Page 1

ISSUE 9

HIGHLIGHT

featuring

GOLDHOUSE

MAGAZINE

THE COLOR MORALE // THE EARLY NOVEMBER // THE ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS // THE USED & MORE


In loving memory of

Mitchell Adam Lucker 1984 - 2012 PHOTO: Jeremy Saffer


HIGHLIGHT STAFF Press & Publicity – Photography – Editor– Co-Founder Ashley Osborn

Production – Art Director – Photography Cara Bahniuk

CO-founder – Writer McKenzie Hughes

Features Editor – Writer Liz Brossard

Online Editor

Jenn Stookey

Copy Editor

Hayley Todd

Contributing Photographers

Derrick Austinson, Lauren Brown, Lori Gutman, Arielle Johnson, Erica Livoti, Charlie Martel, Heather Phillips, Oscar Rodriguez and Nesha Torres

Contributing writers (Online & Publication)

Haley Black, Liz Brossard, Tamara Fuentes, Will Howard, Logan Kant, Jessica Klinner, Marina Oliver, Taylor Pittman, Patrick Quiring, Kristy Siciliano and Morgan Waldorf

BECOME SOCIAL WITH US website - www,highlightmagazine.net facebook - www.facebook.com/highlightmagazine twitter - @highlight_mag INSTAGRAM - @highlight_mag

WANT TO ADVERTISE WITH US? contact ashley@highlightmagazine.net for more information


INSIDE FEATURES

28 goldhouse


INSIDE FEATURES

8Needcurrent trends 14 Morning Parade 24 The UseD a new pop in your wardrobe for UK based band Morning Parade With a new label, The Used finally the winter? Check out Eternal Youth Co. You’ll love their styles and the message behind the company.

began from pure experimentation. Check out Highlights feature on their successes and their future.

feels the independence they needed to become the band they wanted to be. Read up about their future!

9 venue highlight

16 sing it loud

32 photos

10 label highlight

18 The color morale 36 album Reviews

The State Theatre is in a former bank building but was turned into a music venue! Check out a classic Florida venue and their upcoming shows.

Topshelf Records began in Boston with local bands and now inpsires many within the industry. Check out which bands are Highlight’s favorite!

Everyone has been waiting for Sing It Loud to get back together, and they did for a show! Highlight was there to give you this exclusive review.

The Color Morale has accomplished many things some bands can only dream of and they filled Highlight in on everything and the future!

Highlight went to a few of the mustattend (or should have attended) shows this past month. Check out the photos and see what you may have missed out on.

Need new music to listen to? Want to read someone elses’ opinion on your new favorite album? Our album reviews should be your stop.

11 industry Highlight 20 The Early november THank you Dayna Ghiraldi always knew she wanted to be a publicst and set out to reach her goals and created Big Picture Media. Read up all about Dayne, her career and her future!

After a four year hiatus, The Early November is back playing music and shows no signs of slowing down. They sat down with Highlight to talk about the future. A must read!

12 brighton MA

22 The all-American rejects

Brighton MA takes everything handed to them in stride and pushes forward in the industy. Check out the feature of this New York band!

The All-American Rejects have been a band for over 10 years and are still at it! Read up on their last year, touring career and future as a band!

We would like to send out a big thank you to Big Hassle Media, Big Picture Media, Earshot Media, EMI, Evan Perigo, Jason Consoli, Pat Brown, Total Assault and Working Group Management as well as our supportive readers, the hardworking teams that assist us with show coverage, and all the incredible artists featured in the issue for sitting down with us during interviews and letting us pick their brains.

INSIDE PHOTOGRAPHS page 6-7

goldhouse

The Early November

the Used

The All-American Rejects

Sing It Loud

Brighton MA

Morning Parade

The Color Morale

Chicago, IL, Ashley Osborn

Derrick Austinson

Tanya Gelman

Jared Thomas

Want to post news online? Contact ashley@highlightmagazine.net

Tayna Gelman

Rams Head Live, Baltimore, MD, Cara Bahniuk

Stephanie Bassos

Derrick Austinson

HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.NET - 5


goldhouse - 28

The used - 24

sing it loud - 16

Morning Parade - 14


20 - The Early November

22 - the all-american rejects

12 - Brighton MA

18 - The Color Morale


TRENDS YOU’LL LOVE COMPANY: Eternal Youth Co. LOCATION: Nashville, TN OWNER/FOUNDER: Evan Perigo: Owner/Director/Photorapher WEBSITE: http://www.eternalyouthco.com

Explain Eternal Youth Co.’s name?

The name “Eternal Youth” pretty much explains the motives behind the company. The brand was built for the dreamers, the doers, the leaders, and the ones who will do whatever it takes to reach their passions. We see this company as a lifestyle rather than just a brand.

What do you feel your brand represents?

The bio on our website couldn’t have said it better: We chase the freedom that comes with a lack of authority, but we are the leaders. We are a culture of all cultures, a community of all lifestyles. We believe in trustworthiness, loyalty and commitment. We are not afraid of the darkness. We are not afraid of the light. We keep our eyes, and our minds open. We are not a trend. We are not a movement.

Reason you started your brand?

From the very beginning, I have always had a strong desire to work with a team and collaborate with other creative individuals, but being a freelance photographer always made it difficult to do so. I really wanted to find a creative outlet where I could combine design, culture, fashion, music, photography, etc. all into one hub and a clothing line just seemed to make the most sense for me.

Three personal favorite moments?

Since we recently launched a couple months ago we haven’t really had too many “moments” yet. Although I 8 - HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.net

would definitely say that seeing our website with all of the content in it was an incredible feeling. Several talented designers, photographers and other brand owners have given us amazing feedback, which means the world. Screen-printing in the garage, haha. We spent countless hours making sure everything was looking top notch. Whether it was scorching hot or freezing cold in that damn garage, we always were able to laugh and talk about life for hours. Those moments mean a lot because I feel the honesty going into the products. Shooting our lookbook was a blast too. It came together so well and I couldn’t be more excited for all of the future shoots to come. I will definitely make a point to travel as much as possible for our lookbooks.

Why people should check out your brand?

Eternal Youth Co. has always pushed to create a unique experience so that our customers feel super-connected with us. We want our honesty and lifestyle to shine through the company so people know we are more than just another clothing line. “It’s not about denying the future. It’s not about a youngforever mindset. It’s about embracing the passion, curiosity and energy of our younger years while living in the present. It’s not a brand. It’s a lifestyle.” – Andrew T. Swanson | Marketing for Eternal Youth Co.


venue highlight STATE THEATRE - St. petersburg, florida

History:

why play here?

