New York, NY, July 06, 2011 — Ed Hale is known for being a musician and singer/songwriter, however there is more to his music than meets the ears. On his last solo studio recording Ballad on Third Avenue, a rousing collection of alternative pop-rock acoustic tracks, he sings about love and all the emotions that are forthcoming.
Yet there is much more on the album that needs your attention, particularly the track “New Orleans Dreams”. The track is a rather poignant take on the aftermath of hurricane Katrina and the ineptness of our government to help the suffering people of the area when it was needed most. This is a story that continues today several years later as people are still reeling from the disaster of the hurricane and many other natural disasters that would follow in that area including the disastrous BP oil spill.
The latest single to be released from Ed Hale’s Ballad On Third Avenue album is entitled “New Orleans Dreams” – track 8 on the singer’s most recent album. This will be the fourth single released from the “Ballad…” album, which is still going strong with critics, music blogs, radio, fans and sales. Dying Van Gogh Records has agreed to donate a portion of the proceeds from all digital downloads of the single to the American Red Cross to help efforts to yet again aid and assist disaster victims in that region.
Fans can listen to and then purchase the song directly from a widget created by SoundCloud here.
Hale said of the decision that he got the idea after seeing footage on TV of the latest flooding and tornadoes to hit the South, including New Orleans. “That song is not obviously the perfect song choice to release as a single to radio, for obvious reasons. It’s over six minutes long to begin with…” Hale said. “Not exactly tailor-made as a ‘hit song’ for pop radio… But after seeing what’s been happening down South, I just felt like it was the right choice for where we are right now. We wrote the song based on what I’d seen down in Biloxi, Mississippi doing reconstruction work with my church and the Red Cross. 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 still 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 title track “Ballad On Third Avenue (Beautiful Losers)” was the first song to gain major traction at radio, helping bolster the album into the CMJ Top 150 on college radio where it stayed for several months. The second single, “I Walk Alone” was a shortened and remixed version of the album version. Worked by producer/engineer Zach Ziskin, the song was Hale’s first foray into the Triple A radio format (Adult Alternative) where it gained airplay on over one-hundred stations throughout the United States. “Scene in San Francisco”, the opening track on the new album was released to online radio stations only and may still be promoted to terrestrial radio stations after “New Orleans Dreams.”
Of this latest venture, Hale commented “Man I hope that every living breathing person on earth buys the song or downloads it from iTunes so we can raise a truckload of money for the people down there. It’s ninety-nine cents, yeah, but collectively we could make a huge difference.”
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.
Ed Hale‘s latest solo album, the acoustic leaning ‘whisper pop’ CD entitled Ballad On Third Avenue was voted “One of Best Albums of 2009” by New Times Magazine. The end of year edition came out of the tri-county wide South Florida area where Hale first got his start in the seminal underground band Broken Spectacles along with Americana Music pioneer Matthew Sabatella when the two were in college.
Music critic Lee Zimmerman wrote,
“Bundled in sumptuous arrangements and a prog-rock posture, Ed Hale’s regular gig with Transcendence sometimes seemed to overshadow his true worth as a songwriter. Happily, Hale’s solo debut remedies that by emphasizing the songs’ emotional content rather than their window dressing. The support cast is still terrific – among the members are several Transcendence bandmates – but what truly shines are some brooding, introspective tunes informed by a sense of quiet contemplation.”
“Fact is, Hale’s always been quite the entrepreneur. His Dying Van Gogh label has fostered some of South Florida’s most talented artists, among them Dreaming in Stereo’s Fernando Perdomo and Ex Norwegian’s Roger Houdaille. It still provides him a local connection, even though he’s relocated to New York, where he now finds the muse best suited to his ambitions. Even so, Ballad on Third Avenue isn’t restricted to any particular setting — “Scene in San Francisco,” “New Orleans Dreams,” and “Thoughts of California” reference various locales while maintaining a solitary sense of longing and desire. Consequently, only “I Walk Alone” emulates the sweep and spectacle of Transcendence. However, like the songs that surround it, it maintains a lowered gaze, making this Hale’s most intimate and alluring set yet.”
– Lee Zimmerman
CD REVIEW IN BOOTLEG MAGAZINE August 2009: Ed Hale has recorded a solo album away from his Brit Pop band Transcendence but hasn’t left the pop sentimentality too far behind, using the skill to help shape something acoustically raw and introspective. Ballad on Third Avenue is rich in memorable and pleasantly catchy songs that eschew common trappings of a larger sound in favor of recording more sparse and intimate material. It succeeds in practicing restraint and in also telling stories weaved through American landscapes. The album recalls the jingly soft sounds of late sixties bands that seemed to crystallize sugary melody versus stomping easily all over it.
