Ed Hale’s Latest Single “New Orleans Dreams”
Ed Hale‘s third and latest single from his Ballad On Third Avenue album, “New Orleans Dreams”, debuted at #93 on the Adult Contemporary Top 200 Chart this week, tying with Britney Spears and Christina Perri, making it the #1 Most Added song of the week in the United States AC market. The song is also quickly racking up spins on radio stations in twenty-two other countries, making it one of the hottest movers internationally.
Hale is most well known as the lead singer and guitarist for the eclectic indie-rock band Transcendence. This is his first appearance on the Adult Contemporary charts. Asked how he felt about his growing popularity in the new format, and notably, being tied with Spears, the singer replied “Quite honestly I couldn’t do anything but cry for the first few minutes after I heard the news. I think it’s freaking great.”
Hale’s record label, Dying Van Gogh Records, claims that fans of the singer’s edgier alt-rock style have nothing to fear. Ed Hale and the Transcendence are due to release their first album of new material in five years, the long awaited All Your Heroes Become Villains, on November 15th; and word on the street is that it’s the heaviest most cohesive album the band’s ever recorded. The first single from Villains, the guitar and drum heavy “Blind Eye” is due to be released in early October.
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‘s latest single “New Orleans Dreams,” which was released this week in the US, is quickly gaining attention in the Adult Contemporary radio world, picking up spins on over two-hundred radio stations coast to coast. The delicate acoustic ballad with the poignant message about Post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans has also started picking up airplay in over twenty-one other countries, including far away Australia, New Zealand, Wales, Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, and Sweden among others. Today it was announced that the song was added to the “New To Q” radio station, a popular national radio station in the UK that is broadcast out of London and associated with the uber hip Q music magazine. The United Kingdom has treated Hale’s latest album more than kind, as his “New Orleans Dreams” are now spinning in all four Countries in the region: Britain, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Hale, who is half English, says that he couldn’t be happier.
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While Transcendence singer/guitarist Ed Hale continues to hole up in the recording studio with other band members working on his next upcoming solo album, Dying Van Gogh Records finally announced a formal release date for the long awaited new album from the band, the much anticipated concept album entitled All Your Heroes Become Villains. The band’s last official release was 2009′s The City of Lost Children, but it was a b-sides and rarities collection. Their last album of new material was 2005′s classic Nothing Is Cohesive, considered by many to be the group’s best album to date.
But the band and its record label hope to change that. The All Your Heroes.. album is by far the most commercial, provocative and ambitious collection of songs the band has ever assembled. From start to finish the album took over four years to record, with most of the band members working straight through the night for often days at a time. Recorded in Miami, Florida at both Hit Factory Studios and Dungeon Recording Studios, the album was produced by Fred Freeman (Dashboard Confessional, New Found Glory) who also produced the band’s second album Sleep With You. Freeman purportedly worked the band tirelessly to obtain the best performances out of them. Lead singer/guitarist and chief songwriter Ed Hale felt that the time was right for the band to expand beyond albums that were mere collections of songs and instead attempt something more thematically cohesive and structured.
What came out of the process is the heaviest, deepest and darkest album the band has ever created, eleven mini-rock operas featuring a wide variety of instrumentation that take a sledge hammer to the band’s trademark Brit-pop sound and turn it into a whole new beast entirely. With song titles such as “Waiting for Godot,” “Blind Eye,” “Last Stand at the Walls of Zion” and the suicide letter in song “After Tomorrow” the album also offers a rich template of political, philosophical and emotional lyricism that is intense, thought provoking and at times sheer stunning.
The album will be officially released on November 15th nationwide and on November 17th in the United Kingdom. It will be available for pre-order exclusively on iTunes and Amazon.com on October 18th. The first single from the album is scheduled to hit college radio in mid-September and Modern Rock commercial radio stations on October 1st.
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.”
New music video for the song “Hello My Dove” off the Ballad On Third Avenue album.