Stephan Nance Surprises with “A Troubled Piece of Fruit”

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Stephan Nance is an extremely unique breath of fresh air. Only 10 seconds into his debut release, A Troubled Piece of Fruit, you will find yourself immediately hooked. One of Oregon’s greatest kept secrets, Nance blends the perfect element of charming pianos and a voice that can truly stand on it’s own. Stephan could very well be the lovechild of Jukebox the Ghost and The Decemberists, which is truly a compliment.

Opening the album is the intriguing piece “I Am Not a Stranger Here,” where a jaunty piano perfectly meet melodies combined with Nance’s quirky yet sugary pop voice. The listener will already believe that they are in for something special…and they are. “Cuddlefish,” proves to be a cute love song with the ocean as it’s playground, using different fish as imagery as he pulls in his catch.

The album takes a melancholic turn as the track “Spring,” enters into the picture. The heartbreaking song is gorgeously done and will pull on your heartstrings immediately. As soft strings enter into the piece one can really feel the emotion in Nance’s voice. The love song journeys through time as “Fall” is the next masterpiece on the record. Not as gloomy as the prior, the subject matter is deep as it is full of regrets and a pass that he wishes he can do over. This song speaks to masses as we all have done things we wish we could change in life.

Firecracker,” picks the pace back up with a prominent guitar which borders on the blues. Nance’s bright piano and harmonious voice enters with a burst of energy, and ends up being a fun play on words throughout. “Made in Vermont,” chimes in with a lovely horn section, as Nance’s voice proves to be beyond infectious in this song.

Paid By Weight,” starts off heavy and continues throughout, as each note of the piano is felt within, every thump of the drum’s foot pedal sends a shiver down your spine, and every pronunciation of each word lingers on Nance’s tongue. Up next is the catchy tune titled “Immunodeficiency,” which will have you pressing the repeat button more often than not. “The Song I Didn’t Write,” has the quality of a seasoned songwriter, which is very prominent throughout the entire record. One would find it hard to believe that this is Stephan’s first release. Each track is carefully crafted and meticulously thought out, and it shines throughout.

One-Way Sea,” is a fun tune that is reminiscent of Jamie Cullum, without the jazz, which is beyond ideal if you ask me. Nance’s voice knows it’s limits and he uses it wisely, as it flawlessly fits the piece. “Resurrection,” is a personal favorite on the album, as the choppiness of pianos and guitar, and even vocals at time, are contagious. His vocals standout more so in this track that any other, as he seems to have a bit of fun with them. Thisimpressive piece proves to be a show stopper, as does the following “Japanese Garden/Jardin Japonais,” The song tells an interesting tale about what appears to be a dream of Japan, with an amazing twist, as Nance starts to sing in French! The surprise is exquisite as it appears more than once in this outstanding track and is guaranteed to send chills in your veins.

Closing out the album is the viral sensation, “Song for Losers,” which is the most adorable geeky song that you will ever hear. The track will have you dancing around your room, brush-microphone in hand. This can be the national anthem of geeks everywhere, and it will make them stand up and be proud. This is the perfect end to the record, which I wish would never end.

Stephan Nance is destined to go far with a Trouble Piece of Fruit, as it is a brilliant introduction to this astounding singer and songwriter. Keep an ear out for Stephan Nance. It will be a name that will be making waves very soon, if it hasn’t already by the time that you read this. I urge you to check out this record, as it will change everything that you know about modern music; and that’s a good thing.

R.I.Y.L. : Jukebox the Ghost, The Decemberists

Listen: Stephan Nance Bandcamp

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The Decemberists’ Jenny Conlee Reveals She Has Cancer


Last week, The Decemberists accordian and keyboard player Jenny Conlee has stated that she has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Fortunately, the cancer seems to have been caught early enough for her to make a recovery from the illness. In an e-mail statement from the band, they wrote:

“While the prognosis is very, very good for a full recovery, tackling the disease will mean some intensive treatment for our Jenny as well as a lot of important recovery time.”

Conlee will not be touring with the band this month or in June to recover and rest from her treatment. She’s going to be one hard lady to replace on tour.

Conlee wrote in the announcement that:

“It has been great to be on tour these past few weeks. The band and crew are like family to me and have been incredibly supportive and understanding. To be making music with everyone and seeing the fans has helped me to feel more positive and keep my mind off of my diagnosis. But, alas, as the tour winds down, it is time for me to get back to reality. I will try to get into surgery as soon as I can after we return from this leg of the tour so I can begin my recovery. There are still a few unknowns out there concerning my cancer, but I am thinking positive and hope to be back on the road soon.”

