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Indie Times June Edition 2011

Breakthrough the Mainstream!

Eisley

Mumford and Sons They have, at the moment, the only rock album that’s actually a top-10 staple on the Billboard albums chart (their debut, Sigh No More, which sits at #2), and a pair of singles (“Little Lion Man” and “The Cave”) that continue to gain traction on both rock and pop radio, but the guys in Mumford & Sons aren’t letting all that success go to their heads. “We’re trying really hard to enjoy ourselves, and we’re doing alright,” frontman Marcus Mumford told MTV News. “We’ve met some really nice people, met some heroes ... We feel like very small fish in a very large ocean, but it’s great. “We’re a very young band,” he continued. “We only have one album: We’ve got a lot more work to do, a lot more shows to play, but we don’t want to attach our identity too much to this whole parade, because we know quite clearly what we want to do and why we do it, but we’re just going to try to enjoy it.” And while they’re riding high — thanks to their Grammy-show performance with like-minded pluckers the Avett Brothers and Bob Dylan (and the subsequent sales bump that performance ensured) — Mumford and his mates are trying to stay focused, not just on their upcoming run of U.S. festival appearances, but also on recording the follow-up to Sigh No More. It’s really the only way they know how to cope with all the attention. “It’s pretty surreal. We’re just trying to keep our heads down and figure it all out, as much as we can,” bandmate Ben Lovett said. “We’ve been writing. ... Up in Nashville, [Tennessee,]

Page 1......Indie of the Month “Eisley” .......The Valley CD review

Eisley is a rock band from Tyler, Texas, consisting of four siblings (Chauntelle, Sherri, Stacy, and Weston DuPree) and their cousin (Garron DuPree), all of whom were born and live in Texas.

we wrote a bunch of new tunes, and we’ll continue to do that. We’re going to tour them in, and when we feel ready, we’ll put the second record together.”

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“We’ve met some really nice people, met some heroes ... We feel like very small fish in a very large ocean, but it’s great.” Perhaps the best thing to come out of Mumford & Sons’ whirlwind run here in the States: the chance to fully absorb the American strains of folk, honky tonk and bluegrass that the Brits’ debut disc dabbled in.

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“The thing about Nashville that’s amazing is: Everyone plays ... so you don’t meet up for a drink, you meet up for a pick,” banjo player (and recent trucker-cap enthusiast) Winston Marshall said. “It’s an incredibly creative town, just bubbling with energy.”

isley was formed in 1997 in their bedroom after youngest sibling, Stacy, wrote their first song at age 8. They performed first show in Spring ‘98, grew in local coffee house/rock venue, played 100’s of shows as unsigned indie for 4 years (‘98 - ‘02) in Texas, found and audience in Dallas’s Deep Ellum crowd about the time Sunny Day Real Estate released their 4th record. With a hand full of inspiring songs, new management and great press from music critics in the burgeoning Dallas scene, the young indie-

pop group released their debut ep on Record Collection (Mike Mogis produced), signed w/ Warners, jumped on Coldplay’s Rush of Blood tour and began carving out a National following. The band’s undaunted commitment to their own unique, visually imaginative brand of song-crafting has both nurtured their base and shielded them from mass homogenization. Indifferent to industry boundaries/conventions, Eisley continues to expand - focused on who they are, writing what they feel/experience as they remain devoted to song-crafting, relational marketing, touring.

Page 2.....Dia from the “Voice” Interview

Page 3..... The Pierces Interview

Page 4.....Mainstream Breakthrough Mumford and Sons

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The Valley by Eisley

Album Review Verdict: *****

The Valley shows maturation so extreme that it’s hard to believe that the same girls that sang of “bats with butterfly wings” are now insisting “I don’t believe in magic.” You’ll find no fantastical creatures or fairy stories here. Instead, you’ll only find the harsh truths of the realities of growing up and while the whimsy of Eisley’s lyrics may have drastically waned, their lush melodies and crystal clear harmonies

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Content

Indie of the Month

remain not only intact but better than ever. The Valley, however, is not a token of the happiness the Duprees found. The Valley has been a finished album for nearly two years now, tangled up in label red tape before finding a home on Equal Vision and finally seeing a release earlier in March. That means that this album was composed smack dab in the middle of the collective heartache that the Duprees went through. And with that turmoil, Eisley has made their most cohesive and adult album to date.

