MP3 The Silent Years - Stand Still Like The Hummingbird
The Silent Years'' brand of rock touts a dreamy delicacy encased in rock noise: Vocal harmonies punctuate cascading melodic hooks. Intertwining inspirations from Wilco, Radiohead and Elliott Smith, the band crafts a sound that is scientific, yet artful.
7 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Modern Rock, POP: Beatles-pop
LOCAL BAND SPOTLIGHT: THE SILENT YEARS: Friends craft textured, artful sound
March 11, 2005
The Lowdown: When the Silent Years play music, it seems that too much is never enough. Geek-chic instruments like the MicroMoog, glockenspiel, vibes and an army of effects pedals snap the songs to life, shaping the band''s signature, layered soundscapes. "When we play live, the sound guy will see our vans keep pulling up and ask us how many people are in the band," laughs lead guitarist Jonathan Edwards, 19.
But the root is simple: These are jeans and T-shirts kind of guys playing in a rock band. The group will celebrate its first EP, "Stand Still Like the Hummingbird," with a release party tonight at Small''s.
The Lineup: The Silent Years are longtime friends and family, all originally from Bloomfield Township. Front man and guitarist Josh Epstein, 23, an Oakland University poetry student, met bassist Pat Michalak, 26, at a Colorado mime school in 1999. Epstein first met drummer Jeremy Edwards, 24, in middle school, which led to the connection with brother Jonathan Edwards. The group coalesced as the Silent Years in May ''04. As Epstein declares, "It was time to bring back the importance of music, art, and take the long road through perfection to get there."
The Sound: The Silent Years'' brand of rock touts a dreamy delicacy encased in rock noise: Vocal harmonies punctuate cascading melodic hooks. Intertwining inspirations from Wilco, Radiohead and Elliott Smith, the band crafts a sound that is scientific, yet artful. "We like to experiment with different textures; take apart music for the guitar and transcribe it to another instrument," offers Epstein.
Adds Jeremy Edwards: "When we''re working on something, we really concentrate on making space in our music ... allowing the different instruments to breathe." The result? A sweet, textured sound with an intellectual bent.
The New CD: Recorded at RMS Productions in Birmingham by Michalak, a trained recording engineer, "Stand Still Like the Hummingbird" consists of seven carefully selected tracks. Explains Epstein, "We had 25 songs, but picked these because we liked the range of songs, and plus there''s a lyrical theme of objectivism, of someone who''s lost in America searching for their place in the modern world."
But such a strange name for an EP? Michalak breaks it down: "I just liked the juxtaposition of the hummingbird and how much effort it has to put into movement for us to look at it far away and think it''s standing still."
The Show: The Silent Years show off the new disc tonight at Small''s, 10339 Conant, Hamtramck. 313-873-1117. Doors are at 9 p.m, and the Locked Sound, Morphic and the Prime Ministers round out the bill. The group also plays March 23 at Club Bart, 22726 Woodward, Ferndale. 248-548-8746.
For more, see https://www.tradebit.com.
By Jessica J. Shaw, Free Press special writer
Detroit Free Press