At once lyrical and ethereal, dissonant and driving, Black Sea Hotel’s distinct yet unified voices create a harmonic blend that is often called otherworldly, haunting, even spellbinding. Affectionately dubbed a “punk rock version of Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares”, the NY-based a cappella trio draws its inspiration from the rich traditions of Balkan folk song. The group gathers material from master singers, archival field recordings, and large mid-century choral arrangements, creating original, complex three-voiced compositions. The sometimes strident, sometimes unearthly textures and overtones characteristic of Black Sea Hotel’s sound evoke ancient yet potent stories which still resonate today.
Black Sea Hotel draws a remarkably broad audience. They perform at venues ranging from world class concert halls to downtown clubs, from international folk festivals and universities, to the Bulgarian Embassy. The group has collaborated with such musical luminaries as Kremena Stancheva (Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares), Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond, The Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens), and beat-boxer Adam Matta (Carolina Chocolate Drops), as well as Brooklyn Balkan bands Ansambl Mastika and Raya Brass Band.The trio has been broadcast live internationally on PRI’s The World Global Hit Segment, on John Schaefer's Soundcheck on WNYC, as well as on WFMU, WAMU, KUNM, KSFR, and Sirius XM Radio, among others. The group leads workshops, classes, and lecture-demos in Balkan singing nationwide.
Black Sea Hotel’s live performances and recordings have been praised by The Washington Post, Paul Schomer of National Public Radio, David Byrne, music producer Martin Bisi, Lucid Culture, The Washington Post, Timeout NY, East Village Radio, and more. The group's first album debuted at #2 on iTunes World Music Top Albums, and was chosen as Editor’s Pick / Featured Artist on CD Baby. Black Sea Hotel’s much-anticipated new album, The Forest is Shaking and Swaying, was released in Fall 2013.
Black Sea Hotel is currently immersed in the production of their debut music video, “Zhenish Me Mamo”, a potently haunting contemporarily-arranged folk song about dragons and fear. The video is directed by creative whirlwind, Josephine Decker (Director of "Butter on the Latch"), who’s proven it possible not only to locate and acquire miniature modern-day dragons in NYC, but also to successfully choreograph them moving with grace across the faces and throughout the entangled of Shelley, Sarah and Willa... near ocean waves... at dawn. Decker has crafted an other-worldly experience fear, sensuality, and strange-ity all in one. Video is scheduled for release early 2015.
To accompany the release of this music video is Black Sea Hotel’s new studio recording of “Zhenish Me Mamo”, engineered by James Frazee, mixed by Sarah Small, and mastered by Sarah Register, of The Lodge Mastering. This release is a recording debut for Black Sea Hotel's newest member, the vocally entrancing Shelley Thomas. The song will be released Winter 2015, as a single EP with live bonus tracks from recent shows throughout late 2014.
Alongside production of the music video and EP, the woman of Black Sea Hotel are in the midst of dual tour planning, both for Summer/Fall 2015 (West Coast) and for Fall 2015/Winter 2016 (Europe and beyond…). To stay informed of Black Sea Hotel's performances and activities, inquire within.