Producing and releasing its debut EP wasn’t supposed to be a pandemic project for North Side Sound, but that’s exactly what it turned into.
“We had our first gig at Savoy . . . the week before the pandemic happened,” said vocalist and guitarist Pauly Graves.
The Albany-based band, which also includes Kasey Hogan (guitar), AJ Farina (bass) and Todd Friedman (drums), came together with the hope of writing original songs and gigging regularly.
“We did write songs. We just couldn’t gig,” Graves said.
Using North Albany Studios on North Pearl Street as its home base, the band has spent the last two years writing original songs and tinkering with its sound, which is hard to pin down.
On “Take My Time,” the Albany band’s debut EP released earlier this year, there’s some alternative, a bit of rock and a hint of reggae. Songs like “Five” are reminiscent of 90s grunge rock while “Take My Time” leans toward funk. It’s polished while jumping from genre to genre.
“We all like very similar music, but we also come from different music backgrounds in a way,” Graves said. “We don’t want to sound exactly like any band. We’d much rather bring our own sound to it. We don’t want to be a copycat of a specific band because then I feel like it boxes you in . . . and that’s why on the EP there’s so many different sounds.”
Some of the songs have gotten air time on WEQX and North Side Sound is gearing up to play out more regularly this summer, including a show on Saturday at Nanola in Malta. They’ll also be at GEM Festival in Glens Falls on July 9 and at Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown on July 22.
“We’re trying to do as many gigs as possible, but also, we’re writing a lot on the side. We have two or three songs in the works right now that we’re going to try to release by the end of summer,” Graves said.
With the pandemic waning, finding places to play in the area hasn’t been too difficult.
“Once you play and once you know that the band is tight I really do you think that if you promote it correctly . . . it’s easier to get gigs,” Graves said.
Social media is a big part of that but it also helps that there are more opportunities to play in the area.
“I’ve been in the scene for a little while now and I feel like, throughout the past five years, more and more venues are opening up, which is so cool,” Graves said.
North Side Sound is slated to play 8-11 p.m. at Nanola on Saturday in a show organized by Sugar Productions. For more on the band visit North Side Sound on Facebook, Spotify, Soundcloud or Instagram.