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Threefifty | Gently Among the Coals

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Rock: Post-Rock/Experimental Classical: New Music Ensemble Moods: Instrumental
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Gently Among the Coals

by Threefifty

Predominantly instrumental music influenced in equal parts by post-rock, minimalism, folk, and Baroque music.
Genre: Rock: Post-Rock/Experimental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Crossing State Lines
4:16 $0.99
2. Allegiance
4:14 $0.99
3. Andromeda
6:32 $0.99
4. Unanchored
5:20 $0.99
5. Until Our Hearts Give Out
4:34 $0.99
6. You Are Going the Right Way
5:02 $0.99
7. The Door
5:26 $0.99
8. Fields
6:37 $0.99
9. More (feat. Daedelus)
4:23 $0.99
10. Their Place at the Table
4:23 $0.99
11. Running in a Burning House (feat. Nathan Koci)
6:08 $0.99
12. Freedmen
2:41 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Threefifty has been called a post-rock band before, but that seems too plain – labeling the eclecticism of Threefifty’s sound requires something that gets more obnoxiously specific – perhaps post-minimalist-baroque-folk-rock. As Spinal Tap as that amalgam may sound, founders Brett Parnell and Geremy Schulick are musicians who made their hay playing guitar duo arrangements from Bach’s The Well Tempered Clavier and have now gotten their hands on a more modern heart-on-your-sleeve genre, creating something that rings authentic despite the fact that it’s never really been heard before.

Borne of early infatuations with guitar-heroes ranging from Chet Atkins to Randy Rhoads to Mark Knopfler to Julian Bream, Parnell and Schulick's musical seasoning began with their parents' record players and led them to the Yale School of Music's classical guitar program, countless hours in the recording studio, and on far flung tours throughout the U.S., U.K., Austria, and Bosnia. Now having cut four albums and landed gigs at BAM’s Crossing Brooklyn Ferry Festival and BAMcafé Live, WNYC's Soundcheck, TEDx Carnegie Mellon University, New York Guitar Festival, and The Englert Theatre, Threefifty has spent years learning the rules so that they might begin to gloriously break them.

Threefifty’s first record, released shortly after setting up base in NYC in 2006, is a testament to the duo’s classical pedigree. Self-titled though it is, it is made up primarily of works composed by the likes of Scarlatti, Handel, and Brahms and less so of Parnell and Schulick themselves. 2009’s follow-up, Circles, is comprised of entirely original music, but adheres throughout to the acoustic guitar duo configuration that has been considered Threefifty’s bread and butter since their formation. Select tracks on 2013’s Collapses incorporate more instruments and timbres into the mix, signaling Threefifty’s burgeoning shift from letting their guitars do all the talking to allowing their music to speak for itself.

Threefifty’s latest full-length record, Gently Among the Coals, finds the band blazing down new pathways with an energy and earnestness that is immediately genuine in spite of its indefinable novelty. Having hinted at an 8-piece configuration on Collapses, Gently Among the Coals showcases the expansive yet tightly-knit band that Threefifty has transmogrified into. From the very first track, “Crossing State Lines,” Parnell and Schulick tease with electric guitar interplay draped in overdrive and effects, only to be joined by Kenji Shinagawa’s refreshing mandolin, Joanie Leon-Guerrero Parnell’s swaying, wordless vocals, and the swoon of Andie Springer’s violin. “Allegiance” offers listeners their first taste of the vivid poetry of Vicki Kennelly Stock, the late mother of Schulick's wife and fellow band member Jennifer Stock. Parnell and Schulick’s signature thematic lines are tucked into a rich tapestry of effects and musical forces, from Eleonore Oppenheim’s impeccable work on bass, Evan Mitchell’s driving percussion, to Stock’s electronically-inspired organ lines. The middle section in “Andromeda” serves as an homage to the baroque repertoire Schulick and Parnell mastered whilst honing their craft as classical guitarists, and "The Door" pays tribute to the infectious layered textures of Steve Reich. “Fields” opens with electric guitar played through a polyphonic octave effect that imbues the sound and aura of a massive pipe organ, implying sacred music before the tide rolls into a pounding, full-band theme that ought to be played from a mountaintop. Renowned producer and electronic musician Daedelus created the emphatically kinetic drum part for “More,” a jangly steel-string driven tune that repeatedly crumbles into splintered syncopations before its optimistic theme returns. “Running in a Burning House” is a Morricone-inspired Spaghetti-Western ballad featuring Nathan Koci on trumpet, accordion, and whistling with a vibrancy and clarity that would make a chickadee blush.

“Freedmen” is the culmination of Gently Among the Coals as well as, perhaps, what the record signifies as a landmark in Threefifty’s evolution. Built on a low-register choir, the piece is Threefifty's first and only track that omits the guitar. As the monasterial wane of the choral forces conjoins with the sentimental glissando of Parnell’s pedal-steel, it feels like Threefifty’s sanguine wave goodbye to a time when merely six strings ruled the day, a graceful, climactic shattering of their sound in the interest of plucking something new from the rubble.

- Elias Blumm

Threefifty is proud to be a part of the D'Addario artist family.



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