WE LOAD THE BOWL SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO.
Grand Hallway and Gabriel Mintz dazzled and delighted many in Fall 2013 with new releases from Versicolor Records;
Bill Patton planned for early next year
You may have heard their songs already on radio or read about them in the press; you may have even seen them play out live lately. They are artists on new label Versicolor Records and in autumn 2013 they have been rippling through the high-quality, independent, cosmopolitan-pop scene, drawing passionate response, deepening their mutual music fandom.
Versicolor Records has been enjoying response from all over to their two recent records,Gabriel Mintz’s album Future Wars and Grand Hallway’s seven inch EP Horses. These are the first two releases for the label, distributed by Light In The Attic Records,specializing in exquisite new sounds created by young but sophisticated art-pop songwriters and haunted with a nostalgic-hopeful sense of experimentalism.
The next release will be a new album from Seattle singer-songwriter Bill Patton, slated for February 2014. Bill plays guitar and pedal steel in many Seattle bands including with Fleet Foxes, Low Hums, Poor Moon, Gold Leaves, J.Tillman, Weary, The Stares, The Wet City Rockers, James Whiton and the Downtown Apostles, Blackwood Hymnal, and many others. He’s played on radio shows with Cat Power, Will Oldham, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash, Nick Drake, Neil Young, Joseph Arthur, Iron & Wine, Damien Jurado, Sufjan Stevens, Nina Simone, Leadbelly, and Willie Nelson. Versicolor is delighted to have him in their emerging roster.
Grand Hallway is vocalist and instrumentalist Tomo Nakayama, leading a chamber pop band from Seattle, Washington. Tomo performs the big music number in Lynn Shelton’s Touchy Feely, an artistic apex of emotional release many critics have tagged the centerpiece to the independent film. That song, “Horses,” is the single from and the title of his debut EP on Versicolor Records. The gorgeous seven inch vinyl release also includes “Off The Grid,” “I Like You,” and the title track stripped down to a Tomo solo performance.
Within a rotating cast of highly talented vagabond musicians, Grand Hallway have released three full-length albums since 2007 and toured throughout the U.S. and Japan, including performances at SXSW, Sasquatch, CMJ, Bumbershoot, and Capitol Hill Block Party’ sharing the stage with Shearwater, Cave Singers, Robin Pecknold, Shugo Tokumaru, and Damien Jurado. Their music has been featured on NPR, KEXP, and Amazon.
Here is what some critics have said about Grand Hallway:
“The most compelling moment (in ‘Touchy Feely’) is a musical interlude in which Jenny and Paul attend a performance by Tomo Nakayama, the lead singer of the Seattle band Grand Hallway. Delivered by Mr. Nakayama in a plaintive cry as he accompanies himself on guitar, his ballad “Horses” distills the inchoate longings of these likable characters more effectively than any spoken words. “Is it a blessing or a curse to be found?” the lyrics wonder. “Is it a burden or a gift to be bound?”
—The New York Times
“Expansive, well-crafted set of orchestral folk-pop, with dynamic, beautifully textured song arrangements…”
“I was particularly moved by a small role played by musician Tomo Nakayama (in ‘Touchy Feely’). He wrote the song ‘Horses’ especially for the film, and as the credits rolled I raced to the Internet to hear it again.”
“A monorail ride into the orchestral-pop genius of Nakayama and his band, Grand Hallway employs a bevy of instruments—banjo, mandolin, pedal steel, vibraphones, and beyond—but it’s the vocals and arrangements that resonate loudest.”
“Grand Hallway is the local group whose press write-ups by area music writers are most likely to contain the words ‘brilliant,’ ‘genius’ or ‘masterpiece.’”
Gabriel Mintz is an accomplished musician, visual artist, and performer who defies convention and forges new connections between music and listener. His songs and musical works cover a broad spectrum of topics, styles, and approaches.He has seen the world, lived and performed in many cities – East and West Coast. He has worked with a plethora of musicians and established deep connections to his audiences with every performance.
His latest album and first for Versicolor, ‘Future Wars’ features long, dark, psychedelically twanged guitars adrift and melting out of the mix, with lyrics giving way into a narrative steeped in paranoid art. Reminiscent of a Brightback Morning Light record, “Needles In Haystacks,” the drone pinnacle of the long-player has a foreboding edging far past mere freak folkiness. This creeping tension melts away within the following track “So Close,” which confronts the disintegration of a relationship. This is an example of the creative duality of expression so successfully expressed throughout ‘Future Wars’ — side by side.
Skillfully recorded, well-written, and featuring fantastic packaging, ‘Future Wars’ requires repeated listens to appreciate. In upcoming weeks videos for songs of the album will be unveiled in further blasts from Big Freak Media and on YouTube.
