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The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Local band Landline rings through Sacramento

Landline band takes the stage (left to right) Samuel Styrsky, Malakhi Croxford, Kelly Cardosa, Graven Tyler, and (behind) Will Dowden | Shine Cafe | Sacramento, CA | Friday, 10-25-2019 | Niko Panagopoulos | [email protected]

Kelly Cardosa, the female vocalist for Landline, stands on the stage of Shine, a rustic-style, midtown café filled with homey furniture and big windows where people come to study in the morning and lounge in the evening. She makes the crowd laugh while the rest of her bandmates set up their instruments for their Friday night show.

Landline, an indie rock band founded in Sacramento by Samuel Styrsky and Malakhi Croxford, played at Shine for the third time in late October.

Their next local show will be Saturday, Dec. 14, at The Silver Orange.

Styrsky and Croxford, 17, are both seniors in high school who take advanced education courses at City College. The two have taken music composition, psychology and French. Next fall, both high school students plan on returning as City College students.

“Me and Sam had been in bands together since we were in eighth grade,” says Croxford. “We’ve always played music together.”

They started playing together when they were 13.

“It was kind of the first thing that was meaningful beyond regular life at that age,” says Styrsky.

Styrsky and Croxford share duties in Landline as lead guitar and lead vocals.

“We both had musicians in our families, we had the resources, and even now we’re lucky enough to have the resources,” says Styrsky.

Since starting Landline as sophomores, Styrsky and Croxford have found others who share their love for music in the same way. 

Cardosa, 18, is the band’s only female vocalist. She loves having an outlet to sing and perform.

“I like being the only girl. I have three older brothers, and I’m used to being with just boys,” says Cardosa. “I met Sam and Malakahi when they were freshmen in high school, and I was a sophomore. I consider them my best friends.”

All the members of Landline say they are influenced by the band Pinegrove, an American indie rock band. In fact, Pinegrove introduced Landline to their newest drummer, Will Dowden, 19. 

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Will Dowden, on stage with Landline band | Shine Cafe | Sacramento, CA | Friday, 10-25-2019 | Niko Panagopoulos | [email protected]

While at a Pinegrove show in San Francisco, Styrsky, Cardosa, Croxford and Dowden were some of the earliest fans to arrive. 

“We were waiting outside the venue super early before the show, and we could see inside. We saw Evan, the lead singer, walk onstage,” says Cardosa. “We were all starstruck, and that was how we first kinda talked to each other.” 

They got to talking about where they were from and realized they didn’t live far from each other. They admit that it took a while to finally get together, but when they did get a chance to play together, it was a match.

Graven Tyler, 15, Landline’s bass player, is the youngest member of the band. Tyler enjoys being a part of the band because he says Landline has traits that are similar to some of his musical influences.

“Growing up, I listened to a lot of different types of music, but one artist that always stuck with me was Colin Meloy, the frontman of a band called
The Decemberists,” says Tyler. “It’s kinda similar to Pinegrove in a lot of ways. It’s very theatrical songwriting at times and has lots of layers to the music, which is something I’ve always admired.”

“Katherine” is one of the band’s most popular singles, with over a thousand listens on Spotify. When Croxford wrote “Katherine,” he recalls being in a “folky mood.”

“It’s a typical longing-love-song,” says Croxford, who wrote it about a girl who’s not named Katherine but who did inspire the song. 

Croxford and Styrsky are the main songwriters for Landline, together the two have completed around twenty songs, but when it comes to  the entire writing process, it’s more of a team effort. 

“When we write things, it’s kind of like a canvas for other people to fill in, and it becomes like a group project almost—it’s like writing a proposal,” says Styrsky.

Although the band members write their own music, they also perform covers like the song “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers. 

“We want to work on rehearsing covers soon and ideally play something like that at every show,” says Skrysky. “We want to hop around genres and expand our musical repertoire as a group beyond just our music.”

Landline’s next local show will be Saturday, Dec. 14, at The Silver Orange.
Landline can be found on Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube.

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  • K

    Karen NsonNov 28, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    Great article. Great band. Been inspired by their songs for years!

  • D

    DaveNov 28, 2019 at 10:56 am

    Great article, I love this bands music !