The City of Lost Children: Rare and Unreleased Tracks
At first listen The City of Lost Children could be, more than anything else, a testament to how much great talent we have been lucky enough to work with over the last eight years in ED HALE AND THE TRANSCENDENCE. From musicians to songwriters, producers, engineers and singers, we have been very lucky and truly honored by all the brilliant hearts and minds that have worked and played with us. ED HALE AND THE TRANSCENDENCE has always been more of a community rather than simply a band of five guys. It’s a community of music, about music, founded on music, flowing out of music. Music was from the start the spark that ignited the formation of ED HALE AND THE TRANSCENDENCE. We came together as strangers attracted to one another because of our shared love and passion for music. Music of all shapes and sizes and styles. We stay together for the same reason. Over the years we have been blessed almost divinely to be open to anyone who wanted to stop by the studios, say hello and talk shop, and ultimately lay down something of their own on whatever project we happened to be working on. This album perhaps owes more to this idea than anything else we have ever released simply because it pulls together 15 songs from various phases of our working together as a group and spans a period of over 8 years.
Stylistically the Lost Children collection also bears witness to the fact that those pesky critics may be more accurate in their assertion that ED HALE AND THE TRANSCENDENCE has been “all over the map” than we ever cared to admit… hence the Nothing Is Cohesive album title… but where has it ever been written that artists — of any medium — are supposed to stick with the same style throughout their careers or even within the context of one work? ED HALE AND THE TRANSCENDENCE has always gotten off on exploring different musical territories as a group. In fact the more diverse and eclectic our musical explorations are the more stimulated we as individuals become. Truth be told, writing and recording a song such as Whenever I’m With You, a song which at first listen might appear to be far removed and light years away from “our usual sound,” was no more difficult or challenging than one of our more typical indie rock or brit-pop styled songs. With a few more listens it gets easier and easier to recognize the same five guys in that song. This collection of songs, as disjointed as it may be when gathered all under one roof, does run the gamut from R&B to straight ahead alt-rock to Brasilian pop to avant-garde experiments in sound, and yes it may seem odd that the same group and various other stragglers and fellow explorers found it so appropriate and commonplace to try our hands at so many different styles of music. But luckily for all of us we never questioned this aspect of ourselves. We just forged onwards, critics be damned, and did whatever we wanted to in order to get ourselves off and maintain that high and inspiration that compelled us to come together in the first place.
Because of the general over the top eccentric nature of each member of the band, I have noticed that we have actually found it more difficult to create straight ahead commercially accessible pop and rock at times compared to the more esoteric and experimental stuff that has managed to make its way onto our albums. But that’s TRANSCENDENCE. At times this yearning to branch out and cover as many bases as possible has created problems for the band. With producers, with engineers, with record labels, distributors, DJs especially, critics, other musicians, and perhaps even with fans. Over the years we have had to make sacrifices artistically and cut certain tracks off of albums in order to make them more cohesive and streamlined. Even if we were madly in love with those tracks. At other times it was more of a question of just space or just having too many songs for one disc. And occasionally a single or two has gotten recorded and for whatever reason never found a home and made it to an album.
So more than anything else for us as a group these various reasons make The City of Lost Children a very special album indeed. It was an idea we had been harboring for years and just never had the time to see through. It may seem odd, and perhaps even strategically impractical, to release an album such as this when we have two new albums coming out in the same year. Most artists and labels save projects like this for dormant periods in between recording sessions or when the band is on tour. But as trite as it sounds because so many musicians say the exact same thing about their songs, almost every song we birth and take the time to explore and record as a group does have a very special place in our hearts regardless of whether or not it ever gets released. This makes The City of Lost Children a very very special project to each of us. For the first time we were able to sit down and reflect and reclaim all of our lost children and pool them all together so they had a permanent home and were lost no more. Compiling this album gave us all a sincere feeling of relief and satisfaction and completion. For music fans we hope that some get as much pleasure from being able to have access to all of these rarities for the first time under one roof as we did in putting the album together. As always, thank you for listening.