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The band played on: The rise and fall and rise of Ditmas Park duo Via Audio

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If there is one thing that the members of Via Audio have learned to rely on, it is the unreliability of the music industry.

In 2010, the Ditmas Park duo had released two full-length albums, both on well-regarded labels, and was receiving plenty of positive press from the music media. But over the next three years, the band was dealt a series of blows — the loss of both its management and booking agent, and an inability to find a label for an album it recorded back in 2011.

Through it all, however, Jessica Martins and Tom Deis have managed to keep faith in their act — and pick up a few practical skills in the process.

“It’s basically Tom and I doing it all ourselves,” said Martins during a break from band’s busy schedule at this year’s South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. “We’re our own PR company, booking, and everything in between.”

Now add “record label” to that list — Via Audio is also self-releasing its latest album “Natural Language,” following a very successful crowd-funding campaign that saw the band’s fans exceed its original $7,500 goal by almost $2,000.

From the sounds of the album, which was recorded at Ditmas Park studio Sounds Like a Fire, the money was put to good use. The music is a step forward for the group, expanding on its ’80s new wave-influenced pop sound with subtle Indian melodies and a bit of agitated rock leaking into the mix.

After surviving the gauntlet of South by Southwest showcases and parties, Via Audio is now ready to face its biggest challenge yet — trying to stick together with its principle members now living on opposite sides of the country. Following the band’s album release show at Williamsburg’s Glasslands on March 30, Martins will be packing up to move to Los Angeles, with Deis staying behind on the East Coast.

“It’s so hard to predict what’s going to happen or have a plan,” said Martins, “and we don’t know if we can pull it off financially being bicoastal. There’s a lot to cross our fingers about.”

Via Audio at Glasslands [289 Kent Ave. between S. First and S. Second streets in Williamsburg, (718) 599–1450, www.theglasslands.com]. March 30 at 8:30 pm, $10.

Updated 5:31 pm, July 9, 2018
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