When Kristopher Kesoglides was a child, his mother—a poet—would read her poems to him every night before bed. This, he said, ignited his artistic interests. By the time Kesoglides reached high school, his interest in music was well-developed. Though he attended piano classes for two weeks, he decided to take up the piano and guitar on his own. Together with his writing skills, he was able to begin writing and composing music. He is now attending Baruch College and intends to major in journalism and minor in English. “My first love was poetry [and] creative writing,” Kesoglides said in an interview. “I didn’t want to learn music in school. Because I was self-taught, I want to focus on music outside of school and my backup is journalism and English.” In early 2016, Kesoglides and his friends formed a band called Lucid City. The band is currently composed of Elise Levin as the vocalist, Juan Catucci on the guitar and bass, Claudio Morales on the drums and Kesoglides on the guitar and keyboard. Two weeks ago, the band released its debut self-titled EP. The band’s history dates back to Catucci and Kesoglides’s time in high school, when the two decided to start their own band. At the time, Kesoglides was both the songwriter and vocalist, but he soon learned that singing was not his specialty.
Since their time in the high school band, Catucci and Kesoglides went through four or five rotations of bands. Eventually, a mutual friend told them about Levin and suggested that they should let her join the band. The duo was told that she was a vocalist who had booked a few gigs and needed some session musicians.
After many attempts and trials, they finally formed a band that clicked well. Kesoglides then met Morales while working as a bartender, finding the last piece of the puzzle. “That’s kind of how we met,” Kesoglides said. “We have a big group of people who are musicians so we have a collective that doubles as a friend group. I was so into punk rock and Green Day, The Strokes, classic rock, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin in high school days.” The EP features four songs: “Mockingbird,” “Lucidity,” “Morning After” and “Let It Go.” The melody ranges from the exciting heart-pumping tunes of “Let It Go” to softer and calmer tones of “Morning After,” which Kesoglides and Levin said was their favorite song to perform. Kesoglides and Levin explained that the EP was recorded in a studio located in Massachusetts.
For four days, Kesoglides explained, the band would wake up at 10 a.m. and “track, record, produce, retrack, rerecord, reproduce” for 11 to 12 hours a day. “That was the first time we [the band and its new drummer] came together and had to deal with each other’s quirks for four days straight,” Kesoglides said. “One day it started to rain and it just felt so freeing … to be able to make something tangible of our passions—similar to running shirtless in the rain. Even if this goes nowhere, I’ll look back and think, ‘this was awesome.’” The band is a good representation of the cultural melting pot for which New York City is famous. Levin explained that she was born and raised in Hawaii.
Her interest in music and the performing arts was sparked at a very young age, as she recalled that her parents would listen to everything from classic rock to jazz. This, Levin said, influenced her own dreams of starting a career in music. “There is this story my mom always tells me about how I was four years old and they took me to see a choir for Christmas. I told my mom ‘I really want to do that’ and she told me I could. I responded, ‘No, I want to do that,’ as I pointed to the soloist,” said Levin. When she reached college-age, Levin moved to New York City and began taking classes at Queens College. Aside from music, Levin also dabbled in the performing arts. Her talent earned her a role in “Hawaii 5-0,” though she later laughed and admitted that her character was killed at the beginning of the episode and the rest of the cast was trying to figure out who killed her. During the interview, Kesoglides shared some words of advice for people who want to get into the music industry. “You have to put yourself out there,” Kesoglides said. “You just have to let people know you are very serious about what you do. You meet a lot of people at bars and even in school. Sometimes they’ll tell you they want to jam, but do they really want to jam?” In the future, the band sees itself recording a new album and trying to discover new directions.
Kesoglides also hopes to start going on out-of-state tours. “We started to write even more after we reworked the EP. We got a feel for each other and now we know our chemistry and what we can bring to the table in terms of songwriting,” Kesoglides said. “Right now we’re finding a sound. We’re narrowing it down.” For now, Lucid City’s EP Release Party has two more tour dates left.
On March 11, the band will be performing in The Well in Brooklyn. On April 28, the band will be performing in the Bitter End in Manhattan. The EP is available on several platforms, including Amazon, Apple Music, iTunes and Spotify.