Pssst. Wanna hear an original sounding band out of the UK fronted by a female Italian vocalist with a set of wicked pipes? Check out this add to the Big Med Playlist for The Big One – The Cellophane Flowers ‘Freeze Me’. The song is power pop with something darker simmering just below the surface.
I can’t put my finger on it but it kinda feels like Kip Krady has willed himself a new contender for the crown of 80s quirk pop. Never mind, that one’s going to be difficult to explain.
The band is currently working with producer Dave Allen (The Cure / Depeche Mode / Human League / The Charlatans) on their forthcoming album, ‘Staring At The World’. This builds on the critical success of last year’s ‘If I Was A Girl’ EP, which generated appearances on BBC Radio 1 and 6, local radio and numerous radio stations in the US.
Brave Chandeliers ‘Madmen’ is a great sounding add to the Big Med Playlist for The Big One. It’s a very cool tune that fits nicely if you’re working your way through a shift on a bus – or trying to unwind at home after too many hours on shift.
Brave Chandeliers are a bit crazed. The two founding members of this band – Nick Drum and Jon McNeill quit their respective jobs (attorney, ethnographer), started the band and hit the road. Brave Chandeliers was born out of a single jam session and was a power-pop and soul-fueled middle finger salute to the nine-to-five grind.
What began as a couple of fast friends playing cover songs—”Tempted” by Squeeze and “I Get Lifted” by George McCrae—quickly evolved into the piano-driven, hook-laden Brave Chandeliers of today: Nick on vocals and keys and Jon on guitar, plus bassist Cary Samsel and drummer Nathan Powell (tour-tested players for bluesman Terry Evans).
It seemed significant that their first practice took place on the day of the TARP bailout. While the nation set out to fix itself, so did the men of Brave Chandeliers with a new outlook attested to by the poignant words of “Madmen,” an early standout: “I can read the headlines / I know all the hard times / I’d rather take a slow night / Where you and me can get out of here / out from under the fear / and follow our lives.” That romanticism couched in reality colored the band’s self-released debut EP, Put Away the Camera, and helped secure them a seven-week tour around the U.S.
Brave Chandeliers’ brand new album, 11 Escapes, finds the fresh-faced group already coming into their own. After locking themselves into rehearsal for two weeks, they repaired to KBC Studios, situated in a gorgeous old remodel in northeast Portland. With producer Jeremy Sherrer (Hockey, Dandy Warhols, the Gossip) at the helm, they recorded live to two-inch tape, everyone playing at once. In the parlor was a grand piano you can nearly picture as the rich notes ring out. Songs like “Sinking Ship” deliver propulsive pop à la Maroon 5, while the fuzzy raucousness of “Escape” evokes Arctic Monkeys and the upbeat jaunt of “Deep End” Ben Folds—others who put songwriting above all else.
As its title would suggest, 11 Escapes offers as many angles on the concept of breaking away. Each song acts as a window into one room, or one life, in contemporary America. “Say It’s Alright” is told from the view of a repentant cheater. “Bumpy Ride” is about overcoming of a rut. “Life In Motion” takes stock of those things we simply cannot avoid: entropy, aging, time. “Viral” is about falling head over heels in love. And of course, it’s deeply personal too. After all, 11 Escapes is the very document that proves that Brave Chandeliers, happily, are the ones who got away.
Nick Drum – keys, Lead Vocals
Jon McNeill – Guitar/Vocals
Nate Powell – Drums
Cary Samsel – Bass
Brave Chandeliers’ debut EP, Put Away the Camera, was released in July 2010 through digital, physical CD, and hand-crafted Deluxe Edition.
11 Escapes, the group’s debut full-length, dropped on March 20 on their own label, in a deluxe Arigato Pak edition from local Portland Stumptown Printers. Single Love Is (What You Only Get From Me) is currently getting airplay on Portland alternative and AAA stations.
Tough to feign anything other than pure enthusiasm for ‘Flashes of Light’ by Chicago-based band Fathom Blue. It’s a great song by a band that has their collective soul together in ways other bands can only dream about and it’s a perfect add to the Big Med Playlist for The Big One. Their debut EP ‘Guides’ was released in June 2011 and they have toured relentlessly in support of their music.
Michael Signorelli – Guitar; Vocals
Luke Tipton – Synth, Programming/Sequencing, Percussion.
