The Armoires | Incidental Lightshow

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Rock: Paisley Underground Pop: Jangle Pop Moods: Type: Lyrical
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Incidental Lightshow

by The Armoires

Gorgeous co-ed harmonies, jangling guitars, soaring viola, a knack for literate, clever, heartbreaking storytelling, and a blend of West Coast and English psychedelia and postpunk drive that is timeless beyond the sum of its influences.
Genre: Rock: Paisley Underground
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Fort Ashby
4:12 $0.99
2. Caterwaul
5:04 $0.99
3. Responsible
3:19 $0.99
4. Unhaunted
4:55 $0.99
5. What You Don't Wish For
4:24 $0.99
6. Playing with the Lights
6:59 $0.99
7. Wire Girl
4:08 $0.99
8. Doubtful Sound
5:17 $0.99
9. Live & Direct
4:35 $0.99
10. Newberry Spectacle
2:45 $0.99
11. Norma Corona, What Have You Done?
2:30 $0.99
12. Double Blades
4:02 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The first thing that strikes you about The Armoires is the sound: irrepressible co-ed harmonies, sparkling 12-string guitars and piano, a plaintive viola weaving through every tune, and the urgent drive of the rhythm section. But the band quickly reveal themselves to be all about the songs. “The songs are stories,” says guitarist Rex Broome of the Burbank, CA power pop band. “Whether they’re dreamlike or straightforward, they always revolve around some kind of narrative, and above all, characters.”

“The way Christina and I trade off lead vocals and come together for harmonies really allows us to bring those characters to life,” he continues. “There’s so much untapped potential in that male/female vocal approach. For all the classic duets in pop music, you don’t hear it much in bands. The New Pornographers are a big inspiration. Fleetwood Mac and X, as different as they are, both did it brilliantly. Those bands dig into multiple perspectives within a single song, and do it magically. That’s the starting point for The Armoires.”

That blend of literate expressiveness and the sweet and sour harmonies of Broome and keyboard player Christina Bulbenko is the thread holding the songs of The Armoires together. It's a sophisticated but exuberant variation on the power pop blueperint, rooted in a blend of West Coast and English psychedelia but utterly timeless. Jangly soundscapes like “Fort Ashby” and the edgier "Doubtful Sound” sit comfortably next the garage-rock clang of “Norma Corona, What Have You Done?”, the Madchester-tinged groove of "Caterwaul", and chamber pop hard luck stories like “Live & Direct”. Touches of new wave, shoegazer dreampop and even classic country broaden the pallet still further.

The eclectic musical landscape and emotive core of the band are reflected by its name, coined by Christina. “It was perfect for us! I couldn’t believe it wasn’t being used already,” she laughs. “I imagined this quirky, lovingly crafted but battered piece of furniture. Anything could be inside. Old Halloween costumes, clothes that don’t quite fit anymore, little boxes filled with old ticket stubs and mementos. Anything the people in our lyrics might cherish, but not have the strength to deal with day to day. Our songs are the moments when they open the armoire and delve into the past, the memories they haven’t quite processed, the forgotten joys and suppressed tragedies. We sing those reveries for them.”

They sing their own reveries as well. Initially conceived of as a low-key duo, The Armoires blossomed into a full band with the help of Christina's son Ian, who lent his talents as a drummer and recording engineer. Ian passed away tragically the day after The Armoires' debut show. Moving forward with the music has proven to be the only way of coping with his loss. Three of Ian's performances are preserved on The Armoires' debut LP "Incidental Lightshow", and the band's tribute to him, "Playing with the Lights", is the centerpiece of their live sets and the album.

Bringing the stories to life on stage are Christina's daughter Larysa on viola, the multitalented Nate Myer on a bewildering number of auxiliary instruments, and the longtime rhythm section from Rex’s prior band Skates & Rays, drummer Derek Hanna and bassist Clifford Ulrich. In the time since that first show, The Armoires have never slowed down, performing regularly in their native Southern California and touring farther afield as their audience has achieved an international reach. Performances at the International Pop Overthrow Festival in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Arizona-- where they also served as the backing band for rising star Cait Brennan-- put the band in their proper context as passionate keepers of the flame of melody, harmony and storytelling in rock and roll.

Inspired by the IPO Festival and wishing to give back to the power pop community which has welcomed and embraced them, Rex and Christina have created a monthly showcase for like-minded bands and their fans at CIA (California Institute of Abnormalarts) in North Hollywood. Dubbed “Big Stir: Power Pop and More”, the series has seen The Armoires hosting and sharing the stage with such scene luminaries as Maple Mars, The Cherry Bluestorms, The Living Dolls, The World Record, Robbie Rist and Plasticsoul, and again backing Cait Brennan. An escape from and alternative to the madness of the LA music scene, Big Stir is fast becoming a monthly destination for those seeking a night of jangly and harmony-laden melodic rock. It personifies the band’s perhaps foolhardy approach of heart, soul, community and family over commercialism and networking.

In the spring of 2016, The Armoires joined the roster of Brennan's Black Market Glamour imprint just as they completed their record, and embarked on a series of shows in the UK and at home, garnering international acclaim and airplay, in support of a dream that by all rights might never have been allowed to blossom. The Armoires have finally, somewhat to their own surprise, arrived. "We didn't know how to start, and we didn't know if we could go on after losing Ian," says Christina. "In the end we had to. And now we've found ourselves welcomed into this beautiful community of amazing musicians and songwriters who get what we were trying to do all along. We're flabbergasted, humbled, and happy to be home."

The Armoires’ debut album “Incidental Lightshow” will be released July 5, 2016 on Black Market Glamour.



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