The State Theater was constructed in 1924, it’s original use was for the Alexander National Bank. It was one of the largest banks in St. Petersburg, but only lasted a few years. Many different banks and companies occupied this building for years. In 1949 an architect by the name of Archie Parrish remodeled the building into what it looks like today, which consists of three bays and ionic columns separating the bays. After a few other renovations the building was turned into The State Theater, a venues that all Florida kids love.

Located in Downtown St. Petersburg, The State Theater brings an eclectic vibe to it. The venue itself definitely isn’t one of the biggest, which is a good thing. It brings a more intimate vibe to the show that is being played, since it is such a small space with a small stage. It is in a good location, the staff is wonderful and the concert attendees are there just for the fun of a show. It is definitely a great place to play, whether you’re in an accomplished band or you’re playing your first show.

MUst attend shows November 11th Born Of Osiris

REVIEW: Kristy Siciliano PHOTO: Zach Sandager

November 14th

Dance Gavin Dance

November 15th

Motionless In White

November 17th Face to Face

HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.NET - 9


label highlight

WRITE-UP: William Howard

Topshelf Records began in 2006 with the hope of giving local artists the push they needed to succeed. Now seven years later, the Boston based label has not only broken a variety of influential and passionate artists, but they’ve also helped to inspire a whole new generation of musicians. Still based in Boston after all these years, with an office right on Boylston Street, coupled with a worldwide network of distribution, Topshelf Records brings together the down to earth local mentality to the worldwide stage. Focused on building the bands the way they want to, no fictitious dreams of stardom, just passionate personal musicians looking to make a respectable career doing what they love. Topshelf Records feature a roster deeper than most. With well over 20 bands currently on their roster and a list of alums half that long, Topshelf records has something for everyone including the emotional hardcore veterans The Saddest Landscape, Indie Rockers The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die and of course emo rockers Into It. Over It. Go discover what Topshelf is all about and rediscover the world of local music.

My Fictions -

Hometown heroes to this Merrimack Valley native, My Fictions entered the music scene with a bang in 2010 and never stopped running from there. Recently releasing a threetrack album entitled Always Trapped coupled with a two-week tour to promote it, My Fictions have shown no signs of faltering. Now back at home in suburban Massachusetts plotting their next assault on the complacency of the suburban youth, Always Trapped is the bands’ best release yet. With no plans to tour, My Fictions will finish out the year with another addition to their discography, a split with fellow Merrimack Valley band Aviator. It is unclear what is in store for My Fictions as we enter into 2013, but we can be sure of this, it will be big, bold and powerful.

Listen to: “Same Grave”

Pianos Become the Teeth -

Baltimore Maryland’s Pianos Become the Teeth bring together a diverse and uniquely passionate collection of sounds. With bright and experimental ambience of its guitars, coupled with the passionate and uncompromised screaming vocals, Pianos Become Teeth is one of the most interesting bands out there. Now with two LP’s and a split with label mates The Saddest Landscape, Pianos Become the Teeth confidently create passionate songs uniquely its own. They will have a tour beginning at the end of October with Title Fight and Single Mothers to finish out the end of the year. Pianos Become the Teeth are sure to discover a growing fan base before the year is out. Be sure to pick up The Lack Long After and catch them on the upcoming full US tour.

Listen To: “Spine” The Saddest Landscape -

The Saddest Landscape has been a passionate and successful band longer than Topshelf Records has even been around. The band is built on the dark and sometimes jarringly passionate emotions deeply embedded into every note of its music. After nearly a decade, the work of most bands becomes dry, overdone, and a derivative of previous work, but this is not the case with The Saddest Landscape. After releasing the most recent full length After the Lights on Valentine’s Day the band has only continued to grow and prosper. Now with a new seven inch, lovingly referred to as the Tattoo seven inch, by members of the band and Topshelf Records alike, the Saddest Landscape is doing better than ever. Entering the studio in the beginning of October to record a brand new 12-inch record, the band plans to enter 2013 with a bang.

Listen to: “This Heals Nothing”


Highlight of

Dayna Ghiraldi who founded

Name: Dayna Ghiraldi Location: New York City Company: Founder/Head Hancho for Big Picture Media Website: www.bigpicturemediaonline.com How did you become a publicist?

While in college at CW Post getting my degree in PR, I interned at Nettwerk Management and assisted with Brand New, Dido, Sum 41 and a few others. I chose Nettwerk for the opportunity to work with Brand New. After that internship ended, I went over to the A&R Department at Island Records because Thrice was on their roster and I loved their music so much. I wanted to be able to experience all the different facets of the industry, but ultimately knew PR was the right fit for me. I’ve always wanted to own my own business. As a kid it is all I would imagine. When I was seven years old I would remove my shoelaces and make keychains out of them to sell on the local pier. Growing up, my father always had his own business. I would go to work with him and loved the freedom it provided him. After graduating college and spending a few years at Press Here Publicity, Big Picture Media was born in 2007 out of my apartment in Battery Park City, NYC. I knew in my heart that I wanted to work with bands that I personally listened to and decided it was time to branch out on my own. I started out solo with one freelancer and worked from home for one year to save money and build the brand. From there I got an office space on 20th street in the Flatiron District and we hired our first full time employee. After six months in that office space we out grew it and moved to a larger space on 25th street and hired our next three employees over the course of two years. We now have a much bigger office with thirteen people working really hard and I love every minute of it. Early in 2012 we launched a digital marketing division of the company and that

is going incredibly well. Outside of music, it was my passion to work with some non-profit organizations. We have been with To Write Love on Her Arms since 2006 and recently started working with Only Make Believe. We also represent a handful of entertainment literary books, Trace Cyrus’ clothing company, the CMJ Music Marathon and do the PR & Marketing for the soundtracks that come out through Relativity Media (ParaNorman, End of Watch, 10 Years, The Oranges, etc). We also do a lot of event publicity and work closely with The Village Voice and handle their NYC based events. We also work remotely at music and film festival like Sundance and SXSW..

What are some personal career highlights?

Working with amazing bands like Thrice and The Used has been great experience. Having the chance to meet Jim Carey after booking a client on Leno was a major highlight. Seeing my life come full circle after interning at a record label because my favorite band was on the roster, then actually having them as a client has been truly rewarding. (Now I am just waiting on Green Day!) What you want to accomplish still in your career? Outside of music and PR, I have a massive love of animals. I would love to open up a shelter and be able to rescue dogs off death row, rehabilitate them and foster them into homes. I also want to own a zoo.

