MP3 grandfabric - Orphan Age
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16 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Modern Rock, ROCK: Americana
After several months of vigorous work in the studio, the Philadelphia-based pop-rock band grandfabric have just released their first full-length album, Orphan Age, on their own Lark Lane label. The album, which was mixed, engineered, and produced entirely by the band at Indre Studios, is an eclectic mix of songs ranging from pop rock to alt-country rock to indie-like ballads. Imbued with undertones of discordant noise tracks, and modeled in the tradition of groundbreaking bands like Wilco and Pavement, Orphan Age is an ambitious first effort that will draw listeners in with its clever hybrid of melody and arranged deconstruction. A true labor of love, Orphan Age is as much about the making of the album as it is about the songs.
"In terms of who we worked with, we did everything ourselves," says bassist Brian Wilkinson, "Pete Girgenti, our drummer, works as an engineer at Indre and this was literally his first full recording project. I guess that aspect was both liberating and scary. While it gave us the opportunity to experiment and took a lot of the pressure off, we really didn't know how the final product was going to turn out."
While recording, grandfabric was heavily influenced by Sam Jones' documentary, I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, which followed Wilco through the process of making their most recent album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. "I think we felt a certain kinship with Wilco because we were doing the same thing that they did with Yankee-recording, mixing, and producing ourselves," says songwriter Andrew Toy. Drawing parallels between their own experience and that of Wilco, Toy points out that "there are moments in Jones' documentary that illuminate the complexity of the self-made album. In the film, Wilco admits that, though amazingly liberating and pressure-free, the process of recording your own album can be maddening. In addition to not knowing how people are going to respond to what you are doing, every member of the band has a somewhat different idea of what each song should sound like, which can make for some interesting arguments."
Fusing the traditional elements of two-guitar rock with piano and experimental production, Orphan Age moves between Gram Parsons-inspired country rock and radio-ready pop rock with ease. The album begins with the title track, "Orphan Age," a pop rock melody that features two competing guitar riffs. "Everybody" and "Revive" carry the same pop-rock tradition, while "Leave the Dance," "Crown of the Laugher," and "Anomie" are alt-country rock songs that demonstrate more contemporary production ideas. This theme carries over into the experimental ballads "Excuses for the Dead," "A Better Anywhere," and the last song of the album, "Young Poets Contest."
grandfabric formed in early 2000 when the members began leaving their South Jersey homes for the bright lights and Big City of Philadelphia. Since the beginning, grandfabric has worked their magic on many stages in the Philadelphia area. They were also selected to play at the Midpoint Music Festival in Cincinnati, and will appear on a Who compilation CD (Fall 2003)-featuring, among others, Guided By Voices-with their own version of The Who's "Athena."
Pete Girgenti (drums)
Craig Pacelli (guitar, keys, vocals)
Andrew Toy (songwriter, vocals, guitar)
Brian Wilkinson (bass)
in partnership with CDbaby (ID 317826)
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