You Belong Here, the debut full-length album from emerging Nashville-based band Leagues, will be released January 29 on Bufalotone Records. In advance of the release, the official music video for the album’s first single, “Spotlight,” recently premiered at MTV Hive. The video can be viewed/embedded here.
You Belong Here is the follow up to the trio’s acclaimed 2011 self-titled EP, which garnered widespread critical notice, including coverage in The Tennessean, the Dallas Observer, Southern Living magazine and Stereo Subversion. Additionally, the Independent Weekly, calls the music, “…indie-imbued pop-rock…coats the handclaps and harmonies of classic power pop with a modern gloss…leveraging the vintage feel of its soaring melody with a snappy rhythm and layers of chiming guitars and rousing horns,” while American Songwriter magazine heralds, “Leagues seem to have struck a nice balance between indie and classic rock.”
After opening for The Fray at the historic Ryman Auditorium and touring nationwide with various acclaimed musicians (Mat Kearney, Matthew Perryman Jones, etc.), Leagues will embark on a nationwide tour this winter, including a special CD release show at Nashville’s Mercy Lounge on February 1 (additional details to be announced shortly). Of a recent live show, St. Louis’ KDHX praises, “…an ebullient blend of Phoenix-meets-Maroon-5 with a sunny, yet love-wan disposition.” Additionally, famed Nashville denim company Imogene Willie documented singer Thad Cockrell’s journey as the band made their Ryman Auditorium debut. You can read about the experience here.
Recorded in Nashville, You Belong Here features ten original songs (three of which were featured on the 2011 EP) and was engineered by Vance Powell (Jack White, Raconteurs, The Dead Weather) and co-produced by the band and Grammy-nominated Paul Moak (Mat Kearney, Martha Wainwright, The Weeks). Of the record, the band comments, “The whole spirit of You Below Here really resonates with us. It’s a phrase that gets tossed around without much thought, but if you take a moment and think about it, it can hold a lot of comfort and depth. Like walking into a party and everyone is genuinely glad you are there. It’s the celebration of togetherness, really.”
Leagues is Tyler Burkam (guitar), Thad Cockrell (vocals) and Jeremy Lutito (drums).
"Astral Castle" Out May 27th 2012
Based out of Jackson, Tennessee (a small town in between Memphis and Nashville), The Kernal is a singer-songwriter who, as he calls it, plays “Imaginary Country Music.” Listening to his debut album, Farewellhello (which comes to you hand-delivered by your postman as a digital download code packaged inside a beer bottle), this is an apt description. Farewellhello has a wonderfully worn-in feel to it; like it was custom built for long drives.
With its Johnny Cash-style rhythm section, the playfully plucky opener “Where We’re Standing” is a great introduction to the record, welcoming the listener in with its beautiful simplicity. But don’t let that simplicity fool you, there’s a confidence here that allows room for each song to breathe, giving way to subtle surprises in each song and at time a real sense of humor. While rooted in the nostalgia of yesterday’s country sound, it also feels incredibly modern. This complexity builds an intriguing tension within each song, which never feels forced. Each subtle movement feels natural, progressing the sound of the album from track to track.
Moody and stark, “Homicide” is a slow build with a haunting melody stretched over a bouncy rhythm giving the song a steady undercurrent, ultimately speaking to the deadly nature of communication: “I know that you know / there’s a homicide / every time you speak to me.” “Push Your Button” clicks along like a ringing bell and lyrically shows that The Kernal can weave a narrative through his songs like a Southern-fried Springsteen. The quiet “Lay a New Rag Upon My Head” follows each aching howl with an echo, like you can hear the room it was recorded in. But its on “Good-Bye Flowers” and “Mind Control” that The Kernal seems to be having the most fun. Darkly comical and elevating, even if you’re not one for the dancehall, these tracks will certainly get your foot tapping. The final track “Bull-Dozin’ Dream” reminds the listener that “rambling’s never free.” It’s the perfect send-off for a record that plays out like road music to somewhere and nowhere all at once. Wherever you decide to ramble, Farewellhello would make a good companion.