Thursday, January 3, 2008

An ambitious band of high school students, Please Quiet Ourselves offers irresistible push-your-buttons-in-just-the-right-way pop on Mushpot debut.

Effervescent acoustic-guitar-clad Jojo Brandel easily handles on-stage banter well, a skill with which most seasoned artists struggle. Dubbed the California bay area’s “Baby Modest Mouse”, it is impressive how Brandel brought together seven other talented 15 to 16-year-old high schoolers to create a textured blanket of sound, at times, akin to that of Broken Social Scene.

Please Quiet Ourselves started as an eighth grade film project soundtrack. Rather than steal a collage of trendy and popular songs, Brandel decided to create his own. Sounds ranged from scrambled noise rock to covers of pieces on the Black Orpheus soundtrack. End product: “Color Chart,” (MP3) a short pop song. Brandel liked the idea of the song so much that he invited a bunch of friends from school to fill the spaces in between. Compositions are spilled out in a somewhat off-key, clumsy freak-pop manner with bongos, xylophone, melodicas and several acoustic guitars.

In the 2006, Elisa Hough (Brandel’s cousin), scheduled Please Quiet Ourselves for a live studio slot at KDVS in Davis, CA. Hough passed a tape of rough recordings and MySpace information to Mushpot Records owner Jenn de la Vega. Taken completely by the potential and maturity of the music (and assuming Brandel was in college), de la Vega asked Brandel about his studies at Berkeley. He replied,

“Haha…the thing about ‘studying…’ We are in fact in Berkeley -- I’m surprised Elisa didn’t tell you this -- but umm, we are in high school. I’m only 13 and Eli is 15... Haha, I hope that doesn’t change anything!”

Please Quiet Ourselves’ lineup has since fattened considerably and currently consists of guitarist/vocalist Jojo Brandel, drummer Eli Lyons and guitarist Haran Stern of So Many Clouds, guitarist Adam Becker of O Lucky Man, Max Burstein of Mexico and The Jank, violinist Simeon Farwell-Miller, bassist Maddie Tien, and vocalist Bryce Enright. Proud parents carted them between Berkeley and Davis to record at Evan Hart’s (Buildings Breeding) Psychedelic Hearts garage studio. Please Quiet Ourselves offers irresistible push-your-buttons-in-just-the-right-way indie pop rooted in the single “Color Chart” (MP3).

“Mushpot should be proud of their most recent release, because it balances the equation of creativity and listenability in all ways respectable. Please Quiet Ourselves lays down fun proggy riffs and almost punk-based progressions, but translates to a semi-polished pop rock product. On the contrary, their tendency to traverse into somber slowdowns in songs like ‘Minors vs. Majors’ rely on Modest Mouse’s Building Nothing Out of Something era. Vocalist and lead guitar player Jojo Brandel puts forward obvious talent on his ax in songs like “I Don’t Care,” where his techy licks could just go on forever. Please Quiet Ourselves accomplishes a lot in such little time: invoking the curiosity like that of Pavement, the angst of early Yo La Tengo and the togetherness of the Arts & Crafts family. If no other term would work, indie rock is what it is - ambitious and jovial.” – Nicole Browner, California Aggie

Please Quiet Ourselves Track Listing:
Stream The Album HERE
Release Date: Out Now

01. Color Chart (MP3)
02. Antibodies (MP3)
03. Minors Vs. Majors
04. Sunburn
05. You're Still In My Heart
06. Winter Breaking
07. I Don't Care
08. Say I Won’t (MP3)
09. The Light (MP3)
10. Mystery Girls

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1 comment:

Kay said...

FAB. Love their music and their story. Thanks for the music; I will definitely buy their CDs.
And, I have to say, you have a really swell taste in music.