The Young Romans

The Young Romans

The Young Romans are Brad Hooks and Sari Mellafe. Their sound is organic, ethereal and epic. "A haunting blend of vocals over a bed of infectious rhythms, driving piano, and soaring guitar." They have been featured in national campaigns with Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Edwards & Regal Cinemas, and on iTunes “New & Noteworthy” charts. They released their first EP “Yesterday Night” in the fall of 2010, followed with their premiere music video 'Lemon Trees' in the spring of 2011. Currently in production with their next music video, The Young Romans full length record is scheduled for release in the beginning of 2012.

FREE UNRELEASED CD SINGLE from their upcoming album, for the first 50 people to RSVP and attend:

Your Future Lovers

Sometimes it takes a few years, some major creative shakeouts, and even a name change or two for a band to start firing on all cylinders––but when it happens, as in the case of eclectic L.A. based rockers Your Future Lovers, it’s a pretty glorious thing. Until they had fully forged their infectious mix of colorful lyrical irony, hard hitting guitar-driven rock, and symphonic pop vibes that now power the band, Tom Jackson (lead vocals, guitar), Greg McFall (bass, vocals), Alan Chang (keys), and Brad Ranola (drums) gigged around their hometown first as the The Cosmic Giggle, then as The Good Night.

Now with the release of their debut album, they’ve got a simple three-pronged mission statement: Eat.Play.Leave. “They’re the three things this band does whenever we get together,” Jackson says. “But in a grander sense, they’re also the three things everyone was put here on earth to do.” In celebration of the new album, the band played its record release party at Hollywood’s legendary singer-songwriter hub The Hotel Café––where the band had played in an earlier incarnation just a few years before.

According to Jackson, the band’s chief songwriter, one of the major differences between their earlier sound and their sound now is his evolution as a composer—focusing more on in-the-pocket pop/rock structure than on the dramatic Broadway-like tangents and lengthy free form experimentation. Atop the simplified structure of the songs, Your Future Lovers have incorporated on five tracks, lush orchestral arrangements written by Chang and brought to life by a 14 piece orchestra recorded at the legendary Capitol Studios. Chang, who produced Eat.Play.Leave, brings a dynamic personal history to the band’s mix, having spent the last ten years as musical director for Michael Bublé.

“Your Future Lovers is a name that’s supposed to get your attention,” says Jackson. “It says we might have a thing here that you’re gonna dig, so you better take a listen, because you never know.” Jackson writes the band’s songs, then presents them to the guys at Alan’s studio, Changmakers, where Brad, Greg and Alan then help mold the song into something a quartet can play. “In many cases,” says Jackson, “their editing expertise can change the shape of a song quite drastically. But the lyrics are always mine. Though there is no overarching theme to Eat.Play.Leave, every song comes from a similar place: from a melancholy longing. Punchlines are important in these songs because the subject matter might be a bit depressing otherwise. So we’re always cramming punchlines into both the lyrics and the music itself.”

Perhaps the track that best fuses past and present for Your Future Lovers is the super melodic, crackling pop-rock anthem “The Train.” Its sound and hook are infectious and radio friendly—with a chugging groove and playful quarter note hits on the piano––but the lyrics lament the feeling the evolving band had in recent years watching from the metaphorical platform as success passed them by. Another highlight is the quirky and dramatic, string-sweetened “This Song On The Radio,” a tragicomic song about the music we choose to listen to while we drive, and how it’s almost never worthy of being the last music we’ll ever hear. While Jackson’s colorful turns of phrase are often satiric, they can conversely be full of a plainspoken joy, as in the high energy “Always,” a shuffling ode to his young daughter; The song itself is an open-hearted promise to a child, but it’s also an uptempo prayer in celebration of family itself.

“Every twist and turn in the melody is in service to that element of surprise,” says Jackson. “It’s supposed to delight the listener, even though there is a deep ribbon of darkness that runs through the subject matter.” From the promise of a better world suddenly and dreadfully right in front of you in ‘Shortcut,’ to the hard-won gratitude for the simple things in ‘I Got It Easy,’ to the simple revelation in the final track that life is supposed to be “Fun,” Your Future Lovers crafts songs that grope toward that transcendent moment that is always on the tip of our tongues, and just beyond our reach.

Broken Anchor

The story of new indie rock band Broken Anchor begins in a home studio in Los Angeles' diverse Echo Park neighborhood, where the song “Broken Anchor Blues” was recorded in 2012. The project grew organically out of a collaboration between Austin Hartley-Leonard and producer, Brad Gordon. The music reflects a broader influence from Austin's previous efforts, lending itself to comparisons with Band of Horses and Fleet Foxes and what Brad calls “a kind of elegant lo-fi retro vibe".

New perspectives on life and love outside of music brought new inspiration and ideas to Austin's songwriting. As he and Brad entered the studio to begin recording, they took each song as it came and let the songs lead the way. “Since these tunes were new and he was looking for a new sound, I felt we really had to push them down the hill and see where they went,” Brad says.

Brad's studio, located in his Echo Park home, is a small space filled with every possible instrument: guitars, piano, basses, organ, synths, and horns, all ready to record when inspiration strikes. “The goal is to be able to create in a casual environment and be able to try ideas quickly while making a song”, Brad says. His Los Angeles studio is a departure from Austin's previous, more structured and time-sensitive studio experiences. Because the vibe in the studio was so laid back, Austin and Brad were free to experiment with percussion and loops, even recruiting two Diet Coke bottles for an intro. When they needed something extra, drummer John Wells (Hotel Café sound man, engineer extraordinaire), custom-drum kit specialist Quinn Orison (Daft Punk, Tracy Chapman) and bassist Jonny Flaugher stepped in.

Broken Anchor didn't set out to record an album, but three songs became six, which became eight, until there were twelve album-worthy songs on tape. From the doo-wop intro of “Leave The Light On” to the haunting, reverb-laden “Dear Diary”, layered vocals on top of distant percussion lend an elegant mystery to the music. Broken Anchor is a stunning ride through a songwriter's exploration of life and love, created with a clarity of vision only the journey can provide.


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