Ballad On Third Avenue, the latest solo album from singer-songwriter Ed Hale, continued its climb up the CMJ Top 200 Chart this week jumping thirty spots to land at #145 on the college radio airplay-driven chart. According to MediaGuide and MediaBase tracking, the songs receiving the most airplay are “I Walk Alone,” “Incompatible,” and the album’s title track, a power-pop “Born to Run” for the Millenium Generation nicknamed “Beautiful Losers.” The Simon and Garfunkelesqe “It Feels Too Good” is also receiving a good number of spins. Just under four-hundred college and community radio stations across the United States and Canada are reporting spinning tracks from the singer’s first solo album in several years – making it the most successful and highest charting album in Hale’s fifteen year career. Key cities picked up last week included Philadelphia’s WKDU, WBWC out of Cleveland, and Baltimore’s XTSR. Fans of Hale’s “dayjob” – fronting the Britpop/alt-rock super-group Transcendence – might be taken by surprise by the softer, more mellow sound of the new disc, a collection of eleven intimately recorded and exclusively acoustic songs (not one electric guitar to be heard on the album’s forty-plus minutes), but Hale’s vulnerable confessional lyricism and the songs’ sparse instrumentation have if anything only broadened his audience. Interestingly the most rotated song from the album at college radio, “I Walk Alone,” also happens to be the first single at commercial radio. After fifteen years of alt-rock radio love, the first single from Balladis instead being picked up for airplay by Adult Contemporary and Triple A stations across the US, making a potential crossover hit the next stop in the singer’s adventurous and noteworthy career, one that has been consistently marked by experimentation and forays into the unexpected.
Turning the volume down low and showing a softer side has paid off for Transcendence singer and chief songwriter Ed Hale on his newest solo offering. The life or death drama and pathos and over the top emotionalism and passion that listeners are accustomed to hearing from the vocalist are still intact on the new solo set; in fact they’re even more highlighted due to the toned down and hushed atmosphere created by Hale, who co-produced the album along with fellow Transcendence guitarist (and Dreaming In Stereo frontman) Fernando Perdomo. Not only will Ballad On Third Avenue be the singer’s first album to receive airplay on commercial radio nationwide out of the gate, but the new acoustic whisper-pop collection of 11 songs debuted at #14 on college radio’s CMJ Top 200 Most Added Chart this week, the highest debut in the singer’s 20 year career. Out of 200 albums currently spinning on college radio this week it is a remarkable achievement considering Hale has not toured in several years and is a relative unknown compared to the behemoth his better known band Transcendence has become over the last ten years.
Besides a praise-worthy debut, the album also notably picked up several key taste-maker stations including WKBU of Drexel University, WONC in Chicago, IL, and Newark’s WSOU – stations that usually indicate just how well an album might fare months before the final numbers are calculated. If commercial radio follows suit and is successful for Hale’s new solo effort (his first single “I Walk Alone” will be released to Triple A stations all over the United States on August 2nd), Transcendence may find themselves attempting to transcend not only thier own past successes, but the current success of a very edgy strategy – three members of the group have all released successful solo albums this quarter (bassist Roger Houdaille fronts the indie rock sensation of the month Ex Norwegian who have taken the music blog world by storm). The success of the singer’s new solo album only adds to the excitement and anticipation for the band’s new album All Your Heroes Become Villains due to be released in September of this year.
The new Ed Hale solo album Ballad On Third Avenue is now spinning at over 350 college radio stations across the United States and Canada and is expected to hit the CMJ Top 20 Most Added Album List next week. See the list here for the station in your town and listen in. As always call-ins from fans are very cool. For the new CD, Hale will be conducting on-air interviews with stations across the country and many stations are also holding contests for fans to win free autographed copies of the new CD or t-shirts and other memorabilia. More info can be had by tuning in to your local college, community, or university radio station for details. In today’s singles-oriented atmosphere, college radio still holds the distinct advantage over commercial radio in that they are serviced with entire albums by artists – rather than just “the newest hit single” – and never afraid to dig deep they are usually more than eager to play the more rare, less-heard, or experimental tracks from new albums. All hail college radio for staying true to this vision and offering music fans this invaluable service. The college radio campaign for Ballad On Third Avenue is being handled by The Syndicate.
The first single from the new album, “I Walk Alone,” hits commercial radio stations across the US next week. A new update with a commercial station list for every town will be posted in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.