Blending the popular indie-folk sound currently dominating college radio with adult contemporary sensibilities, the debut from Twin Forks – the newest project from Dashboard Confessional‘s Chris Carrabba – welcomes the still young group into the foot-stoming, hand-clapping singer/songwriter arena with style. It’s long enough to fully win you over, but short enough to leave you wanting more.
Whatever makes the audience stomp their feet and sing at the top of their lungs, that’s what I want to be doing, says singer/guitarist Carrabba of his plans for Twin Forks. I want to be generating that spirit from the stage. And there’s gotta be a way to do that whether the audience knows the songs yet or not. Carrabba, mandolin player Suzie Zeldin, bassist Jonathan Clark, and drummer Ben Homola are already well on their way, rousing crowds with their electrifying chemistry and anthemic folk-rock. Click here to stream the EP.
Twin Forks’ debut hits digital retailers on September 17. Will you be purchasing a copy?
It’s been more than a decade since Further Seems Forever recorded new material with their original vocalist, Chris Carrabba. After Carrabba left the band in 2000 to pursue his solo project, Dashboard Confessional, his shoes were competently filled by subsequent vocalists Jason Gleason and Jon Bunch. Still, hardcore fans held out hope that someday the original FSF lineup would reunite and maybe even release new songs. To the elation of all of those who have waited a long decade, Carrabba and Further Seems Forever have finally joined forces once again and are set to release Penny Black, the band’s fourth album, this October. We caught up with Carrabba to talk about the band’s older material, the meaning behind the album title, and the enduring artists that he aspires to emulate.
OS: What influenced the band’s decision to release Penny Black on Rise Records?
Chris Carrabba: We had heard such great things about how the label was run and the people who run the label. There are a lot of bands on the label that I like a lot and some of them are my friends and they all raved about their experience being on Rise.
OS: The Penny Black was an early British postage stamp from the 1840s. What connection does that idea have to the lyrical subject matter of the album?
CC: I was reading a book that was set in the mid 1800’s and a major theme in it was the tendency of those in power to be driven only by the desire to amass more power. The stamp wasn’t mentioned in it but I connected them for some reason. The stamp was a paradigm shift in communication. It made the world smaller, like the Internet has done in our era, but it also gave those in power to spread that power wider and wider
Summer’s over and the air is getting colder. This mix will help you say goodbye to the heat while you get ready for one of our favorite seasons: fall. Like the end of any great summer, these songs are a little bit sad, but perfect for relaxing and watching the leaves change. Enjoy!
Acoustic performances typically have a sense of quiet and calm about them. These shows tend to be in front of a smaller audience without the force of a full band behind them. Sunday night, at the Paradise Rock Club, was completely different; It was a simple acoustic performance that turned into one of the most intense shows. A sold out crowd filled the venue in anticipation of seeing Chris Carrabba, who came out armed with just an acoustic guitar and the microphone in front of him (which he hardly had to use). Carrabba, who has been releasing music for over twelve years with Dashboard Confessional and Further Seems Forever, is clearly meant to be on stage. He has such a unique and powerful control over the crowd with just his voice and his words.
Artists like Chris Carrabba, a.k.a. Dashboard Confessional, are a dying breed. Genuine, sensitive and undeniably talented, he has been the premiere singer-songwriter on the contemporary emo scene for ten years.
And though he has inspired many artists to follow, Chris is truly in a league of his own”completely unconcerned with what’s cool, and honestly in love with his art. Over the last ten years, fans have fallen in love with his heartfelt music and have watched Carrabba morph from a soft-spoken young man with an acoustic guitar into a full-fledged rock star. Now, he is usually found fronting his band in sold-out arenas, composing songs for movie soundtracks and touring with the likes of Bon Jovi, Brand New and New Found Glory.
For reunions and anniversary tours, 2010 has been a huge year”with artists like Something Corporate, Good Charlotte and The Dresden Dolls all celebrating their ten-year milestones. In celebration of the tenth anniversary of the release of his first album, The Swiss Army Romance, Carrabba decided to do it old school: just him and his guitar. The tour began on November 27th in Fort Lauderdale and will run until January 22nd in San Diego, with Carrabba playing the ten acoustic songs of Swiss Army in order every night.
The intimate performance at Boston’s Paradise Rock Club began with Dashboard’s magnum opus, “Screaming Infidelities.” The ecstatic crowd sang every word at the top of their lungs (and would continue to do so for the remainder of the hour and a half-long set). After all, Swiss Army is known best for Carrabba’s poetic lyrics, echoed time and time again by any teenager going through a rough breakup. Because of this, the audience consisted of almost all people in their mid-twenties, as Swiss Army was a defining album for many of them during the trial and tribulations of high school.
Chris played through the entire record with finnesse, letting the audience sing for him many times, as well. Though he claimed to have a cold, he laughed it off, saying that it made him sound more like he did on the original recordings. The crowd went crazy for fan favorites “The Sharp Hint of New Tears,” “The Swiss Army Romance” and “Again It Goes Unnoticed.” The impeccably well-versed audience did make one mistake, however, when during “Age Six Racer,” many of them started singing lyrics at the wrong time. Chris chuckled and said, ” I guess that’s how it goes now, huh? Actually, I kind of like that. I should start playing it that way!”