Keep updated with Big Picture Media! www.facebook.com/bigpicturemedia www.twitter.com/bigpicturenyc

HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.NET - 11


brighton ma

HOME: Chicago, IL NOW jamming: Billboard Sun EP & Touch - Single (Fast Plastic Records) CURRENTLY: Preparing to release a new full-length, Oh Lost, and rehearsing for upcoming tours

For the band Brighton MA, anything is

possible. Between touring and their music being featured on primetime TV, it is easy to see that there is a lot on this band’s plate, yet they are taking it in stride and proving just how rewarding it is to be a part of the music industry. The five-piece ensemble formed in 2006 after Matt Kerstein and Sam Koentopp left Scotland Yard Gospel Choir. Kerstein and Koentopp started the band Jim Tuerk and then added Joe Darnaby and Jon Ozaksut. The band is a blend of various forms of rock and roll, but the sound can always change from song to song. They want to be a band that fans can grow with, even if a fan doesn’t like one song they want to make the kind of music that keeps the listener there until they find a song that they do enjoy. “We like to mix it up and we try to have a variety while still striving for a cohesive and unique sound as a group,” Kerstein said. “We would love for people to see us as one of those groups you’re willing to evolve with. A group that you know won’t stay the same and will be trying a lot of different sounds and ideas.” 12 - HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.net

While Kerstein was a part of SYGC he gained some experience that only a few up-and-coming and musicians are able to have; the opportunity to play with well-known artists. “It is always a huge learning experience to get to watch and play with great bands,” he said. “I felt good about our set opening for Arcade Fire at Logan Square Auditorium right up until they started playing. I went home that night feeling like I got my butt kicked and decided I was going to have to dig a bit deeper because the bar had been raised.” The name Brighton MA is an interesting name for a band, especially a band that comes out of Chicago, but it meant a lot to Kerstein, who grew up there until he was six. He formed his earliest memories and impressions there and the band wanted a name that had some depth behind it. Due to Kerstein’s warm memories for Brighton, the band decided that it would be a nice thing to name a band after. “We were almost hoping that if you were into us and our music then we could be that sort of place for you to go to. The name was the only one that just seemed to stick and had some meaning behind it,” Kerstein said.


Since the band’s inception, there have been numerous surprises; they have had the opportunity to feature music on shows like Gossip Girl, Castles, Community, One Tree Hill and Ghost Whisper. And starting in November, the song “A Good Kind of Crazy,” off Brighton’s newest album, will be showcased again on a holiday Jack Daniel’s commercial. Interestingly enough, the band was supposed to do a rendition of “Oh Christmas Tree,” while recording it they filled the empty space with “A Good Kind of Crazy.” After a while it just stuck. “On one of the shows we were going to be on we decided to have some people over to watch. Twenty minutes in and the suspense was rising,” he said. “Just towards the end of the show everyone had to be quieted down in the room as we strained to catch the song being played way in the background for 13 seconds. ‘Was that it?’ ‘I think so.’ And so it goes.” Inspiration is drawn from everywhere for Brighton MA. For the band there is a group feeling of the general quality of music that they look for and want to achieve together.

There is not one entity that motivates or inspires them; for these five guys it is whatever gets the blood pumping. And because of this, all of the music they write takes on personal meaning for them. The group writes lyrics together and it takes a lot out of them, but they believe that the end product is worth it. “Writing the lyrics is one of the more intense parts, for sure,” Kerstein said. “The more personal and introspective the lyrics, the more you put yourself out there and the more you feel exposed when you perform them. “‘Thirst,’ a song off of the new album would be an example of this.” Brighton MA just released a seven-song EP earlier in the year and its sophomore album will be released around Thanksgiving. For Kerstein and the rest of the band, this album has been the highlight of their careers thus far. “It was a short and concise burst of creativity from everyone involved,” he said. STORY AND INTERVIEW: Liz Brossard PHOTO: Stephanie Bassos


Morning parade


HOME: Harlow, Essex, UK NOW jamming: Morning Parade - Full Length (EMI/Astralwerks) CURRENTLY: Touring as special guests of Smashing Pumpkins this October/November

Not one single band is alike and

“After the first show in Mallorca we met up with the guys from Biffy Clyro and just had a nice chat, “Thomas said. “I remember asking them to play a couple of my favorite songs Simon Neil replied by saying that we should make sure we were at their sound check that next day and they played the two songs we asked them to play. We had a private showcase. They were very nice gentleman and something that will stay with all of us.”

The three guys started messing around and experimenting with a lot of different sounds as well as musical genres and took some time to see what they really enjoyed doing. Within all the experimentation Morning Parade was born and with the addition of Ben Giddings (piano/synths) and Andy Hayes (drums) the band was complete.

I am a very strong believer that the only bands worth listening to are the ones that write their own lyrics. For every band there is a different process and this is what can make and break them whether it is in the studio or on tour. Morning Parade doesn’t have a set formula as to how they write the music, but they spark ideas off of one another. As it is for anyone, it just depends on how everyone is feeling that particular day. Sparrow tends to write most of the melodies and lyrics and early morning hours tend to be the bewitching hour for him.

Morning Parade is here to prove that. 2007 was a year of change for these British musicians. Chad Thomas (guitar), Steve Sparrow (lead vocals, piano and guitar) and Phil Titus (bass) were part of a band called Another Story. As time went on they realized that a new band needed to be created.

“We were young and naïve and we seemed to not really have the right formula in the band for it to go on forever [Another Story],” said Thomas. “Morning Parade seems to be the re-worked and new start we all needed.” As for where the name Morning Parade came from; according to Thomas it was a saying the band used in reference to getting up day after day early in the morning and heading into each of their day jobs. “We used to call each other in the mornings and say, ‘So how is the morning parade?’ It was just our way of talking about the cues of traffic and all we had to deal with every day trying to get to work,” he said. “We had our first show and needed a name, the rest is history.” In 2010, after a few years of playing together and developing its brand, Morning Parade decided to sign with Parlophone Records. For a while the band ignored a lot of scouts that came to its shows, they were too focused on playing for the fans and creating who they wanted to be as a band. Eventually they sat down with Miles the MD of Parlophone and realized that he was just a genuine music lover and listened to what he had to say. “We all sat down and talked about old rock band and the ‘90s era with such band on the roster as Radiohead and Blur. It just seemed to feel right to be a part of keeping rock music and the heritage of Parlophone alive,” said Thomas. A little after a year of signing with the label, Morning Parade began its UK tour and shortly after they toured Europe with the Wombats. For Thomas a stand out moment was when the band was invited to play Ibiza, an island off the coat of Spain on the Mediterranean Sea, and Mallorca Rocks in Spain supporting one the bands biggest influences, Biffy Clyro a Scottish Rock band.

