El Ten Eleven
An album as twistingly unpredictable, expansive, and luminous as the subject matter within, El Ten Eleven's fifth studio full-length album, Transitions, will be self-released by the band on their Fake Record Label on November 6. Sounding more like the work of six musicians rather than the instrument
l duo of doubleneck bass/guitar virtuoso Kristian Dunn and acoustic/electronic drummer Tim Fogarty, the seven-track LP is chock full of the band's trademark guitar trickery, mesmerizing looping, shape-shifting tempos, intricate time signatures and melodic pop arrangements but also features them experimenting with new sonics, hip-hop drum beats and longer song structures. The album will be preceded by a 7-inch featuring first single "Yellow Bridges" backed with b-side "3K" on September 11. El Ten Eleven has just launched a Kickstarter where fans can pre-order the single, album and purchase some premiums like a limited edition lithograph, autographed vinyl copy of the record, music lessons from the guys or a helicopter ride and lunch with Dunn who is a licensed pilot. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/226706964/new-album-from-el-ten-eleven Transitions was recorded and produced by El Ten Eleven, with the help of mix engineer Chris Cheney, at Hollywood's Sage and Sound Studios this past December. While between tours, Dunn and Fogarty cranked out a series of songs that encapsulated the major events that had been happening in their lives. "Tim and I have been through a lot in the past couple of years," Dunn explains. "We've both been divorced, moved to different cities, Tim went through some really dark times, I got remarried and had a kid... for a while things were uncertain. We threw ourselves into the new record." The subject matter of Transitions was heavy enough to warrant longer, more complicated songs such as the title track, "Transitions" a 10-minute roller coaster of unpredictable twists, turns and guitar heroics that plays out like several movements stitched together as one. As the song dips and dives it eventually builds to a triumphant crescendo that's like the sun coming out after a month long storm. Although an instrumental band, El Ten Eleven has never really prescribed to the loud/soft post-rock mechanics or bloated arrangements often associated with the genre and are more in line with contemporaries like Maserati, Trans Am and Holy Fuck than the post-rock instrumentals of Explosions in the Sky and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. El Ten Eleven's compositions instead are more like pop songs with definable verses and choruses, albeit with memorable guitar licks in place of lyrics. While some of the songs are indeed the most technically complex of the band's career, the duo's ability to to write catchy, emotional hooks hasn't been lost on Transitions. On the track, "Thanks Bill," an ode to Alcoholics Anonymous founder Bill Wilson, shimmering, circuitous guitar lines interweave while a mix of drums and electronic percussion collide resulting in a hypnotic, euphoric melody. First single, "Yellow Bridges," surges along like a car racing through the night across one of the many yellow bridges that dot Fogarty's hometown of Pittsburgh. The cheekily named "No One Died This Time!" celebrates Dunn's new wave and post-punk upbringing with a charged second half that wouldn't sound out of place between New Order and The Cure on the dance floor. The '80s nostalgia continues on "Tiger Tiger," a reinterpretation of Duran Duran's 1983 synth-pop instrumental which features Dunn manipulating his guitar to sound like a synthesizer. Album closer "Lullaby" is as soothing and evocative as its name implies. Transitions is just the next chapter in El Ten Eleven's impressive journey which has included the self releasing of four albums, a handful of singles and more than 600 performances, including many headline tours, main support runs and festival appearances, over the last decade. Despite several label offers, the band has chosen to remain independent, cultivating and growing a devoted fanbase with their singular sound and a truly jaw-dropping live show. Much of the band's popularity has come from Gary Hustwit's award winning design documentary trilogy of "Helvetica," "Objectified" and "Urbanized," which featured music from El Ten Eleven and original score from Dunn. The band's music has proven a favorite to use on the small screen and radio as well with programs like "The Real World," "Chopped," "CSI Miami," MTV's "Video Music Awards," NPR's "All Things Considered" and "Market Place" and Lexus utilizing songs from across the band's diverse catalog.
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