After their highly acclaimed release “Paper Diamonds”, and last year’s summery EP “Heatwave”, San Francisco indie pop darlings Ash Reiter are at it again with a new full length album, “HOLA” on San Francisco’s own 20 Sided Records (and yes, it is a Dungeons and Dragons reference). They will release the album November 30th sharing the bill with DRMS and Cannons and Clouds.
Upon first listen it is evident the band has grown up a bit with “HOLA”. These dreamy pop songs are full of lush instrumentation and catchy vocals that bring to mid a modern Fleetwood Mac. The record is drenched in warm vocal harmonies, soaring guitar lines, and driven by a rhythm section that will make you wanna jump- this undeniably California sound is irresistible. Lead by former Oakland elementary school teacher, Ash Reiter, the band is taking their music to new heights this year with the release of their new full length "HOLA" along with a rigorous tour schedule that has them playing all over the US. The band is thrilled to be sharing their tunes with new fans around the country.
“This album was fun to make. We did a lot of really playful and experimental stuff-mostly in our home studio. Some of my favorite moments were captured while working in pairs, to get a wild sound that only four arms could achieve, with one person manipulating effects pedals and another playing an instrument. It made the editing/mixing process fun and challenging too.” Reiter adds, “At certain point we had so many different parts recorded it made the possibilities for each song seem almost endless. It got a little daunting” The result is album full of overlapping melodies and vibrant textures- sitting somewhere between the classic sounds of the Beach Boys and the more wild sounds of bands like Animal Collective.
“HOLA” also marks the beginning of the band’s current line up. Reiter's delicate voice, knack for classic pop melody, and structure define the band's sound but all in all it is a family band, each member adding a critical piece. Ash is accompanied by brothers Scott Brown (bass) and Drew Brown (guitar), boyfriend Will Halsey on drums and the newest member Anthony Ferraro (keys). Scott, Drew and Anthony have all gone to school for music and have the chops to show for it. However their playing is by no means by the book. While Drew's training is in jazz his playing combines the best of Albert Hammond Jr and Nels Cline. His little brother Scott Brown would be at home in Motown's Studio A, while Anthony's tempered playing adds a subtle gloss to complete the songs. From their home recording studio in the idyllic Berkeley hills the band captures an undeniably California sound- sunny, dreamy and naturally blond. “I’m really happy with the band we have now, they’re great at interpreting the color and direction of the songs and often challenge me to take my writing in new directions. I really can’t wait to see what else we can do.” Ash says of the new line up.
With their new album "HOLA", the band is saying hello to a world but they have been around for a while and already have some impressive albums under their belt. Ash Reiter's first self released full length "Paper Diamonds" (2010) offers an eclectic mix of songs demonstrating the bands affinity for stretching a simple folk song into a many layered psychedelic pop masterpiece. Drummer, Will Halsey, cut his teeth as a producer mixing and recording this record. In his trademark unorthodox style combines hi fi and lo fi- creating his own "mid fi" style. The albums instrumentation is very diverse using everything from cookie sheets, washboards, and synthesizers to stylophones, clarinets, and horns. Their most recent EP "Heatwave", released last November, began to feature a darker side of Ash Reiter. The songs on this album are tighter and more intentionally crafted. This is also the first album to feature the full band and to be recorded in a professional studio (San Francisco's Different Fur Studio).
Now fast-forward to late 2012 and their second full-length album- "HOLA" is finally ready for release. "HOLA" has been a long time in the making. The band began recording the album with engineer Carlos Arredondo at New Improved Recording in Oakland (Tune-yards and Deerhoof) shortly after the release of "Paper Diamonds" in 2010. They gradually added to the album with home studio overdubs, adding as many as a hundred tracks to some songs. This attention to detail and lush production sets "HOLA" apart from your average indie band. The songs are both playful, thought provoking, and stir something in the listener. The lyrics tackle unusual themes- in "Little Sandy" Reiter explores the American pioneer experience. The song "Ishi" uses the troubled life of California's historical figure Ishi - The Last of His Tribe for subject matter. While "I've Got Something I Can Laugh About" follows themes of embarrassment and Reiter's own struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. Not the stuff of your typical pop song, but perhaps that's what is so appealing about this band- they are familiar but a little weird. You can be sure to expect more weirdness to come with future recordings. The band has already debuted some live performances of new unrecorded songs ala St Vincent and Grizzly Bear. Look out for Ash Reiter in a city near you or pickup an album at ashreiter.com. Preview the record at ashreiter.bandcamp.com/album/hola or check out the bands video from director Christine Hucal featuring the album’s single “I’ve Got Something I Can Laugh About”. It's a hilarious video featuring a bunny having a not so good day but eventually getting even with some whipped cream pies. View it here http://www.youtube.com/watch