“Steve has his laptop and phone which he will generally be tapping away at throughout the day, but it is around 4 am when he has lyrics and ideas spring to mind, the rest of us just try and play whenever we can with acoustics and keyboards in hotels and dressing rooms [while on tour],”said Thomas. After coming off its tour in 2011 the band had the opportunity to get its full-length debut album out to fans on March 5, 2012. They may not know how the fans are reacting to full length at home, but the Thomas says that the reaction at the live shows is great and that is where all the songs are born and truly played. “I think some older fans were surprised on the track listing and maybe some older songs not making it onto our debut album, but we wanted to keep moving forwards and offer all new songs and feelings,” Thomas said. Morning Parade had the opportunity to perform on the Jay Leno show in August of 2012 and they are currently touring the U.S until the end of the year. The band looks at this as a great way to make an impression on the people of America. “We are loving the culture, the kindness and the craziness of the fans. But America is a big place and I have never lived in a bus and travelled so much in my life.” Check out Morning Parade’s debut full length and don’t miss them live while they are touring across the U.S. STORY AND INTERVIEW: Liz Brossard PHOTO: Jared Thomas

HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.NET -15


exclusive

reunion show coverage

It’s hard to put into words what you see when five best friends find themselves in the same room, almost exactly two years after they played their finale show in their hometown. Lucky enough for me, I was able to witness it when the guys from Sing It Loud (Pat Brown, Nate Flynn, Kieren Smith, Ben Peterson and Chris Lee) came home to Minneapolis to play a reunion show. After landing in the city – Ben, Kieren, Pat and Charlie (the band’s longtime friend and old tour manager) went straight to the rehearsal space where the band shared laughs, hugs, inside jokes and last but not least, a few beers.

Although only two of the five members of Sing It Loud still live in Minneapolis (Pat and Nate), it felt as if no one had ever left, as if no holidays had been spent away from each other and no shows had be missed. After a three hour rehearsal playing through the whole set, making some tweaks and changes, and going through the band’s old intros while on tour, we called it a night on rehearsing and headed back to Pat’s house for some relaxing and eating. We ended up all going to bed pretty early knowing we had to be up at 9AM for an early load-in at Mill City Nights, but not before Kieren and William Beckett (who was staying at Pat’s house that weekend for the show as well) pulled out their guitars and played a few songs together. We woke up the next morning to an incredible homecooked breakfast and stuffed it down before having to pack up all the gear, merchandise and people in as few cars as possible. Having left New York City when it was 79

degrees outside, being greeted by snow in Minneapolis once we arrived at the venue was the last thing I was expecting. The merchandise was unpacked, the guitars were tuned and the band ran through the whole set for the last time before their show, ironing out some last minute details. For not playing with one another for two years it was mind-blowing (to say the least) how tight they were and how well they played – it was as if they had never left each other. After an acoustic set and meet and greet for those lucky enough to snag a VIP package for the show, the boys went on to relax for a few hours before their set; eating dinner, seeing old friends, family members and watching openers Love Out Loud, The Roll Call and their old friend, William. By 8:15, it was time for the guys to hit the stage. The band got in a circle, gave themselves a quick pump-up speech and hit the stage to screaming fans. A set list full of older material (“Maybe I’m A Ghost”, “MPLS”) as well as the newest material from the band (“Shadows”, “Thunderstorms”, “Here With You”) was exactly what the fans needed, a perfect set from the band they loved. It was a privilege to watch these guys come back once more and play the songs live that they wrote together years prior. Watching them play together with the biggest smiles on their faces, knowing they loved what they were doing was the absolute best way to spend a Saturday evening. STORY AND PHOTOS: Tanya Gelman


The color morale HOME: Rockford, IL NOW jamming: My Devil In Your Eyes - Full Length (Rise Records) CURRENTLY: Writing their third album, Know Hope


“We wanted a statement. Something

that was a reflection of what our mission was as a band. Color is taken as context of a verb, meaning add hope, optimism or light to your own personal morale or walk. That’s the short version,”said Garrett Rapp the lead singer of Color Morale on the name of the band. The Color Morale, an American post-hardcore band from Rockford, Illinois is showing us its true colors filled with dedication, musicianship and most importantly hard work. Since its inception back in 2005, they have accomplished many things that any band would dream of. Such things including; writing and releasing two studio albums, going on numerous tours with accomplished bands such as August Burns Red, We Came As Romans, Of Mice and Men and countless others as well as gaining more and more fans at each and every show. But all of that didn’t come to the band on a silver platter, The Color Morale is a hardworking group and with the type of dedication and support they have, The Color Morale will only further its career. Recently, the band headed into the studio to work on its third up and coming album entitled Know Hope. They have recorded only two songs for the new album as of now, but are extremely excited to release the new material they do have. “Know Hope will have a ton more diversity, however it will still be The Color Morale. We have been noticed for our signature guitar playing style but this album will definitely be a step above previous works,”saidGarrett Rapp. The Color Morale has a very unique guitar sound; it is extremely different and eclectic, which helps its music stand out among the rest. When the band heads back into the studio they will be tracking and doing production work with Josh Schroeder at Random Awesome Studio. They have not pinpointed exactly who will be doing the mixing and mastering for Know Hope as of yet, but according to the band the new material is extremely different from its previous work. “Our band collectively writes songs as a whole, it’s always been that way. However on this record we have some other contributing artists we are working with which is very different for us. Anything you don’t have a comfort in is a growing experience, however, so we’re looking forward to it,” Rapp said. All bands have certain influences that shape the writing of the lyrics and melodies. Some bands gather the inspiration from other bands that they have looked up to. Other bands like The Color Morale draw on influences from personal experiences as well as the stories and conversations they have shared with people they have met on tour. “This album is going to be written for the backbone of what we are as a band, our fans,”said Rapp.

It’s a band like this where you can sense the appreciation they have for adoring fans. You can also see the appreciation its fans have for them; there have been countless individuals who have gotten The Color Morale or “Know Hope” tattoos even before the album is released. The Color Morale believes whole-heartedly that when its new material from Know Hope is released they will gain major support and a good response from fans. The Color Morale just recently finished up its tour with August Burns Red, Of Mice and Men and the Overseer. The tour gave them great exposure, the opportunity to gain more fans, a chance to get its name out there and the experience of touring with other great bands. Since The Color Morale is having the opportunity to be on tour it is helping them sustain a focus of who they are as a band, internally. Although playing music for its fans is a huge part of a tour, meeting the fans is what they love. Conversing and interacting with fans is what makes them, The Color Morale. Creating those memories with kids all over the country is extremely rewarding for the band and it can be cherished with wonderful memories for years to come. Change is inevitable and sometimes there is no way to stop things from changing. The Color Morale has been going through a various amount of member changes for a while, where members were leaving and old members returned. As of late, their guitarist Ramon Mendoza has been absent from the last few tours, due to him departing from the touring life. Although he is no longer touring with The Color Morale, he will still be involved in the writing process as they enter the studio to write Know Hope. As a replacement for Mendoza on tour, they brought on guitarist Devin King, also when Justin Hieser returned to The Color Morale he came back in playing the guitar. When he first was in The Color Morale he played the bass, Hieser felt that in order for Know Hope to be the best it could be he would return to bass. With Hieser playing bass now that means that bassist Ryan Pulice is no longer in The Color Morale. Even with all these member changes that may seem confusing to most fans, there is nothing stopping The Color Morale doing from what they strive to do. Bands come and go, but true musicians will stick around. When you start a band you never know what is going to happen. Your career could sustain or not, that is a gamble a band must be willing to take.When The Color Morale established themselves back in 2005 they would have never expected to have gotten this far in the industry. Hard work and dedication pays off in the long run, especially if there is progression in the music. “You never know what to expect. You just have to be true to yourself and your following and see where it brings you. As long as you’re true, whatever happens was meant to,”said Rapp. STORY AND INTERVIEW: Kristy Siciliano PHOTOS: Derrick Austinson

HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.NET - 19


The early november


HOME: Hammonton, NJ NOW jamming: In Currents – Full Length (Rise Records) CURRENTLY: On tour!

