Cincinnati pop-rock veterans, The Comforts of Paradise (aka The Comforts), have been lighting up the indie music scene since 2005. Their sound is a cross between XTC, Camera Obscura, the B-52’s (think “Roam”), Blondie and X (think “Hot House”). With more than 60 live shows under their belts, The Comforts have performed at several prominent regional festivals and venues including the Clifton Heights Music Festival ('10, '11 and '12); St. Ann’s Festival (3 consecutive years), I.H.M Festival (2 consecutive years); The Sunflower Street Festival; Northside Tavern; Arnolds Bar and Grill; York St. Café and many others. The Comforts have also traveled to Columbus, Dayton and Lima to play shows for their ever-growing fan base. Starting as go-to block party specialists, The Comforts have demonstrated they can attract a diverse crowd at any sized venue from local cafes to college campuses to some of the largest festivals in the Cincinnati region.
In 2009, the band released their 6-song debut EP, COME ON IN!, to rave local reviews. CityBeat Magazine opined, "These guys (and gal) churn out new-wavey guitar Pop with just the right amount of attitude, playful irony and an unabated sense of fun". Fan favorites “Never Look Back” and “Circles Never End” earned radio play and podcast features from Los Angeles to New York.
In April 2012, The Comforts released their 10-song CD, SIMPLE INVITATION, produced by legendary Afghan Whigs bassist, John Curley at his hit-factory studio, UltraSuede, in collaboration with The All Night Party label. The new album sees the band expand their musical spectrum to include country flavored songs like the sweet, folksy "Old Fashioned Lovin" to the giddy-up & go foot-tapper, "Stealin". The band shows their cheeky side with the straight-forward punk rocker "Rock and Roll Superheroes" (check out the hilarious video on YouTube). The album ends with the tender "Angels at Work", a song written in memory of Anthony Merk and dedicated to all children and their families who together bravely battle cancer.
Don't let their name fool you, The Comforts are a high-energy, good-time band playing catchy pop songs that appeal to audiences of all ages
Paul Lake - Guitar / Vocals
Frances Lynne Merk - Vocals
Matt Graser - Guitar / Vocals.
Dave Elmer - Bass
Tim Guilfoyle - Drums
"COME ON IN!" - 2009
"SIMPLE INVITATION" - 2012
The Comforts have been featured on:
INDIE 104 iRADIO LA
(Los Angeles, CA)
WUDR 99.5 FM
Banana Peel Radio
Skope Magazine Online,
Radio Crystal Blue (NY, NY),
Cincinnati Underground (OH)
Columbus Underground (OH)
and other radio stations across the U.S.
EAR CANDY: MUSIC WE LIKE
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Artist: The Comforts Album: Simple Invitation Song: A Simple Invitation What we're saying: T...Artist: The Comforts
Album: Simple Invitation
Song: A Simple Invitation
What we're saying: This jammin’ tune that is about to make you dance is on the second release from The Comforts. The album is dedicated to Tony Merk, the band vocalist’s six-year old son who passed away last summer after battling brain cancer. There’s another beautiful track on the album, “Angels at Work,” that is inspired by him. The band is donating a dollar from every album sold to the Pray-Hope-Believe Foundation, which supports childhood cancer research. Head over to the band’s Facebook page and buy one! You’ll support a great cause, plus you’ll get your hands on a copy of some rockin’ music.
-Daniele Cusentino - Cincinnati Metromix Magazine
THE COMFORTS' NEW ALBUM - DEDICATED TO "ANGEL"
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By Matt Schlagheck - Cincinnati Enquirer Newspaper - March 2012 A five-member pop rock band has f...By Matt Schlagheck - Cincinnati Enquirer Newspaper - March 2012
A five-member pop rock band has faced adversity for over a year and when all could have been lost, the band kept playing. The Comforts are survivors.
Shortly after The Comforts released their first album in May 2009, 3-year old Tony Merk was diagnosed with medulloblastoma cancer. Merk was the son of Frances Lynne Merk, Springfield Township resident and the band's longtime singer: "Tony was diagnosed with cancer while we were finishing our first album " said Dave Elmer, band cofounder, bassist and Pierce Township Administrator. "He was in remission when the cancer suddenly reoccured" Tony Merk died in July after nearly two and a half years of battling cancer. "Tony is and will always be a beautiful angel" said Elmer, a Union Township resident. "He always found happiness and lived bravely despite his circumstances" Yet despite tragedy, the band continued to work on their second album dedicated to Tony's memory. "Going to the studio was an escape for us" said Union Township resident and lead singer, Paul Lake.
