Lyrical excryations adjure the unafraid and the unadorned. Tailoring surrealist tightropes, extensive forms merge with roots in traditional instrument playing. Take the inspirational tint from many a dirge-y folk legend, and examine the void, in to a shocktail of startled state and ecstasy. Watch the end of the hibernation and resolve.
Liz Hanley, Thomas Lebioda, Ben Trott, Ray Rizzo and Ally Fraser found a strong emotional and intellectual connection that became the incitement and open field of imagination, for Frogbelly and Symphony. Based in Sheffield, UK and Brooklyn, NY, the music reveals a stylistic repertoire that injects the indigenous working man's soul into the periphery of the bohemian metropolis. Ranging from post-punk and noise rock, to theatrical poetry performance, this new ensemble casts a coalescent process into the heart of the listener.
In May 2012, the five musicians took up intensive songwriting and arranging-work in New York City and involved producer Martin Bisi in the creative process. This was followed by a recording session at the fabled BC Studio that has distinctively given bands such as Sonic Youth, Swans and Dresden Dolls the phonic garb of their earlier recordings. 'the EYE' The first record taken from that session will be released on August 19th 2013 through Labelship/ Brokensilence/Shellshock
The opening track 'Amour Fou' sets the poem 'Ache and Confusion' by Rumi (*1207) to music. Its driving beat is somewhat new wave-y spiked with spiritual fetish and art-rock eruptions - the dream world opera. 'Paying The Price' encounters you with strange time signatures and grotesque vocal melodies. 'One' will have bustled past crucial My Bloody Valentine and Mothers Of Invention before a dramatic emo-rock finale releases you sans-caesura into the psychedelic prisms of 'Lonely Seabird' where the band tributes the mysterious late sixties San Franciscan band, The Travel Agency. 'Sugar Castles' opens the B-side phantasmally with a dandy-ish groove as if the early Roxy Music had embodied a female spook. Then 'Kookaburra'leaps schizophrenically between folk tunes and feedback orgies and indubitably sets the theatrical climax of this debut.
With all due drama, the little spaghetti western epilogue 'Matze' splashes out a sense of humour, that unlike many other art-rock formations, releases the listener conciliatorily into the crackle of the infinite last thread.
Frogbelly And Symphony are currently preparing their new performance in New York. The upcoming tour will take the band across the UK and continental Europe from September to October 2013.
Ben Trott studied guitar in Doncaster and is an integral member of the traditional music scene in the UK. He plays in the folk institution 'The Albion Band' and can always be found at one of the countless sessions around his hometown of Sheffield.
Ray Rizzo is based in Louisville, KY and NYC and has lent his skills as a drummer, actor, songwriter and all-round musician to many a music, art and theatre project. He is also the initiator of Louisville's 'Mother Lodge Festival' and currently plays with Julia Stone, Glen Hansard and Michael Shannon (Corporal). His creative contributions to Frogbelly And Symphony go far beyond just being a drummer. He shares the drum stool with Ally Fraserfrom Sheffield who has recently joined the band. Besides living a musical life on the rock-side of the things (being engaged in bands such as Oblong), he is also a maker and designer of bespoke wooden furniture which gave him the nickname of 'Woodman'.
Liz Hanley - keyboardist, violinist and singer - is originally from Boston, MA and has been practising music professionally mainly in New York. She studied classical violin and NYU and is also in the band Emanuel And The Fear. A major influence however, is traditional Irish music which has been a constant throughout her musical career. She has begun to explore the realm of songwriting in Frogbelly And Symphony.
Sheffield resident of Hamburg origin, Thomas Leboida, mostly provides the foundation to Frogbelly And Symphony's compositions. As a bassplayer, songwriter and producer, he can look back on a long list of bands and projects such as the theatrical rock formation Philipp Caspar Frederick, or Somerset songwriter project Kid Decker. He also owns and manages the independent record label, Labelship.
1. Amour Fou
2. Paying The Price
3. Lonely Seabird
4. Sugar Castles