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Student band The Street Hearts to perform Valentine’s Day show

In addition to performing on Friday at the WitZend, The Street Hearts will play their newest single “Darling Don’t Go” at this year’s Spring Sing and will feature a violinist.
(Joseph Chan/Daily Bruin)

By Amy Char

Feb. 13, 2014 11:07 p.m.

The sound of The Street Hearts will be coupled with the sight of candy hearts at WitZend on Valentine’s Day.

This year, the student folk and soul band has been experimenting with the violin and expanding with genres such as jazz, blues and soul, which it will bring to Friday’s concert in Venice. The Street Hearts also plan to record their first EP and perform on the East Coast this summer.

The band will perform original material and covers of classic love songs for Friday’s performance. Familiar with WitZend from a past performance, second-year dance student and The Street Hearts’ banjoist Sarah Summers said the venue is cozy and romantic.

“We’re going to throw things to the audience,” Summers said. “I think we should get boxes of Sweethearts candy, cross out the ‘Sweet’ and write ‘Street.’”

Third-year cognitive science student and pianist Nick Valentini said the band is currently going through musical puberty. The members said their pursuit of the band’s true sound reflects how much the band has evolved in a year.

The band has also begun playing with other musicians on campus, such as violinists and mandolinists. Summers said considering the band’s instruments, especially her own banjo, it is easy to get trapped in the box of trendy, easily digestible light folk music.

“This year, we’re doing our best to break out of that and really play to our differences rather than find some diluted middle ground where we can all get along,” Summers said. “We can have a dynamic and diverse set that doesn’t keep you in the same place the entire time.”

Valentini said it is a breath of fresh air each time the band begins to play the next song in a set because each song has a different style.

“The dynamics are very different for each song,” said third-year civil and environmental engineering student and double bassist Nicholai Hansen. “The songs are very distinguishable and they’re all very different from each other.”

Summers said she would contrast a song Valentini andthird-year English and history student and guitarist Andrew Giurgius wrote last winter, “Dog Gone Days,” with the band’s newest single, “Darling Don’t Go.”

“‘Dog Gone Days’ really plays to Nick’s strengths,” Summers said. “It sounds awesome on his voice and he has a super gnarly piano solo.”

On the other hand, “Darling Don’t Go” highlights all of the band members’ musical contributions. Summers wrote the melody and Giurgius thought of the meaning behind the current lyrics, which all the members helped write.

“Andrew had come up with this concept last year – kind of as a joke but also sort of in a poetic way – thinking that if summer and winter were dating each other, they would never be able to hang out, ever, because there are seasons in between,” Summers said. “It became a metaphor for a distant but profound and transcending love that can never totally be requited.”

Giurgius said he was inspired by Summers’ name, thinking his potential alter ego “Andrew Winters” would complement her name well. However, Summers quickly said the song is merely a platonic duet between the two.On the song, all the members sing and play a prominent line on their instruments, which Summers said makes “Darling Don’t Go” one of the band’s favorite songs to play because of the members’ equal roles.

The Street Hearts will perform “Darling Don’t Go” at Spring Sing. Summers did not play in the band’s performance last year. This year, the band’s Spring Sing performance will highlight Giurgius’ and Summers’ vocals, as well as feature third-year violin performance and political science student Yasmeen Al-Mazeedi.

Besides aspiring to perform in Boston and New York this summer, Hansen said the band also plans to dedicate a few weeks to recording. Summers said the band wants to record its first EP by the end of the summer.

Other new material includes what Hansen said he describes as a dark love song.

“We’re working on a heartbreaker,” Giurgius said. “It’s still in progress because the heart’s not completely broken yet – that’s all I’m going to say.”

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