Indie Rock band Ex Norwegian just recently released a raw and upbeat rock version of singer-songwriter Ed Hale’s 2012 ballad “Never let me go again” on their new compilation album On The Sidelines. The song originally appeared on Hale’s Ballad On Third Avenue album, which Ex Norwegian lead singer Roger Houdaille performed on and co-produced along with Hale and Fernando Perdomo.
Hale, Houdaille and Perdomo have been recording and performing together, along with four other core members — Ricardo Mazzi, Bill Sommer, Matthew Sabatella, Karen Feldner — in the long running, loose-knit musical collective Ed Hale and the Transcendence and on Ed Hale solo albums since the early 2000s.
It’s tricky for a musician who started as young as Ed Hale to be seen as anything other than the 17-year-old “Eddie Darling.” But impressively, Hale has made a name for himself with his various outings over the years, the most recent being Ed Hale And The Transcendence, which just released All Your Heroes Become Villains (Dying Van Gogh). With this band, Hale has pioneered the idea of “planetary music”: a combination of modern-rock aesthetics and world-music sounds. In his own solo career, his output is still deeply personal, but it focuses more on the acoustic instead of his sonorous and genre-spanning songs with the Transcendence. Also an activist, writer and businessman, Hale is a man with many talents, all of which influence his inspired sound. Hale made this awesome mix tape below for MAGNET.
Lou Reed “Street Hassle” I placed this first because out of all the songs that have ever been recorded in modern pop/rock history, it still stands as one of the most unique and innovative of all time. I still listen to it and just don’t get how Lou managed to pull it off. Three separate parts all tied together, but not like a concept album or anything. To me as an artist, innovating is still really important. And that’s why I dig Lou so much. He’s always reaching for something new. Video
Laurie Anderson “O Superman” First time I heard this song I was in college. I couldn’t understand what I was hearing. Running both her electric violin and voice through numerous harmonizers to create a sound that we had never heard before. But, that’s not enough. She wasn’t just innovating. This song also happens to be beautiful. We have to give her props for how far she’s pushed the envelope for us all. Video
Phoenix United I know I’m cheating a little here because this is an album rather than just a song, but United is one of those records that’s like a “treasured little secret” among people who know it. They recorded this album back in 1999, long before the ’80s New Wave Revival got kicking here in the States. Because of that, Phoenix remained an unknown band for years because they were so far ahead of the curve. But for people who love super-catchy West Coast breezy pop, buy this album. Video
The Strokes “Someday” The Strokes released their now-classic Is This It album in 2001. I started turning on to the Strokes like everybody else, and they just grabbed me. Now I can’t imagine a world without them. This whole first album is filled with awesome songs. The distorted vocals, the melodic guitar lines, the bouncy pop rhythms, the fuck-it-all attitude. They’re just very appealing, and this song is one of my favorites on the album. Video
T.Rex “Spaceball Ricochet” There are 100 songs that I could list that Marc Bolan wrote that are great. He nailed one of the sexiest male rock singer voices of all time, and nowhere did he do it better than on his two biggest selling albums, The Sliderand Electric Warrior. I discovered Bolan when I was a kid, but all of his work had a huge influence on me. He had already passed away, but then later on I learned that he was also a huge influence on David Bowie and Bono and a lot of other people, so it all makes sense in the big picture. Video
Fleet Foxes “Helplessness Blues” This may seem the “politically correct” choice of the moment, because everyone in the world is currently talking about Fleet Foxes right now, but there’s a reason for that. Like every other song on this list, “Helplessness Blues” is one of those songs that from the very first moment that you hear it, you find yourself asking, “Who the hell is this?!” More than anything, that’s what we’re all aiming at as artists. They recorded this album less than a mile from my house in Washington state, and they deserve as much “ink” as they can get. Video
David Bowie “Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (Reprise)” These three songs are all tied together on Bowie’s Diamond Dogs album. Bowie is a huge influence on me as an artist, and Diamond Dogs was Bowie’s best Ziggy album as far as I’m concerned. It was also his darkest. Anyone who likes anything from Bowie should buy this album. Diamond Dogswas full-on concept, from the artwork to the way all the songs were tied together lyrically and musically. Without that album, I don’t think we’d be doing this mix tape. There’d be no All Your Heroes Become Villains. Video