Our prayers and thoughts are with you Jenny. Have a speedy recovery and get well soon!

The Decemberists Frontman Looks To Broadway

The Decemberists

 

The Decemberists just finished a new album (The King Is Dead out on January 18th) but frontman Colin Meloy is already after bigger things.

The singer told Spin that he’d already been in contact with the director of Green Day’s American Idiot musical about penning his own show.

According to Spin, Meloy is not quite sure what the musical would be about, but he has some ideas. It will have to wait for a little while at least because the Decemberists embark on a three-month tour January 24th.

The Decemberists Reveal New Album

The Decemberists have announced this week that they will be releasing their newest effort, rumored to be titled The King is Dead, will be out on Capitol Records on January 18th. The band is letting you have a listen of the first single from the record, “Down By the Water,” via their website in exchange for your e-mail address. Pretty sweet, right?  R.E.M.’s Peter Buck also appears on the record. The Decemberists have also posted the artwork (see above), and revealed the tracklisting (see below) of the new LP. We’re going to start 2011 off with a bang.

The King Is Dead:

01 Don’t Carry It All
02 Calamity Song
03 Rise to Me
04 Rox in the Box
05 January Hymn
06 Down By the Water
07 All Arise!
08 June Hymn
09 This Is Why We Fight
10 Dear Avery

Lollapalooza 2009 Lineup Announced

Ah, remember the days when Lollapalooza got, well to say the least really crappy and they toured with the festival and no one cared to see it anymore? Well since Lollapalooza has stationed itself permanently as a festival in Chicago, the quality of bands have been getting better every year. Thus, making me wish that  Lollapalooza actually was a touring venture again. Just reading the lineup for the three day event makes my head want to explode with excitement. The best thing about the show is the wide range of bands.

Here are some of our top picks for each day of the festival:

Friday:  Of Montreal, Kings of Leon, The Decemberists, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Andrew Bird, Crystal Castles, and Kevin Devine.

Saturday: Ezra Furman & The Harpoons, Chairlift, Langhorne Slim, The Living Things, The Constantines, TV on the Radio, Santongold, Lykke Li and Animal Collective.

Sunday:  Sam Roberts Band, Passion Pit, Friendly Fires, Neko Case, Dan Auerbach, Cold War Kids, Vampire Weekend, Cage the Elephant, Bat for Lashes, Dan Deacon, Dearhunter, Ra Ra Riot, Silversun Pickups, and Band of Horses.

The festival takes place at Grant Park in Chicago from August 7th to August 9th. Unless a bag of money falls from the sky there is no possible way for us to be there. Sad. Let us know how it goes kids.

Check out all of the details on the festival’s main site HERE

The Decemberists “The Hazards of Love”

The wait is almost over for the new Decemberists album. Let the excitement begin! The band will release their fifth full length album, ‘The Hazards of Love’ on March 24th. The record tops off at 17 songs which most bands don’t even dare to try.  We’re sure this is going to be one of the biggest records of the year. Just read this snippet from the band’s press release:

“‘The Hazards Of Love’ tells the tale of a woman named Margaret who is ravaged by a shape-shifting animal; her lover, William; a forest queen; and a cold-blooded, lascivious rake, who recounts with spine-tingling ease how he came “to be living so easy and free” in the aforementioned “The Rake’s Song.” Lavender Diamond’s Becky Stark and My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden deliver the lead vocals for the female characters, while My Morning Jacket‘s Jim James, Robyn Hitchcock and the Spinanes’ Rebecca Gates appear in supporting roles.

Wow. And thats only the first single. The Hazards of Love  will perhaps be The Decemberists most brilliant album yet.

Tracklisting

The track listing for The Hazards Of Love is as follows:

1. Prelude
2. The Hazards of Love 1 (The Prettiest Whistles Won’t Wrestle the Thistles Undone)
3. A Bower Scene
4. Won’t Want for Love (Margaret in the Taiga)
5. The Hazards of Love 2 (Wager All)
6. The Queen’s Approach
7. Isn’t it a Lovely Night?
8. The Wanting Comes in Waves / Repaid
9. An Interlude
10. The Rake’s Song
11. The Abduction of Margaret
12. The Queen’s Rebuke / The Crossing
13. Annan Water
14. Margaret in Captivity
15. The Hazards of Love 3 (Revenge!)
16. The Wanting Comes in Waves (Reprise)
17. The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned)

You can download The Rake’s Song directly at www.decemberists.com