Hartford's West End Blend has released its first EP, making you want to raise your hands and get up off your chairs. As shown in the music video to their title track "What It's All About," the 14-piece band is much more than a toe-tapping, head-nodding experience.
The band's video opens on the concrete stage of Heaven, the local skate park and graffiti safe haven. Vocalists Tangsauce and Erica Bryan slide past the camera on skateboards and bikes at the first of several Hartford locations.
The fun of the graffiti backdrop is easily mirrored in big smiles from all band members as they carry or push their equipment, sometimes filling whole shopping carts.
Incorporated in the film are many patrons of the park, as well as the band's resident graffiti artist Moses, who designed the cover art for their album. Moses created a new tag for West End Blend, which can still be seen at Heaven.
Guitarist Mike Dipanfilo believes the talent of the film's participants in the park is very much a product of place. "It really shows if you give talented people a place, to go they will flock to it," he said.
The jumps and flips of the skaters in the background segue into clips of the horn section playing inside an apartment. The apartment feels crowded with the sheer number of musicians sharing a space. The bobbing of trumpets, trombones, and saxophones portray a care free, party atmosphere. The chaos is organized as the video cuts to break dancers inside a bowling alley.
With their origins in the West End of Hartford, the band feels most comfortable to let go and party in Ducks on the Ave, a bowling alley on Farmington Avenue. The bowling alley gives a unique retro feel while the lighting and dance move bring a modern flair.
Listen below to West End Blend members talk about their album on a recent episode of Where We Live: