"We're unapologetically pop," says Cheri D of the Atlanta-based band. "Our name is about a place people don't go to often enough, but maybe shouldn't be afraid of. A lot of people don't know what to make of us, like they don't know what to make of the idea of the 13th floor".
Fronted by sassy Cheri D on keyboards/lead vocals -- backed by feisty guitarist Cat and the firm but funky rhythm section of bassist J3 and drummer Max -- 13 Stories is a quartet whose perky "FunkyPopSexyHouseRap" shows get a share of catcalls, but mostly calls for encores from audiences who find that 13 is a lucky number for those who like melodic, vivacious rave-ups. 13 Stories performances have garnered the group favorable comparisons to everyone from No Doubt and Blondie to the B-52s, Cibo Matto and Tom Tom Club.
The members of 13 Stories have been playing together in different capacities for nearly six years, but landed on their united approach by almost disbanding. Originally featuring a 'flashy' lead guitarist and more jamming sound, 13 Stories serendipitously stumbled on the group's infectiously energetic, edgy take on pop when naturally developing and expanding their sound. The group brought in keyboards and each member took on microphones, giving a completely unique dimension to their live show and recordings.
Aching to perform since the age of four, Cheri D has "so much energy she can't pause it." She sang in multilingual choirs for years and haunted open mic nights to hone her voice, influenced by '80's pop and folk music. Cat is a rock 'n' roll naïf, ripping natural leads with coltish energy and few influences outside of a little Billy Joel and obscure salsa bands, feeding off her band mates’ enthusiasm. J3 is the perfectionist, most widely versed in winding genres and setting the steady pace while always mixing things up. And inspired by country and heavy metal, Max is both the anchor and versatile hype man.
"I am so proud to be a part of 13 Stories," said Cat. "We have a uniquely defined live show mixing alternative and power pop with funk and infectious rhythms".
To go with the up tempo instrumentals, Cheri D writes flirty, but firm lyrics dealing with everything from letting someone take you on a good ride without putting you through a bad trip to a song inspired by social work and appreciating what you have to be joyful about at the end of a week.
Each member of 13 Stories delivers parts of the vocals, whether it's echoing, rapping or just sultry whispering. The band weaves hip-hop through new wave and funk through synth-pop, resulting is a snappy sound, which comes across as a soundtrack for a perpetual spring break patio party. It’s something that just happens but is unexplainable by the members of the group. One constant to 13 Stories is that the band writes songs in major keys, intending to keep tempos and spirits high.
"After a while, we just stopped pressing so hard in trying to define our sound. Instead of trying to invent something, we just started using each of our strengths and that’s when the 1-3 sound was born", says Cheri D. "It actually opened up the creativity to do what each of us does best". And they remain amazed by how each can take one another's suggestions, consistently leading to a bubbly lick or groove that automatically feels natural.
Much of that egoless interaction is crisply captured by Producers Jeff Hodges and Don McCollister (Sister Hazel, Indigo Girls, Shawn Mullins) on 13 Stories' much anticipated debut, FunkyPopSexyHouseRap. Their first single, "Beep! Beep!", has received overwhelming immediate response. "Beep! Beep!" was quickly discovered by Alt Rocker KIWR The River in Omaha, NE. and reached #1 Most Played and #1 Phones.
Soon there after, 13 Stories became a part of a major FORD Motors campaign. The band is featured performing their single "Beep! Beep!" in a number of commercials that have extensively rolled out to both TV and radio.
The group has performed live throughout the Southeast and beyond, including dates at Atlanta's Music Midtown, 99X-Atlanta New Years Eve Event with Arrested Development, Charlotte's 600 Festival, West Palm Beach's Clematis by Night festival, Las Vegas MGM Grand Hotel, and opening for Collective Soul at Centennial Olympic Park.
"We have worked, and still work, super hard to deliver an unforgettable, in your face, confident show that's a blast. . . a 1-3 party that we are proud of and the fans love," said Cheri D.Check 13 Stories out and you’ll end up with your own story to tell.