The band, consisting of Elmer, Merk, Lake and two new additions, drummer Tim Guilfoyle of Pleasant Ridge and guitarist Matt Graser of Anderson Township, put the final touches on their 10-song album, "Simple Invitation".
"Simple Invitation" blends several musical genres into one CD. From Country tracks "Stealin" and "Old Fashioned Lovin" to the punk "Rock and Roll Superheroes" the music provided by The Comforts promises to keep the audience rocking. The band pays homage to Cincinnati's Flying Pig Marathon with "Pigs at the Wall" and concludes with a tribute to Tony Merk and all children who battle cancer, "Angels at Work"
"Tony's love and compassion for his family and others is a shining example of how we should all live our lives" Elmer said.
The new album will be released the second week of April and the band will be playing several local shows, including the Clifton Heights Music Festival performance at 7pm, April 7th at Christy-Lenhardts, 151 W. McMillan St.
The new CD will be for sale on the bands' Facebook page at facebook.com/thecomforts. The band will donate $1 from every album sale to the Pray-Hope-Believe Foundation supporting childhood cancer research.
"Many bands would fold faced with the obstacles we've overcome" Elmer said. "We are blessed to have a core group of family, friends and fans that support and motivate us to keep rocking"
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On their website, The Comforts, call themselves "crowd pleasers and biker bars and church festivals....On their website, The Comforts, call themselves "crowd pleasers and biker bars and church festivals." Listening to their latest release, the six-song EP COME ON IN!, it's hard to tell whether that nod is tongue-in-cheek or honest, because the Anderson Township-based band actually sounds pretty damn good for a grown-up bubblegum band content with hitting the surburban circut.
These guys (and gal) churn out new-wavey guitar Pop with just the right amount of attitude, playful irony and an unabated sense of fun. Lead singer Frances Lynne Merk sounds like a warmer, folksier Debbie Harry, and when guitarist/singer Paul Lake pipes in with his calls-and-responses and sturdy harmonies on songs like "Circles Never End" or the excellent "Small Town Girl", the results almost recall late-period B-52's (think "Roam") or maybe even X but with more laid-back flair than flamboyance.
Elsewhere, thundering drums, plucky, flanged guitar, and saxes soundtrack songs about growing up, riding the bus, and the general awkardness of getting through the day. Also worth mentioning is the production, which is overall pretty impressive, with the clean-yet-loud guitars recorded in a particularly up-front manner. The real imminently likeable thing about this CD, though, is those well-honed Pop sensibilities and the general good spirit the Comforts exude. ALEX WEBER-CITYBEAT MAGAZINE-MAY 2009
THE COMFORTS - "COME ON IN!"
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The Comforts 2009 release sounds like it was in Sony’s secret 80’s vault stash that was left hidden ...The Comforts 2009 release sounds like it was in Sony’s secret 80’s vault stash that was left hidden from the public. Just now being released for 80’s hungry fans to feast on.You would swear it was recorded when the top 40 chart read: Cutting Crew, Simple Minds, Wang Chung,...and Tears For Fears. It’s almost camp intentional, but intentionally fun nonetheless.
One things for certain, The Comforts do an excellent job of writing originals.... Had this CD debuted in 83’ The Comforts would not likely still be residing in Anderson, perhaps they would be relaxing on pink patios in Miami, permanently retired.
The Comforts have put out a quality product with “Come On In” and show off their song writing ability with playful prowess. It’s easy to label a band 80’s pop when they play 80’s pop covers. It’s a lot harder to create a funky fun sunflower 80’s retro vibe when your playing all originals... You can check out the “certain to be funky fun” live show at Luckman Coffee Company on July 8th @ 6 pm or September 16, at the quite appropriate Northside Tavern. www.myspace.com/thecomfortsrock
- Eastside Vibe - July 2009
THE COMFORTS - COME ON IN!
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Cincinnati, Ohio’s The Comforts don’t play the typical Rock N Roll game; it’s not sex, drugs, and pa...Cincinnati, Ohio’s The Comforts don’t play the typical Rock N Roll game; it’s not sex, drugs, and party-party-party for this quintet, but good, old fashioned Rock music with broad appeal that saves the day. You can find them anywhere from a biker bar to church festivals, with smiles from both crowds. The Comforts’ debut album, Come On In!, reflects this aesthetic, with influences ranging from 1950’s pop to 1970’s Rock/Metal bands like Rush.