Nate Ramsey – (Bass)
Matty Marco – (Guitar)
Christian Alexander – (drums)
A hard rocking add to the Big Med Playlist for The Big One from Denver-based alternative rockers Vices I Admire. ‘Hero’ is a stone-cold in-your-face tightly-wound rock assault on your headspace from the moment you click ‘play’ to the second the song ends and the ‘phones are suddenly quiet enough to hear the rest of the world again. It’s an intense ride.
Dave Curtis, Mickey Dollar and Mark Towne met in 2002 while studying at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. During that time they balanced college-life with rehearsals, performances, a few DIY regional tours and the release of their first album, Plan B. (recorded at The Blasting Room, 2005).
In 2007 Vices I Admire relocated to Denver and parted ways with original bassist, Robert Marston. The band continued to write new material and develop as musicians while they searched for Rob’s replacement.
8 months and 21 candidates later, Vices I Admire welcomed Daniel Battenhouse (formerly of the Fray) onto the team. The addition of Battenhouse revitalized the group and together they worked around the clock to produce the material that would engender their new album, The Politics of Apathy.
The Politics of Apathy was recorded at Colorado Sound Studios in May/June of 2009. JP Manza (engineer) and Ian Pinder (producer) provided the necessary direction and perspective to best capture the particular mood and style of each song: from the dance-pop inspired, “Sweetest Girl”, to the anthemic head-banger, “Kiss Kiss”, The Politics of Apathy showcases the musical maturation and diverse talent of Vices I Admire.
Starting this Saturday morning off on a country note with Bryan Cole’s ‘Pride And The Passion’ add to the Big Med Playlist for The Big One. It’s a feel-good song with a great shout-it-out-loud chorus and was featured as the theme song for the NBL’s Pittsburgh Pirates.
Bryan says his biggest influence of all “has to be Steve Perry from Journey. His vocal styling, smooth vocal and approach to a melody has been a major influence. I also grew up listening to Classic Country, R&B, Blues and Rock, so honestly I can say that I am influenced by great Artists both past and current. I have to say that Garth Brooks and George Strait have been major influences on my live performances, but again I like to take bits and pieces from all genres of music and give my approach to it. Kinda like a good pot of Gumbo.”
Bryan Cole may not have been “born in the backwoods” as his breakout hit single, “I’m Comin’ Home” suggests, but that doesn’t mean that this amazing new country artist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a city-slicker by any means. Passed down by three generations of family before him, you might say that “country” runs long and deep in Bryan’s veins; just as the three rivers of his beloved hometown run into the waters of the Mississippi
“For years growing up, I cut my teeth in Rock and Roll bands, but always had a great repect for Country music and the lifestyle. As a child, I can remember my Grandfather playing George Jones, Alabama, Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. My uncle played drums for Tammy Wynette and would share stories about touring and playing Country music. I guess I always had it in my blood, but it wasn’t until a got a bit older and actually travelled to Nashville, did I truly realize that was the path the Good Lord wanted me to travel.
I asked Bryan about what it’s like being a country artist in a city with a deep rich heritage of turning out rock bands. I can remember rocking out to the Michael Stanley Band (they were out of Cleveland but spent a big chunk of time roaming PA, OH and WV] and the Iron City Rockers on ‘DVE…but country music seemed to radiate to Wheeling and the Jamboree. What are some of the challenges for a country music artist in a blue-collar rock city like Pittsburgh – or are the target demographics similar?
“Thanks for recognizing the music that has come out of this town! There are some of the best musicians from the Western PA, Ohio and WV areas. Funny thing is that many of the hardcore Rock N Rollers have gravitated to contemporary Country music. Country music is about real people..Especially hard-working blue collar workers that you find all over the tri-state region. It’s no different than any other city in that way. The challenges we face here in Pittsburgh however, are lack of entertainment venues. The economy hasn’t helped, but let’s face it..People NEED music to make them feel better. I’m very proud of my hometown of Pittsburgh and truly love living here.
How did the connection with the Pirates happen?
“The Pirates organization approached us with the idea of writing a theme song. I was truly honored! As the song developed, we realized that the song crossed many demographics and is truly about the Pride and the Passion of your hometown, no matter where you live. The song really seemed to fit and the Pirates had the best season they had in many years! Call it vibe, call it fate, but either way, I am proud and honored to have been a part of that! It was truly an excited season for our bucs!
