A single camera video capturing the band Ed Hale & the Transcendence performing a rousing live version of the song “Caetano” from their Nothing Is Cohesive album at New York’s Cutting Room for a Fieldhouse/BMG Showcase. Featuring Fernando Perdomo, Ed Hale, Bill Sommer, Roger Houdaille and Ricardo Mazzi. Filmed by Robert Seoane.
Mixing Has Officially Begun On New Ed Hale Albums
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“Monday” is track #3 on the brand new Ed Hale and the Transcendence album THE GREAT MISTAKE, their followup to last year’s ALL YOUR HEROES BECOME VILLAINS. While both albums were created in the same studio during the same time frame, instead of the dark, heavy and bombastic rock opera style of the ALL YOUR HEROES album, the band went in the completely opposite direction for THE GREAT MISTAKE album. A style they casually refer to as Garage Pop or Celebration Rock, none of the 12 songs are longer than three minutes, all of them upbeat, fast paced and uproariously raucous rock’n’roll, sounding like a mash-up of seventies Glam Rock and modern Indie Rock.
Another stand out aspect of this latest album is that all the band members were encouraged to bring songs in for the band to record. They tracked the album over a three day period, learning the songs right there on the spot in the studio, usually late at night into the early morning — after the producer of the ALL YOUR HEROES album had gone home — using the studio’s interns as engineers. They’d then run the songs a few times, recording each run through until a decent take was to be had — which is what lends such a live feel and sense of immediacy to the all the songs on the album. In between tracking the songs live, they took turns adding simple overdubs like their lead and background vocals, extra guitar lines and simple percussion like hand claps, shakers and cowbell to each song. “That was the most spontaneous album I’ve ever recorded,” Transcendence drummer Bill Sommer said about the project. “I hope we do more like that.”
About “Monday”, Ed Hale has said “My whole thing about this album was that I wanted to experiment by bringing in all the songs that I would normally never try to introduce to the band because I thought they would think they were too simple or pop sounding. We started off as such a complex unit, making such complicated music… I never would have dreamed the guys would be interested in songs as simple as “Baby Bop” or “Monday”. They were like throw away songs I thought. Now this is one of my favorite albums we’ve ever made. I’m so freaking glad we recorded it and released it.”
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LOS ANGELES, CA –WABC NEWS — 07/27/12 — Modern rocker turned accidental Adult Contemporary star Ed Hale (www.edhale.com) is back in the studio working on his latest solo album — and he’s letting fans in on the action.
Beginning July 30, the singer, joined by drummer Bill Sommer and bassist Roger Houdaille — both members of his longtime band, indie rock stalwarts The Transcendence — will offer an intimate glimpse of the sessions, video streaming live from NYC as they record the final tracks for the release, scheduled to drop this fall.
The as yet untitled collection is the follow up to Hale’s solo album Ballad On Third Avenue, which has spawned two Top 40 hits for the singer, the dreamy acoustic protest ballad “New Orleans Dreams” and the romantic “Scene In San Francisco.”
The project is being produced by Houdaille, frontman for the band Ex Norwegian and longtime member of The Transcendence, and features contributions by all the usual members of The Transcendence and honorary members of the band.
The Transcendence’s long awaited new album The Great Mistake is scheduled for release September 18.
Hale and his band will soon embark on a ten-city tour that will feature songs from both Hale’s solo albums and all the Transcendence albums. The shows will feature the entire crew of Transcendence alumni reunited and playing on stage together for the first time since 2008.
The tour kicks off with a homecoming show at the Gibson Showroom in Miami before heading to other Gibson Showrooms in nine major U.S. cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Seattle, Las Vegas and Nashville.
The fourth studio album by itinerant project Ed Hale And The Transcendence brings together new contributors and a collection of songs intertwining the talents and influences gathered together. The album opener offers uplifting soul vocals accompanied by a blissful piano and trumpet melody which ebbs and flows during the eleven tracks. Intermittent phrases of dialogue, another recurring motif carried throughout, consolidate a cinematic feel of the LP as the prelude segues into the next.
