Endless war, exploitation, lies. Turn the anger and outrage into a guitar riff, and you have the pulsing heart of “Blind Eye,” the latest release from All Your Heroes Become Villains by Ed Hale and The Transcendence. The riff, accomplished by some tricky open-D tuning, and then mirrored by syncopated bass (Roger Houdaille) and drums (Ricardo Mazzi), sets the emotional tone, giving the listener more than a hint where the song is going.
“It’s cynical as hell but I think it’s how a lot of us feel right now in the US; and around the world,” says Ed Hale. “You [politicians, elected officials] can do whatever the fuck you want to. I’m sick of your lies. I’m sick of your endless wars. So here’s the deal: do whatever you want to. I’m sick of fighting you. So I’m going to turn a blind eye to you and your wicked bs. But just don’t mess with me or my family. Don’t come near my home. And don’t ask me to help you in your quest to destroy the world around us.” Hale’s haunting lyrics, “Everything I hear/And everything I see/I won’t be afraid/You won’t bother me/All your evil ways/With everything you do/I will turn away/You won’t bother me, ” are delivered with such steady resolve that you can almost picture him turning his back silently afterward. The refrain, “Murder Greed Destruction Exploitation Rape Sex and Violence/Take your money Take your money Take your money” whispered quickly and venemously, came from a list Hale wrote at Fred Freeman’s, the producer of the album, suggestion. About halfway through, “Blind Eye” begins to spin, vocals, guitar, drums, bass and effects coming together in a representation of the chaos and evil present in the world today. Download “Blind Eye” now.
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’.
“New Orleans Dreams” — the latest single from Transcendence singer Ed Hale — added an additional 100 spins on Adult Contemporary radio stations across the US last week and picked up 3 more stations, pushing the song up to the #33 spot on the FMQB Top40 Chart! The song is in its sixth week since being released and there seems to be no stopping the politically themed acoustic ballad.
The event is certainly one to celebrate for fans, as this is the first entry into the slightly tamer Adult Contemporary radio format for Hale or his bandmates in the group Transcendence. “We are absolutely ecstatic around here about this,” exclaimed Hale. “Everyone at the radio stations has been so cool to us and the new fans that we’re connecting with on Facebook and Twitter are awesome. It’s been an incredible couple of weeks and we just feel very very grateful…”
The song “New Orleans Dreams” is available for download in both a shorter “radio edit” version and as the full length album version on iTunes (US), iTunes (UK) and Amazon.com as well as numerous other online music etailers. Fans new to the singer can connect, learn more about the artist and hear more songs via Facebook or Twitter. And for those interested in the long running indie-rock collective featuring Hale, Dreaming In Stereo‘s Fernando Perdomo, and Ex Norwegian frontman Roger Houdaille, Ed Hale and The Transcendence, listeners can head to the bands website transcendence.com or Facebook Page.
It’s a dream come true for eclectic singer/songwriter Ed Hale of the rock group Ed Hale and the Transcendence (formerly Transcendence). His latest single “New Orleans Dreams” has risen to the #43 position on the FMQB Adult Contemporary Chart this week and once again hit the Top 5 Most Added Songs of the Week Chart for the fourth consecutive week since its release.
For long time fans of Ed Hale the news has got to be as much a “dream come true” as it is for the singer. Hale has been a favorite with critics and tastemakers since his debut album release nearly nine years ago, but he has never achieved major commercial radio success. That is until now. Fans can feel free to pinch themselves all they want and still tune their radios to “those stations that play the softer hit songs” on the FM dial to hear the indie artist singing the “Radio Edit” version of his song “New Orleans Dreams” from his latest solo album Ballad On Third Avenue.
Fans are encouraged to put their listening ears on and get those fingers out. The next few weeks will be crucial for Hale and fans as the higher the song rises so too does the competition. In uncharted waters much like the floods of the post-Katrina South that Hale sings about in the song, “New Orleans Dreams” needs to rise just three more spots to enter the Top 40 Chart where it will be greeted by such regulars as Adele, Coldplay, Train, One Republic, and Lady Gaga. A big coup for the New York based boutique indie record label Dying Van Gogh. And an even bigger coup for an artist like Hale who has never wavered from continuously releasing music regardless of which “format of radio” plays his albums or not.
Of course a Top 40 hit single less than two months before the long awaited new Transcendence album All Your Heroes Become Villains is released could do wonders for the modern rock outfit who haven’t released an album of new material in almost five years. Three of the band members released solo albums in the interim: Hale, bassist Roger Houdaille formed the indie rock sensations known as Ex Norwegian, and lead guitarist Fernando Perdomo formed the “prog-pop” super group Dreaming in Stereo.
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?
Hot on the heels of the announcement of the official release date for their first album of new material in over four years, the much anticipated All Your Heroes Become Villainsalbum, the Brit-pop/Modern Rock group Ed Hale and the Transcendence have just been signed by Great Britain’s leading Music PR Agency, Prescription PR. Prescription PR is the leading music PR, music promotion and digital marketing agencies in the UK, based near London, and home to such artists as Rufus Wainwright, Eddie Izzard, the Kinks, Pink Floyd, and Beck. A seemingly perfect fit for the eclectic genre-defying Hale and Transcendence, who many US media outlets over the years have mistakenly identified as “a British rock band” in the press.
