Circa Survive lead vocalist Anthony Green just released his third solo album, Young Legs. This week, Green is being featured in our Unlocked series on The Key. In her review of the album, Beth Ann Downey calls Young Legs “mature, piano-driven rock music with unexpected influences throughout, showing that Green is more than just the Circa Survive frontman, the punk rock artist, the husband, the dad, and definitely, more than just the guy with a guitar.” The album is thick with dramatic, colorful sounds, sophisticated rhythms, taut melodies, with touches of psychedelia and Green’s voice wrapped in warm reverb and soaring harmonies, especially on songs like “100 Steps,” and “Anytime.” The Doylestown native musician plays Union Transfer on Saturday, December 14th, with members of his band including Circa Survive’s Brendan Ekstrom and Good Old War.
You can get a download of “I’ll Miss You” from Anthony’s album in our Unlocked feature here. Below, in exchange for your e-mail address, download “Breaker.”
Up until now, Anthony Green’s solo records have been seemingly autobiographical.
The release of 2008’s debut Avalon, featuring tell-all tracks like “She Loves Me So” and “Babygirl,” coincided with his marriage to wife Meredith. Last year, Green celebrated the birth of their first child on Beautiful Things with songs like “James’ Song,” named for his son; “Love You No Matter What,” which paints a pretty clear picture of parenthood; and “Lullaby,” which features the chorus from which the album title is derived.
One would think he would continue this autobiographical streak on Young Legs, Green’s third solo record released a day ahead of schedule Monday to the surprise of fans. But instead, Green chose to write the entire record from other peoples’ perspectives — only letting little pieces of himself bleed through lyrically, and providing a distancethat won’t make listeners feel quite the same warmth that Green created on his first two records.
This new dynamic should in no way be construed as a bad thing. Instead of stating it outright, Green allows people to get a sense of where he is at this point of both his personal and musical life throughout the instrumental decisions made on Young Legs. It’s more mature, piano-driven rock music with unexpected influences throughout, showing that Green is more than just the Circa Survive frontman, the punk rock artist, the husband, the dad, and definitely, more than just the guy with a guitar. Continue reading →
A friend of renowned Doylestown-native musician Anthony Green asked him to write a song about someone close to him who had recently died.
Green, the frontman for spacey rock outfit Circa Survive who has also fostered a burgeoning solo career, had never really written songs from another person’s perspective. The experience forced him to tell stories, capture emotions and convey feelings through his music in a whole different way.
That song, titled “I’ll Miss You,” became the impetus for Green’s third solo album, Young Legs, which is out today on his own label, Moshtradamus Records. Green went on to write each song on the record about something inspiring he found within the people around him, and the experiences they were going through.
“It’s such tricky science. I love playing with it,” Green says of songwriting. “For a long time, I think I looked at it very narrowly and linear. I went in and I just sang over the music that I heard. I drew emotion from the sound of the music, and wasn’t as involved in the center of it until now, until I started doing fuller stuff, until I started writing my own songs and writing my own music and just really playing around with the science of songwriting.”
Green blends a laundry list of influences into his solo material. Because of this, Young Legs leaps from rock riffs to blues grooves to classical flourishes with the drop of a hat (listen here via Soundcloud). “I’ll Miss You” stands out as the album’s sad, straightforward and slowly building ballad, and is indicative of the mature, piano-driven sound Green was going for with the album.
He was urged to record “I’ll Miss You” by Keith Goodwin, frontman for Philly-based folkies Good Old War. The group doubles as Green’s collaborative back-up band both in the studio and on the road.
“He was like, ‘Dude it’s amazing. I really love it and I hear all of this cool stuff happening in it,’” Green recalls of the conversation with Goodwin. “I listened to it after Keith had said that, and was like, ‘Wow, this really is kind of a magical song. It could be beautiful.’ That song is really what kind of gave me the idea to start putting all of these songs together.”
Check back all this week for more about the release of Young Legs as we highlight the album in our Unlocked series – which showcases new and significant albums from Philadelphia area artists – with a review, video, interview and more. Below, download “I’ll Miss You,” and check back tomorrow for a review of the album.
Philadelphia local and Circa Survive frontman Anthony Green recently announced that he is recording a children’s album. PropertyOfZack quotes Anthony as saying, “Recording demos for this children’s album that I’m trying to put out around Christmas. What makes a song a ‘kids’ song? Just because it’s for kids doesn’t mean it has to be dumb right?” It sounds like the recent birth of Anthony’s two sons may be the inspiration for some awesome sing-along indie rock hits about potty training.
In addition to these recent developments, Anthony is releasing his third solo album Young Legs November 12th. With his voice, songwriting skills, and the help of Will Yip at Studio 4 in Conshohocken, this is an album to look forward to. While Anthony’s other solo stuff is acoustic and influenced by folk, the first single of the new album, “Breaker” is led by piano and sounds spacier, more like Circa Survive.
You can listen to “Breaker” below, and pre-order the album here. Anthony will also be embarking on a month long US tour ending in Philadelphia on December 14th at Union Transfer. Find tickets to that show here.
The act of producer Will Yip opening Conshohoken’s Studio 4 this weekend for a pair of intimate acoustic shows this weekend was like opening the door to his home, and he treated the audience like family.
