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REVERB NATION LINK TO STAT: https://www.reverbnation.com/raymondhayden
Music fans of the Pacific Northwest, get ready for our fourth annual year-end daily local music showcase, 100 Bands in 100 Days, where every day until December 31st, we’re showcasing a new band or artist you have to know about, presented by Verity Credit Union. Make sure you are checking the #100Bands100Days hashtag at Twitter on the daily to stay on top of all the bands featured and make sure to follow Verity on Twitter and NW_Music_Scene as well. Some days the featured act could be an established and locally-adored northwest-based musician and other times they could be a band with a small following that just hasn’t had their deserved time in the sun yet. Either way, we’re fairly confident you can come away from this daily segment with plenty of new favorites. Today’s featured artist is Grieve the Astronaut from Tacoma.
With the sound today’s band makes, it’s not hard to imagine that many of the members are connected musically via other projects and have spent plenty of time together either on the stage performing or in the practice space. The leader of this highly competent outfit is Raymond Hayden who handles lead vocals and shares piano duties with Calissa Knox, while Taylor Enloe shreds on the guitar. Ben Beman is on the bass, Mike Burt on the drums, with Mackenzie Enloe and Jessica Lynne on backing vocals. The result is a contagious mixture of progressive rock, with an exclamation point on the visual aspect to the band’s music.
In 2015, Grieve the Astronaut was born out of a vision to inspire people to follow their own dreams utilizing our music as the soundtrack on their journey. Their music has been described sonically as a blend of the soundscape of Pink Floyd and Coldplay. The visual elements of their live show has been carefully crafted to create a dynamic that emphasizes the dynamics of the music and incorporates a light show and narrative that captures the essence of their message.
In 2017, the band is debuting a new show and new songs. The new show is a combination of the debut CD in full as well as other compositions written collaboratively. The show incorporates aspects of sounds directly from NASA’s soundboard to give the audience the perspective of the past, present and future of the band’s muse…the metaphor of the astronaut!
If you are a fan of Porcupine Tree and solo material by prog-rock genius Steven Wilson, you’ll probably find a lot to like about Grieve the Astronaut.
LINK TO THE ACTUAL 100 BANDS | 100 DAYS:
Our very own blogger...the one...the only....Susan in Seattle is now published on WEAR THE MUSIC:
On August 25th, 2017, Grieve the Astronaut was invited to be a guest on KHQ FOX 28 in Spokane, WA. We were honored to play six songs...be interviewed on Coffee with Cory on their FB Live Channel and be interviewed on live television towards the end of our appearance.
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CIRKE: RAYMOND HAYDEN / CHRIS KLIMECKY TWILIGHT
Grieve the Astronaut makes its way back, only this time as a video/track review of Raymond Hayden and Chris Klimecky's latest release Twilight. This piece is an emotional vocal/piano duo, a style that has become quite common in the world of pop music and stands as a sound that is sought after when done properly. This track and video were executed flawlessly.
Hayden's ability to compose dramatic, full-bodied art, is showcased the best within this track alone. You really connect with this creative mind through his music, the keys, the chordal structures, progressions, and meleodies. All of which are right here in this track. Raymond has proved himself to be quite a diverse songwriter, as the group has yet to produce a composition quite like this one. A brilliant piece at that.
As I did mention, this is a vocal/piano duo. Again, this has been a trend for several years, and perhaps decades. It seems as though there will always be a market for the style and consumers will always come back for more, as radio stations seek it out tirelessly. Hayden and Klimecky stand out from the market with ease. The meticulously shaped lyrics give way to passion and finds itself in the hands of a passionate pianist. This factor alone sets them aside from the large crowd, trying so desperately hard to produce a pop single in this style. While it may seem as though I am trying to label this composition and fit it into a genre, I'm not. You can't. This is a piece all on its own and shall be taken for what it is. Beauty.
It is worth mentioning that Hayden has spent most of his life dedicating himself to his craft and it is quite disappointing that he makes very few appearances here. It becomes quite obvious when you take a listen to some other tracks he has produced but is not able to showcase that gift and dedication in the video visually. Chris Taylor, the director, does a fabulous job in portraying this composition in a beautiful manner.
On its own, “Twilight,” by Raymond Hayden and Chris Klimecky is a soaring, beautiful, musical journey of hope. Lush and colorful, the composition is a perfect marriage of keyboard, voice and emotion. If you thought you knew the song before the video, you might want to reconsider after a view or two.
Director Chris Taylor’s filming of the “Twilight” video in monochrome creates a striking contrast to such a full and inspired arrangement, but it works in a way one wouldn’t expect. Lengthwise to the hopeful lyrics and lovely structure, a melancholy lies beneath the surface which is open to interpretation.
One doesn’t experience such a need for close analysis when hearing the song alone, but the video adds a layer which requires a bit of reflection, if not exploration of one’s own feelings regarding the message.
With shots of Hayden playing and Danish superstar Cirke singing Klimecky’s lovely words, actress Madison Ciara Skoog lends her beautiful youth to film and is the fulcrum which elevates this piece to that which must be examined further.
In another’s director’s hands, this may have been a very different video, but this one expands the continuum of “Twilight,” magnifying its appeal.
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