“Great album. This new Gabriel Mintz is stunning … emotional and beautiful music.” — John Richards, Host/Producer of The Morning Show on KEXP
“Singer-songwriter Gabriel Mintz has one of the finest voices in Seattle. It’s a voice you had no idea he contained, and it surrounds you, gravelly, worn, and warm.” —The Stranger
Bill Patton’s “A New Kind Of Man” – His Debut For Versicolor Records (Grand Hallway, Gabriel Mintz) — Due Out in February
Seattle-based singer-songwriter Bill Patton will have his full length debut for new label Versicolor Records out next month. Bill has played guitar and pedal steel for the Fleet Foxes, Low Hums, Poor Moon, Gold Leaves, J. Tillman, and many others.
Here’s the track listing for “A New Kind Of Man”:
“Jenny From The Block” (Jennifer Lopez/Troy Oliver/Mr. Deyo/Samuel Barnes/ Jean Claude Oliver/Jose Fernando Arbex Miro/Lawrence Parker/Scott Sterling/ Michael Oliver/David Styles/Jason Phillips)
“I Broke Your Toy”
“I Want To Hold Your Hand” (John Lennon/ PaulMcCartney)
“The Color Of The Moon”
“I Don’t Blame You”
“Oh Yoko” (Lennon)
“If I Had A Home”
What’s the new album A New Kind Of Man all about?
Bill Patton: “It is a rich and buttery tapestry. Definitely more layered, on so many tracks. But still in mono, like the other ones, though I’ve only done one full-length previously (Gets it On). I also have a yet-unreleased 9″ coming out maybe this year or next, on a new label associated with an art gallery in Los Angeles. I think I must have played like 50 different instruments on A New Kind of Man. I also inhaled a bunch of glass dust during the sessions at Chroma Sound from some sort of glass factory next door (I thought it was some kind of incense smoke or something from the sex club which was also next door to the studio), so it’s possible that the recording will someday have killed me. One time a lady wandered in thinking the studio was the sex club, but we’re all gentlemen so no one tried to hook up with her, though clearly that would have been a pretty ideal scenario for that sort of shenanigan.”
What is the story behind recording A New Kind Of Man?
Bill: “That is the Longest Story Ever Told. It started at my drummer’s grandmother’s house in Ballard, where we tracked about eight songs with Justin Gerardy (engineer) on a laptop. That was with our bass player at the time, Don McGreevy, and Jason Merculief on the drums. I did some overdubs and what-not at Justin Gerardy’s house, as well as at home. Later, I booked time at a now-defunct studio called Chroma Sound and recorded another six or so songs with an engineer from San Francisco named Desmond Shea. That was with our newer bass player, Joe Kaufman, and that is also where most of the main vocal tracks were recorded, as well as Zach and Josh Tillman’s backing vocals on ‘Oh Yoko’ and ‘I Broke your Toy.’ Then I did a bunch more overdubbing at home. Finally, I took the hard drive over to Kory Kruckenberg’s studio, VU Recording, where we did lots of edits and some overdubs, and mixed. Then Mell Dettmer mastered it at her studio, Aleph Studios. She also did the vinyl master.”
How’d you hook up with Chris Early’s sexy new label Versicolor Records?
Bill: “I know Chris from playing in bands with him mostly. We actually met at my first real solo show, which also happened to be Horses‘s (later Band of Horses) first show, at the Green Room in Seattle. Later, we played together in a band called Joseph Giant. Then I joined Gold Leaves (another Chris Early band), after about their third show. And now Chris has joined Low Hums, another band I play in. So that’s the connection, and he and Heather were into Gets it On, and they heard A New Kind of Man and decided to sign it.”
Is it true you play out a lot with the other musicians on the label?
Bill: “Yes, besides with Chris, I play with Gabe Mintz, locally and on a tour, and Tomo Nakayama is in Gold Leaves, so we’ve played a lot together.”
Bill Patton BIO:
“My first release got a lot of college airplay, and was radio-promoted by Josh Bloom at Fanatic in NYC. It charted at a few college stations, I think number two maybe in Baton Rouge and number three in Reno? Something like that. I play in tons of bands all the time, and record on a lot of stuff. I was on the last Fleet Foxes album (lap steel and pedal steel on “Grown Ocean”), and on a bunch of the last Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter album, and the Poor Moon full-length, as well as on most of the J. Tillman albums before Father John Misty. I got to play guitar and pedal steel with Crosby, Stills, and Nash one time (also Shawn Colvin, Brandy Carlisle, Jason Mraz, The Long Winters, Kenny Wayne Shephard, Paul Allen, Pete Droge, the Head and the Heart, a bunch of stuff at a “fundraiser all-star jam out, brother!”). Currently, I’m playing with Bill Patton and the Credentials, Gold Leaves, Whiting Tennis, Mike Dumovich, Gabe Mintz, Low Hums, The Wet City Rockers, The Sumner Brothers, and Ghosts I’ve Met.” (Whew!)