Coming Home to Inland

With their soothing sweet vocal harmonies, folk-influenced sound, and thoughtful poetic lyrics, it’s hard to pin Inland down to a genre. The duo, comprised of Cindy Maslov and Ryan Tillema, craft acoustic medleys which pair well with ambient back sounds and their own signature style to create a soft audio soundscape that makes listening a true joy. The duo will take on City Scout’s new Basement Sessions series at Ruhstaller Beer on Friday, December 16.Since 2012, Cindy and Ryan have been making music, something they discovered they had in common while being mutually involved with charity work. The chemistry was instant between the two musicians and they clicked. After deciding to form a band, and bouncing ideas around for a while they settled on Inland. Living in California, away from the coast, they saw the name as an appropriate emblem of their geographic songwriting situation. The majority of their new EP was written at Cindy’s parent’s house in Lincoln.

“It’s a literal farm,” Ryan said. “They had pigs and chickens and stuff like that.”

This environment directly influenced Inland’s sound and writing process.

“Not that we’re a country band or anything,” Ryan said. “But we just kind of pulled from that environment. (Our music) has this kind of southern, definitely like an Americana thing. It’s vocally and harmony driven.”

Cindy hopes that Inland’s music will evoke a somewhat nostalgic and homey feeling in the listener.

“When you listen to our music, we want you to feel at home with it,” Cindy said. “We want you to feel like it’s familiar, we want you to feel like you’ve felt it before somewhere in (your) life. That’s what we want to accomplish with our music, to send out positive vibes and give somebody that at-home comfortable feeling.”

These feelings are effectively raised on the new four-song EP that Inland has developed. The EP, as yet untitled, will be previewed at the basement session show at Ruhstaller. And as Ryan says, it’s been a long time coming.

“Recording your music is a tricky process…we wanted to be picky with who we were working with. We didn’t want to do it half-assed or anything like that. We just kind of waited it out and kept writing… we’re pretty excited about it.”

Drawing influence from Gregory Alan Isakov and Ray Lamontagne, both halves of Inland’s creative process have unique musical experiences which they bring to the recording studio. Cindy honed her talents on the 2015 season of American Idol.

“It was really fortunate to even go and be a part of something that is so musically driven,” Cindy explained. “I got a lot of tips and great advice from people there. It was just a great experience, it didn’t knock me down, it made me want to work harder. I’m really grateful for it.”Inland’s debut EP release will be in January 2017.

The Basement Sessions show featuring Inland is on December 16 at Ruhstaller Beer at 630 K Street in Sacramento. Doors open at 10 p.m., show starts at 11 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here.