Monday, November 17, 2008

Waking Lights delivers lush arrangements amid pop tunes about ice cream, Vicodin and sharks on debut EP Songs For Jo.

“With their first folksy EP Songs for Jo, Waking Lights, a six-piece indie rock outfit from northern New Jersey is definitely a band to watch out for.” –The Ticker (Baruch College, The City University of New York)

Waking Lights is a musical convergence of sorts, a band borne of circumstance when singer/songwriter Matthew Maroulakos flew out of Burbank airport for the last time, returning to his hometown on the east coast. He came armed with a little black book containing a whole lot of words. Once at home in Northern New Jersey, Matthew began rehearsing with upright and electric bassist Kyle McCammon, who had just returned from honing his skills at a conservatory in Holland. Their mutual friend, percussionist Dana LaMarca, had stayed local to study classical percussion and new music while the other two were away. With all three members in the same state, they quickly enlisted Tommy Maroulakos on piano/keyboards, cellist/female vocalist Jodi Mozeika, and sultry violinist Nicole Scorsone.

The nascent sextet immediately hit upon a compelling and unique sound that at times could be called an English-language Sigur Ros, at others a more orchestral Smashing Pumpkins (when Billy Corgan was at his ballad-penning best.) The band began performing throughout the tri-state area including such venues as New York's Knitting Factory, Paul Colby’s Bitter End, Maxwell's in Hoboken, and Asbury Park's infamous Stone Pony. Soon the band was touring frequently throughout the east coast.

The band soon joined forces with Kieran Kelly and Lowell Thompson at The Buddy Project in Astoria, Queens (Sufjan Stevens' Illinois and Avalanche) to record the material that they had built up through endless demos and many live performances. After the band felt that they had captured their vision, Kenny Gioia (Bayside, Marcy's Playground, Hall and Oates) mixed the rough tracks and mastering engineer Alan Douches completed the project, which resulted in their independently released debut, Songs For Jo. This six-track EP is an autobiography, set to what some might call an indie/folk rock genre, with eclectic instrumentation, lush arrangements, and yet still maintaining a strong pop sensibility.

Waking Lights Live:
12/02 Montclair, NJ @ Live on WMSC Radio
12/05 Passaic, NJ @ The Loop Lounge
12/06 Teaneck, NJ @ Live on WFDU Radio
12/19 Teaneck, NJ @ Mexicali Live
01/07 Brooklyn, NY @ Public Assembly
02/13 Brooklyn, NY @ Red Star Brooklyn Folk Rock Festival

Songs For Jo Tracklisting:

01. Sharks (MP3)
02. Ice Cream & Vicodin
03. Nothing Here For Me
04. Comfortably Swollen
05. Sweet Virginia
06. Down In The Valley

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