You read it right! Ed Hale’s latest single, “New Orleans Dreams”, is now receiving almost 1000 spins per week on over 150 radio stations across the United States, making it the #16 most popular song in America in the Adult Contemporary radio format, according to FMBQ the radio tracking agency. Congratulations to Ed and his band of merry pranksters! Fernando Perdomo, Zach Ziskin, Roger Houdaille, Matthew Sabatella, Greg Byers, Ricardo Mazzi, Bill Sommer, Karen Feldner, DJ Kamran Green, and Cynthia Kivlan.
This past week “New Orleans Dreams” rose 5 more spots to land at #23 on the Adult Contemporary Top 40 Chart, setting a new record for Ed Hale and his band Transcendence. Ed Hale’s poetic and subtly disguised political message song is now the highest charting hit single on commercial radio of his career, just sliding past the Transcendence song “Superhero Girl” which peaked at #24 on the Alternative Rock Specialty Show Chart in 2003.
Concurrent to the rise of “New Orleans Dreams” — a song with rather uncharacteristically potent lyrics compared to the normally light-weight subject matter of AC commercial radio, Hale spent the weekend at Occupy Seattle marching with thousands of others through the downtown Westlake Park area.
For those looking to go deeper or for more alignment with the politically charged atmosphere of the times, iTunes offers both the 3’35″ “radio edit” version of the song that most listeners are familiar with, and the extended 6’50″ full-length version from the album. Download one or both versions of the song today.
And for fans of the more indie-rock/pop sounds of Transcendence, the band Hale and company have been in for the last nine years, don’t forget to pre-order their long awaited new studio album All Your Heroes Become Villains, which hits stores nationwide on November 15th!!!
To connect with Ed Hale or the super-group Ed Hale and the Transcendence, head to Twitter and Facebook today.
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.
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?