Once Swiss Army had been played all the way through, Carrabba announced he’d be staying on stage to play some tracks that we may have been hoping to hear. He then played a mix of songs from his first three albums (though, interestingly, none from his latest two), including “The Brilliant Dance,” “So Impossible,” “Stolen” and “Vindicated.” He then announced his last song and closed the set with the Dashboard classic, “Hands Down.”
As a long-time Dashboard Confessional fan, it’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since the release of The Swiss Army Romance. But it’s clear that no one is more surprised than Carrabba, who smiled with disbelief throughout the night. What made the show so special was how incredibly thankful he was to be there”constantly commenting on how amazing it was that we made it this far. He even said that he recognized many of the fans from years ago and thanked them tirelessly for their support. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing him another ten years down the road.
If the Swiss Army Romance 10th Anniversary Tour hasn’t come to your city yet, check it out at these dates:
Dec 14 – Westchester, PA @ The Note
Dec 15 – Rochester, NY @ Water Street Music Hall
Dec 17 – Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot
Dec 18 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Dec 19 – Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
Jan 10 – Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall
Jan 11 – Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue
Jan 13 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
Jan 14 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
Jan 15 – San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
Jan 16 – Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
Jan 19-21 – West Hollywood, CA @ Troubadour
Jan 22 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
Any unsigned band would be proud to sell 13,000 records on their own. Orlando pop-rockers inPassing are especially proud, though, because they sold all of them by chatting up potential fans on the streets, in shopping malls, outside clubs and at festivals.
In 2008, the band released Breathing in the Ash, a five-song EP produced by James Paul Wisner (Dashboard Confessional, Paramore). Ash, which features singles “Say to Me” and “Back Down,” is upbeat, catchy and radio-ready. Boasting anthemic choruses filled with tasteful harmonies and no-frills guitar work, the EP recalls the familiar sounds of Mayday Parade, The Academy Is… and Jimmy Eat World. inPassing’s music is simply no-gimmicks, polished pop rock, and is sure to please fans of all ages.
Though their name may suggest otherwise, inPassing are not about to fade away. They have been performers on the Vans Warped Tour and AbsolutePunk.net marked them as a success story from “The Absolute 100,” their list of favorite lesser known bands. inPassing also received song placement in The Real World: Cancun in the summer of 2009 and appeared in a television commercial on the CW.
Thanks to fan funding on Kickstarter, the band raised over $10,000 to record their follow up to Ash, titled Then, Now, Always, which will be released later this year. Check out an OurStage-exclusive song from the new album, “Lost Your Faith” in the player below, along with two tracks from Breathing in the Ash!
The first thing you should know about Red Fox Grey Fox is that that girl singing is actually a guy. Singer Peter Miller’s voice is a high, keening falsetto”rare and singularly haunting. As for the rest of it, Red Fox Grey Fox is mercurial, layered indie rock with an emotional bent ¦ and it’s good. With a title like Up With Mittens, Down With Gloves you expect twee, and you get a little. But you also get squashed drums, polyrhythms, shimmering guitars and vocals with the earnest intensity of Chris Carrabba from Dashboard Confessional. If emo power anthems about protecting your hands from the snow leaves you cold, give a listen to Building a Building. Miller’s eerie timber leads listeners through the story of construction, brick by brick. Hand claps and foot stomps, the sparkle of guitar, multiple time signatures”all add up to a towering monument of melody and hope. They’ve built something special here. Now it’s up to you to come listen.
Plenty of successful pop-punk bands call Florida home”Dashboard Confessional, Further Seems Forever, New Found Glory, Yellowcard. Maybe it’s teenage rebellion against the state’s bountiful sunshine and retirees that produces so many pale, restless rockers. Whatever the case may be, here’s another entry to add to Florida’s pop-punk wiki: Orlando’s Boxer and Clover. Listen to Adding to 100 Years of Silence and you’ll hear all the touchstones” fuzzed-out, chugging guitars, methodical drum-pummeling, call-and-response chants and heart-on-tattoo-sleeve lyricism (see chorus: We all dance and let our hearts collide / Bring it back to a better time/ When the world was young and we all felt so alive). Boxer and Clover keeps it tight and interesting, with polyrhythmic arrangements and catchy, sing-a-long melodies. One detail that may separate the band from the pack is their cover of Alicia Key’s No One. Even if the execution is a little shaky, it’s still pretty courageous.
When it comes to bands getting good news, Cobalt & the Hired Guns, must be king! A few weeks ago, the band opened for Dashboard Confessional in Durham, North Carolina, and I’m sure it was quite an experience!
“The Dashboard show last week went FANTASTICALLY – it was a great experience and we’ve had an incredible response from new fans down there. “
The band’s most recent album was recorded with producer/engineer Brian Humphrey (State Radio, The Hives, Stephen Kellogg) and shows amazing potential. Earlier this month, they were selected as one of the top 10 Chicago bands by Metromix/Tribune Rock-N-Vote 2009! This multi-round contest is still underway; we hope too see Cobalt & the Hired Guns make it to the finals and beyond!
In May of 2008 Cobalt & the Hired Guns won the Grand Prize on OurStage and it’s great to see their success continue elsewhere; since, as we say, the best music will rise to the top! Look forward to an announcement from the band tomorrow on the state of the contest, we wish them the best of luck!!