Caetano Veloso And Gilberto Gil “Desde De Que Samba E Samba” This is a very hip, laid-back bossa-nova song by Caetano and Gilberto. The reason I chose this one for you is because of the profound effect this song and this album had on me as a musician. I was living in Brazil for the summer, studying the language of Portuguese and learning how to play bossa-nova guitar. Brazilian people live through their music, and the samba is their life. It pulses through their veins. It’s not just “a dance” or a style of music. It’s a whole culture. If you dig the song, try to find someone to translate the lyrics for you. They are very moving and intelligent. Caetano is a God. Video
Bruce Springsteen “Backstreets” I still remember sitting on the floor of my bedroom with this album in my hand, Born To Run, and listening to this particular song over and over again. I chose this song for you all because of its seething passion. The way he hits those high notes in the chorus. This song is so damn real and sincere and passionate and emotional. Bruce was just letting it all hang out emotionally in this tune; he killed it. In the process, he became “The Boss,” and I think it’s a well deserved title. Video
Bob Dylan “It’s Alright Ma I’m Only Bleeding” How the hell do you choose just one Dylan song for a mix tape? Well, obviously, you’re gonna want to buy the whole Blood On The Tracks album. But where’s that one nugget of brilliance? It’s this one, man. Grab the lyrics, put the needle down and listen to it. The falling chords beneath the melody are deceptively simple and yet eerie as all hell. Foreboding. And then there are the lyrics. This idea that “he not busy being born is busy dying”—that’s Bob. He said that. That’s why he’s Bob Dylan. Video
Singer, songwriter, guitarist Ed Hale who records and releases albums both solo and with his longtime bandmates in The Transcendence has announced that he’s going to be starting to give guitar and songwriting master classes in metropolitan New York at his home recording studio.
The singer has been very active on social media, namely Instagram and YouTube with his new Transcendent Television project, regularly posting episodes discussing favorites among his extensive guitar collection or premiering his newest songs. It’s been an exciting process to watch in the more stripped down and less flashy format than we are accustomed to from the singer. Dare we say we are slowly getting to know the real Ed Hale just a little bit better than we ever have before.
Taking to giving in person master classes in both guitar and songwriting in his home studio takes it to a whole new level of “personal” for the usually more crafted and calculated performer. “I think the older we get the more real we get, right? And I dig showing younger artists what’s up,” Hale says about the new project. “Whether it’s turning them on to all the older music that created some of the greatest music in the rock and roll pantheon, or just showing them how to freely play with passion till they can’t stop smiling, it’s a f*^king thrill to do and then witness man.”
For an artist who’s known for his prolific songwriting — Hale bandmates say the singer writes nonstop 24 hours a day, pumping out 10 to 25 songs a week, and his obsessive use of unconventional open guitar tunings, the question is how much is Ed Hale going to reveal in his master classes. That’s going to be the big mystery that only students who enter the singer’s studio / guitar museum will discover. It should be quite the experience. One student we could get a hold of who’s taken a few lessons with Hale commented “I got to my first lesson at Ed’s place early. I was really nervous. But Ed opens the door in his bathrobe eating a bowl of Captain Crunch! And he’s like “hey what’s up dude? You’re early. Come on in. Let’s jam.” It was amazing!”
Though most of the world is in a deep lockdown holed up inside their homes for almost a year due to the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, Ed Hale and his merry bandmates managed to record , mix, produce and release a new one-off single, the uplifting and appropriately titled “Heal World”.
Hale, who was in lockdown in New York City at the time said the song came to him rather quickly. He then recorded a demo of the song on his phone and sent it off to his bandmates who were spread out all over the U.S. in various different states and cities. Longtime Hale collaborator and Transcendence lead guitarist Fernando Perdomo immediately called Hale and said “We should record this. We have to record this! And we can do it all remotely!”
So the project began. And indeed all 6 members of the band contributed to the song just as they always do, only separately, with each member recording their individual parts by themselves at their home studios. “
“Basically Fernando took my original demo of the song that I had recorded into the voice recorder on my phone, imported it into ProTools, added a click track, and sent it out to the rest of the band. And then everybody just recorded on top of that track at their own house or wherever they happen to be now during this lockdown…” Hale said. “We never set foot in the studio together even once. But you really can’t tell.”
