My Name Forever
Album Title: “Hope Like a Light”
Released: July 17
Recorded at: Self-recorded
Sounds like: Manchester Orchestra, The Postal Service, The Format
Inspiration: The Avett Brothers; Fleet Foxes; Right Away, Great Captain!
Key tracks: “No One Knows,” “If I,” “Promises” and “Hope Like a Light”
Where to get it: $7 on their band camp: http://mynameforever.bandcamp.com/
Guitar/Vocals: Shane Toriscelli
Guitar/Vocals: Devin Lee
Bass: Jacob Nestler
Percussion: Trevor Jackson
Although the members of My Name Forever have been playing together for two years, their music is most developed on “Hope Like a Light,” their debut album.
“We started as an alternative electric band,” Devin Lee said with a grimace. “Think Taking Back Sunday.”
Things changed when they decided to develop an acoustic-based sound, which hits its crescendo on “Hope Like a Light.” Lilting, clean and startlingly playful, My Name Forever sounds like an earnest confession, charged by the vaguely holy images: “Everything, everyone, everywhere/ Can’t see enough to see they’re not alone,” Shane Toriscelli sings in “Promises.”
The sound bounces between his high, clear voice and the band’s controlled play. At various points in “Legacy,” Lee and Jacob Nestler’s guitars and Trevor Jackson’s percussion work tightly together to take unexpected yet natural turns. The instruments move frantically, which contrasts with Toriscelli’s quiet, crisp vocals to create musical complexity.
Their cohesion, one of the highlights of the album, is purposefully underscored. “We prefer a clean sound,” Toriscelli said. “Keeping it simple and acoustic makes it more apparent when we’re working together.”
In the future the group hopes to add electric guitar. For now, however, they’re focusing on letting the simplicity speak for itself. Their title track, “Hope Like a Light” gives that impression: soft finger picking punctuated by brief shakes of the tambourine, held together by a constant rhythmic downbeat. At one point, all Shane does is hum. The spareness of each component–guitar, tambourine, drum, voice–crescendo to make their music palpably whole.
By Samantha Schuyler
Thee Holy Ghosts
Album Title: “Thee Holy Ghosts EP”
Released: March 26
Recorded at: Self-recorded
Sounds like: Wavves, Beat Happening, Black Lips, Iggy and the Stooges, a sockhop from hell
Inspiration: Bo Diddley, Link Wray, pure boredom
Key tracks: “I Can’t Take It,” “Gimme Your Love,” “Standing Alone”
Where to get it: Free download at theholyghosts.bandcamp.com/album/thee-holy-ghosts-ep
Guitar/Vocals: Ian Bernacett
Guitar/Vocals: Matt Brotton
Drums: Hector Laguna
Awash with lo-fi feedback, full of let’s-go-surfing twang and pulled through by a consistently hypnotizing vocal drone, Thee Holy Ghosts make you want to both dance and lie on a bed somewhere and not move for awhile. Their self-titled EP manages to squeeze 1950s hard-edge guitar between staticky, droning monotone and gritty punk growls.
The band plays with loose rhythms, distant vocals and grainy sounds. The EP opens on a crisp, twanging guitar riff followed immediately by a distant, eerie laughing yelp. It’s a haunted call to the beach. “Standing Alone,” a hazy, mournful doo-wop track, gives you the clear sound of a vocal harmony while the bulk of the lyrics are sung in a faraway cry.
Above all, they want their listeners to get “a good time” out of their music, guitarist Ian Bernacett said. Shifting between 1950s rock ‘n’ roll and doo-wop, touching 1960s hazy surf rock and the screaming, atonal shouts of 1970s punk, the band never stays in one place for long.
“We all like different stuff,” he said. “I guess it comes out when we’re trying to make songs.”
Their music seems constantly pulled between the past and present, yet the image their music creates is very clear: you’re dancing with your sweetheart at the sock hop, but for some reason everyone has a mohawk.
By Samantha Schuyler
Inspiration: Tina Turner, ‘60s dream bands, The Walkman, Alabama Shakes
Sounds like: Aretha Franklin, wild motown soul
Next show: Oct. 27 at Tall Paul’s
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HeartBurglars
Vocals: Annie Neimand
Backup vocals: Cassandra Polcaro
Guitar: Chris Hillman
Horn/Percussion: Travis Atria
Drums: Scott Kauffmann
Bass: Fletcher Yancey
Keyboard: Ryan Backman
If you hear Aretha Franklin covers pulsating from Box #34 of the MiniMaxi Warehouse storage unit, don’t be appalled. It’s just Heart Burglars practicing their garage soul act, which they describe as “fun and doo-woppy.”
The band formed this summer when musicians from multiple other Gainesville acts, including Morningbell and Pseudo Kids, started playing together. With seven members, it’s the biggest band that any of them have played with. And they don’t want to stop there.
“If there are any girls who can sing and dance and are fearless, they should come to the shows and talk to me,” lead vocalist Annie Neimand said. She envisions a group of backup singers in matching costumes dancing behind the band.
“This is my dream band to start,” she said. “We’re trying to make a high energy, fun soul band.”
She also admits to spending 80 percent of her time studying YouTube videos of Tina Turner, Beyonce and other powerful female performers.
Many band members had made music together before forming Heart Burglars. Scott Kauffmann and Fletcher Yancey have been playing music together since their middle school days. Travis Atria and Chris Hillman are members of Morningbell. Neimand and Ryan Backman were bandmates in Annie and the Canyon.
“That’s the fun thing about music,” Neimand said. “It’s so easy to play together and start something.”
They collaborate to create original songs and write covers for their ensemble of instruments. All of the band members are either students or working full-time jobs.
“It’s my only way to release,” backup vocalist Cassandra Polcaro said.
By Christmas, the band will record two songs on 7” vinyl with Morningbell’s Orange Records label.
They have played three shows so far, but their Oct. 27 show at Tall Paul’s will be the first to include Atria’s percussion section.
By Ashira Morris