‘Here It Comes’ is the track infused most with the spirit of Britpop; the anthemic instrumentation, the rousing chorus and the soaring strings all present and correct. Hallmark elements of the Britpop sound also surface in ‘Solaris’, where Hale’s vocals, carried along by jaunty acoustic guitar chords, echo Bono and Alex Kapranos in parts; ‘After Tomorrow’, seven minutes in length, apes the likes of the mellow vibes and extended outro of ‘Champagne Supernova’ and the close backing harmonies of ‘Hey Jude’.
A lot can change during the recording of one album. Make that two. Transcendencesinger/guitarist Ed Hale, along with fellow bandmates Roger Houdaille, Bill Sommer, and Ricardo Mazzi, has been in the recording studio in New York City for the last three months purportedly working on his next solo album, which was tentatively titled Born to Lose. The album was supposed to be a follow up to last year’s Ballad On Third Avenue, one of the most successful of the singer’s career; (its third single “New Orleans Dreams” is currently climbing up the Adult Contemporary charts in the United States and receiving airplay in twenty-one other countries).
But that was before the band started attempting to choose and arrange the songs that would go on the new album. Hale presented Houdaille (bass) and Sommer (drums) with some forty-plus songs that he felt would be “good for the album.” “Ed kept telling us that we were recording an even softer more acoustic Ballad On Third Avenue, something more like Rubber Soul. But he kept bringing in these songs that were all entirely different from each other,” laughs Sommer. “We kept asking him ‘when are we going to start recording the soft acoustic album?’ Only a few fit that style.”
Instead what they ended up with was eighteen songs with two very distinct styles being represented. “I’d say about eighty percent of the songs sound like really good upbeat light pop songs, perfect for this new “Adult Contemporary” kick he’s on,” states Houdaille, who is also producing the album. “Then there are a handful which really do hit the mark and sound like the softer acoustic style he originally intended to record. We’ve been calling it ‘Sunday morning’ music. He’s been doing a lot of listening to groups like Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver and Iron and Wine I guess. But the bulk of what got recorded was not that. It was more pop if anything. And that’s actually a good thing because that is where he’s doing best right now, in terms of radio airplay.” After two months and fleshing out more than forty songs the band finally agreed what they had was two half-finished albums, rather than one finished album with extra songs to choose from.
So what to do? According to Hale the answer is simple. Original drummer Ricardo Mazzi “will fly up and we’ll cut another ten or so songs, five or so for each new album and end up finishing two completely different albums. One will be the original soft acoustic slowmo album that we started out trying to make.” One assumes Hale is referring to the Triple A style that Ballad On Third Avenue attempted to be. “And this other album, the one we’re closer to finishing now, will be a totally new direction for us. More like a lite acoustic pop album.”
So what about the Born to Lose album? “Well I still think we’ve got it in us. The songs are there…” Hale comments. “The songs are not there,” quips Sommer. “Ed wants the songs to be there, but his songwriting is his songwriting, and it is still skirting along that “Brit-pop” style more than anything remotely folky or Sunday morning sounding…”
“That’s not a bad thing,” Houdaille chimes in. “This new album, even though it isn’t what we set out to make, is really good. All the songs are cohesive for once. It just took us a while to get here. But they’re all tight, catchy, pop songs that fall under the four minute mark. That’s a big achievement already for Ed, cutting his songs down under four minutes. I think it has the chance to be his most commercial album.” “Exactly! And that’s what worries me,” Hale exclaims. “we’ve worked so hard to not fit into any mold that could possibly be called “commercial”… but now that I’m listening back to the songs…. I mean, you just can’t help but hear it. It does sound very modern.”
“Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll find a way to sabotage that by the time the recording is finished,” Sommer jokes, referring to Hale’s tendency towards over doing the sonic experimentation. “Not if I can help it,” Houdaille comments. “Ed is closer now to breaking big than he’s ever been. I don’t think it will kill him to have one commercially successful album in his catalog,” he laughs. “You can still record your avant garde noise album after this if you want to,” Houdaille says to Hale, referring to the oft-rumored “M3II” album of experimental guitar noise that Hale has been talking about releasing for the last ten years. “Yeah yeah… right… just as long as we don’t get trapped into performing concerts of all like ‘welcome to the best of the light pop commercial music we all love to hate’ type stuff,” remarks Hale.