When your favorite band goes on hiatus, usually the only thing to do is listen to its old releases on repeat and hope it’s only temporary. More often than not a reunion never happens, but fans of The Early November got lucky. After four years since announcing its ‘indefinite hiatus’ and six years since its last release, The Early November, with the original line up, has been back in action since late last year and there’s no sign of stopping for this New Jersey band. Currently touring in support of its recent release on Rise Records, In Currents, Highlight was able to catch up with Joe Marro of The Early November and hear all The Early November’s come back. After some speculation The Early November finally announced they would begin to play shows again together as well as work on a new record, and fans welcomed it with open arms. But having the fans on board for anything a band does is always important and The Early November agrees. Joe Marro couldn’t have said it better; “To know that people still care about something you did years ago is the most flattering feeling in the world. We just played songs but the fact that those songs meant so much to some people makes you really want to cherish whatever it is that you helped create and never take it for granted again.” He also claims making a new record was never really their intention but “everything just felt right and natural and reminded us how much fun it was to be in a band together.” Regardless of everyone’s excitement to have The Early November back, and better than ever, five years apart does make getting back into the swing of things a little tougher. Even Marro admits they’re ‘still not in the swing of things.’ “One of the challenges this time around is fitting the band into the lives we’ve all built over the past 5 years. It definitely takes a little more planning but once we get moving, it’s pretty smooth,” said Marro. “When we [The Early November] first all got together, after almost 5 years, we immediately started joking just like we used to. Everyone is still the same person.” Now, it wouldn’t be a comeback without some new music and a new record deal to boot. The Early November has recently signed to Rise Records and couldn’t be more content with that decision. “They’ve [Rise Records] been incredibly encouraging and have been acting like partners in the whole thing. We’ve been friends with Matthew at Rise for some time so it’s really nice to be working with a friend. Plus, they are genuinely fans of the band which is always a good sign,” he said.

That’s definitely a good sign in my book. The newest full length and first release with Rise, In Currents, is definitely becoming a fan favorite. “People left off with the band at one point in their lives and now, five years later, we’ve made a record they can relate to now. Yet In Currents still represents the band and our catalog very well. I feel it has bits that are reminiscent of all of our previous releases and sounds like the band at this stage in its life,” said Marro Even with a new record, ten years of music is definitely something to acknowledge, but there is of course the question of relevance for music that was written years ago. That being said, The Early November feels all its music is still relevant and exciting even after so many years. “More so in the fact that you can remember exactly what was going on when those moments in your life when those songs were written. You remember the parts that used to give you trouble and certain things you used to do at a specific moment of the song. Some of these songs were written over ten years ago, so it’s a little harder to relate to everything but you more so remember the time and place in your life when they were created,” Marro explained. The Early November may have been around for a decade, but they are just getting started. The bands newest accomplishments include a new record, a partnership with The Fender Music Foundation to support music education and tons of touring. After the current tour with Cartel and Seahaven as well as some shows with All Time Low they are taking some time off for the holidays, but the rest of the world gets to witness The Early November again at the beginning of the new year. They are playing the 2013 Soundwave festival in Australia and hope to tour internationally next year. If Marro had his way he’d love for the band to tour again in Japan and Southeast Asia. He’s also “itching to get over to Scandinavia.” Even if there isn’t much in the near future for American fans, there is definitely a ton in store for The Early November. If fans didn’t already know, the band is just as stoked about The Early November being back as they are. “We really appreciate everyone, new and old. We’re so lucky to be able to do what we do and it’s 100% because of the people who like our band. Thanks so much,”Marro said. Keep an eye out for what’s next for The Early November and pick up their new record, In Currents. PHOTOS: Tanya Gelman INTERVIEW: Will Howard STORY : Jen Boylen

HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.NET - 21


HOME: Stillwater, OK NOW jamming: Kids In The Street (DGC/Interscope Records) CURRENTLY: Continuing on playing music and touring!

In a world where the success of a band is measured by the amount of likes on their Facebook page or the number of followers on Twitter, it is hard to find musicians who are genuine. Rock veterans, The AllAmerican Rejects started out in a time when the internet was not an integral part of the music industry.

“It is very strange now to have to put yourself out there in such an intimate way for people to care. It’s a weird thing and obviously it has changed the way you sell music. We’ve actually got to watch that happen from our first record to now. Even as we’ve grown in success, record sales have declined and it’s just a weird thing, but we still get to do what we do so we can’t really complain,” recalled guitarist Mike Kennerty. After being a band for 10 years, the Rejects are still going strong and don’t have plans to stop. The quartet consisting of Tyson Ritter (lead vocals), Nick Wheeler (lead guitar), Mike Kennerty (rhythm guitar) and Chris Gaylor (drums) have come back from an extended break with more motivation than ever. “It was the longest break we’d ever taken from touring,” said Kennerty. The Rejects have had a busy year with releasing a brand new record, Kids in the Street and touring. Kids in the Street is the first album the Rejects have released since its 2008 success, When the World Comes Down which featured international hit “Gives You Hell”. Taking such a long time to make new music allowed the band to focus on what kind of sound they wanted to create. “We always take a lot of time between albums to write. A lot of bands like to capitalize the success that they’re having and make an album real fast. We’ve never been like that. We would rather take our time and make sure we’re doing something quality,” said Kennerty. Growing as people and musicians enables bands to become more comfortable with the album they are creating. Spitting out the same sounding songs over and over hinders bands from going beyond their comfort zones and being creative with the music. “With taking time, it helped us grow as people and musicians so we don’t end up putting out the same record again. We’ve moved on,” said Kennerty.

