IN FOR A RIDE
at the moment...
Artist Bio by Justin Jacobs
From the very first sounds of the new album by At The Moment—wind-swept strumming and chiming acoustic guitar—you know you’re in for something special. The 10-song collection is the latest installment in the long and winding musical journey of New York singer-songwriter, saxophonist, and guitarist Daniel Stampfel. It’s called In For A Ride. Listen through; you’ll understand exactly why.
The truth is, though, In For A Ride could be the title of Stampfel's whole music career. He broke out in a big way in 1995, when his tight, punchy ska band The Skastafarians won Conan O'Brien's 10th Annual College Band Search. By 1999, he was playing buzzing, heartfelt power-pop with New York staples The Inevitable Breakups. The band’s end (while not inevitable) closed out 2007, and Stampfel's normal life overtook his musical dreams.
Stampfel spent a few years out of the spotlight, carefully crafting the songs that would launch At The Moment. He recorded a few of those tunes with Steve Schiltz of Hurricane Bells, and in 2012 released the Monte Carlo EP. It was a short, three-song collection—but it would change everything. His musical ride had slowed, sure, but Stampfel was back, and he was ready to dive headfirst into something new. Something exciting.
On the success of the Monte Carlo EP, Stampfel began assembling a crew of musicians to play his warm, ragged, and stripped-down pop-rock. Stampfel had shared a stage with guitarist Dave Van Epp as part of New York party starters Michael T and the Vanities; he was the first to join in Stampfel’s vision for At The Moment. Backup singer Emma DeCorsey was an acquaintance from a long-ago night of karaoke—before long, she was part of the band. Drummer Matt James and bassist Turner Stough had floated through the same musician circles as Stampfel for years before he popped the question. Before long, At The Moment was complete—a brand new band of musicians already caught in a groove.
At The Moment fueled Stampfel to play more, and to play better. He began jamming all over New York with bands like Marco With Love and Screamin’ Rebel Angels. Energy creates more energy, and Stampfel knew how to channel it.
With all the excitement of a new romance, At The Moment prepared to record their official debut album. The songs were there; the band was playing tighter than ever. In summer 2015, Stampfel broke his wrist sliding into third base—on a triple that soared over the center fielder—but the setback couldn’t hold At The Moment.
By that fall, he’d recovered enough to lay down In For A Ride. The album is the strongest Stampfel's ever put his name on, filled with personal lyrics about love and uncertainty; gorgeous harmonies, fluid guitars and driving percussion. It’s rock ‘n’ roll with a shiny new coat of pop and a dash of rollicking country. It’s as relatable as it is hummable.
At The Moment captures the current songwriting of Daniel Stampfel. The band is a barometer for how he’s evolved as a musician up until today. But with In For A Ride he’s created something timeless.