All the usual Transcendence members are on the track doing what they do best. Hale played rhythm guitar and sang lead vocals. Bill Sommer played drums and percussion. Roger Houdaille played bass guitar. Perdomo added lead guitar, organ, various keyboards and percussion. Matthew Sabatella and Karen Feldner both added their usual stacks of harmony and background vocals that have become a trademark of the Transcendence sound.
The song was then sent to Jim Orso in Brooklyn to mix, with Houdaille producing the song and also releasing it on his uber hip Think Like A Key record label.
“The Heal World Project started out as a simple idea, with Ed coming to us and saying “hey let’s talk and argue less and instead write and record an uplifting song that will bring some joy hopefulness light healing and inspiration to as many people around the world as possible during a hard time.” That song turned out to be “Heal World””, said a Think Like A Key rep.
Fans can download or stream the song from all the usual apps like Apple Music or Spotify.
Fans can also watch the official music video for the song “Heal World”, produced by Iver Thue on YouTube.
In 2009 Ed Hale attended a two week Civilian Diplomacy Trip to the country of Iran with the world’s oldest non-profit peace and diplomacy organization, the Fellowship of Reconciliation. Hale was among 11 Americans chosen for the trip, along with journalist Robert Dreyfus and author Larry Beinhart and several members of American prominent nuclear watchdog NGOs as well as other peace activists. They met with various members of different departments of the Iranian government including presidents Ahmadinejad and Khatami, Iranian Peace activists, members of the Islamic Republic clergy, Imams and Ayatollahs, leaders of Christian Churches and Jewish Synagogues there. They also had time to connect with a lot of the Iranian people all over the country, who were extremely happy and excited to meet Americans. Hale has been writing about the experience extensively in his Transcendence Diaries (run a search for “Iran”) and speaking about the trip to various groups over the years. CLICK TO READ MORE Continue reading “Ed Hale Photo Gallery From Civilian Diplomacy Trip To Iran”
Jumping off the success of the success of his last TOP 10 hit single “New Orleans Dreams”, singer/songwriter Ed Hale has hit the ground running in 2012 with the release of the second single from his latest solo album Ballad On Third Avenue. Another acoustic-pop gem, “Scene in San Francisco” is a catchy beat-driven romantic ballad that features Hales’ traditionally heartfelt singing and poignant lyricism. But this time Hale turns his attention toward the heart and turns the heat up with a timeless and heartbreaking story of “two lovers lost in the heart of San Francisco”. The result is a gorgeous melody that stays in your head for days and a story that nearly everyone can relate to.
Produced by Ed Hale and Fernando Perdomo. Mixed and mastered by Zach Ziskin. Ed Hale – Vocals, acoustic guitars Fernando Perdomo – Acoustic guitars, bass, keyboards, background vocals Derek Cintron – Drums Greg Byers – Cellos Matthew Sabatella and Zach Ziskin – Background vocals
A bold and beautiful collection of post-modern garage rockers and lush seventies-style piano ballads that the band recorded in their garage studio just may be their best effort to date. And that says a lot coming from the very prolific and experimental group that features the impassioned vocals of Ed Hale and the guitar histrionics of their well known and much respected guitarist Fernando Perdomo. Nothing is Cohesive, the band’s third CD, is raw, unrefined, and surges with an honest musical sensuality that is breathtaking at times. It mixes a variety of classic and modern rock styles in a surprisingly cohesive listen for how far-out the band was willing to travel in their sonic explorations to achieve something completely different from last years Sleep With You. Transcendence has been enjoying major radio success across the country with their latest hit single “Superhero Girl,” while bridging the gap between passionate new-rock with an old-school melodic seventies rock. While their over the top electrifying live performances have been taking indie-music audiences by storm, there has been a slow-brewing flurry of anticipation over their soon to be released new CD entitled Nothing is Cohesive. The album’s off the cuff schizophrenia has been described as ‘Radiohead meets Lou Reed or somewhere in between.’ The new CD, which the band recorded in a garage studio with no producer on-hand, may be their most honest work to date.
Ed Hale, Fernando Perdomo, Roger Houdaille, Jon Rose, Bill Sommer, Ben Belin. Recorded at Perdomo Sound, Summer of 2003. Mastered by Fred Freeman
After seeing the footage from the latest natural and man-made disasters to strike the South, Ed Hale decided to release the song “New Orleans Dreams” from his Ballad On Third Avenue album as the next single to radio to raise money for the American Red Cross to help people struggling down there who have lost their homes and more. Thus a portion of all proceeds from sales and digital downloads of the song will go directly to the American Red Cross.
