The self-proclaimed “couture rock” group double-breasted consists of three unique members with three distinct acoustic instruments—Kristy Chmura (harp, vocals), Ardith Collins (cello, vocals), and Josh Bicknell (percussion, vocals). The three met in 2001 while earning their Bachelors’ of Music at The College of New Jersey and soon embarked on a journey to marry their classical training with the pop/rock music that was also close to their hearts.
While Kristy initially dreamed of playing coffee houses, Ardith and Josh wanted to crash the NJ/NY independent music scene at traditional rock clubs. Ironically, many of double-breasted’s songs are appropriate for both locations. Performing all original music, all three members compose and sing, bringing a certain variety to their songs that is rarely found in current pop groups. This variety is apparent when listening to songs from their first full-length album, Who Will Love You?; “You Never Said Goodbye” is Kristy’s heartfelt lament of friends lost without closure. The song begins with the harp and cello in counterpoint beneath Kristy’s vocals, and ends in a frustrated rupture of emotion. In the softer ballad, “Clocks,” Ardith expresses grief from the passing of time and friendships. Kristy’s harp is the tolling bell, while the anguished cello sighs under a distraught chorus. “Lulla-bye” is one of double-breasted’s softest songs, featuring Josh’s voice over a harp ostinato, and swelling cello lines, while Kristy and Ardith lend their voices in harmony.
On stage, double-breasted is not only a sight—Kristy’s beautiful 6-foot, 46-string harp and Ardith’s striking flamed-back cello surround Josh’s drum set—they are also a synergy of musical power and beauty in harmony. When trying to compare double-breasted’s sound to the mainstream music of today, the harp parts have been likened to a finger-picked lead guitar, but can also strike chords with the strength of a piano. The cello provides much of the low-end, but is also used as a lead instrument much like an electric guitar from a traditional rock group. The drums and percussion fill out the spectrum, providing a dynamic range and pulse to the music, and when played together, accompanying their three voices, double-breasted’s unique sound comes to life.
Double-breasted have played the stages of NJ/NY rock venues such as Maxwell’s, Arlene’s Grocery, The Court Tavern, and The Cutting Room; more intimate acoustic venues such as The Chalfonte Hotel’s Henry Sawyer Room, Art House Productions, and The Goldhawk; as well as local festivals, such as Wharton Canal Day, Cape May Singer Songwriter, and the Black River Music & Art Fest. They have also performed as part of NJPAC’s Prelude Concert Series for the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, the national tour of RENT, and Legally Blonde at the prestigious New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ. double-breasted has performed live on the air on Philadelphia’s rock radio station, Radio 104.5FM, as a Live at 5 live stream performance, as well as many live on air performances at WRSU, Rutger’s radio station. In addition to this, double-breasted has performed at private and public Gallery Openings.
Their first full-length album, Who Will Love You? was independently released in late 2008. double-breasted self-produced their first music video, depicting track number seven from Who Will Love You?, “You Never Said Goodbye”. More recently double-breasted has self-produced and released an original Holiday song, “Holiday Sparkle”. Thanks to the support of friends and fans, double-breasted “Kickstarted” their most recent project, a five song EP, Suit Yourself, and released it in February, 2012. All of double-breasted’s music is available for purchase.