New Magnetic Wonder (Dig) (2007)
|Artist: Apples In Stereo|
Seminal indie-rock band The Apples in Stereo formed in 1993 in Denver, Colorado. The band consists of guitarist/vocalist (and Elephant 6 Collective co-founder) Robert Schneider, guitarist John Hill, and bassist Eric Allen. Together they have created eight full-length recordings and a slew of singles and EP's. Their most recent album, New Magnetic Wonder, represents the band at their most spirited and accomplished. It is released February 2007 via Simian Records, Elijah Wood's new label, and Yep Roc Records/Redeye Distribution."
|In the charmed world of The Apples in Stereo's Robert Schneider, music and mathematics are the principal creative outlets. Although these subjects are inextricably linked, New Magnetic Wonder represents the first time Schneider's imagination has seamlessly integrated them on an Apples album.|
New Magnetic Wonder marks The Apples' first release in five years, as well as their fifth official full-length album. The album also marks the first release to be distributed on Elijah Wood's newly formed label Simian Records (co-released and distributed via Yep Roc Records/Redeye Distribution). Apples lead singer Robert Schneider met Wood at SXSW music festival in Austin, TX in 2003. As fate would have it, The Apples, who recently departed from their long-time label spinART, were looking for a new label at exactly the same time Wood was launching Simian Records.
True to their Elephant 6 roots, the album features an array of special guests including many members of the Elephant 6 collective. Sticking with their indie-rock pedigree The Apples sought the production skills of acclaimed engineer Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Sebadoh, Phish, Sean Lennon), who mixed their last album Velocity of Sound. The idea of working with Goggin was once again, according to Schneider, a perfect fit. Schneider felt at home amid Goggin's laid-back wizardry, wielded in his studio full of vintage gear with no separate control room. On New Magnetic Wonder, Goggin and Schneider together massaged the vortex between lush orchestration and an indie rock sparseness all the while understanding the Apples collective unconscious, infused by influences as diverse as ELO, Pavement, and the Beach Boys.
New Magnetic Wonder is far and away the most elaborate Apples production The Apples have completed to date. Recorded in five cities (Brooklyn, NY; Lexington, NY; Denver, CO; Athens, GA; and Benton, KY) over 12 months, the recording and completion of New Magnetic Wonder spanned great change within the band (which includes bass player Eric Allen and guitarist John Hill). New Magnetic Wonder led Schneider through a labyrinth of new directions, including the recent departure of the band's longtime drummer and second vocalist, Hilarie Sidney, to focus on her own band The High Water Marks, as well as Schneider's invention of a new musical scale.
Album Notes and Credits
Notes & Personnel Info
|Personnel: Robert Schneider (vocals, guitar, piano, electric piano, organ, Mellotron, synthesizer, vocoder, bass guitar, hand claps, percussion, background vocals); Hilarie Sidney (vocals, drums, hand claps, percussion, background vocals); Craig Morris (guitar, Mellotron); Eric Allen (guitar, bass guitar, hand claps, background vocals); Per Ole Bratset (guitar, sound effects); Bill Doss (acoustic guitar, hand claps, background vocals); Otto Helmuth (mandolin, hand claps, background vocals); John Fernandes (violin, bass clarinet); Pete Fitzpatrick (euphonium); Will Cullen Hart, Jeff Mangum (drums, hand claps, background vocals); Adam Sachs (cowbells, tambourine); John Hill (hand claps, background vocals); Tony Miller, Matthew Goodman, John R. Ferguson (background vocals).|
|Audio Mixers: Bryce Goggin; Robert Schneider.|
|Recording information: Athens, GA (09/2005-09/2006); Benton, KY (09/2005-09/2006); Boulder, CO (09/2005-09/2006); Brooklyn, NY (09/2005-09/2006); Denver, CO (09/2005-09/2006); Lexington, KY (09/2005-09/2006).|
