Trouble in Paradise: Citris Frontwoman Discusses ‘Panic in Hampton Bays’ LP

Citris frontwoman Angelina Torreano discusses the band's potent, grungy debut

citris band

Photo by Alex Joseph

Citris are that rare instance of a band that sounds confident and fully realized on its debut album. That album is Panic in Hampton Bays, an album of big shimmering riffs, soaring emotive vocals, and confessional lyrics. The album conjures 90s-era rock reference points: ‘Ex-Dreamer’ is reminiscent of the ornate production and biting lyrical attack of Elliott Smith’s Figure 8, while the ascending guitar riffing of ‘On The Sidelines’ bears a resemblance to Hole’s ‘Miss World.’

Angelina Torreano forms the core of Citris along with guitarist and producer Chris Krasnow. The 24 year-old New York natives met in the fertile music scene of Purchase, NY. The duo of Torreano and Krasnow play all the instruments on the album. When performing live, Citris is fleshed out by drummer Clint Mobley and bassist Gianluca Minucci. Panic in Hampton Bays was originally released in 2015 and is now receiving a proper reissue on both vinyl and digital formats.

Listen to Panic in Hampton Bays here and read an email interview with Angelina Torreano below:

Culture Creature: Does the title Panic in Hampton Bays come from a specific experience?

Angelina Torreano: I grew up with the option to go to the Hamptons in the summers so the area is pretty familiar to me. I know about Hampton Bays because I used to attend a surf camp there when I was younger. The title itself doesn’t come from a specific experience as much as multiple experiences of anxiety attacks in the Hamptons among other places. I thought the juxtaposition of the luxurious and seemingly relaxed atmosphere that is the Hamptons combined with having an anxiety disorder (a sort of ‘trouble in paradise’ theme) would be interesting.

How would you describe the collaboration between yourself and Chris Krasnow?

I would say the collaboration is a very natural process. When we first met, I could tell that he understood what my ear was hearing. Any artistic idea that either of us have, we can expound upon it in our own unique and specific ways. I come to him with a full song written and he decorates, arranges, and interprets it. I always give him an idea of what I want sonically but at the end of the day, we have a very similar taste when it comes to creating.

Can you describe the lyrical inspiration behind ‘Little Scars’?

I think the lyrics were inspired by the idea that I was just fed up with all of these failed relationships I was having. I was tired of becoming disappointed with whoever or whatever and my patience for certain things was becoming shorter and shorter. I like to think that the song reflects the idea that sometimes the things that tip you over are very small and minuscule, like a stain on your shirt or a toothache – not necessarily something huge and tragic.

What can you share about your musical training and previous bands prior to Citris?

I had an all-girl group in high school called The Damsels. Then it was called Gutterlily at some point. Once I got to Purchase College, I started Citris (which began sometime in 2012). When I got to SUNY Purchase, I was majoring in Studio Composition which was essentially just composing for contemporary music of all genres. At the time, I had very little formal training. Everything I had known before was what my stepdad taught me when he gave me guitar lessons. The whole time I was playing catch-up when it came to music theory and it seemed like everybody had some experience with it. So yeah, the first couple years were interesting. But I definitely learned a lot at Purchase and honestly, I learned more than I ever have in my life from my peers and my bandmates and anyone who I was working with musically. At the end of the day, I have a really good ear and I know what I want to accomplish with a song when it comes to writing, whether or not I am tapping into my formal training or not.

The guitar sound on Panic in Hampton Bays reminded me of Live Through This, especially on ‘On the Sidelines.’ Was Hole an inspiration for you?

Everyone refers to Hole when they think of Citris but I am honestly way more inspired by Nirvana. I grew up with that band and besides the Beatles, Nirvana was my first favorite band. I think a lot of people think of Hole because I’m also a female and we play the same genre.

Panic in Hampton Bays was first released in 2015. Do you have plans for a follow-up album?

We already have an LP that’s pretty much ready to go, we just gotta fine tune some stuff mixing wise and recording wise. But yes, we are ready for the next release when the time is ready/appropriate ??

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