The fresh Cult Classic team that is Leah Latella and Ryan Cavanaugh makes music videos as creative as their distinct electronic sound.
The combination of striking vocals, virtuosic banjo and the boundary-less palm-sized synthesizer, kaossilator, paired with undeniably catchy songwriting has them on the map as one of the most interesting acts to follow in 2014. Slap that on top of a Mario Bros. throwback music video that sees a video game version of Latella on a mission to rescue her man and this duo is doing everything their own way - one engaging to both hear and watch.
Cavanaugh, whose background is steeped in progressive jazz with musicians like Bill Evans, brings his invaluable command of the banjo to the tunes while Latella makes singing like a songbird sound easy. The two, who call their first meeting at a Monday night bluegrass jam in New York City "love at first sight" meld in a way that the best couples do - complementing each other's strengths and amplifying them further. Also as the best couples do, they accept each other's quirky sides - including their mutual Mario Bros. obsession. "The music is as big a part of the game as playing it," Cavanaugh says.
The video, made by game developers Mike Mika and Kevin M. James, is an actual game that Cavanaugh hopes to make available for download. "Leah found Mike on Twitter and asked if he'd do another role reversal (he had already done Donkey Kong) as a music video," Cavanaugh explains. "He loved the idea, got his animator friend (James) on board and it was a go."
This couple's fearless attitude toward music making is matched only by their imaginative ideas to bring it further through stunts like their charming "Your Love" video. ...One that will have you dusting off the Nintendo and turning the sound down because Cult Classic tunes and Mario have been proven to go together like peanut butter and jelly...or maybe more like Mario and Luigi.
Check it out below:
The group released their EP, Cult Classic Beats (recorded at Cliffsound Studios in Croton Falls, NY, run by drum all-star, Joel Rosenblatt), earlier this year on iTunes and will perform on Friday, July 25 at 10 p.m. at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City.