Baltimore, Maryland's eclectic but always passionate group Celebration features vocalist/percussionist Katrina Ford, multi-instrumentalist Sean Antanaitis, drummer David Bergander, keyboardist/percussionist Tony Drummond, and bassist/guitarist Walker Teret.
Ford and Antanaitis -- who are also husband and wife -- started out in Ann Arbor's chaotic, early-'90s noise-punk band Jaks, where Ford began to explore the formidable vocal style that would shape the sound of all of the couple's future musical projects. After stints in Chicago and New Orleans, Antanaitis and Ford settled in Baltimore and formed Love Life, a band that traded the sonic combustion of Jaks for a darker, more theatrical sound that put Antanaitis' keyboards at the forefront. Love Life released two albums, 2001's The Rose He Lied By (on Troubleman) and the following year's Here Is Night, Brothers, Here the Birds Burn (on Jagjaguwar), before disbanding in 2003. Later that year, Ford and Antanaitis started Birdland, which saw the two performing as just a duo for the first time in their career. With the addition of Bergander, they became Celebration. The trio recorded their self-titled debut album with the help of producer/TV on the Radio member David Sitek; Ford had contributed vocals to several tracks on that band's Young Liars and Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes. Sitek also introduced them to 4AD, TV on the Radio's international label, who signed Celebration in 2005. That fall, the band embarked on a tour that included a CMJ appearance, coinciding with the release of Celebration. After touring Europe and the U.S. during 2006, the band returned to the studio in early 2007 with Sitek, and the lusher but still challenging results of their sessions, The Modern Tribe, were released later that year. Celebration released their next album, 2010's Hello Paradise: Electric Tarot, via their own Friends Records label; the project came about after six months of intense songwriting, after which the band realized many of the songs they'd stockpiled related to the Major Arcana cards in a Tarot deck. Ford formed the band Mount Royal with some other Baltimore friends while Celebration continued to write and record steadily. Tomorrow's Here Today/Don't Stop Dreaming, a limited edition 7" whose title track was inspired by the birth of Begander's son, arrived in 2013. Also that year, Mount Royal signed to Bella Union and Celebration soon followed suit, issuing Albumen -- the band's first album to feature Drummond and Teret as full-time members -- in August 2014.~ Heather Phares, Rovi