alt-rock

Rosedale – Again

Thursday 14th September 2017

Track Listing:

1. What We Started
2. Snapped In Two
3. This Dissonance
4. Space Mountain
5. Do It All Again

Rosedale started out back in 2004, when Mike Liorti was determined to chase his dream of being in a band; so he convinced his friends to get instruments so they could play together.  The name of the band was born from Rosedale Avenue, the street the band would walk down to the music store to practice the songs they had written on equipment they couldn’t quite afford.  Over the years, Rosedale went through 7 line-up changes, with band members deciding to move on; but Mike Liorti has continued the project as a solo career.  Mike is quite simply a self-confessed workaholic, but an extremely admirable one who continues to chase his dream, because it’s something he still believes in so strongly.

As a band they released 2 EPs together, with Mike continuing to release Rosedale’s debut album in 2012 by himself.  He then set out on a huge tour, starting with the aspirational Vans Warped Tour, before carrying on playing many states across the US and Canada.  Music and travelling are what Mike enjoys most, with him providing the ultimate DIY message “Commit, sacrifice, create, and above all… sustain. You really can do anything if you truly love it and nobody can represent you better than yourself. That really speaks to me.”

So you might be wondering how one person can now do the work of a full pop-rock band.  Well, Mike explains in the promotional video below how he performs whilst playing guitar and keys at the same time, but projects a video of him recording himself playing all the other instruments.  If that wasn’t intricate enough, he also programmes all the lights to be in sync with the show.  If you’re already sold on seeing Rosedale live before I’ve even got in to the review, then check out the promo video below which also talks about Mike’s upcoming North American tour.  I do enjoy writing about artists from the other side of the pond, there really are some great finds out there, but it’s even harder when you can’t get to a show!

Having drive and ambition is a good start to a successful career, but how does the music compare?  Well,  listening to “Again” and being instantly reminded of the likes of New Found GloryJimmy Eat World, and Angels & Airwaves, this release already sits nicely within my collection.  There’s certainly a gap in the market for a new act to push through, especially since the likes of pop-rock veterans New Found Glory are heading out on their 20th anniversary tour, and also Yellowcard recently decided to call it a day.

“What We Started” is a passionate opening track and I can’t help thinking that it plays homage to the band, since Mike explained in the video that the title of the EP comes from needing to continue to do things in life to succeed, and repetition is key to sustain.  That’s exactly what Mike is doing here, carrying on with the vision he had all those years ago.  “Snapped In Two” has a vigorous opening and is a melodic track, which provides heavier hooks and relatable lyrics.  The production of the EP as a whole is great, but this tracks stands out even more; with an intro that pounces straight in with beating drums that continue throughout, and the progressiveness of the guitar leading us along.  “This Dissonance” is the closest you’ll get to a slowed down pop-punk ballad, and provides Mike the opportunity to showcase his vocal talents.  In fact, the start of this track reminds me of Owl City as it has a beautiful violin to start followed by a light touch of the guitar, reminiscent of the soft sounds heard in “Fireflies.”

Carrying on, I’m not entirely sure whether the next track “Space Mountain” has anything to do with the rollercoaster, but it has taken me a few listens to get my head around it.  It’s a whirlwind of a song and I found it hard to keep up with the complicated lyrics working alongside the hectic track.  However, finishing off the EP is the very enjoyable “Do It All Again” which is an acoustic track thats starts off and continues with just Mike and his ukulele.  A very pleasing way to finish off an EP which continues to showcase Rosedale and what one man and his vision can accomplish.

Connect with Rosedale via Website, Facebook and Twitter.

The Firelight Opera – Interview

Thursday 25th May 2017

May is turning out to be a great month for new releases so far this year, and my latest discovery are Northern alt-rockers The Firelight Opera and their latest single ‘Alive’, which is taken from their forthcoming album ‘Communication Breakdown’.  What initially piqued my interest was that the band contains not one, but four vocalists.  Sounds like a bunch of very talented guys don’t you think?  Me too, and I’m already excited for the album release to hear more.  I caught a moment with the band to find out about The Firelight Opera and how they’re feeling about the release of their album.  Oh, and make sure you give ‘Alive’ a listen (link below), I promise you won’t be disappointed…

Hello! Please could you tell me a bit more about yourselves and how The Firelight Opera formed?

We are Chris Pettitt, Dan Foster, Lee Hardy, Ben Craigs and Kyle Martin. We’re an alternative/rock band from Sunderland which formed in the summer of 2012. We hit it off with songwriting and vocal harmonies instantly!

How did you come up with the name for the band and were there any other contenders?

The Firelight Opera came from a night of jamming and singing round a campfire. Also, like an opera we tell stories through our music. The lyrics are always deep and meaningful.

When did you all start playing music and have you been in bands previously?

We’ve all been playing music since school. We all performed in bands before The Firelight Opera was born. Chris, Lee and Kyle were gigging together since school but under a different name. Dan performed in another band and also did solo stuff and Ben also performed in bands.

What is your writing process as a band? How do you come together to create the final track and where do you take your inspiration from?

Generally, Lee and Dan write most of the lyrics and melodies then the whole band gets together and everyone puts their input in to bring the song to life. It works well.

Your album ‘Communication Breakdown’ is released on the 29th May. How are you feeling about the release and what can we expect from it?

We’re really excited for people to hear it! It’s got a bit of everything on it from huge rock anthems to stripped back acoustic tracks. All of the tracks have infectious melodies and catchy guitar riffs and there are plenty of vocal harmonies on there!

Are there tracks in particular that you’re most excited about getting out there?

At the moment we can’t pick a favourite. We were really excited to get ‘Alive’ out but we’re going to struggle to choose the second single. It’s a good problem to be faced with though so we’re not complaining!

With there being four vocalists in the band, how do you decide on who sings each part of a song and do you all get to take the lead on different tracks?

Having four vocals to play with makes songwriting really interesting! Chris and Dan have the biggest voices so they take most of the main vocals but Lee and Ben chip in here and there.

Who did you work with on the video for your single ‘Alive’ and who came up with the idea behind the story?

We worked with a local company in South Shields called Unified Media. Lee wrote the story/concept for the video and worked closely with the guys at Unified Media to bring it to its fullest potential. They were dedicated and worked relentlessly to make it work. We’d like to thank them along with Harry and Martin for their incredible performances.

What’s next for the band and will you be taking the album on tour?

This is something we’re currently looking into and hope to do soon. We’re excited to take our music further afield.

Finally, if you were invited to perform on the BBC Live Lounge, which song would you cover and why?

It would have to be House of the Rising Sun by The Animals. Chris has a huge voice and sings it better than the original (in our opinion, of course!).

Connect with The Firelight Opera via their Website, Twitter and Facebook.