The All-American Rejects had an open mind while creating their fourth studio album. In wanting to create something new and fresh for fans, they tried using a different approach than on previous releases. The band used a lot of live sounds to contribute to the new sound as well as horns and strings. There were no musically boundaries the Rejects weren’t willing to cross. Being true perfectionists, the band likes for everything to sound crisp and clean, but for this album they let the little imperfections slide by to create a more unique sound. “We would always go into the studio and it was all about perfection and just like getting it down the best we possibly could. This time we kind of realized we lose some vibe when we do that,” Kennerty said. “We tried really hard to play a little more off the cuff and if something is a little sloppy realize that can actually be kind of cool and can really help the way the feel of the song is.” From album single “Beekeeper’s Daughter” to “Walk Over Me”, the musical versatility of The All-American Rejects shines through. Kids in the Street is easily the Rejects most honest album to date with some of their most sincere and heartfelt lyrics. Listening to this album is like taking a peek into what the band was doing during its four year musical drought. “We never pin ourselves in the corner stylistically. We started realizing it could come together as a one piece album. Not just the individual songs, but a collection that will flow. Once we started feeling that, we definitely pushed everything to go in that direction and have a seamless kind of flow to it. Whatever came, we just embraced,” said Kennerty. Needless to say, The All-American Rejects have returned and do not plan on leaving again for a very long time. The band just got off tour with Boys Like Girls and The Ready Set. The Rejects also spent some time this summer overseas with Blink 182. It is great to see that they’ve still got it. The guys are so grateful to still be able to have such an amazing career even after 10 years. “We have been very lucky. It’s great to still have this job. I never thought it would last this long,” added Kennerty. PHOTO AND INTERVIEW: Cara Bahniuk INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: Jenn Stookey STORY: Jessica Klinner

follow On Twitter

website

facebook

@therejects

www.allamericanrejects.com

www.facebook.com/AllAmericanRejects HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.NET - 23


HOME: Orem, UT NOW jamming: Vulnerable (Anger Music Group/Hopeless Records) CURRENTLY: Touring the United Kingdom and Europe!

Being in a band seems like all fun

and games when you think about it right? Hopping in the back of a van with your best friends playing the music you love. What could be wrong with that? The Used will tell you a bit of a different story. After being a band for over a decade, the Used have five records under their belt building them into a pinnacle in the alternative music scene. Releasing their first selftitled record in 2002, the Used have made a name for themselves through the release of influential tracks such as “ A Box Full of Sharp Objects”, “Pretty Handsome Awkward” and “A Taste of Ink” almost immediately. Over a decade later, the Used are still rocking as hard as ever, keeping up with and out shining a whole new generation of rockers. Coming together for the first time under a new label since 2002 the Used’s fifth album release, Vulnerable, put to rest any doubts that the band was past their prime. A little over a year ago the Used announced that they would no longer be working with Reprise records, their first and only label affiliate. For fans this was a shock and a frightening prospect. What would this mean for the future of the band? Would the Used fall under the pressure? Would the freedom of owning their own label be the downfall of the band? When we caught up with Jeph Howard, the bands bass guitarist and backup vocalist he put the nerves to rest, “No offense to Reprise, but things were very stale with our relationship for a long time”. Looking for a new spark of inspiration and support, the Used announced in September of 2011 they would be building their own label, Anger Music Group. Although Anger Music Group is the Used’s personal label, they are not without experienced backing. With an affiliation with Hopeless Records, the Used gain both the experience and freedom they have been lacking from Reprise. “Hopeless has treated us like family from the start and owning our own label ,Anger Music Group, has given us the freedom we were always supposed to have. Bands always dream of signing to a label and sharing the music, their labor of love and passion, with the world. Labels however have another idea. Labels have goals of their own, investors to satisfy, quarterly quotas to be hit,” said Howard. “ The goal is to make money, to sell records. I am not intending to say this is wrong, rather to emphasize the odd marriage it creates between the creativity of music, and the business of music.” After ten years the Used have been given the power and the freedom to put both the business and the creative under their control. A recipe, I believe, has allowed them to create their best record to date “Vulnerable”.

Commemorating the lengthy and incredible ten-year history of the Used, “Vulnerable” is unlike any of the bands previous releases in more than one way. With the band growing older, getting married and having children the band must go on, and in writing “Vulnerable” this took on a new meaning. Traditionally the band has gotten together bringing all of their ideas, riffs and content to the group to write as a full unit. For “Vulnerable” the process was a bit different. “Most of the record had vocals before most of the music was finished (Way to go Bert)”, said Howard. After ten years of music it is nearly impossible to expect a band to release the same exact music over and over again. Growth is necessary in every aspect of life, including music. For the Used this has been a natural process, allowing their lives and their true and honest experiences to dictate the flow and feel of their records. When asked about this growth and change Howard said “I personally think it is important to show that in recordings and songwriters. If you keep writing the same record over and over again it means you’re not really expressing the true self.” Howard also added how this process has changed for them over the last decade. “Having an idea that you imagine to turn out one way and when it’s all said and done and everyone added their parts and ideas it’s a completely different idea” a process that through the year has become easier. “ After the release of “Vulnerable” in March, The Used have been touring non-stop to promote the sale of the record including this summer on Warped Tour. A launch pad for new and upcoming bands, the Warped Tour is littered with bands and fans of all ages some of which have been fans of the Used since back in 2002. According to Howard this experience was very cathartic for a veteran Alternative Rock band like The Used. “It’s very satisfying to hear from bands that we meet and tour with that are Used fans. It’s proof that what we are doing has been an inspiration to bands that we in turn are starting to listen to,” said Howard. After creating a discography that has driven a decades worth of alternative music fans, it is no mystery that the Used has become a staple in the music libraries of thousands. Each fan has their own story of how a different Used record got them through a tough time, or just inspired them. For me this is a track from their third release Lies for the Liars, “Pretty Handsome Awkward”. One of the first tracks I ever heard from the Used, “Pretty Handsome Awkward” brought together a groovy but HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.NET - 25


intense vibe, which was accompanied by a music video, which frightened almost as much as it inspired my fifteen year old self. Warped Tour is not the easygoing glamorous ride that fans picture it to be. It involves long grueling hot days, playing energetically and physically intense shows for fans day in and day out. With nowhere to hide out from the heat or have some time to yourself, the Warped Tour can be one intense ride. The Used however has their own way of making every tour feel like home, bringing along touches of home like Howard’s personal collection of wiener dog stuffed animals and “$240 of pudding (for sleeping)”. The Used’s tour bus is like one big happy family on a summer long camping trip. Warped Tour is not without its excitement, with a plethora of bands driving from city to city every night spending their days hanging out finding fun and creative ways to beat the heat and the nights hanging out in the backs of busses partying and sharing stories from the day. After spending the Summer fighting the heat and bringing a new set of songs to fans both new and old, The Used are reenergized, reinspired and as ready as ever to tour in support of “Vulnerable” . Ten years after the release of their first record the Used have outlasted, out sang, out screamed and out performed most of their peers. Constantly fighting to stay relevant in a world where most bands barely survive after their first record, let alone their second, The Used have surpassed the industries and their own expectations,setting out with the humble intention of “playing and writing music together”. They have been now touring the world for over a decade, influencing and inspiring a whole new generation of rockers. The Used has done what every band dreams about;they’ve created something they loved, something they believed in and a whole world of fans has fallen in love with the songs as much as they have. “They rock as hard if not even more; our live shows are crowd participation oriented. Our fans come ready to sing and scream which makes even the oldest songs just as fun to play as the day they were written,” said Howard.