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The Pierces

Exclusive Interview

‘We’re the indie Abba’ Having spent a decade in near obscurity, the folk-rock pair are being tipped for glory. Just don’t ask the siblings their age…

Dia Frampton runner up from “The Voice”

Interviwed by :Elizabeth Day The Pierces are tired. Very, very tired. The two sisters walk into the lobby of their London hotel with bleary eyes and wilting smiles. “I’m sorry,” says Allison, the brunette elder sibling. “I feel like I’m hungover, but I only had one beer last night.” Catherine, the blond one, who seems marginally less exhausted, nods sympathetically. “Yeah, but we were on stage so you don’t have as much dinner before and then you forget after…” The two of them gaze into space. A lassitude falls across the table like dust. It should perhaps come as no surprise that the New York-based sisters possess a certain seen-it-all weariness. In an increasingly fast-paced music industry, where fresh-faced bands come and go at the click of a mouse, the Pierces are battle-hardened veterans. “We’ve been doing this for a long time.”

shows is anything to go by, the Pierces are on the brink of making it.

“Secret”, a track from their third album, Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge, was featured on primetime TV shows Gossip Girl and Dexter but still they failed to break through. Not even a high-profile celebrity romance – Catherine used to date the Strokes guitarist, Albert Hammond Jr – was enough to catapult them into the big time. “It got pretty low,” says Allison. “Just to put all that love into making a record, promoting it and then to have it fizzle out… it was heartbreaking.”

“The album was a magical collaboration,” says Catherine, the dreamier of the two, her big blue eyes peering out from beneath a Bardot-esque fringe. “I’d describe the sound as a kind of indie Abba…”

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“It’s melodic pop rock,” Allison cuts in briskly. “It feels like we’ve musically figured out where we want to go.”

Although the sisters admit to arguing (“We try not to go for the jugular”, says Catherine), their musical tastes are fairly similar, a legacy of their hippie upbringing. Their parents – Fielding, a musician, and Anne, an artist – educated their daughters at home from the age of 12 and raised them in a house filled with the music of Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon They were on the verge of calling it a day when Berryman, a friend, persuaded them and Jackson Browne. to think again. Berryman and the GrammyThe Pierces’ “You’ll Be winning producer Rik Simpson had just set up production company the Darktones Mine” EP is out on 7 March; the album You & I is and, over the next nine months, the Pierces recorded their fourth album under released by Polydor on 23 May their guidance. It is now being released on their new label, Polydor. If the rapturous reception for their recent live London

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Dia Frampton recalls when she used to struggle for gas money, and marvels at how far she’s come. Watch her interview and find out what direction she’d like to take with her new album and whether or not she’s spoken to Kanye about her rendition of ‘Heartless’!

“Just to put all that love into making a record, promoting it and then to have it fizzle out… it was heartbreaking.”

For the best part of a decade, the duo worked hard and got nowhere. They released three albums but struggled to get public recognition, mainly, they think, because of a lack of support from their US record label. They had no money to tour, so shot their music videos for $500 a pop, calling in favours from friends and raising funds by taking part-time jobs – Allison as a nanny, Catherine as a DJ.

Dia (right) and Meg,her sister (left)

ia Frampton lost The Voice finale lost night by less than two percent to Javier Colon, but she’s won thousands of new fans and has the honor of soaring to the top of the iTunes charts and holding strong at number one. This wasn’t always the case, however, and Dia is not quick to forget the times she was low on cash and recorded albums

stubborn to get it perfect.”, Dia exclaims to those who wish to follow their dreams. “I was hanging by a thread.” “My band Meg & Dia actually played on ‘The Carson Daly Show’ like 5 years ago,” reveals Dia, who laughed and said The Voice host didn’t remember her. “People are saying you are already successful, etc, but we were on a major label and we got dropped. It was to the point where we were touring and I would think ‘How much is gas right now and how far is California, ’cause we can’t make that.’ And it was very stressful and difficult and I am just excited to move forward.”

and you can hear the dishwasher running in some of the songs. She refused to stop her life for our record!” laughs Dia. “She’s ador-

There are always twists and turns, and you can still end up getting what you really dream about and what you really want, but it’s never the same, and you can’t be so stubborn to get it perfect. with the dishwasher on. “I know its really corny, but never give up! There are always twists and turns, and you can still end up getting what you really dream about and what you really want, but it’s never the same, and you can’t be so

Dia reveals she’s moving forward with her solo career, although she’ll still work on things with her sister and band. “With Meg & Dia, especially with our last record, we recorded a lot of it at our mom’s house,

able. But [the record] kind of has a folky earthy feel to it, and I love that about Meg & Dia, but for the next one I want to make it more upbeat, more rock, and I am excited to experiment.”

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In fact, the Alabama-raised siblings are about to release their hotly tipped fourth album, You & I, a melodic melange of folk, rock and 70s radio melodies, produced by Coldplay bassist Guy Berryman. Their success has been a long time coming. Perhaps that’s why neither of them wants to give me her age. “We’re old enough to know better but young enough to do it anyway,” says Catherine.

Interviewed by Lorena O Neil

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