Organic, folksy, creative.
These are just a couple of words to describe UCSB’s own Junipero, a band that has a soft spot in the hearts of all that know of them and their music. Composed of Kasey Warner, Dave Pascoe, Michael Sallstrom and Hanna Haas, Junipero has a quintessential local sound, reminiscent of warm sunsets, long walks on the beach and comforting chai lattes.
With numbers like “In Case of Fire” and a heartwarming rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Cecilia,” Junipero makes use of harmonies between Sallstrom, Haas and Pascoe to create warm and memorable sounds. All four of the group’s members create a kind of energy on stage that you cannot help but gravitate toward: Pascoe’s incredible violin skills, Warner’s simple yet unique approach to percussion and Sallstrom and Haas’ soulful vocals and guitar make Junipero a band that you quickly find yourself swaying to.
Junipero has become so popular among UCSB’s student population that during a performance, like the one I recently attended at SOhO on March 8, it’s easy to notice people dancing enthusiastically and singing along with the words. Junipero also has a fun vibe as the members like to dress up (especially Pascoe) during performances and encourage the audience to do so as well.
Junipero’s music draws in every kind of listener, from the hippie girl that likes to dance barefoot to serious music lovers and critics; it seems that Junipero finds a way to make everyone happy. Maybe it’s that violin or Haas’ grainy vocals, or their alternating melodies and harmonies that slowly take you to a place where all is calm and peaceful. If the phrase “down to earth” could be categorized into a sound, Junipero would be that sound. They are what people seek when they crave that local, “home” feeling you get from listening to a good set of songs.
Not only are they all full of talent, but Junipero also consists of some of the nicest human beings you will ever meet. They make sure the audience is feeling good and radiate love and compassion through each one of their songs. I’m always left with chills, and there’s undeniably a smile on my face after listening to songs like “Cecilia” and “In Case of Fire.” Junipero also performed some new songs at SOhO last month, including “The Ballad of Captain Planet,” which got my feet tapping along.
Want to know what Santa Barbara sounds like? Listen to Junipero, they will not disappoint. Be ready, though. You’ll soon be left with that familiar feeling of seeing a warm Santa Barbara sunset and might just feel a little bit tingly all over.
Check out Junipero’s music at www.myspace.com/juniperosound.