The secret to the Used’s global success lies in the methodology behind their madness, the “Three E’s”, “Emotion, Energy and Experience”. According to Howard the power of a record doesn’t come from dropping your guitar tuning to B flat, or from playing blast beats as fast as your drummer possibly can, but rather from the honest expression of your deep honest emotional experience. A recipe for success the Used has mastered. The truth of this comes through in every record and in every song. “Loss, life, endings, beginnings, new drummers, old drummers, both personally and as a band we have went through a massive amount of positiveness and negativeness over the last twelve years,” said Howard. Now bringing in the new decade of the Used with a new label, a new record and a summer of Warped Tour, The Used have come full circle, but not much has changed. As Howard said “Besides the old man wizard beards we haven’t changed too much.” The Used are the same group of guys that started the band ten years ago, a little older, a little hairier and a little more experienced, yet with the same incredible songs. What more could they want from the band? What could this next era of the Used mean? “We just want to keep doing what we’re doing working on writing better and better songs,” said Howard. In the end all we are left with is an image, the Used on stage at Warped Tour, soaked in sweat from the first part of the set, a crowd filled with fans both young and old, onstage beside Bert and rest of the guys is Ryan and Levi of Miss May I singing together a track over a decade old; “A Box of Sharp Objects”. Together they are bringing Post Hardcore and Alternative music firmly into a new decade. INTERVIEW AND STORY: Will Howard IPHOTOS: Derrick Austinson

follow The Used On Twitter

follow The used On instagram

Band - @wearetheused Bert McCracken - @bro_mccracken Jepha Howard - @VirtualJepha

@theused @_bertmccraken @virtualjepha @quinstagram

website

facebook

www.theused.net

26 - HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.net

www.facebook.com/TheUsed


HOME: Chicago, IL NOW jamming: All Night Long - EP (Self-Released) CURRENTLY: Writing and releasing free songs for his upcoming mixtape!

GOLDHOUSE, aka Grant Harris, has graced the pages of our magazine before, but with

his upcoming ventures we thought it was appropriate to bring him back as our cover artist for this month. Last time we spoke with Harris, he had just released his debut EP and was looking forward to taking the world by storm with his music. Formerly known as Breathe Electric, Harris decided to change the name and direction of his music after much deliberation. He felt that the direction he wanted to take with his music was so bold that it needed to be released under a more deserving name. So GOLDHOUSE was born. Changing the name of a band can cause confusion and chaos in the fan base, but Harris’ fans were more than eager to continue backing his music under the name GOLDHOUSE. It’s still the same old Grant just with a new distinguished sound. “The awesome thing about my fans is that they’re fans of me for my music. It’s about the music and nothing else. I’m super lucky for this because I can continue to write music and be me and my fans are going to support it. I have an extremely loyal and amazing fan base and I’m very thankful for that because it allows me to express myself in however I feel at the particular moment,” commented Harris. GOLDHOUSE’s sound can be compared to the likes of Breathe Carolina and The Ready Set. It is upbeat pop music with a hint of electronic tossed in. This new sound is sweeping the nation and taking hold of everyone who hears it. Harris pulls his inspiration from various genres. “I’ve never been a one genre kind of listener so I guess in turn it made me into an artist that doesn’t focus on just one genre. I’m influenced by so many different styles of music that it was never really an option for me to sit down and just write one type of song that all sound the same. I hate listening to albums like that and I never wish to create one,” said Harris. Just by browsing the biography section of GOLDHOUSE’s website, it is clear that Harris is a different kind of artist. In the bio, he warns readers of the side effects of listening to his music, which include; the uncontrollable urge to set things on fire and sudden pelvic thrusts. These are side effects we wouldn’t mind experiencing. When Harris decided to change the name of his music project to GOLDHOUSE, he set out to change the way people looked at his music. He wanted listening to his songs to be an experience that no one would forget.

“GOLDHOUSE to me is more than just the music - I feel like it’s also a demeanor. It’s not about looking ‘cool’ or doing things for the money or fame. It’s about creating something kickass because that is what you love to do. It’s about letting loose and living in the moment,” he said. “That is how I’ve tried to make music. Fun and energetic purely for the sake of making people feel good and having fun. I’ve been lucky enough to have a band and crew that share that same mindset with me and hopefully we can spread it to everyone!” Harris’ attitude towards his music and his fans is something unique. He makes the music he loves in hopes that his fans will love it as well. This trait is something that is lacking in the music industry today. Too often, bands are more concerned about making music that people will like rather than making music that they like. No band that has the former mindset will ever be truly successful. They may have fans all over the world and sell millions of albums, but they will never have the joy of making music and the ability to enjoy themselves as well as missing out on sharing a mutual love with their fans. Even with the ups and downs that come along with working in the music industry, Harris continues to find that his destiny lies in making music. “It all comes back to music for me. No matter how pissed I can get about the music business or whatever else, I can never stay away from music for long. It’s definitely a salvation for me,” he said. GOLDHOUSE has been releasing a lot of new music lately. All of the songs being released will eventually make up a mixtape called The Morning After. “The idea for releasing a mixtape kind of came from my love of writing music that is kind of all over the map genre wise. A mixtape was a way of being able to release a bunch of songs I had a lot of fun writing without putting a big ‘official’ stamp on them and releasing an album. Once all the songs are released, the mixtape will be released as a whole probably with a couple bonus tracks,” said Harris. Since the release of GOLDHOUSE’s debut EP, Harris has felt on top of the world. Selling out his first ever show as GOLDHOUSE at House of Blues in Chicago (which we covered) and having Sirius XM play his song “The Moment” quite frequently, have only been a few of the highlights of Harris’ year. “It gave my music reach that otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to have. I’m super lucky to have them in my corner, “said Harris. HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.NET - 29


Every artist has a different technique and approach when it comes to writing their music. For some, the lyrics come first and the rhythms and beats follow. For others, it’s vice versa. GOLDHOUSE’s overall writing process comes both intentionally and unintentionally. “Sometimes I go into my little studio cave with the intent on writing, but other times I’ll be doing something random and in will pop an idea for a song. The idea can be anything, a beat, lyrics, melody, chord progression, lead. Really anything! Sometimes songs will get finished the day I start them and other will take months at a time. I guess you could say there’s no science to it,” he said. Harris admits that his song writing is always up for improvement. He grew as an artist during his transition between Breathe Electric and GOLDHOUSE.

to the most difficult part of his career he said; “Being patient, I think. People that work with me can attest to the fact that I have a hard time being patient and letting things happen. I always want to ‘go go go’ and if it’s one thing about the music business, it’s that things don’t always happen quickly or according to plan. Sometimes you just have to trust in what you’re doing and hope that things will happen in their own time and to take one step at a time.” GOLDHOUSE is a one of a kind artist who does not take his job for granted. He knows just what he wants in his music and will not stop until each song has reached the height of perfection he desires for them. GOLDHOUSE songs will be the anthem to your late night bonfires with friends this fall.

