ARTIST OF THE MONTH
There is something about A Classic Education that is simply enticing and beckoning. Their name alone is fucking cool but it is also indicative of the feel and mood of the music. Though the band has been active for only a few years the music has an older soul with subtle hints of sixties, a bit eighties, and definitely some nineties; think of The Byrds, The Smiths, and Jeff Buckley all rolled into one lovely package with added flavor…all organic of course. This is not to say the music lacks originality or feels old, on the contrary, it is all original work that sounds fresh. There is a proper balance of contrast with sparkling, illuminating, oh fuck it BLAZING, instrumentation and melody paired with sweet, sullen vocals that when all combined carry a heavy load of emotions that live in all of us. Perhaps it is this harmonious symmetry that makes A Classic Education‘s music sound so universally nostalgic, familiar and innate whether you’re listening to their First EP, Hey There Stranger EP, or their new debut album Call It Blazing.
Formed in 2007 and currently based in Bologna, Italy A Classic Education is comprised of Paul Pieretto, Luca Mazzieri, Giulia Mazza, Federico Oppi, and Jonathan Clancy who is originally from Ottawa, Canada.
Purchase your copy of the music and by doing so you also get a piece of great art. The Call It Blazing cover features the artwork of Aleksandra Niepsuj. The EPs feature cover artwork by Ester Grossi.
HEY THERE STRANGER EP
Order/Buy now from Lefse, Insound, Itunes and on vinyl at WWNBB Collective’s site (limited at 300 copies)
BEST REGARDS / REST 7″
7″ format with a code for the mp3’s. Order/Buy now at www.aclassiceducation.com
12″ format with a code for the mp3’s. Order/Buy now at www.aclassiceducation.com
ON TOUR: A Classic Education & Okkervil River
A Classic Education: Call It Blazing, Call It Bellissimo
ARTIST OF THE MONTH
Very little can be found online about the band Leisure
. We know that band members include Jed Rouhana, Sam Hamad, and Chris Link. We know that these guys grew up in the Boston area and have played together since high school, not necessarily on the project now known as Leisure
. In late July of this year they released a video trailer for their upcoming debut album Plastic Soul
and since then they’ve released a three song EP
made up of songs to appear on the yet-to-be released-date-unknown album. They recently opened up for Brooklyn band We Are Augustines
in Boston and have two tour dates scheduled in the UK but not for until late Nov. and early Dec.
So you ask: How is it that a relatively unknown band, with virtually no tour planned, only a three song EP, and an album that may or may not see the light of day any time soon is bestowed upon the Artist of the Month title for October? Well, follow me.
We were introduced to Leisure
‘s music when they played it live at the aforementioned show. A bunch of skinny kids got on stage to pick up their instruments. One of those kids was the lead singer who seemed like he would be so clumsy that he wouldn’t even know how to hold a microphone. You almost felt sorry for what was about to be a big embarrassment. But, then they began to play and instantly the cinderella became the belle of the ball. This spontaneous transformation that happened right before our eyes was such a true moment of magic that we were immediately hooked. These young men were playing with such great musicianship and with such an ease that demanded attention and we gladly complied. Nothing about them seemed forced, or pretentious, they weren’t showing off. It was all fun yet you could see in their faces a certain balance between focus and trance, they were being in the moment. How could one not fall for such a captivating, untainted stage presence? The set lasted less than a half hour but it was long enough to catch our attention.
A story goes that while the San Francisco band Girls
played a show in Boston in 2010, the heroes of our story, Leisure
, somehow got a demo to JR White. After this, Girls invited Leisure
to open for their US tour. After the tour the band began working on Plastic Soul
, which according to various sources can be expected sometime this Fall.
In the meantime though, the band has treated us to three tracks off the anticipated album Plastic Soul
. These well-selected tracks show off Leisure
‘s musical range displaying their musical aptitude and comfortability with different genres. The first track “Early Morning Skies” starts off with a simple drum beat and crepuscular, coarse guitar riff and vocals that much like early morning skies sublimely develop into a bright array of tones. What dawns is a celebration of light and airy electic guitar, synths and delicate vocals. If “Early Morning Skies” is what the rising of the sun sounds like, “Follow Me” is the sun shining at its brightest. We hear the singer exposing his imperfections, flaws, uncertainties, hesitations and pleading with his subject to be with him in spite of all of this. “I don’t think like you. And I don’t talk to other people like you but follow me…”. “Follow Me” starts off as a somber ballad that grows into a joyous dance implying a triumphant, happy ending. “Green Light” closes the EP. A slow song relying heavily on atmospheric guitar and echo to create that sound one might associate with, and I hate to draw this comparison, Coldplay when they were genuine
(if ever, but we’ll discuss that on a different post).
