When I asked Krysztof Nemeth if the name of this album came from the use of the words "cellar door" in the film "Donnie Darko," I found out that he hadn't seen that movie until after the CD was made. It's a happy coincidence, though... in the movie, "cellar door" is said to be one of the most beautiful phrases in the English language, and "Cellar Door Serenades" is some very beautiful music.
On every song on the album I can tell that it was made out of a simple love for good music. Though one can hear hints of The Sundays and The Cure on some of the songs, there's several styles of music present here, from serious and soulful to whimsical, and in the end it's unique as a whole. The standout song for me is the remarkable duet "Vertigo," but "Prairie Bride," with its rich vocals and stirring percussion, is also a high point, as is the moody instrumental "cloud:part" (I'm a sucker for instrumental songs).
Sinforosa's performances on this album are on a par with any mainstream band, and actually better than most. Traci Lee Nemeth's vocals are truly gorgeous, adding just the right tone to each song with her unique and beautiful voice. Her voice quickly becomes the crystalline heart and soul of the album. Krysztof Nemeth's contributions are the many stringed instruments heard throughout, from acoustic guitar to the notes reminiscent of the Cure on "Snakedance." His performances and his backing vocals give the songs dimension and depth. The percussion layered in by the band's third member, Marcus Kamp, is nothing short of remarkable -- complex and rich, adding much more to each song than just a beat.
I found out recently that the statement about "cellar door" being the most beautiful phrase was actually made by J.R.R. Tolkien in one of his letters. As a linguist, he simply appreciated the sound that the words make together. I've come to feel the same way about "Cellar Door Serenades." This is the sort of music that I can appreciate just for how it sounds, and how it makes me feel when I listen to it. Here we see a truth that is often missed: a talent for performance and a love of music can create something wonderful to listen to.