“I think it’s just because we are always classified as a Brit-pop band,” bassist Roger Houdaille claimed. “Our sound is a lot more U2 or Radiohead or Coldplay than the American rock bands. We don’t even know the names of most of them honestly. The US rock market has become so formulaic and perfect sounding if a band wants to be on the radio. There’s no room for experimentation or veering from all these very strict rules.”
“Yeah exactly,” chimes in singer/guitarist Ed Hale. “It’s all so freaking cookie cutter on rock radio now. It sucks. So for that we’re happy to be called a British band at this point. At least in the UK listeners are still open to artists being creative. Over here [in the US] we are literally forced into all these incredibly restrictive rules regarding how we record our songs. ‘Vocals have to come in in five seconds, the chorus has to start before forty seconds, the song can’t be more than three minutes and thirty seconds’. They’ve sucked the lifeblood out of what used to make rock so freaking awesome.”
Shooting wrapped up this weekend in New York City for the newest music video for singer/songwriter Ed Hale’s song “New Orleans Dreams” which is scheduled to be released as a single to commercial radio stations in the US, the UK, and seventeen countries in Europe on August 15th. This will be the third proper single from Hale’s latest album Ballad On Third Avenue, the most successful album to date of Hale’s solo career. The song follows in the footsteps of the album’s first hit single “Beautiful Losers (Ballad On Third Avenue)” which tore up college radio charts in late 2009, followed by “I Walk Alone” which broke the singer into a brand new radio format known as Triple A on over one-hundred stations nationwide throughout 2010.
Hale and crew were sure the next single from his new album was going to be the opening track “Scene in San Francisco”, an obvious choice and a standard throughout Hale’s tour dates over the last eighteen months. The band has not performed “New Orleans Dreams” live in concert even once so far. But that was before the BP Oil Spill and the spring floods that hit the South earlier this year; scenes that captivated America and broke hearts all over the world. It was then that the singer’s record label (Dying Van Gogh Records) decided to switch gears and release the poignant and politically-flirtatious ballad “New Orleans Dreams” instead. A clear stand-out on the album as a whole, “New Orleans Dreams” is an acoustic guitar and harmony driven ballad that calls to mind Simon and Garfunkel, Kings of Convenience, and Belle and Sebastian; the only problem being that the song clocks in at just over six minutes long — not exactly the made for radio airplay 3’30″ that is expected in today’s highly structured attention deficit music market. One of the biggest radio promotions company in the US approached the singer’s label and offered to take the song to a yet another new radio format, Adult Contemporary, for the singer who has primarily been associated with the Alt Rock genre, if the label could provide a shorter radio remix that is. That task was handled by producer/engineer extraordinaire Zach Ziskin of Funny Monkey Enterprises, a longtime colleague of the Transcendence camp. Fans will soon be able to hear the new shorter polished and primped radio remix of the song on radio all over the US and Europe when it hits come August.
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
Ed Hale is returning to New York this week to begin working on a new solo album. Transcendence bassist and Ex Norwegian front-man Roger Houdaille is set to produce. The album Hale was originally scheduled to begin recording was supposed to be a followup similar in sound and style to his last acoustic whisper-pop Ballad On Third Avenue; it was titled Born To Lose, based on the song of the same name. But word now is that Hale and Houdaille have changed things up and have been discussing Hale creating an album blending more commercial, pop, and electronica styles into the mix. The album has been tentatively titled Knee Deep in the Apocalypse and contain a whole new batch of unrelated songs to the original project. It is scheduled to begin production on April 2nd. “The Born to Lose album was already finished, you know, in my head, the album is finished. The songs, they’ve already been written. This new album was supposed to just be an extension of the Ballad On Third Avenue album. Same vibe, same style, just more raw, less instrumentation, you know. And we may still do that. I’m not sure really,” Hale recently commented. “But it’s true. We are really excited about this whole new idea of going a bit more mainstream. I mean I just, who would ever think it? You know? It could sound incredible.”
Hale will talk more about the new album, as well as his hit single “I Walk Alone” live with Ryan Seacrest on New York’s Z100 radio station on Monday morning, April 4th. Listen in to catch the show or look for it online.
The atmosphere in the Dying Van Gogh Record’s office in downtown New York is infectiously joyous and celebratory this afternoon. The label is home to music artists Ed Hale, Transcendence, Ex Norwegian, Dreaming In Stereo, and Andy Pratt among a few others, and just minutes ago, finalized the signing of a new distribution agreement – with Burnside Distribution Corporation – that will put the label’s new releases – as well as prior-released back-catalogue titles – in thousands of retail stores worldwide as well as make the music available for sale on over 250 digital music stores and music portals online including Amazon.com, iTunes, and Rhapsody.
For new bands to the label’s roster such as the indie-rock sensations Ex Norwegian or Dreaming in Stereo, this was great news. For singer Ed Hale and band Transcendence this was a much needed turn around from a dark period when they were unable to release any new music for almost two years. Though the band has had three new albums recorded and ready for release since early 2007, they were unable to release them due to the alleged bankruptcy of their record label’s former distributor Synergy Distribution. Synergy, a Colorado company owned by Michael Fitts and managed by Paul Schulman, had hundreds of independent labels signed to its roster at one time, but in early 2006 stopped paying the labels for sales of CDs and digital downloads, claiming that the closing of record store giant Tower Records created such a negative impact on the company financially that they were unable to pay the labels whose music they were selling. If the labels weren’t being paid then neither were the artists. This of course put the band Transcendence in a tough spot.