“After seeing what’s been happening down South, I just felt like it was the right choice [to release this single] for where we are right now. We wrote the song based on what I’d seen down in Biloxi, Mississippi doing reconstruction work with Habitat for Humanity. And this was Hurricane Katrina we’re talking about. Years later, things were just as bad as they were right after the hurricane hit. It was very sad, very hard to see how little was being done by the government. So that’s where that song came from. But the people we helped, you know, the looks on their faces after they saw their houses rebuilt… man that was why we were down there. It was priceless. Then came the BP Oil Spill, right? And then this new series of floods and tornadoes… it’s like when will it ever end?! So the song just works. It’s still appropriate even though the country has elected a new president and everything appears to have changed…. for some of us maybe, but not for everyone. Not for the people of New Orleans.”
The original album version of the song has been remixed and edited by Zach Ziskin for release as a single for radio. Of this latest venture, Hale commented “Man I hope that every living breathing person on earth buys the song or downloads it so we can raise a truckload of money for the people down there. It’s only ninety-nine cents, yes, but collectively we could make a huge difference.”
Produced by Fernando Perdomo and Ed Hale
Single Version Mixed by Zach Ziskin
Recorded at The Cave, Miami Beach, FL
Published by Transcendent Music Publishing (ASCAP)
Ed Hale – Lead and background vocals, acoustic guitars
Fernando Perdomo – Acoustic guitars, bass, balalyka, keyboards
Matthew Sabatella- Background Vocals
Greg Byers – Cello
Executive Producer: Nahal Mishel-Ghashghai
Photography: Flavia Molinari
Dying Van Gogh Records
304 Park Avenue South 11th Floor
New York, NY 10010
Thanks to: Fernando Perdomo and everyone at Cave Studios for your brilliant musicianship, Zach Ziskin for your superior mixing skills, Roger Houdaille and the whole staff of Dying Van Gogh Records, Flavia Molinari for your vision, Brian Johnson and Anim8ter Freelance, Amanda Alexandrakis & South Beach Marketing & Promotion, Greg Byers, Matthew Sabatella, FMQB, friends and family, and most of all my beloved princess Little Tree.
Ed Hale and the boys deliver 13 new tracks (plus bonus material) on this follow up to 2002’s worldly Rise and Shine. Sleep with you is darker (Junkie, Vicodin) and rocks harder (I’m not the only one, Sleep with you) than its predecessor. Its mood is at once passionate and romantic (Beautiful one, Veronica) and cheeky (Minnie Driver, Girls) and fun (Super hero girl). Gone are the multi-cultural world-music leanings as the band delivers over the top alt-rock and brit-pop ear candy dressed up in beautiful melodies and soaring guitar. This is the heaviest the band has ever sounded, and the most authentic as a “rock band” as evidenced by the pounding bass and drums on almost every track that warrants such. Not that Sleep with you is all rock. As much as it rocks, its not. Guilty is as radio friendly pop as you can find, and Keep moving on could be an alternate track from U2’s All that you cant leave behind. The album closes with the delicate and gorgeous fire-side ballad Little tree, and then explodes into a thunderous one chord anthem complete with Zeppelinesqe strings and some seriously head-spinning guitar before trailing off into dreamy samples and feedback.
Recorded between June 2002 – February 2003 at Dungeon Recording Studios, Miami, FL
Produced by Fred Freeman and Ed Hale
Ed Hale – Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Ricardo Mazzi – Drums, Percussion, Machines
Jon Rose – Pianos, Keyboards, Machines, Vocals
Fernando Perdomo – Guitars, Sitar, Theremin, Sound Effects, Vocals
Roger Houdaille – Bass Guitars, Vocals
Head Engineer: Fred Freeman
Assistant Engineers: Manny Rodriguez, Michael “Lets Go” Lukacina
Mixed by Jeremy DuBois & Fred Freeman
Mastered by Brent Lambert at Kitchen Mastering, NC
Bass Guitar by Howard “Stro” Stroman on the songs Minnie Driver, Sleep With You, Beautiful One, Vicodin & Keep Moving On
Zach Ziskin played Guitar on Keep Moving On & Vicodin
Photography by Jill Kahn
Drawings and Paintings by Veronica Saenz
Art Direction & Digital Illustrations by Eduardo Silva
All songs arranged by Transcendence