Any idea what this new new album might be titled yet? The band dropped a series of phrases out ranging from “The Stranger” (from the song of the same name) to “Memoirs of the Prince of New York” (again another song title). All in all, an artist could be facing much worse problems. The good news is that fans can look forward to at least four new albums of new material from Ed Hale and his Transcendence crew over the next six months when the two unreleased Transcendence albums, All Your Heroes Become Villains (November 15th release) and The Great Mistake (no release date set) are included. The bad news? What bad news?
Ed Hale and a handful of his fellow Transcendence members are in the recording studio in New York City this week and have begun work on a new album, the followup to last year’s commercially successful Ballad On Third Avenue. Their band, Ed Hale and the Transcendence, have a new album being released September 6th — the long awaited rock-opera concept album All Your Heroes Become Villains, on Dying Van Gogh Records. This new album the band just started recording will be released as an Ed Hale “solo album”, not to be confused with Ed Hale and the Transcendence. (confused yet?) Ed Hale’s solo albums tend to be quieter, more tame and on the acoustic side, though they usually feature the same roster of musicians he has worked with since first appearing in the public eye in 2002 with his eclectic debut, Rise and Shine.
Although Ballad On Third Avenue is still active and going strong on radio — the second single “New Orleans Dreams” is scheduled to hit Hot AC radio stations all across the US, the UK, and seventeen countries in Europe on August 15th — the band felt that they just might be able to “squeeze in a few weeks in the recording studio to complete a new batch of songs” before promotional and touring efforts begin in earnest for the All Your Heroes album. The “new batch of songs” will most likely be a full length of 10 to 12 songs and follow in the same footsteps sonically as Hale’s last solo effort: stripped down acoustic singer/songwriter whisper-pop. The style was new territory for Hale, who has largely been associated with the “alt-rock” genre over the years. But the new format treated the singer well, fueled by the first single “I Walk Alone” which garnered airplay on over one-hundred Triple A radio stations across the United States, bringing Hale’s music to a whole new legion of listeners and fans.
The new album is tentatively being called Born to Lose, at least as of today, based on the song of the same name. But things can change quickly and dramatically in Hale’s camp as those close to the artist know only too well. The album was originally slated to begin recording on June 1st and was going to have Hale attempting to create a contemporary hit Top 40 album; but the idea was vetoed by Dying Van Gogh Records label mate Roger Houdaille, who is producing the album. “Ed already has enough songs to record ten more Ballad On Third Avenues if he wants to and right now that’s how people relate to him. So I don’t think we should mess with that. I didn’t think it was a good idea for him to jump into a totally different sound again after only one album. Especially now that he is starting to get more attention and momentum. He can do his Top 40 album later,” offered Houdaille with a laugh.
Hale reports that he has been brushing up and learning to play a host of new instruments over the past few months in preparation for the album, including the ukelele, balalaika, mandolin, autoharp, glockenspiel, dulcimer, Persian setaar, a chinese guqin zither (really?!), and the Turkish oud. “If I’m not going to get my shot at recording a Top 40 album right now then at least I want the new album to go in somekind of new direction. I don’t want it to be “Ballad On Third Avenue part two.” So I figured why not try to make something as organic as we can… you know like we’ll use all these traditional stringed instruments from all over the world to mix things up a bit, but still make it sound like a modern record.” “Mixing things up” is certainly territory Hale and company know well. The band’s debut disc Rise and Shine was a world-music meets modern rock fusion that included musical styles from all ends of the earth and back that turned more than a few heads, earning the band two hit singles in the process. The band has continued to change and evolve its sound with each successive release, challenging listeners to keep up with their fervent quest for the new and different. The rapid and prolific pace at which the band records and releases albums on that quest culminated in what many believe is their best album to date, 2005′s Nothing Is Cohesive.
But that was over five years ago. Since that album’s release, Hale or “the band” have recorded four more albums, two of which have yet to be released: All Your Heroes Become Villains, scheduled for release in September of this year, and The Great Mistake, scheduled to be released in January 2012. In the meantime fans can look forward to what awaits on this new new album. Hale and his merry men of Transcendence plan on staying in New York for most of the summer or until they finish the project. No release date is set yet.
Ascot Media and PR