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Filled to the Brim wows fans with an original name and a sound to match

When I went to camp as a teenager I came home knowing how to make a boondoggle keychain.

I guess things have changed since then. If you’re the kids that make up the band Filled to the Brim, you come home from camp knowing how to record and release a CD.

The quintet first hooked up at Jim O’Mahony’s Rock Camp in July 2018, an event that brings musicians who are interested in playing in a band and composing together to Marcy for a two-week camp. O’Mahony decided to put these players in a band together and everything clicked.

“They were the cream of the crop of my camp,” explained O’Mahony. “They were the most advanced musicians individually and also the ones who had started writing songs on their own.”

His instinct proved to be right. By the end of that session, Filled To The Brim had composed their debut single, “Turn Back the Time” and band members were beginning to collaborate on new song ideas.

Now, Filled To The Brim, made up of Victoria Haggerty (age 18, lead vocals, ukulele); Alyssa Tomassi (age 14, drums, background vocals); Owen Paz (age 12, keyboard, background vocals); Jack Towns (age 14, keyboard, vocals) and Zack Tomassi (age 17, guitar), have just released their first CD. And, no, those ages aren’t typos.

Filled To The Brim did face an unusual obstacle that most recording artists don’t have to deal with: the opportunities for performing live were limited by the fact that none of them are old enough to get into most of the venues that run live music.

“Finding places to play can be challenging for us,” admits Haggerty. “Most places are looking for older and more experienced bands.”

So they concentrated on writing. By the end of 2019, Filled To The Brim wrote 10 more original songs and headed to MoreSound Studios in Syracuse to record their eponymous album.

“The recording process was very intimidating at first,” recalls Haggerty, “but in the end, it was one of the best experiences of our lives.”

If they were intimidated, they hid it pretty well from O’Mahony, who produced the record.

“They absolutely killed it and blew away my expectations,” says O’Mahony. “Such pros for being so young.”

Don’t think that because of their ages you’re going to get a steady dose of kiddy-pop; this isn’t Hansen performing “MMM-Bop.” The album has elements of straight-ahead rock, funk, and pop. The best cut on the album, “All Of You,” is a surprisingly mature tune with a complex chord structure that belies the band’s youth.

“Our music is fun and different,” says Haggerty. “Listening to our music makes anyone want to get out of their chairs and dance.”

The album is available for purchase on all major streaming services including iTunes and Spotify. Mark Sisti is an experienced performer who writes about local music for the Observer-Dispatch. Email him at msist1@roadrunner.com.

Filled to the Brim, from left: Alyssa Tomassi, Owen Paz, Victoria Haggerty, Zack Tomassi, Jack Towns.

Mark Sisti

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