Less than one year after their formation, self-described "folkcore" band Ten Cent Days released their debut album, "Ten Dollar Album," June 16.
If you're wondering how much it would cost to get yourself a copy of the 10-track album, the title says it all.
The album features Caleb Banas on guitar and vocals; Lena Yeagle on violin, cello and vocals; Ian Fink on bass; Jason Shuman on percussion; and Mathias Lovemoter on melodica, vocals and keys.
The now six-piece ensemble, began with long-time friends and jam buddies, Banas and Yeagle, who were determined and driven to seek out other local musicians in hopes of constructing a band with a unique sound - and style. They since have found their bandmates and blended their talents, winning over the hearts and ears of many local music lovers.
The band's sound has been compared to others such as Iron & Wine, Arcade Fire, The Decemberists, Radiohead and Blind Pilot, but a bit challenging to explain - described as gypsy folk and rock, or as Yeagle put it, having a "dirty sound."
"We wanted to incorporate a sort of throw-back sepia tone into it," she said. "We are a little unrefined. We are professionals in the way we play, but we are mostly self-taught. There's a bit of an edge of imperfection, which I think is charming."
The name, Ten Cent Days, suits the band's musical and visual style, referencing depression-era imagery, Banas said, noting his personal favorite description of the band as "music for a wake," as described by a fan.
"Ten Dollar Album" was recorded at 1602 Studio, 1602 Scott St., and engineered by JJ Lenios and Ryan Williams, who also mixed the tunes with the help of Banas.
"Mixing is one of my favorite parts (of the recording process) because that's kind of where you get to really hone in on everything," Banas said.
Banas is the main lyricist for the band and released a solo album last year, "Always You: The Tragic Tale of Two divided by Two," which featured seven of the 10 songs on "Ten Dollar Album."
"The songwriting process varies from song to song," Banas said. "Sometimes I'll write lyrics and a little melody first, and sometimes I'll write and record it and play that on repeat until I get almost the whole song. Then I bring it to the band and they do their thing and we see where it goes."
Yeagle adds a full and somewhat dark, yet soft side to the sound with her strings and feminine vocals, while Lovemoter's melodica surprises the audience, incorporating a non-traditional, but intriguing addition. The band's repertoire offers tunes their audiences can both sway and dance to.
The band has gone through some recent changes, as many bands do, with the current lineup including Banas, Yeagle, Fink and Lovemoter, and the addition of Mike Wrench on percussion and Mark Piatkowski on guitar, vocals and banjo.
Ten Cent Days will perform at Rumrunners Pub and Eatery at 8 p.m. Saturday. They also will be opening for folk band, Wilhelm McKay at 10 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Bullfrog Brewery, 231 W. Fourth St., followed by a show in Philadelphia on Aug. 17.
"We're gonna stop there for a couple of months to get our two newest members (Wrench and Piatkowski) caught up," Banas said. "We have probably half of a next album written already."
Banas said the band's next album will be based about the Civil War - something he started work on immediately following the release of his solo album.
Working on his own as well as with others, Banas said being a part of a band can be frustrating at times, but he really enjoys playing live shows and working side-by-side with his bandmates.
Yeagle said she doesn't really feel the need to become famous or to go on extensive world tours, but is willing to accept whatever future the band has in store for her.
"It's about the relationship that you share on stage with your bandmates," she said. "It's a sort of fleeting sensation. You play the notes and they are in the air and it's kind of like a fingerprint. It's never the same twice."
"Ten Dollar Album" was mastered by Hunter Wentzler and produced by Ryan Williams, JJ Lenios, Dave Whitman and Ten Cent Days.
For more information about Ten Cent Days, visit tencentdays.band camp.com, www.reverbnation.com/tencentdays or find them on Facebook.