ABOUT MIKE MAINS & THE BRANCHES:
Formed in Texas and flourishing in Detroit, this indie rock collective has spent the last few years making waves around and in-between. Following the release of their debut album Home, Mike Mains & the Branches used their unique sound, captivating live performances and relentless touring to carve out a firm place for themselves in the hearts of indie rock music fans everywhere.
Spring 2013 brought them an exceedingly successful Pledge Music campaign in which their fans funded 119% of their $35K goal, allowing the band to record their sophomore record, Calm Down, Everything Is Fine.
The time-frame surrounding the recording of Calm Down was by the far the most challenging and most rewarding experience of the bands’ career thus far–between getting their van and trailer stolen, re-recording the entire album, band members coming and going, they truly couldn’t have chosen a more fitting album title. And despite it all, they captured that tension and channeled it– in the form of 11 brand new songs that they are excited to finally share with the world.
In 2014, the band self-released Calm Down, Everything Is Fine, which debuted at #15 on the Billboard Top New Artist Albums Chart. New York Minute Mag said it best: “In a time of Bieberesque silliness and hipster pretention, Mike Mains & The Branches are a voice of reason.”
Spring 2013 brought them an exceedingly successful PledgeMusic campaign in which their fans funded 119% of their $35K goal, to allow them to record their sophomore record, Calm Down, Everything Is Fine. The time-frame surrounding the recording of the new album was by the far the most challenging and most rewarding experience of the bands’ career–between getting their van and trailer stolen, re-recording the entire album, band members coming and going, they truly couldn’t have chosen a more fitting album title. And despite it all, they captured that tension and channeled it– in the form of 11 brand new songs that they are excited to finally share with the world.
In February, the band released Calm Down, Everything Is Fine, which debuted at #15 on the Billboard Top New Artist Albums Chart. New York Minute Mag said it best: “In a time of Bieberesque silliness and hipster pretention, Mike Mains & The Branches are a voice of reason.”
Seabird’s 2008 debut ‘Til We See the Shore turned the piano pop rockers into a national name with the hit single “Rescue,” prominent TV placements and several major coast-to-coast tours. Fans got to hear the band on a PureVolume Session and Paste Magazine sampler, and Amazon.com made the album a “Deal of the Day.” It was such a banner year that they even earned their hometown’s highest music honor, “Artist of the Year,” at the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards. Most bands would either take a break or keep working the same album, but not Seabird. Just over a year after releasing their breakthrough debut, the piano-pounding rockers march on with their sophomore album Rocks Into Rivers.
The new album features all that Seabird does best – rich melodies, immediate vocal hooks and picturesque naratives – but Rocks Into Rivers propels the band forward with bigger sounds, darker twists and masterfully woven instrumentation. Produced by Paul Moak (Mat Kearney, Sixpence None the Richer) and Aqualung’s Matt Hales at Ocean Studios and The Smoakstack, the album walks the line between earthy and urban, blue collar and big city, with emotionally bare lyrics about running into walls, finding new pathes and questioning yourself in the process. It’s an energized blend of sexy Brit-style sonics and the working man’s ethos of ’70s American rock.
“We felt like we were capturing a live performance, which is where we have the most confidence,” says Aaron Morgan, who handles the band’s vocals, keys and songwriting duties. “That’s where we felt we were really landing punches.”
Lead track and single “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful” sets the tone with clap-happy beats, soaring melodies and scatty vocal flourishes that build toward an unforgettable chorus. The songs travels through peaks and valleys that musically reflect the emotional state of its subject, a girl trying to stand up as her family falls down around her.
“The song is about a girl who carries the weight of her parents’ divorce on her shoulders,” explains Morgan. “She starts to believe lies about herself, like it’s her fault. ‘Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful’ is about wanting her to know the truth and letting her know she has the ability to live beyond this.”
Morgan switches the spotlight to himself with “Believe Me,” an impassioned promise to be the husband and father he knows he should be, set to fast-paced verses, a bold chorus and a touching piano and vocal breakdown. Family is also the focus on “The Good King,” a mid-tempo lullaby about seeing life through his daughter’s eyes, while “Baby I’m in Love” recalls seeing his pregnant wife become an incredible mother even before their daughter was born.
“This album is a lot about becoming a father and a husband,” says the singer. “I was thrown into so many roles and struggled with determining what is a gift and what is burden. It’s about recognizing my own shortcomings and dealing with them.”
The album closes with the title track, “Rocks Into Rivers,” that tells a well-known story veiled in dark, poetic lyrics. The song gets inside the head of a historic figure at his moment of personal failure with colorfully rich lines like “I’ll make you shiver when I turn rocks into rivers.”
Started by brothers Aaron and Ryan Morgan in ’04, Seabird generated a simmering street buzz with their EPs Spread Your Broken Wings and Try and Let Me Go On. Signing with Credential Recordings, the band made its national debut with ‘Til We See the Shore and its lead single “Rescue,” which spent multiple weeks at No. 1 on TVU’s “Most Wanted,” appeared on mtvU’s “The Freshmen” and became the soundtrack for the lead promos of ABC’s 12-time Emmy- nominated “Pushing Daisies.” Seabird songs also appeared in other hit series like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Numb3rs.” Out on the road, Seabird toured with NeedToBreathe, Fiction Family, House of Heroes, Jars of Clay, Barcelona, Meese, David Crowder Band and did their own 15-date college tour. The band also performed at major music events like South by Southwest, MOBFest 09, Forecastle Festival and even headlined the opening night of the MidPoint Music Festival.
Rocks Into Rivers builds on everything that made the band’s debut a success without shying away from bold artistic moves that push the music to grand new heights. Morgan says it’s about “never quitting on a song” and treating your fans like they’re your closest friends.
“You always want your friends to be there for you, and in the same way, we want our music to be there with whatever you need, be it inspiration, laughter or even tears,” remarks Morgan. “It’s our goal to make our music as reliable as a good friend.”