Other Lives — RitualsFormed: 2004 in Stillwater, OK
Location: Oklahoma, USA
Album release: May 5th, 2015
Record Label: TBD Records / Play It Again Sam
01. Fair Weather 3:55
02. Pattern 4:20
03. Reconfiguration 3:27
04. Easy Way Out 4:03
05. Beat Primal 3:33
06. New Fog 3:25
07. 2 Pyramids 3:57
08. Need A Line 3:25
09. English Summer 4:40
10. Untitled 3:50
11. No Trouble 3:47
12. For The Last 4:02
13. It’s Not Magic 4:05
14. Ritual 3:53 About: ♠ “In our heads we’re haphazardly trying to write classical music,” says Jesse Tabish, and if you listen with an intent ear to Other Lives’ lush, layered beatific musical creations, it’s hard not to imagine the singer–musical maestro crafting his next opus. “Every sound, every drum beat has to have some sort of purpose,” he adds. 13 years since they first began playing together in their native Oklahoma, Other Lives, which includes Josh Onstott and Jonathon Mooney, remain focused on the search for audible clarity: their next expression, their next melody, their next rhythm. Rituals, the band’s third and latest full–length album, is a pure encapsulation of the trio’s relentless drive for precision. “It’s more dimensional, it’s more 3–D, if you will,” Tabish explains. “We wanted a cleaner, brighter record with more movement and more color.”
♠ It’s also an extremely personal endeavor: having lived in the heart of the Dust Bowl for their entire lives, the trio of musicians ventured Westward in recent years, settling down in Portland, Oregon, to record their latest work. “There was a spirit of change,” Tabish offers. “We had done [2011’s second LP] Tamer Animals, which was very close to us and about our home. So the next record was about the spontaneity of travel and being isolated. For the first times in our lives we were moving off on our own away from our families and kind of coming into our own. I wanted the songs to reflect that new spirit.”
♠ To engage with Rituals is to barrel along a winding, hidden dirt path; peering into its bounty is to be swept away into the pines and deep, briny brush revealing a new, almost utopian existence. The classical strings of opener “Fair Weather” swells into the pitter–patter electro snippets of “Pattern,” Tabish’s reedy voice hovering ever so slightly above the mix. Ambient soundscapes (“New Fog”) buttress against prog–rock stomp (“2 Pyramids”) lending the album the experience of embarking on a choose–your–own–adventure novel. “There’s kind of a duality to this record,” Tabish says, referencing “Pattern” — “rhythmically kind of up–tempo, really fast–moving, marimbas, this new kind of new–wave orchestra sound” — in opposition to the closing title track, a slow–building, piano–and–strings–anchored ballad Tabish wrote in the finals weeks of recording.
♠ “This one was a real journey,” Tabish says of the 18 months spent writing more than 60 songs for Rituals, a constant creative outlet for the relentless sonic architect amid a rigorous few years of touring their debut album. “It was a long time spent searching for a new identity,” the soft–spoken singer continues of the writing process, “still trying to retain the past of our musical palate but also really trying to stretch ourselves into a new type of music.”
♠ There’s no compromise when writing, Tabish says, and to hear him tell it one risks losing their self–worth if they relent on their artistic intent. “Be a dentist or something if you’re not going to make the type of music you want to be making,” he says laughing. “Writing for me, no matter what’s going on in my life, it’s the thing that gets me right with the world. It calms me down.”
♠ While Rituals marks a new chapter in Other Lives’ story, it’s also a continuation of a decade–plus passage. “I feel really lucky to be able to have a band and people around me that have been so supportive and we’ve stuck together all these years and still don’t hate each other,” Tabish says. “All three of us are like brothers. I don’t think that will ever go away. I loved those kids then and I love them now. There’s that mutual feeling. If I want to go have a beer with anyone it would be those two guys. That kind of says something.”
BY MICHELLE GESLANI ON FEBRUARY 03, 2015, 11:45PM
♠ On May 5th, Other Lives will return with their new album Rituals through TBD Records. Following 2011’s Tamer Animals, the 13–track effort was co–produced by band members Jonathon Mooney and Jesse Tabish alongside Atoms for Peace’s own Joey Waronker. According to a press release, the LP’s themes were born during a transitional period for the band, specifically their relocation to Portland, Oregon from their hometown of Stillwater, Oklahoma.
♠ “There was a spirit of change,” Tabish explained of the band’s mindset going into the Rituals recording sessions. “We had done [2011’s second LP] Tamer Animals, which was very close to us and about our home. So the next record was about the spontaneity of travel and being isolated. For the first times in our lives we were moving off on our own away from our families and kind of coming into our own. I wanted the songs to reflect that new spirit.”
♠ He added: “This one was a real journey. It was a long time spent searching for a new identity … still trying to retain the past of our musical palate but also really trying to stretch ourselves into a new type of music.”
♠ In anticipation, Other Lives have shared the lead single “Reconfiguration”. Whereas their previous album was more of a pastoral folk affair, this new song marks an exploration of shadowier atmospherics and bolder, experimental rock. (Sounds like someone’s been heavily bumping Amok.) ♠ http://consequenceofsound.net/
Artist Biography by James Christopher Monger
♠ American indie pop outfit Other Lives formed as an instrumental project in 2004 under the name Kunek. Based in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Kunek (who eventually added vocals to the mix) released one album (Flight of the Flynns) for Play Tyme Records in 2006 before making the transition to the similarly themed Other Lives. The group's eponymous debut album was produced and recorded by drummer/engineer Joey Waronker (Walt Mink, Beck, R.E.M.) and released in late 2008. After getting a boost by having songs appear on Grey's Anatomy, the band released its second album, Tamer Animals, in May of 2011 for TBD Records. Other Lives gained additional attention in 2012, opening for one leg of an American tour by Radiohead and also appearing at the Coachella Festival. An EP, Mind the Gap, appeared later that year, and the band prepared its second album, Rituals, for a 2015 release. / Website: http://otherlives.com/
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