Ursa and the Major Key is an indie/psychedelic rock band from Plattsburgh, NY. Their first album, Daytime/Nighttime, is out now on Cricket Records.
Originating from the scenic Adirondack region of New York State, brothers Eli Moore and Nelson Moore take on vocal duties, while playing guitar and drums respectively. Tyler Bosley, another Adirondack native, plays guitar. Edward Morris, coming from the opposite end of the state in New York City, plays bass. The recently added Vihan Wickramasinghe, hailing from Sri Lanka, tackles keyboard duties. Together, the five fuse influences from classic and modern artists alike.
The group’s debut album, Daytime/Nighttime, showcases an eclectic blend of influences filtered through the lens of indie and psychedelic rock.
The influence of improvisation from the jazz scene and the jam band scene alike is evident on most of the tracks, notably Annabel Lee, What’s Your Name, and the closing track, White Sands. In this context, the five members strive to make their improvisation as natural and authentic as possible, while taking care not to favor self-indulgence over tasteful and nuanced construction of the jam.
The folk rock and roots rock sounds of groups like The Byrds, The Grateful Dead and The Band unmistakably shine through in tracks such as Don’t Think It Even Matters, House of Blue Lights, and Only the Sky Is Blue. Classic 1960s psychedelic rock influence from Jefferson Airplane, The 13th Floor Elevators, and The Doors permeates aforementioned tracks White Sands and Don’t Think It Even Matters, as well as the Santana influenced track I’m Gonna Lose My Head.
The former two elements mix seamlessly with a more contemporary indie sound, akin to groups like Whitney, Alvvays, and Allah Las. This influence is particularly noticeable in tracks like Limelight, Annabel Lee, and Yeah You’re Gonna Be Something. The latter track also integrates hints of 60s soul, including brass parts.
Finally, the title suite combines influence from the work of Brian Wilson’s Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys, the progressive works of Pink Floyd, and the neo-soul sensibilities of Thundercat.
Lyrically, the group is honored (if not obligated) to credit the profound influence of Bob Dylan. In the case of Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe’s namesake poem provided inspiration for the storyline.