Secondhand Serenade

Most indie-rock groups of today seem to have forgotten the importance of piano in their compositions. The instrument is practically absent in much of the music on MTV today, but when you listen to Secondhand Serenade's popular tune "Fall for You," what really sticks, aside from its romantic lyrics, is the soft piano accompaniment. That's equally fitting and confusing because Secondhand Serenade is really just the solo project of California-based guitarist John Vesely. His 2005 demo, Awake, made waves among soft-rock/shoegaze fans on the West Coast, and it won him a record deal in the process. Known for his deep, introspective lyrics about love and heartache, it's hard to listen to his music and not close your eyes for awhile and think of breakups or ruined friendships in your own life. For his follow-up record, A Twist in My Story, he's expanded his sound significantly, picked up a band to play behind him in live gigs, and it's all paying off. Check out his MySpace page to get a feel for his style, but if you really want to experience him fully, hit the Culture Room on Friday for a show that should leave a lasting impression.

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