SARAH AVRIN (Publicist)




New York City indie rock quartet Citris’s debut album is titled “Panic in Hampton Bays,” an evocative juxtaposition of anxiety and a holiday getaway. It’s the central metaphor for this muscular, melodic record’s themes of anxiety, mental illness, emotional abuse, and the inward search for meaning in the middle of the maelstrom.


“‘Panic in Hampton Bays’ is meant to paint a picture of unease and restlessness in a calm, glamorous and privileged atmosphere,” says singer, guitarist and songwriter Angelina Torreano, who forms the core of Citris with guitarist and producer Chris Krasnow. “The album is centered around dealing with anxiety and mental illness and how that affects your personal relationships with people, whether romantic or with friends and family. When I was a senior in high school, I lived with my 26-year-old boyfriend for the whole year and that experience really shaped who I am and a lot of what I write about. Every song is a different story, a different feeling, but all under the same general message: be true to yourself, understand your feelings, listen to your gut and make up your own answer.”


Torreano and Krasnow, both 24-year-old New York natives, met in the always-fertile music scene of Purchase, NY, which has produced such beloved artists as Regina Spektor, Dan Deacon, and Mitski. (Torreano also starred in the music video for Mitski’s underground classic track “I Want You.”) Together, the pair set the Torreano’s searching lyrics to an onslaught of distorted guitars and drums that recall 90s rock greats like Hole, Garbage and Veruca Salt, as well as contemporaries like Dilly Dally, Bully and Courtney Barnett.


Several songs on the album, like the captivating anthem “Little Scars” with its opening proclamation, “Here I am, with the poison / I've given up, I'm not disappointed now,” quickly swell into searing singalongs, a torrent of distorted guitar underlining anxious messages. “Ex-Dreamer,” with its Elliott Smith-esque chord changes and twisting harmonies, and the knife-edge tension of “I Guess It’s You That’s Winning,” show off the unique chemistry between the pair’s dextrous, multi-textured guitar work, Torreano’s laser-beam vocals and Krasnow’s masterfully bright and punchy production which is at turns similar to Jon Brion, Butch Vig and Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker. (Toreano and Krasnow play all the instruments on the album – live, the band is rounded out by drummer Clint Mobley and bassist Gianluca Minucci.)


But even with the panic at the heart of Torreano’s lyrics, the album has its wry, humorous and hopeful moments, like the winking, hooky “Coco Chanel” – ”I wanna wear you like Coco Chanel, and when your scent is wearing off I can’t forget the smell” – that show there’s a glimmer of optimism to Citris.


“A lot of the songs hint at past relationships I've had where I've felt smothered, but at the same time, they reflect a certain nostalgia to what was also great about those relationships,” Torreano says. “It should read as a hopeful album, and give a sense of reassurance in a vulnerable world.”


Citris’s debut “Panic in Hampton Bays,” originally self-released by the band on Bandcamp, will be re-released worldwide February 24 on vinyl and in digital formats by New Professor.