|When the Elephant 6 collective first began putting out records in the mid-1990s, teen angst and raw grunge pop dominated the airwaves, making the E6's baroque psychedelia a whimsical reference to a bygone age. Since then, neo-psych has become the chief aesthetic of much of indie culture: from the orchestral ambitions of Sufjan Stevens to the brown acid bombast of Comets on Fire. In this milieu, the Apples in Stereo--perhaps the most definitive E6 band of the collective's heyday--return with a whopper, the epic, 24-track NEW MAGNETIC WONDER, and a lesson for the droners in what a psych revival can be.|
|Keyboardist Bill Doss, bassist Eric Allen, guitarist John Hill, and new drummer John Dufilho (ex-Deathray Davies) join Apples mastermind Robert Schneider in a blissed-out parade of kaleidoscopic pop with enough headphone candy to satisfy the stoners plus melodies for the soccer moms. NEW MAGNETIC WONDER is full of positive anthems: "Can You Feel It?" kicks off the album like a rush of musical serotonin, while "Energy" reinvigorates lyrical platitudes ("the world is made of energy/and the world is the possibility") with tent-revival enthusiasm. The backwards piano trickery and interlocking riffs of "Same Old Drag" refute the negativity of its title, while "Sun is Out" relocates Guided By Voices' basement on McCartney's "Penny Lane." Learning from other definitive neo-psych moments such as XTC's SKYLARKING and the Stone Roses' debut, NEW MAGNETIC WONDER keeps its hooks in abundance and sounds referential without ever sounding dated. A swirling thrill.|
Producer: Bryce Goggin; Robert Schneider; Bryce Goggin
Engineer: Bryce Goggin; Adam Sachs; Craig Morris; Otto Helmuth; Pete Fitzpatrick; Bill Doss
The Apples In Stereo - New Magnetic Wonder - CD
By: Anna Creech Blogcritics.org Reviews
Published on: 2/14/2007 9:02 AM
|This album gives me hope for the future of pop-rock. There is a line in the lyrics of The Apples In Stereo tune "Sundial Song" that goes, "you circle me and try to pin me down." The metaphor aptly describes the experience of trying to pin a genre label on the band's recent release, New Magnetic Wonder. This album is quintessentially The Apples In Stereo -- a band that straddles the line between electronica and sunny pop-rock, and only occasionally do they lean in fully on one or the other....read the full review|
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|Release Date : 02/06/2007|
|Original Release Date : 2007|
|Catalog ID : YEP 2132|
|Label : Yep Roc|
|Number of Discs : 1|
|Studio/Live : Studio|
|Mono/Stereo : Stereo|
|SPAR Code : n/a|
|UPC : 00634457213227|
- 4 stars out of 5 -- "NEW MAGNETIC WONDER is full of bright melodies that veer between the Beach Boys and the Kinks..."
- Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Top Albums of the Year 2007" -- "Hypercatchy songs about encountering the eternal and getting your head together..."
- 4 stars out of 5 -- "Simple, catchy, unabashedly cheery -- even while exploring a new musical scale..."
- "[E]ach of its 24 tracks snaps and crackles with Schneider's sugary, peerless pop." -- Grade: A-
- 3 stars out of 5 -- "[A]nyone who likes their psychedelia flavoured with a hint of bubblegum and a hunk of Jeff Lynne should head straight for 'Energy''s layered harmonies or the widescreen rumble of 'Beautiful Machine.'"
- "[T]he band's most expansive production yet makes like caramel on the Apples....A strong return."
- "Sweeping melodic hooks cut through densely packed musical arrangements -- Schneider used 96 track of instrumentation on some tunes..."
BioThe Apples in Stereo
Seminal indie-rock band The Apples in Stereo formed in 1993 in Denver, Colorado. The band consists of guitarist/vocalist (and Elephant 6 Collective co-founder) Robert Schneider, guitarist John Hill, and bassist Eric Allen. Together they have created eight full-length recordings and a slew of singles and EP's. Their most recent album, New Magnetic Wonder, represents the band at their most spirited and accomplished. It is released February 2007 via Simian Records, Elijah Wood's new label, and Yep Roc Records/Redeye Distribution.