So if you’re still asking “why is Leisure
October’s Artist of the Month?” then let us put it in simpler terms: Because they’re fucking awesome so take a listen and let the music speak for itself.
ARTIST OF THE MONTH
Imagine yourself having just climbed up to the peak of Mount Everest on a clear day. You breathe in the crisp and clean air. Mesmerized you look around to admire 360° of absolute beauty. Naturally, your first instinct is to spread your arms wide open and with unrestrained exhilaration you vocalize your victory. You have arrived. This is Yes/Sun, the debut album by Italian duo Welcome Back Sailors (Alessio and Danilo).
In Yes/Sun Welcome Back Sailors show off their remarkable ability to paint vast, sonic, elegant landscapes without making their listener feel neither stranded nor isolated but, rather, enveloped. Danilo’s voice is an entity of that realm we visit daily but only briefly get to experience; the moment between sleeping and waking. It is a voice that seems to call out and comfort from a distance yet manages to feel private enough to intimately share stories about anguish, romance, dreams, and sorrow. Alessio makes his electric guitar sing as a third member of the band would. It almost has a life of its own as if Alessio is instead its instrument aiding it in the creation of its sound.
Yes/Sun visits the sensibility of memorable ’80s love songs (i.e. Spandau Ballet, Crowded House) without feeling banal or trite. At the same time, with Yes/Sun, Welcome Back Sailors plant their roots in the present. Roots that are undoubtedly bound to grow and produce a soundtrack for a new generation. Yes/Sun lacks the cold atmosphere that dominates the sound of most of Welcome Back Sailors‘ contemporaries in the techno/synth/chill wave pop genre. Welcome Back Sailors‘ music is one that imparts its memories and helps reveal our forgotten own. It exudes life. It breathes and feels and makes you feel. It’s warm like the sun; yes, sun.
Purchase your own copy of Yes/Sun: Digital here or on vinyl here.
18.08.11 Borsea (RO) @ Savoir Fest | IT
26.08.11 San Gemini @ Acoustic Festival | IT
03.09.11 Viadana (MN) @ Watchout Festival | IT
10.09.11 Firenze @ Villaromana | IT
01.10.11 Ponticino (AR) – WWNBB NIGHT @ campo sportivo | IT
19.10.11 Forlì @ Diagonal Loft Club | IT
22.10.11 Parma @ Giovane Italia | IT
ARTIST OF THE MONTH
From Manchester, England -The city that brought us The Smiths, Joy Division, Oasis, Buzzcocks, and Doves- come Hot Vestry made up of Harry Ward (vocals, lyrics), Will Taylor (lead guitar), and Joe Ward (drums). March of this year saw the release of the band’s independently produced second EP, Dust. Splashes of Joy Division influence is evident but it isn’t a sound that Hot Vestry clings to, instead it is a mere brushstroke on an already colorful canvas. Dust EP is energetic, fun, adventurous, and pulls you in immediately.
“You’ve got suspicion in your eyes…”
The arena-ready opening track “Dust” does a fine job at setting the tone for the EP. It is filled with guitar riffs that, to put it simply, purely rock and strays from the conventional song structure providing more instrumental breaks and less vocals than one usually expects in modern rock.
“Turn on the bright lights, forever in the dark!”
The energy continues uninterrupted and finds its way into the second track, “Turn On”, where Harry Ward showcases more of his vocal style- at times meek at times vibrant with angst and overall pleasant; ultimately he gets us to chant alongside him. “Snakes In The Grass” sounds like it came straight from ’90s alternative radio but almost knowingly it ironically snaps us out of this notion and sets us straight “this is the future, not the past!”. “Blood For Tears” treats to groovier, funkier side of Hot Vestry and the great opening line “I smell betrayal in your breath” leaves us wondering what betrayal might smell like.
Although Dust EP sounds like a fresh perspective on the alternative music genre, it is by no means perfect. The songs can run a bit long and the lyrics can get somewhat repetitive. It’s clear the band likes to experiment with sound and does a fine job with it but they’ve yet to find their signature; experimentation is encouraged (and applauded). The lyrics were honest and free of pretense but at times it felt like more were needed. “I’m gonna show you a real man…” There lives a maturity in Hot Vestry songs, one that doesn’t feel forced or artificial, and they have the quality one might not expect out of three boys who aren’t old enough to legally vote yet. Dust EP is impressive not only because of its vibrant, modern sound but also because it’s the creation of three sixteen year old boys with exceptional musicianship skills. It’s very exciting to imagine what Hot Vestry will bring us in the coming years when they are still around and have fully matured their craft. The band has kept busy playing shows in and around Manchester and it won’t be long until the world is familiar with them. Oimos is proud to entitle Hot Vestry its Artist of the Month. Even The Drummers’ singer Jonathan Pierce seems to agree this is one cool group of guys.