Since the release of their successful debut EP, Floe, the critically- acclaimed Houston, Texas-based band ,QandA , have become a force on both the regional and national music scenes. Their unique blend of rock, pop, folk, blues, and singer/songwriter traditions have created a singular sound that has garnered them press, acclaim, and radio play across the country. Their second studio album, 285, earned them three nominations from the Houston Press Awards, including mentions for Best Band, Best Songwriter, and Best Local Song with “Woman of My Dreams. ” Drawing on influences as diverse as Neil Young, Wilco, the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Guy Clark, Neil Young, Townes Van Zandt, and many others, the four-piece’s wide-ranging sound and electrifying, yet intimate shows have been lighting up audiences nationwide.
In January, 2016, the multi-talented quartet announced the release of what critics are already calling their most poetic and compelling work to date. On KPFT-FM’s “Wide Open Spaces,” host Roark Smith raved that on Goldfish in A Glass, QandA “sound better than ever. The new CD is great.” True to their reputation for riveting live performances, the band just played the first of their CD release shows to a mesmerized packed house at Houston’s renowned Mucky Duck.
Since the bands’ birth almost six years ago, they have evolved both musically and lyrically. As lead singer and guitarist Jordi Baizan explains, “On the last record, we did not have all four members of the band contributing to the arrangements and the sounds. This time we do. It makes a huge difference. It is really the closest record to being ‘us.’”
Goldfish in a Glass, the culmination of two years worth of songwriting, displays all the members’ virtuoso strengths to their fullest, with more collaboration from the whole band than ever before. Lead guitarist Andy Zipper co-wrote two of the songs, and the entire band was involved in the arrangement and production of all tracks on the CD. To create the album they knew they wanted to make, they soon enlisted the talents of husband-and-wife team Ren and Andi Renfree of 2 Bit Palomino and The Renfrees. Ren produced, engineered, and mixed the album while Andi created the stunning artwork for the CD, promotional materials, and the merchandise. As Baizan recalls, “We hit it off and talked. All of us in the group felt that they had a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience, that they were super-open and willing to share with us to help us get to the next level.”
Recorded at Sound Catcher Studio and mastered with Jerry Tubb of Terra Nova Digital Audio in Austin, the work perfectly captures the exhilarating and vibrant sound the band has become so lauded for in their live performances. “It all came together in a way that I think resonated with all of us (the band) and that’s what’s important. I guess that’s what you learn as you go along further in this journey. If you feel a reaction in yourself, you have to trust that.”
The result is a beautiful and cohesive work that inhabits the human experience from beginning to end. From the bluesy, soulful first track “In the Moment,” a truly topical song about the urgency of feeling every experience to the fullest to the glorious and inspiring “Scientific Truth,” every track on the CD captures what it means to be truly alive. “Hey Mama,” is a foot-stomping, bold ode to love, both old and new. With Jose Verdugo on bass and Dustin Wolfe’s deft, mighty percussion, Q&A’s Goldfish in a Glass “has a new perspective of that one basic function that we all must maintain and it’s a beautiful thing. And as I said, you can listen to this from beginning to end and it’s connected. It’s really quite an accomplishment.” (*Sandy Weinmann, KPFT-FM)