Monday, September 28, 2009

Gainesville, FL's Morningbell to release Sincerely, Severely on December 1st, 2009!

Gainesville, FL’s Morningbell is back with their fourth full-length, Sincerely, Severely.

Brothers Eric and Travis Atria have been playing music together their whole lives. Stacie, Eric’s wife, has been playing music with the band for years and drummer Chris Hillman rounds out the family affair that is Morningbell. Throughout the 2000s, Morningbell developed its own brand of melodic, psychedelic rock, rooting itself as a well-established tradition in the Florida music scene. After four successful national tours supporting 2007’s Through the Belly of the Sea, the band holed up in its home studio to record the group’s most ambitious effort to date.

Rhythm is king on Sincerely, Severely. The guitar, one of the most prominent instruments on the band’s previous releases, takes a back seat to bass and drums for an album that evokes everything from Curtis Mayfield to Tom Waits to African drumming and Brazilian folk music.

“We wanted to make an album that reflects everything we are interested in,” says singer Travis Atria.

The result is the band’s best, most mature work yet. The breadth of influences, lyrically and musically, is vast. From Haitian proverbs (“Dancing in the Jaws of a Lion”) to the Book of Revelation (“Soul Ma’am”) to abstract art (“Hello, Dali”) to American spirituals (“Stay in the Garden”) . . . and from Mayfield and Waits to Paul Simon, Al Green, Isaac Hayes and more – Morningbell covers more ground in one album than many bands do in a career.

“Our albums tend to be cerebral,” Atria says. “This one isn’t. It’s direct. It’s sexual.”

The band recorded, produced, engineered and mixed the album, experimenting exhaustively with recording techniques and sounds. Sincerely, Severely reflects that adventurous spirit as well. Listen closely and you’ll hear a toothbrush used as percussion, horns, strings, kazoos, a dog’s bark and much more.

“We worked like motherfuckers on this one,” Atria says, “And it shows.”

Morningbell's music stands up best behind its captivating live performances. Armed with an arsenal of low budget lighting effects, Morningbell not only causes the stage to erupt with sound, but with it's trademarked ‘100-dollar light show’ too. The band has toured the Eastern U.S., including a set at Bonnaroo 2008 where it shared the stage with Bela Fleck, Broken Social Scene, and Solomon Burke.

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