Is youth really wasted on the young? Not so much where these two are concerned. It’s common for those who are surrounded by music as children to grow into musical adults: with rock, jazz, soul and blues constantly in the air at home, there’s little wonder why the music that siblings Jocelyn and Chris Arndt create is so stylistically flush in those genres. On guitar, Chris deals in classic blues rock riffs, peeled off with dexterity and intricate abandon. Interpreting all manner of deeply hued feelings with a vocal prowess and style that belies her age and girl-next-door appearance is Jocelyn and it’s the combination of their respective talents that makes Jocelyn & Chris Arndt a dynamic duo on the rise.
Seeing Jocelyn and Chris perform in a venue like Hotel Café is apropos: the place caters to creating a space of tangible intimacy between artist and audience. Accordingly, so do Jocelyn and Chris. Full band live (including Kate Sgroi on bass and David Bourgeois on drums) they are powerfully engaging: professionalism and intensity wrapped up in their natural youthful enthusiasm. Yet their their full-length debut album, Edges (released in March), melds all those aforementioned genres into emotionally rich storytelling of the heart in songs like “Cinderella,””Where’s The Rain” and “Shame” which translate just as well live as they do in recorded form.
- Family Ties: They are the second exceptional brother/sister band that I have seen this year: the first were New Zealand’s Broods.
- The More You Know: They are also the second Ivy League educated musicians that I have interviewed this year: Stanford graduate K.Flay was the first, Jocelyn and Chris currently attend Harvard.
- Old Souls: Their music is grown up and plays well in venerable venues such as Hotel Café and the Viper Room…but for many of their performing years, neither was old enough to actually attend a show at either. Jocelyn is now 21, but Chris is still slightly underage at 19.
- In The Live: “Anytime somebody feels something because we’re playing music, I think that’s a job well done.” (Chris)
- Learned: Chris studies computer science and music while Jocelyn is an English major, which comes in handy when you want to write a decent song. “’I’m the lyrics person. He’s the chords person.” (Jocelyn)
Chalk how these two manage to keep their heads above their academics and their art up to balance. Yes music is, “the main event,” but Chris added, “I think they balance each other out, you know? School reminds us how fun it is to perform.”