a fearless leader, and we couldn't have done this without him. Our choice to record an eight song EP was deliberate. We wanted to hone in on each track. We spent one week laying down music at Loudwar Studios in Vancouver, Washington, and one week recording vocals in at a beautiful beach house on the Washington coast.
The EP also features amazing guest artists who added undeniable character to the project: organ and piano by Troy Welstad (P!nk, A Fine Frenzy and Hilary Duff), pedal steel by Robin Suskind (Oregon Trailers, Miller and Sasser) and lead guitar by Nick O'Donnell (The Pearls). These songs swing from country soul ballads to gritty folk-pop tunes. Angela and I wrap it all up in soaring vocals and harmonies that channel artists like First Aid Kit and Stevie Nicks.
Where You Come In
For us, this EP is the beginning of something massive. When I listen to the sound, texture, lyrics, harmonies, and melodies, I can’t help but think that it is truly the best thing we have ever made. As gigging musicians, every cent we've earned has gone into making this record. We did that so we could make a piece of art that matches the quality of the songs. We have come so far in this journey and are so close to finishing. But we need your help to make it to the end, and mixing is the last destination and opportunity.
What many people don’t realize is that mixing is an art form. It is an essential component of an album’s final sound. An experienced mix engineer knows exactly which instruments to highlight, or how to make the vocals shine in just the right way. After a ton of research, we’ve chosen to work with Craig Alvin in Nashville. He’s mixed the likes of Kacey Musgraves and Vanessa Carlton, and we know he has the right sensibilities to make our record truly great.
But, we can’t get there without you. You are the final piece of the puzzle, and your gift will help us finish this project the right way, and get the music out into the world and into your hands! Here is a breakdown of where the money will be going:
3 Plane Tickets to Nashville for Mixing
Studio Accommodations for 7 Nights
Mixing Fees to work with Craig Alvin in Nashville (Kacey Musgraves, Vanessa Carlton)
Kickstarter Fees and Mailing
Finally, we cannot fully express how grateful we are for your gift of support. Thank you for joining this musical family we’ve created. It’s thrilling and humbling, and we appreciate it more than you may ever know.
- Crystal Lariza and Corner
Risks and challenges
Creating art, for a living no less, is always a risk. What if no one cares? What if no one buys your album? These are legitimate concerns and should be thought about before taking a big risk like investing all your hard earned money into a new project.
We did think about it. Thankfully we've always done things slow. We kept our day jobs. We built a following. We researched the costs and utilized our recourses. We played free shows and gave away CDs. And we did it because we love it.
But there comes a time, after you've paid your musical dues, where you make something you are so proud of and so excited for that you finally find the guts to ask. The most challenging thing so far has been that decision. To ask for help.
We believe in this project with our whole hearts and can't wait to share it with you. We thank you for your consideration and generosity.
-Crystal Lariza and Corner
For more video, music and upcoming shows check out:Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)