Cold Weather Company
New York City is home to countless underground or undiscovered artists, aspiring to achieve goals within the music industry. However, a trip across the Hudson River indicates that there is even more talent to be found. Such artists include the New Brunswick-based group Cold Weather Company – comprised of Brian Curry, Jeff Petescia, and Steve Shimchick.
Although Cold Weather Company didn’t play their first official show until 2013, the band was loosely in the works two years beforehand. While pursuing undergraduate studies at Rutgers University, Brian Curry and Jeff Petescia randomly met one day, exchanging information, falling out of touch, and finally rejoining in 2013. Thanks to a few open mic nights at Rutgers, the two future bandmates discovered pianist and singer Steve Shimchick. “Freshman year, I played the piano in my dorm pretty often with friends, and I heard about that open mic, but a mix of my schedule – and surely being a bit nervous to play out somewhere – kept me from going, until another friend invited me to go sophomore year,” said Shimchick.
After exchanging contact information with Curry and Petescia, the trio took approximately a year before finally condensing their idea of forming an actual group. A few jam sessions later, Curry, Petescia, and Shimchick had already developed several concepts for original songs. All they needed was a platform to share their music with others and gain traction.
On November 15, 2013, the guys performed at a charity event for Rutgers, still unsure of their group name. “It was pretty weird for us. Even though we all had solo experience, we got to this charity event at Rutgers that had an elevated stage and just a lot of people sitting in round tables, ready to watch,” Shimchick recalled. At that point, the band only had one complete, original track – “Horizon Fire.” To compensate, they resorted to performing covers of some of that year’s most popular tracks, including Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and Passenger’s “Let Her Go.”
Upon receiving positive feedback from their peers, Curry, Petescia, and Shimchick brainstormed possible band names, before finally settling on Cold Weather Company. “We really weren’t sure about how it went, but then some people came up to us afterwards and were very supportive, so that night the three of us had a talk about what that meant. That was the night that we decided to think of an official band name and take this seriously,” Shimchick said.
Petescia suggested “Cold Water Canvas,” but considering that the title held no partiuclar significance for the guys, it was back to the drawing board. “Since we formed when it was getting into the winter months, we kept the Cold and added in the Weather,” explained Shimchick. “For the Company, Brian and Jeff say that they both kind of get the ‘winter blues,’ so the act of us writing and playing music together provided ‘company’ during those times.”
Although the guys of Cold Weather Company didn’t pursue music as a major in college, their individual majors proved to be the perfect combination for a band. Before CWC became a group, Shimchick entertained the idea of being part of the music industry in some capacity. Considering this, it made sense that he majored in Communications and Public Relations, with a minor in music. Meanwhile, Petescia majored in Psychology and minored in Entrepreneurship, and Curry pursued Landscape Architecture. This unique mix of different career paths unintentionally proved to be beneficial for CWC. Petescia manages the business side of the group, Shimchick handles the social media and promotions aspect, and Curry’s experience with graphic design and photography further aids the group.
Given all this background information about the origins of Cold Weather Company, what does their music sound like? For people who have never listened to their music, they should expect a sound that is primarily indie and folk-influenced. However, CWC isn’t limited to these genres. Their songs also experiment with jam session and classical elements. Considering that the members’ personal influences include Radiohead, Coldplay, Two Door Cinema Club, Dave Matthews Band, Mumford & Sons, and Fleet Foxes, it’s unsurprising that their music sometimes evokes comparisons to some of these artists. Original tracks such as “Horizon Fire” have even been compared to the likes of Mumford & Sons (and rightly so).
What sets Cold Weather Company aside from many other upcoming groups is the fact that the band is comprised of three vocalists, two guitarists, and one pianist. Despite not incorporating a percussion element to their music, CWC seems to be doing just fine. In January 2015, Cold Weather Company released their debut album, Somewhere New. Inspired by a character described in a poem, CWC created several songs for the album based on this figure. “‘The Fellow,’ as we called him, kind of became our logo, and the themes of his story (along with the idea of starting fresh, exploring one’s surroundings, and really just getting out into the world) tied our first album together and represented what the band meant to us,” explained Shimchick.
“It’s safe to say that we’ve accomplished far more than we ever expected with CWC. We started it not knowing what would happen, so we’re already pretty thrilled with the past two years,” said Shimchick. Encouraged by the success the group has experienced thus far, they have their sights set on even more possibilities. “We really want to make this something that we can do for the long-run. We’ve invested a lot of time and energy in it so far, but we each have other jobs as well, it would be incredible to move from ‘music on the side’ to ‘music full-time,'” Shimchick said.
While no long-term plans are set in stone, Cold Weather Company is currently in the process of developing their sophomore album, expected to be released this fall.