The Friday night audience were welcomed to 24 chairs set up in the studio’s live room and Off The Board: A Studio 4 Family Compilation playing as the house music. Yip invited guests to get comfortable, offering refreshments from the studio’s fridge saying “we’re all family here.” The tracking room acted as a green room for the night’s performers, which included Tigers Jaw’s Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins, and Circa Survive frontman Anthony Green as the headlining act.
Helping to greet guests was Grammy-winning producer and Studio 4 founder Phil Nicolo, who cracked jokes about Will and how clean the space was before settling in to run sound for the night.
“Thanks for supporting this and the process of making awesome music,” Yip said to the crowd before the show began.
“The best part of being here is that we get to have fun and we get to make music,” Nicolo added. “What a great job, you know?”
Walsh and Collins started off their set with “Home” and “Chemicals,” followed by “Nervous Kids,” which they said would appear on a new forthcoming record. The band covered Title Fight’s “Where Am I?” dedicating the song to a friend who had recently passed away.
“I’m sure by now you know Will is putting out a comp,” Walsh joked with the audience before playing “Carry You Over,” the song Tigers Jaw offered up for the compilation (listen to it here), and ending with another new tune.
Yip shuffled around, setting up mics and checking sound before Green’s set. Yip recently recorded Green’s third solo album, Young Legs, which is due out in November.
“I want everyone to turn around and look at this guy right here, Will Yip. He’s the reason everyone’s here,” said Green before starting his set, gaining applause from the audience. He added that the first time he set foot in Studio 4, he thought about how cool it would be to have a show in the space.
“I’m so glad we’re doing it,” Green said. “I’ve spent so many hours in here jamming, sweating and putting songs together.”
Green certainly didn’t hold back in front of the captivated audience, playing songs off Young Legs and running the gamut of older songs as fans sung along. He also threw in a cover of the Fleet Foxes’ “Someone You’d Admire,” needing a few moments to remember how to play the opening chords.
“You guys are so quiet, it’s mega weird,” he said of the intimate setting. “It’s like playing in my bedroom. I just got chills.”
Green thanks the audience for their undivided attention, calling the quiet the “utmost sign of respect.” He ended the set with “James,” while also sharing stories about his family and his son, for whom the song was written.
After extending an invitation to stay and hang out, or even join him for after-party bowling, Yip ended the show and thanked everyone for their support.
It was a great night for all to feel like a part of the Studio 4 family, in the place they call home.
Settled between a row of gleaming gold records and a wall of shiny metal knobs, producer Will Yip looks at right at home behind his Neve console in Conshohoken’s Studio 4.
He and Wayne Wildrick, guitarist for Jersey-based pop punk band Man Overboard, listen to drummer Joe Talarico play in the next room. He’s tracking for a fast, new and un-demoed Man O song, and still not quite getting it despite take after take. Yip gives direction on hitting the crash and keeping tempo as the drummer’s bandmate offers more pointers in reference to the other instrumentation in the song. The click track whirs by again and again; the BPMs are so high, it’s more like a hum than a rhythm.
“How is it possible for any human to play along with that?” Yip asks jokingly. But as a drummer who’s played every style from hardcore to R&B, he probably has some idea.
There’s a wealth of knowledge and experience, coupled with a can-do attitude, that has brought bands to record with Yip in Studio 4 since he was just barely out of his teens. Now, the 26-year-old remains laid back and constantly smiling despite the pressure one might think would come with recording some of the best bands in the current punk/pop punk/hardcore scene, and working to bring out the best in all of them.
“He’s something else, that’s for sure,” Wildrick says of working with Yip. Man Overboard recorded for the first time with him in January for their third studio album Heart Attack, and credits Yip with its success. “He brings the performance out of bands. It’s just a whole other thing.”
From hometown heroes of the greater Philadelphia area – Circa Survive, Title Fight, Balance and Composure and Daylight – to national acts, bands from every area of alternative have been flocking to Yip for his stamp of production approval. In turn, he’s helped these bands reach vocal and instrumental lengths they never dreamed of, given them releases worthy of the Billboard Top 200, and most likely became one of their best friends in just that short month or so spent in the studio.
All of Yip’s efforts, from his work ethic to his approachable demeanor, are a part of his 30-year rule. Continue reading →
For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, contributing writer Beth Ann Downey ranks her top collaborations from regional artists.
We music lovers read, browse, skim, agree with, disagree with and soon forget so many of these lists this time of year. But if you’re a rock/punk/alternative lover from in or around Philadelphia, hopefully you’ll remember this one.
Collaborations amongst hard-working artists are undoubtedly how the best music is made. And in a time when folk, hip-hop and electronic music seem to top most of these other lists this year, I wanted to highlight the local singers, instrumentalists and producers who work together to do what they love despite what’s popular.
Collaborations are also where we see scene veterans training or complimenting emerging talent, and vice versa. Whether it’s bringing them out on tour or asking them to provide guest vocals on a new track, it’s great to see bands helping each other, or big-time producers working diligently on what they think should become the next big thing.
Here are five examples, in no particular order, of just how much love and talent the city of Brotherly Love has to go around. Continue reading →