In a vibrant crescendo of thudding drums, bouncing keyboard, and jazzy saxophone, the halls of Park at WashU resonated with laughter and music during a recent rehearsal. The source of this lively symphony was none other than the unique musical collective known as “On Hold with the IRS,” a band that has woven a tale of community and camaraderie through their eclectic performances.
Led by junior Caroline Haber, the band’s singer and pianist, On Hold with the IRS has not only taken WashU by storm but has also carved a distinct identity in the local music scene. Originating from a desire to form a band, the ensemble came together under the musical ambitions of sophomore Morrison, who, along with drummer Jake Tindall and bassist Solly Lerman, laid the foundation for the group.
The band’s story took an unexpected turn when, in a twist of fate, former singer Abbey Russell found herself on hold with the IRS due to an identity theft incident. Seizing the moment, Tindall proposed the whimsical band name, and thus, On Hold with the IRS was born.
The ensemble further expanded its sonic palette by welcoming junior Nick Rodriguez, a saxophonist and vocalist, into the fold. Rodriguez’s addition injected a new dimension into the band’s sound, and his initiation, marked by a voicemail inviting him to join, became a memorable chapter in the band’s journey.
On Hold with the IRS defies genre constraints, seamlessly blending pop, rock, R&B, and jazz into their repertoire. Their covers, including unique renditions of songs like “New Body Rhumba” by LCD Soundsystem, showcase the band’s versatility and willingness to experiment with different styles.
The band’s collaborative approach to songwriting adds a distinctive touch to their originals. In a safe and open environment, members bring lyrics, chord progressions, or melodies to the table, engaging in a collective effort to craft unique compositions. The band even employs a creative exercise called “Tinder Songwriting,” where musical ideas are swiped left or right, akin to the popular dating app.
Looking ahead, On Hold with the IRS harbors ambitions of recording an EP, benefitting from the multifaceted talent of sax player and vocalist Rodriguez, who also happens to be a sound engineer. The band’s focus extends beyond perfection, prioritizing the joyous experience of playing music for friends and fostering a sense of community at every show.
What sets On Hold with the IRS apart is not just their musical prowess but the infectious energy and engagement they bring to each performance. Costume-themed shows and audience participation are staples of their concerts, creating a dynamic and inclusive atmosphere that distinguishes them from other campus bands.
As the band members extolled each other’s contributions, it became evident that On Hold with the IRS is more than just a musical ensemble—it’s a tight-knit family. Each member brings a unique element to the group, from Morrison’s leadership and creative ideas to Haber’s infectious energy and powerful vocals.
Through the highs and lows of practice sessions, On Hold with the IRS has created a space where music serves as a unifying force. The band’s story is one of shared passion, mutual respect, and the transformative power of music. As they continue to enchant audiences with their lively performances, On Hold with the IRS is not just a band; they are a testament to the enduring bonds forged through a shared love of music.