Local indie group discusses band origin and upcoming album

By Jeremiah Hurd, Contributing Writer

“Handshake; Talk small awhile / You learned to fake a smile.”

Those are the opening lyrics to Syntax Club’s “Mississippi, Come and Take Me” which is one of several songs that are going to appear on their upcoming album.

It was released on the websites Bandcamp and SoundCloud; the band also did a video recording of the song on their Facebook page.

One of the band’s founding members is Lane Castleberry, OBU graduate and web content/social media coordinator here on Bison Hill.

Castleberry, vocalist and guitar player, said the story behind “Mississippi, Come and Take Me” is that of a young person in a small town in Mississippi who wants to go to New York and get job.

When the person gets to New York though, he or she recognizes that it isn’t all they had dreamed it would be.

“They realized the one thing they really wanted and missed was home,” Castleberry said.

Syntax Club started in 2016 with Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) alums, Castleberry and Daniel Valencia.

“Late last year, Daniel Valencia, ’14, [posted] ‘Someone start a beach pop band with me’ on Facebook,” Castleberry said.

At the time, Castleberry and Valencia were just acquaintances on Facebook because they had met during their time at OBU. However, Castleberry jumped at the opportunity.

“I responded, ‘I’m in.’ A few weeks later we got together for the first time to feel it out, to see if we could work well together,” Castleberry said.

Out of that one meeting, they completed a song. “We left that night with a song under our belts, and we haven’t stopped writing and recording music since,” Castleberry said.

The band was born out of a love for music.

“We really enjoy the songwriting process and recording music,” Castleberry said. “I think our goal is to write and record as much music as possible, give it away for free and then play occasional shows.”

Valencia, lead guitarist, discussed the creative process.

“One of our goals is to write songs that we would love more than anyone. And if others want to take part in the joy, then that’s amazing.”

They both have a passion for storytelling through music.

“There’s a story behind each song, and some songs tell those stories,” Castleberry said.

Castleberry and Valencia worked together for three months before landing on Syntax Club as the band’s name.

They narrowed the options to Radish Spirit, Moon Beach and Syntax Club.

“Syntax, by definition, is the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences. Similarly, we aim to create meaningful music and lyrics, arranged to create the best song possible,” Castleberry said.

Recently, Castleberry and Valencia have added two new members. They added bassist Kaleb Miears, an admissions counselor and senior at OBU, and they’ve introduced drummer Jarrus Kentle, a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University.

Currently, Syntax Club can only be heard on websites Bandcamp and SoundCloud though they are hoping to have an album up on Spotify  within the next couple of weeks.

Castleberry said the album will mostly likely be titled “Mississippi, Come and Take Me” with the cover being the same image that they released with the song on their Facebook page.

The album will consist of individual demos the group has recorded and released as well as four new songs.

“If anybody wants a physical copy of the CD, we are happy to send you that in the mail. If you go on Facebook and send us a place that you want us to send it to, we will be happy to do that,” Castleberry said.

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