As listeners, we typically assume that a debut album is an artist’s mission statement. Simply put, an artist’s first album is supposed to establish what that person or band sounds like. It’s supposed to lay the foundations for the rest of their career and give listeners some idea of what to expect later on down the road. But what happens when a debut album proves to be an anomaly? When the first record establishes a sonic identity that the artist doesn’t want to chase on future releases?
For more than a decade now, Cary Brothers has been asking precisely that question.
Brothers burst onto the scene in 2004, with a December release called All the Rage. It wasn’t until the next year, though, that he got his big break, thanks in large part to the Garden State soundtrack. Brothers’ beloved contribution, the song “Blue Eyes,” had already been a Hotel Café favorite when Zach Braff scooped it up for his quirky coming-of-age dramedy. Garden State took the song and immortalized it for listeners and movie fans who were of a certain age at the time. While the song gave Brothers the kind of boost that just about any songwriter would kill for, though, it also meant that he got the musical version of typecast. “Blue Eyes” was a singer-songwriter song, and Brothers’ full-length debut, 2007’s Who You Are, was a singer-songwriter album. You could hardly blame early Cary Brothers fans for making the assumption that he was an acoustic singer-songwriter, period.
Today we’ve got the premiere of the new video for “Start Creating” from the band Bohemians. The band reminds me a little bit of Bad Suns mixed with Spitalfield-like melodies. It’s an upbeat and relaxed sound. Describing the video the band said:
We loved the idea of a video where the audience sees from the perspective of a piece of art, as if it were staring back and studying it’s creator and the people who interact with it. We’re quite closely acquainted with the feeling of putting our work out into the world and wondering how the folks who receive it react. So this video became the literal manifestation of that curiosity.
Austin, TX, math rock band Honey and Salt will be releasing their sophomore album, Honey and Salt, next week via Spartan Records. I got the chance to sit down with vocalist/guitarist Wade Allen and bassist Austin Sears about the writing of the record, fighting nihilism, and the best band that ever was, Fugazi.
Today marks the second anniversary of Chorus.fm. Sometimes it feels like the world is stuck in slow motion with so much news and chaos surrounding us and the days making the weeks feel like months. But then I also can’t figure out where the last two years went. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was saying goodbye to AbsolutePunk.net, and hoping that some readers would follow me here to Chorus. I want to thank all of you that have been reading the website the past two years. I’m finally coming to the point where I don’t feel like everything I’ve done has been defined by AP.net, and where what I’m doing now, this website, this community, can be something that at the very least fulfills me in a way that AbsolutePunk never really could. It’s like looking at pictures of what you wore in high-school and wanting to yell through time to buy clothes that fit. Chorus.fm feels like it fits me. And every day I feel lucky that it’s something that I get to do. So, thank you, all of you. Especially those that have become supporters and helped make this website everything that it is.
Here’s a run down some of the numbers from the last 12 months:
- 4,257 new articles posted on the main site. (9,402 total.)
- 1,420,222 words have been published on Chorus.1
- 1,002,023 new forum posts. (1,897,160 total.)
- 47,191 new registered accounts. (81,957 total.)
- 1,779,477 likes given out since last April.
- 5,106 private message sent per month (average).
I’ve got a lot of things planned for this year. The goal is to improve the website and try some new things. As always, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter, email, or in the forums with thoughts, ideas, or concerns about the website. And if you like what we’re doing, please give our supporter options a look. If you can swing $3 a month to help us out, it would mean the world to me. It’s with the support of readers like you that we’re able to keep publishing and stay online.
I wrote about Animal Flag at the beginning of the year for our most anticipated albums of 2018 and predicted their new album being “a stunner.” Now they’ve announced that album – it’s called Void Ripper and it comes out on April 13 via Flower Girl and Triple Crown Records – and I can assure you it’s a stunner indeed. I recently had the pleasure of speaking to frontman Matt Politoski about the writing of the record and the break away from Christianity that inspired it.
I sat down with Brian Swindle of Have Mercy to talk about Old Bay, Full House, and the benefits of buying tangible music.
I recently had the chance to sit down with Buddy Nielsen of Senses Fail and talk about how he never gave up on the band, breaking records with If There Is Light It Will Find You, and playing by his own rules.
Today I’m happy to bring you the premiere of the new Pale Houses song, “Hideaway.” You can stream the track below. The song comes from the band’s upcoming album, Songs of the Isolation, which is due out on March 30th. If you like what you hear, pre-orders are now up. Lead singer, Aaron Robinson, had this to say about the dreamy rock song:
This was the first song we wrote for this record. It’s sonically pretty different than much of the EP, but it set the tone for how these songs would come together live. It’s a song about a desperate need to spontaneously get away from everything and reset.
I was lucky enough to recently sit down and catch up with Lights.
Spanish Love Songs will release their new album Schmaltz on March 30th. It’s one of the freshest and most honest punk rock records in recent memory. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with vocalist Dylan Slocum and he told me about the delicate art of opening a record and embracing dad punk.
I recently had the chance to sit down with Broadside to talk about their recent album and their summer touring plans.
I recently had the chance to talk with AWOLNATION. You can check out the video interview below.
I recently had the chance to sit down with Picturesque and talk about what they’ve been up to lately.
I recently had the chance to talk with Silverstein about everything they’re currently up to and their plans for the future.
In January, Awakebutstillinbed released their debut album, What People Call Low Self-Esteem Is Really Just Seeing Yourself the Way That Other People See You – an early contender for album of the year – and signed to Tiny Engines Records. I was lucky enough to speak to vocalist Shannon Taylor about the record, the history of the band, and what makes an emo band.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with The Republic of Wolves’ vocalist Mason Maggio to talk about about the writing process for their long-awaited new album Shrine, which is due out March 27th, and what fans should expect from the record.
Next week, Pianos Become the Teeth will release their fourth full-length, Wait for Love. It takes the band even further down the path their 2014 effort, Keep You, blazed and expands upon it, taking the band’s sound in totally new directions. I recently spoke with vocalist Kyle Durfey about the process of writing the album and following up such a radical change in sound.
Following on the heels of our look at the best music released in 2017, we have compiled a list of the albums we are most looking forward to in 2018. We may not know what the year has in store for us, but at least we can be assured of some great music coming our way. A bunch of contributors have written up blurbs about the albums and artists we’re most excited about, and we’d love to hear what you’re looking forward to as well.
On this week’s episode of Encore I am joined once again by special guest Craig Manning. This episode is all about our favorite albums of 2017. We talk about our personal lists, the staff list, the albums we loved the most, why, and the albums that didn’t make our list and shocked us. There’s also some talk about movies, tv shows, and books toward the end.
I asked everyone that contributed to our “best of 2017” list to pick a key track from the album they wrote about and then I compiled all of those tracks into a playlist on Apple Music and Spotify. Enjoy.