Andy Clockwise: After dazzling critics and fans alike with his double-album Classic FM, Australian singer-songwriter Andy Clockwise is living in Los Angeles and set to release his second full-length album, The Socialite. “It’s about me trying to find some sort of state of grace in the cult of celebrity,” says Clockwise, who was based in London when he came to LA for a two-week visit in mid-2007 - and decided to stay. “I’m not really one who likes to embrace a scene, but I ended up finding LA incredibly interesting.” Clockwise has co-produced the new album with Daniel Rejmer, whose recording credits include The Kills, Billy Bragg, Björk and Nick Cave. Classically trained, Clockwise cites influences as diverse as Charlie Chaplin and the prime-time news media, and is renowned for the massive range of musical styles which surface in his song writing and performing. In addition to writing all of his own music, Clockwise plays every instrument on his recorded tracks. His reputation for daring on-stage showmanship has garnered Clockwise a fervent live following; his unpredictable and electrifying live shows have sold out venues across Australia, London, New York - and more recently some of LA’s most iconic venues: The Hotel Café, The Viper Room and Spaceland.
A House for Lions: “With the band’s catchy, emotive sound — equal parts dusty alt-country and lovelorn late ’90s alt-rock — we’re surprised debut EP track ‘Let Back’ isn’t as big a hit as ‘Pumped Up Kicks’.” --L.A. Times
“Purveyors of gorgeous anthemic rock” --Kevin Bronson, BuzzBands.LA
"L.A.'s A House for Lions showed off a robust rock sound at Rusty's on Wednesday, adding garage ferocity to the softer, '90s-influenced alt-rock of debut EP 'I Want Us to Be Remembered'. The group just finished a new batch of demos, including electric scorcher 'XOX'." --Billboard.com
It’s hard to believe that I Want Us To Be Remembered is A House For Lions’ first release. The band’s debut EP is the kind of indie folk rock that can make even the coldest heart melt.
Daniel Norman, now songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist of A House For Lions, moved to Los Angeles four years ago to pursue the Tinseltown dream that is all too familiar. Finding acting less artistically satisfying than he’d hoped, Daniel spent some time in Berlin with friends to escape the LA scene and clear his head. While walking through a park, the melody for the first track on the record, “Let Back,” stuck in his head and it never left. That is when the first inkling of A House For Lions was born. The song is about wanting to build something of consequence while facing an uncertain future and though that’s how most great dreams start, the future for A House For Lions now looks bright.
In the summer of 2009, Norman had begun writing his first songs and began to seek out kindred spirits to flesh out the sound of his bare-bones experiments. In March 2010 he found guitarist Mike Nissen, who in turn introduced his friend Eric McCann to the project, adding upright bass and keys. They clicked instantly. After a hard search and hiring out the drums for a while, they added full time member Joe Luisi to round out the group. They developed a sound informed by Daniel’s roots in North Carolina and the progressive sounds of Los Angeles and the indie rock scene, fusing an art-rock sensibility with elements of alt-country. While the music has been influenced by the classics and new essentials Radiohead, Beatles, Broken Social Scene, and The Shins, their sound is entirely their own. They could easily hold their own alongside bands like Band of Horses, Dawes, and Fleet Foxes.
Once solidified, A House For Lions started playing in local indie rock venues and within six months had recorded their first EP with LA indie producer Raymond Richards (Local Natives). The EP features instruments as eclectic as the Marxophone and pedal steel guitar alongside the basic rock standards. They had also attracted the attention of producer Garret “Jacknife” Lee (U2, Snow Patrol, Weezer), who invited them to open for his project Tired Pony (featuring Gary Lightbody and Peter Buck) at the prestigious El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles. Since then, A House For Lions has been gathering swift momentum. The band nationally released their debut EP I Want Us To Be Remembered on March 1, 2011 and will be booking shows in and outside of Los Angeles.
Jesse Kivel: Somewhere along the line, Matt and Jesse Kivel’s creative perfectionism challenged them to stretch their songwriting beyond pop music and into the avant-garde. For Princeton’s sophomore LP,Remembrance of Things to Come, the identical twin brothers shed the traditional rock-writing tropes-multiple chord changes, verse/chorus key shifts and electric guitar-that guided their 2009 debut LP,Cocoon of Love. Choosing instead to obsessively focus upon compositional patterns, dynamic rhythms and dense percussion orchestrations. The hypnosis of classical minimalism and its short, repetitive phrases became an artistic compulsion, and blending it with electronic dance music provided the conceptual genesis for Princeton’s new aural direction. So began a redefining of what the band was to become. Perfection, they learned, is not achieved when there is nothing more to add but when there is nothing left to take away. Employing the help of the seven-piece Los Angeles New Music Ensemble, Matt and Jesse Kivel hardly played instruments on the tracks as complex arrangements were layered over Ben Usen’s syncopated piano and David Kitz’s meticulous drumming. In the end, 18 songs were recorded and the 10 most cohesive pieces were chosen for the final album. They titled it after the thematic opener, “Remembrance of Things to Come.” The final result is an intricate pop opus that stretches the band’s ambitious vision and vital impulses.