San Francisco-based indie pop band the Balustrade Ensemble were formed by songwriter/guitarist Grant Miller (of Mandible Chatter), arranger/engineer Scott Solter (Tarentel, Charles Atlas, Boxharp, Mountain Goats, John Vanderslice, Pattern Is Movement), and singer Wendy Allen (Boxharp). In addition to the three principals, guest musicians include keyboard player Matt Henry Cunitz, pedal steel guitarist Ryan Rosenberg, pianist Liam Singer, and cellist Rich Vaughan. Borrowing a term from science fiction literature that refers to Victorian fantasies about the future by such writers as Jules Verne, "steampunk" (coined as a contrast to "cyberpunk"), the members of the Balustrade Ensemble described their ethereal music as "steampunk-ambient." The first recorded example of that came when they signed to the local Dynamophone Records label and released their debut album, Capsules, on November 5, 2007, with a worldwide release arranged for May 13, 2008.
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