Clearly, you’ve embraced social media as a means of extending your reach and interaction with your fanbase. Can you tell me how you keep the connection solid and up-to-date?
“Well thank you. I have great management and marketing wizards in my camp! Sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc are a great way to connect with your fans and keep things interactive. And my management makes sure that I stay connected with everyone. Plus, I just love to share updates and exciting news AS IT HAPPENS. My fans are why I strive to make the best possible music that I can, and I love for them to be involved as much as possible. It’s a great time to be making music, especially with the technology that is available.
With the release of his debut CD, Wide Open Road (Perfect Vision), Bryan showcased his signature sound to the world. Featuring soaring vocal landscapes and skillful, melody-laden guitar licks, this Chuck Ainlay (Sugarland, George Strait) produced disc garnered critical praise since its February 2010 release. Wide Open Road includes the top-notch skills of such stalwart session players as Mark Greenwood (Garth Brooks,) Jimmy Mattingly (Garth, Reba McEntire,) Steve Hinson (Randy Travis,) Michael Rojas (Lady Antebellum,) and Jimmy Nichols (Faith Hill.) Wide Open Road, which remained in the top 10 on the Roots Report Pop Country Chart for over 4 months, is a timeless collection of twelve compositions by Bryan and his longtime collaborator and manager, Michael Stover of MTS Management, as well as such heavyweight tunesmiths as Kent Blazy and Tom Paden, writers of Bryan’s second single, “It All Comes Back to Me.”
Following up the astonishing international success of “I’m Comin’ Home,” (#1 US Indie World, #8 NMW, #11 Italy, #17 Switzerland, #23 Norway, #27 Austria) Bryan rose to the top of the charts once again with “It All Comes Back to Me,” (#14 Cashbox, #9 MySpace Videos, #10 Y’allWire.) “If Only,”(#4 Cashbox, US, Top 10 in Sweden, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands) and his biggest US single to date, “Pride And the Passion,” (#1 NMW, #83 Music Row, #85 Mediaplay, #5 Indie World, #35 Spain) which was used by the Pittsburgh Pirates in their television ads during the summer of 2011.
Now, Bryan is returning with “Love Doesn’t Live Here,” the second single from his forthcoming “Pride And Passion” CD. The single was recorded, mixed and produced by Bryan, along with songwriter/manager Michael Stover and keyboard player Hermie Granati. The song is already receiving critical praise as “A power ballad at it’s best…goosebumps” and “Great vocals and a GREAT song…two thumbs up!” Released in January, “Love Doesn’t Live Here” looks to be Bryan’s most-successful release yet. It’s currently #38 NMW and #130 Music Row.
While chart success has been extremely gratifying for him, Bryan finds his true rewards through the lending of his time and talents to charitable causes. Whether it’s by performing at fundraising events, being a part of the Armed Forces Entertainment roster, donating tracks to charity CDs like the upcoming Joey’s Song (Epilepsy Foundation,) or by sharing proceeds from his music (proceeds from “I’m Comin’ Home” were donated to the Animal Rescue League of Western PA) Bryan has found that success can be measured not only by his position on the charts, but also by his ability to use his gifts to help worthy causes.
In addition to his involvement with charitable enterprises, Bryan also endorses products that he PERSONALLY uses—made by companies with integrity. Among these products are Hughwear clothing, Austin hats, Bailey hats,, GHS strings, Geezer cabinets, Voodoo Labs and Rocktron effects, and Dunlop and In-Tune guitar picks, who are currently manufacturing the Bryan Cole signature pick. Using these brands, Bryan has opened shows for some incredible artists, including Charlie Daniels, Colt Ford, Brad Paisley, Jimmy Wayne, and many others.
Timeless family tradition, tremendous God-given talent, a strong faith and commitment to charity—these are the things that have endeared Bryan Cole to his devoted fans. And, at the end of the day, he is grateful for each and every one. Bryan’s gratitude was rewarded by receiving 3 nominations (most of any artist) at the 2010 Pittsburgh Music Awards, a coveted NMW Magazine Award nomination for Best New Country Artist, and a nomination for Best Country Album at the 10th Annual Independent Music Awards. “My fans are my lifeblood. Their love and support inspire me to be the best man I can be—on and off the stage.”