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Ravens and Chimes

Ravens and Chimes.jpg

Ravens and Chimes online

Grown from the halls of NYU, in the midst of one of New York City's harshest winters, Ravens & Chimes debut album, Reichenbach Falls, due out Fall 2007 introduces a youthful, optimistic lightness in the form of a record packed with a series of eclectic and ear-grabbing tunes. Initially formed under the name Lost at Sea, the band sank their oars as Ravens & Chimes in the summer of 2006 and landed ashore.

Calling it “…one of the most charming debuts of 2007” and “music that distinguishes itself not by the originality of its features but by its sheer fresh-facedness," Sean Michaels of Said the Gramophone, best characterizes the band as "rosy-cheeked," and "scrubbed"—in a fresh way. Perhaps influenced by many a dark, snowy night in that winter of 2003, Ravens & Chimes dig out a catchy set of instrumentally-charged melodies that show their developed blend of unconventional sound.

CMJ called Ravens & Chimes "beautiful,” and “unique,” evoking comparisons at times to either Wolf Parade or Voxtrot—a sound urging youth to grow up to be young again—no justifications necessary.
The sextet of musically trained twenty-somethings (every member has worked the stage at Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center) each bring a unique talent to the album. Among the instruments used by Asher, Brittany, Mike, Avery, Abe and Nora are the Mandolin, Glockenspiel, Harmonium and a Theremin that Avery once built from scratch on a whim.
In the midst of writing the tracks to the album – lead vocalist and native New Yorker – Asher Lack repeatedly found himself asking the same question, “Is it possible to change without abandoning the person that you were?” Reichenbach Falls encompasses the raw quality of youth in a split open-heart combination of first lust, disappointment and self-doubt. Songs like ‘St. Jude in the Village,’ and ‘Eleventh Street’ don’t push the melodrama of teen angst, but lay out the band’s effervescent spirit, as they experienced growing up in downtown Manhattan.

Having shared the stage with established bands including The Fiery Furnaces, Mahogany and Pelican, the group claims to have met while riding a trolley through a haunted house—a ride that lasted all the way to Montreal. While interning for filmmaker Wes Anderson in New York, Asher came across Howard Bilerman’s name on a Web site for his recording studio The Hotel2Tango. A dual citizen of Canada, Asher was familiar with the bubbling Montreal scene and immediately reached out to Howard, the sound engineer who recorded and mixed albums by A Silver Mt. Zion, The Arcade Fire, British Sea Power, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Howard took notice and brought on the band.

The New Yorkers share a love for Leonard Cohen, Deerhoof and Bob Dylan, and are no strangers to the art scene. It’s not uncommon to run into the group hanging out at The Met or checking out gallery openings on a Thursday night.

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