Extra Space is one of those literal and figurative band names – the Brooklyn-based duo of Joey Puleio and Chris Kyle got together to de-clutter and re-situate their shared practice space. Lo and behold, when two musicians get together in a room with common goal, you can expect a little more than generic cleaning to get done. The two songwriters developed a unique chemistry and their friendship and musicianship both grew significantly over time. We’re now blessed with their debut album, Green Season, a seven-song offering informed by twinkly Midwest emo meanderings and the sighing steel guitars found in twangy folk music.

“Puddles” kicks off Green Season with a splash of heart-on-your-sleeve acoustic energy. Immediately, nimbly-picked guitar work rings out, backed by a vocal take laden with gentle vibrato. “Puddles” (and much of the rest of the album) brings to mind the work of Mike Kinsella, specifically Owen, matching ultra-descriptive lyrics with a somber but stunning overarching mood – see the lyrics below:

“The branches brawl while the trees eat, and the rain didn’t fall, it just kinda danced across the street… Wander the halls, feel the floors creak, it feels like they’re talking back at us in an accent I can’t place”

Extra Space never heads back into this acoustic headspace across the rest of the album, but “Puddles” is some of their finest work and is definitively an incredible intro to Green Season and their music as a whole.

“Pace” hits like the most stereotypical “single” on Green Season and feels apt to be slotted in as song number two. The bouncy guitar plucking and tasteful drumming provide a simmering canvas for the washy flourishes found throughout the song here – expect reverb-drenched leads, an equally agile bass presence, and more perfectly-suited vocals. They follow it up with the slightly more subdued “Tall Tales,” which continues highlighting beautiful guitar tones and exquisite fretwork. These two are excellent musicians, and while this batch of songs certainly feels self-produced and DIY, it feels intentional… Almost like a “band in a room,” rather than a raw take limited by technical limitations and/or recording prowess.

Covers are always a gamble and Extra Space certainly rolled the dice on their take on Nirvana’s (yes, the grunge band) “In Bloom.” The song is nigh unrecognizable until the one-minute mark where Cobain’s lyrics peek out unassumingly. The instrumentals here are almost jazzy, built around an ultra-clean guitar backbone; gently tapped percussion; and a hushed vocal delivery that might just be the polar opposite of the gravel-voiced original. Extra Space gets plenty of points for a super creative re-imagining of a beloved classic – when the harmonics at the end ring out, it barely registers that they skipped the verse lyrics altogether.

The one-two punch of “Toothpaste” and “Cig” may be some of the best moments on the album – so much so that we’ve already written about both of them. We recommend you check out our previous coverage here and here respectively. “Toothpaste’s” overtly folk-influenced undertones and “Cig’s” upbeat energy show Extra Space at their brightest, but I’ll wrap this up with fellow buffaBLOGGER Chris Miller’s sharp take on these two tracks:

“Can’t say I agree with the order – releasing “Cig” after “Toothpaste” (one would think you’d want toothpaste after a cigarette, but that’s just me).”

All the way through stunning closer “Spiral Stares,” Green Season is an incredible debut from a super talented couple of Brooklynites. Green Season is out now (June 21, 2024) – check out the embed for YouTube below, or, find the whole album on Spotify.

buffaBLOG