“I definitely feel the maturity level and songwriting is finally close to where I want it to be. I say close because there is always room for improvement. I grew up so much as a person and artist doing Breathe Electric and the result of that I think is GOLDHOUSE,” commented Harris.

GOLDHOUSE’s mixtape will be fully released soon, but in the meantime be sure to download all the songs that have already been released. Also make sure to check out upcoming tour dates and go out to a show. There is also a possibility of an acoustic EP just in time for the holidays. Keep an eye on GOLDHOUSE over the next year or so because we believe big things will be happening for this up and coming artist.

Good things happen to those who wait, but Harris is not one to be patient when it comes to his music. In regards

STORY: Jessica Klinner INTERVIEW: Liz Brossard PHOTOS: Ashley Osborn

follow goldhouse On Twitter

follow goldhouse On instagram

@goldhouse

@iamgoldhouse

website

facebook

www.iamgoldhouse.com

www.facebook.com/iamgoldhouse

30 - HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.net


passion pit

WHERE: 9:30 Club, Washington, DC PHOTOs: Cara Bahniuk


WHERE: House of Blues, Chicago, IL PHOTOs: Ashley Osborn

all time low


mayday Parade

WHERE: The Metro, Chicago, IL PHOTOs: Ashley Osborn


WHERE: Firefly Music Festival, Dover, DE PHOTOs: Cara Bahniuk

awolnation


review: Liz Brossard

artist:

Andrew Bird album:

Hands of Glory rating:

sounds like:

Sufjan Stevens Iron and Wine Beirut

recommended tracks:

“Railroad Bill” “If I Needed You” “Something Biblical”

tracklisting: 1

Three White Horses

2 When That Helicopter Comes

Spirograph Railroad Bill 5 Something Biblical 6 If I Needed You 7 Orpheo 8 Beyond the Valley of the Three White Horses 3 4

release date:

October 30th

website:

andrewbird.net

Andrew Bird is a little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll and a little bit of folk all wrapped up into one. You can’t really put him into just one category, but this Chicago native is definitely one thing; original. He’s been around since the late ‘90s, but he really made a name for himself within the last 10 years. Now he’s back with another album, Hands of Glory. This album doesn’t shy too far away from his unique sounds, except this time he has remastered a couple of country songs with his original flair and added his own works as well. Hands of Glory may not be decidedly better than his previous album, but it is a bit more deliberate in its tone. Hands of Glory is only eight tracks, but it does everything that it needs to do. It was recorded live with his band in a barn, but as a listener you would never know it. The album begins with “Three White Horses,” which showcases Bird’s fiddle and almost haunting vocals. “Something Biblical” is the perfect meld of banjo, fiddle and drums, and the lyrics are crystal clear. Honestly, I think this song is one of the moments where his voice sounds best and showcases the way folk should song. This is an album without all of the studio glamour and glitz, and it just shows his raw talent. If you were already an Andrew Bird fan, this album should keep your attention.


Artist: Benjamin Gibbard Album: Former Lives

Benjamin Gibbard is truly one of the best composers of the 21st century, so the fact that he has just released a solo album is no surprise. Solo artists often struggle with differentiating their own personal compositions with that of their bands, and Gibbard successfully breaks that barrier. His lyrics are full of imagery, painting an elaborate picture in your head. Contributing to that, not only is his voice soothing, but it has the effect of turning a bad mood upside down, like all of your troubles have washed away. You can’t help but feel completely at ease when you close your eyes and let his voice take you away. Many of the songs off the album have a folk and country vibe, which is how you can tell the difference between Death Cab For Cutie and Gibbard himself. Not one song off of this album sounds the same, but they all have the ability to easily capture your attention. Former Lives is Gibbard’s own masterpiece, and frankly, he should be proud of what he has created.

recommended tracks: “A Hard One To Know” & “Bigger Than Love” review: Haley Black

Artist: Various Album: Punk Goes Pop 5

The Punk Goes... series continues with Punk Goes Pop Volume 5, where alternative artists can either butcher a cover of your favorite pop song, or cause you to love those terrible, overplayed songs heard on the radio. The songs featured on the album are usually Top 40 songs with a unique twist put on them by artists including Breathe Carolina, Forever The Sickest Kids, Craig Owens, and more. Mayday Parade brings new life to their version of “Somebody That I Used To Know” with assistance from Vic Fuentes of Pierce The Veil, by adding a more powerful, upbeat vibe. The Maine, alongside Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazzara, covered “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” turning the song into a solid rock piece, and completely owning it. The Punk Goes Pop collection gives bands a chance to use their creative energy to modify music outside of their genre and make it their own. Whether you favor the original or the cover, there is no denying that every one of these songs are insanely catchy and have infectious melodies.

recommended tracks: “Glad You Came” & “Boyfriend” review: Haley Black

Artist: Upon This Dawning Album: To Keep Us Safe

With their recent signing to Fearless Records and relentless touring, Upon This Dawning has definitely caught the eye of many music lovers. Now that they have their debut full length, To Keep Us Safe is under their belts, it’s clear that they can only go up from here. From start to finish this record is filled with breakdowns (who would’ve guessed?), heavy screaming, clean crisp instrumentals, and surprisingly catchy melodies and vocals, as well as some great electronic elements on top of it all. I genuinely enjoyed To Keep Us Safe. While it may have not tipped the scales as being entirely new and innovative, it is definitely a great post hardcore album. Plus, every once and while when you catch a tiny hint of Upon This Dawning’s accents on the vocals you couldn’t help but smile and commend this six piece for working their asses off as musicians in America.

recommended tracks: “From Hell To The West” & “All In Your Head” review: Jennifer Boylen

HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.NET - 37


Issue #9  

Who’s Inside: GOLDHOUSE + The Used, The All- American Rejects, Sing It Loud, Morning Parade, The Color Morale, The Early November, BRIGHTON...

Advertisement