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.”
Singer/songwriter Ed Hale signed a two year product endorsement agreement with German luxury headphone manufacturer UltraSone this week guaranteeing the singer will use UltraSone headphones exclusively for his new album. Hale, who is currently in the recording studio in New York City commented Friday “Obviously UltraSone headphones sound great. Without that there’s really nothing else. But really sold me was their S-Logic Surround Sound technology. It enables listeners to listen at much lower levels than we normally do and still hear the music we are creating which translates into much less potential for hearing damage or hearing loss. This is more than important I would think.”
No details about the agreement were made public but Dying Van Gogh Records stated that the artist is in the process of signing multiple product endorsement deals including last week’s agreements with MikTekmicrophones and Dean Markley guitar strings. Hale earned his street cred back in the heyday of the jangly guitar rock of the early nineties and has never been shy about saying no to product placement or advertising no matter what the benefits. He and his band Transcendence boycotted participation in the Budweiser Battle of the Bands Concert Series after they won the competition and once made waves by refusing to appear in a guest spot on the Howard Stern show.
“I don’t see how or why that particular decision caused any waves at all. What the hell does the Howard Stern show have anything to do with what we do in Transcendence?” the singer was quoted as saying. “What we are looking for are companies whose products we actually use, or want to use, companies we admire, who are aligned with the bigger mission. UltraSone is breaking boundaries. Their headphones are incredible sounding AND they have new technology that actually respects the health of the listener. That’s innovative. Big ups to them.” Hale is currently excited about a possible agreement with the Gibson guitar company.
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 albumAll 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
With each and every Ed Hale and the Transcendence album, one is never quite sure what to expect. During the nine years since their genre-defying breakout debut Rise and Shine, Ed Hale and the Transcendence have been musical shape-shifters, willing to assume whatever form and go in whatever direction their music demands. On their latest release, their fourth album, entitled All Your Heroes Become Villains, they harness the best of their previous efforts and multiply it by a gazillion. It was the result of a long, grueling recording process, appropriate for an album as equally accessible as it is complex and eclectic. Haunting melodies, rock-God guitar riffs, rhythmic adventurousness, bold sonic experimentation, inspired songwriting and Ed Hale’s impassioned vocals create a highly memorable experience for the listener that could easily be called a concept album. Each song seems integral to the work as a whole. All Your Heroes Become Villains comes off like an instant classic – stylistically and lyrically unified and thematic and by far their most ambitious work to date. This masterpiece is dark and heavy, and yet every bit the catchy ear candy that fans of the band have come to expect. Hale sings of hope, victory, loss, suffering and blind idealism on a personal and global level in his signature tortured baritone while the band weaves together their trademark post-modern rock meets Brit pop creating an aural soundscape that is truly unforgettable. Features the hit singles “Blind Eye,” “Waiting for Godot,” and “Solaris.”
Ed Hale is returning to New York this week to begin working on a new solo album. Transcendencebassist 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 fans are delivered a rare treat this weekend by being able to call in and speak live on the air to the singer!!! Of course they can also email questions in via the internet during a live on-air interview on the weekly call-in radio program The Believe Show hosted by Barbara Bruce. The thirty-minute interview will air on Sunday August 22nd at 7:30 Eastern Standard Time or 4:30 Pacific Standard time. The long running Phoenix Arizona based program focuses on positive motivational and inspirational stories and leaders in a wide variety of industries who are making a difference in the world. The Believe Show airs on KVWM 970 AM on the radio dial in Arizona, or can be heard live online at www.barbarabruce.com. The well-spoken and well-traveled singer/songwriter/producer/entrepreneur and social activist, who is currently on a national tour in the United States promoting his latest album Ballad On Third Avenue, will as usual probably not be at a loss for words, but will instead have plenty to share about his most recent experiences on the road, his new album, or any number of the other ventures he seems always involved in at any given moment in time. Fans are welcome to start calling in to the station no earlier than 4:00 PM PST by dialing 928.368.8100.
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.”
New Ed Hale single “Scene in San Francisco” is now available to hear free in its entirety and download on internet radio stations such as iLike, LastFM, and Jango. Transcendence singer/guitarist Ed Hale turned solo artist, albeit temporarily, with the release of this year’s acoustic flavored whisper-pop album Ballad On Third Avenue — a blatantly sentimental homage to beautiful losers and tragic lovers. The album debuted at #14 on CMJ’s Most Added Chart and has hovered at #140 in the Top 200 since its release in July, the most successful charting of the singer’s career to date. The album’s first single, the anthemic “I Walk Alone,” played on over one-hundred Triple A radio stations across the US, earning Hale crossover success and new fans in the adult contemporary market, a format far removed from Hale’s usual home in the alternative rock and college radio world. Hoping to further the success and momentum of showing the singer’s softer side, his record label (Dying Van Gogh) is releasing the album’s second single “Scene in San Francisco” in January – this time to both the Triple A market and to Top 40 radio, a bold gesture for an artist who has always been known more for eclectic inventiveness than hit-making.
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.