Every college student with any musical talent dreams of moving past the open mic night stage and creating a successful band with their other musically talented friends. So, it was no wonder that when Chris Collins and Cari Santilli met through the John Carroll University Pep Band, they would eventually start a band together. Chris made a passing mention of his idea to start a band named The Muttering Retreats after a line in the T.S. Eliot poem “The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock” and Cari could not have agreed more being an English major herself. However, they could not make this dream a reality alone, thus, they employed the help of Cari’s then boyfriend (now fiancé!) Tim Thornton. So, formed in the last few hours of 2006, the Muttering Retreats are an indie pop trio from Cleveland, Ohio, including Chris Collins, Cari Santilli, and Tim Thornton. The timing could not have been better. Cari’s previous band had just moved to every corner of the country and Chris and Tim desperately wanted to make music again.
The musical and literary history of each member of The Muttering Retreats contributes to the overall scope of the band. No member is anchored to one instrument. The live arrangements of the songs on their self titled debut reflect their approach on record. Each member knows the songs on an array of instruments. It’s hard to guess which instrument each member will play for each song in a live setting, as they may have played three or four simultaneous parts on record. All three members wrote songs that appear on the album, but several of the songs were written by one member with another member in mind to be the frontperson to carry the song in a live or recorded setting.