While scanning through artist submissions can be a soul-deadening endeavor, every once in a while something pokes through and negates any frustration by virtue of being a perfect fit for this site. The latest of these came in the form of CITRIS and their video for “On the Sidelines”. Born out of the increasingly fertile SUNY Purchase scene, CITRIS has been quietly perfecting a blend of genres that will ensure they’ve got an appeal that appeals to an enviable range of demographics. While last year’s admittedly great Half Smile wound up being demonstrative of the band’s talent, it only hinted at the levels of promise that usually precede something like “On the Sidelines”.
Where the band was previously wiry, they’ve now fallen comfortably into a groove where they operate in a mode where the stakes are higher and the sound, accordingly, is a lot bigger. To match the unexpected aesthetic shift, CITRIS is offering up a lighthearted video for “On the Sidelines”, the lead-off single for the band’s upcoming record, Panic in Hampton Bays. Focusing exclusively on the primary minds behind CITRIS, Angelina Torreano and Chris Krasnow, the clip augments the song’s widescreen sensibilities with an appealing array of close-ups and scenic shots in a handful of genial locations. In providing this contrast, “On the Sidelines” manages to wrangle its soaring atmospherics into something that feels genuine and grounded; essentially, it creates an agreeable middle ground that emphasizes some of the song’s underlying aspects and brings out its humanity.
Torreano, CITRIS’ vocalist/guitarist, is an especially magnetic onscreen presence and she walks away with most of the screentime, giving a commanding performance that covers the breadth of the song’s impressively varied emotional range. Everything is ultimately resolved with a wink and a smile, effectively rendering “On the Sidelines” a modest celebration of all of life’s ups and downs. It’s an engaging, endearing work that provides ample indication CITRIS is ready to move on to bigger stages. If the rest of Panic in Hampton Bays can live up to a preview this strong, expecting to be hearing their name a lot more often.
Watch “On the Sidelines” below and keep an eye on CITRIS’ bandcamp for the self-release of their forthcoming Panic in Hampton Bays, which is due out on September 1.