Nostalghia | Out of the Cocoon and On the Road

prof nostalghiaCiscandra Nostalghia is a true talent in a sea of wanna-be’s and semi-phenoms.




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With stops at St. Louis’s annual Pointfest and Toronto’s Riot Fest, Ciscandra Nostalghia and her cohorts are quite busy, indeed. Now opening for Crosses (+++) on their first national tour, the band is celebrating their first full-length release with Chrysalis (110 Records/INgroove).

With fans of the likes of Marilyn Manson, Trent Reznor and Skrillex, Nostalghia are opening eyes and ears with their electronic gypsy-punk sound. Composed of Ciscandra, keyboardist/drummer/programmer Roy Gnan, and live cellist Adele Stein, the band hails from Los Angeles. Seeing the band live is a true testament to the talents of their lead singer/lyricist. When I ask if she likes being on the road, Ciscandra replies, “Oh yes. I love being on the road and traveling.” That may be why the band has been labeled “gypsy punk.” Their music is compelling, dramatic, and dark, yet soulful and approachable. With cited influences such as P.J. Harvey, it is obvious that this is not your average cookie-cutter alternative band. Nostalghia have their own flair, and are quickly making a name for themselves in many different musical circles. They recorded their new CD at home, as opposed to a proper studio. About the recording process, Ciscandra says, “It’s not my favorite thing. I am very ‘in the moment,’ and after, say, take six or seven, the moment can be lost.” By producing and engineering the album themselves, the band had a more intimate hand in the recording of their material than most artists usually have.

Next I ask if the present DIY state of the music business is better for artists than the used-to-be necessity of major label support, to which Ciscandra replies, “I think it goes both ways. Now, we have to be business savvy, and be much more dedicated to our work.”—and dedicated she is. When Ciscandra is not making music, she is painting surreal images on canvas. One look at her artwork, and chills set in. The surreal images of a spider over a girl’s face…it’s a lot to take in. Vocally, Ciscandra has been featured in video games and on tracks by such artists as Seven Lions. She has also done several fashion shows, as she is just as beautiful in person as in photos.

When on the stage, the band takes new fans by pleasant surprise. The crowd sees what appears to be a shy, beautiful, and soft-spoken lady, then a torrent of rage and melody come forth from her. Mouths drop, eyes widen, and hands start to pump and clap. Those uninitiated leave the show converted. Fans now have the hope of a cross-country tour featuring Nostalghia as headliner.

Photographer, poet, vocalist, clothing designer, model, performer—Ciscandra Nostalghia is a true talent in a sea of wanna-be’s and semi-phenoms. Her future is whatever she wants it to be. Since meeting her, people have asked me, “What is she really like?” I simply smile as I reply, “She’s exactly who you think she is.” | Marc Farr

Stay up to date with the band via their website, and catch the videos for tracks from the new album, including “Sunshiny Milk” and the first single ,”You + I” on the band’s YouTube channel.

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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