Come On In! opens with "Better Reasons", a relatively straight forward Pop/Rocker with it's lineage in 1960's girl groups and pop idols like Brenda Lee... "Never Look Back" runs on a guitar riff that might have been inspired by Alex Liefson. The song itself is a pleasant listen and a call for community. The vocals are shared here between Paul Lake and Frances Lynn Merke; both are competent in their parts... "Love Around You" takes on folks who have real-world responsibilities but continue to act like they are young and unfettered. "Small Town Girl" hearkens back to the early days of Rock N Roll and is my personal favorite from the EP. "Circles Never End" has an urgent, even pushy feel to it that's just a might infectious. The arrangement will get stuck in your head... Come On In! closes out with You're That Girl, a messy but fun romp
The Comforts stick to the sound they know best on Come On In! I don't know what the long term prospects are for The Comforts, but it will be interesting to see where they go next. - Wildy Haskel July 2009
"MUSIC FROM THE HEART"
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Music from the heart is what can best be described about this next band. Our Webzine recently spoke ...Music from the heart is what can best be described about this next band. Our Webzine recently spoke to Dave Elmer, bassist of the Indie Rock group The Comforts about the band's origin, their influences, and what can fans expect from the band's music. We were delighted to learn all that was revealed in this ultra cool spotlight. Enjoy!
Isaac: What's the name of your band? What's the origin of that name? Have you changed the band's name before?
The Comforts: We are The Comforts from Cincinnati, Ohio. The name was chosen based on our affinity for comfortable attire. No previous names.
Isaac: What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?
The Comforts: We play straight-up pop-rock but you can hear subtle folk, hard rock and/or adult contemporary undertones in some of our songs. Our influences include a spectrum of artists from different genres from The Byrds to Mazzy Star to X. We don't intentionally try to sound like any other bands. We play what we like.
Isaac: How long have you all known each other? How did you meet?
The Comforts: We've been together since 2005. Paul (vocals and guitar) and I (Dave- bass) are next door neighbors. Jim (Drums) and Tim (vocals, keys, guitar) live within walking distance of us. Frances (vocals) and I are brother/sister in-law (I am married to Frances's lovely sister).
Isaac: When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music together?
The Comforts: In 2004, I moved next door to Paul. One night, we were talking about musical interests in the driveway when Paul mentioned he played guitar. I had been playing bass for years so we immediately scurried to Paul's basement to jam. The first song we played together was "Substitute" by The Who. However, I only knew the Sex Pistols cover so we played a rather unique version of it. There was a real energy between the two of us so we decided to make a go of it as a band. Paul called neighborhood friend, Jim to play drums and I called my sister-in-law Frances, who, for years, we tried to put a band together. We quickly learned several cover songs and were invited to play a birthday party. Although I'm sure we sounded pretty amateur at the time, we felt like rock stars! However, a lot of the songs we played had keys. Paul put an ad in a local music magazine searching for a keyboardist. We found Tim, who, unbeknownst to us at the time, lived within a stone's throw. From that point forward, we've been playing the local Cincinnati scene non-stop.
Isaac: Do you have a record label? Are you a member of any music organizations?
The Comforts: Not yet. We wrote, recorded and published our debut CD, COME ON IN!, on our own. It's empowering to be independent but label sponsorship would be greatly appreciated (hint, wink, to all labels out there!)
Isaac: What can you tell me about your instruments? (i.e., Are you subject to brand loyalty or will you play with whatever's available? What made you choose the instruments you have now? Was it cost or was it a style/model/brand/color preference?
The Comforts: We all play instruments from different brands including Ibanez, Fender, Pearl, Yamaha, etc. Most of our guitar pedals are Boss, mic's are all Shure and our entire PA system is Yamaha, which has been very reliable. I guess we all chose our instruments based on comfort :-) more than anything else.
Isaac: Where have you performed? What are your favorite and least favorite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?
The Comforts: Most of our gigs have been in or around the greater Cincinnati region. Places like the Northside Tavern, Arnolds, Anderson Bar and Grill, York St. Café and Batavia Station have treated us real well. We've also played several festivals (IHM, St. Ann's) over consecutive years and those events are always a blast. We'll be at the York St. Café in Newport, KY on December 11th with very special guests, The Fireside Chats, opening for us.
Isaac: Which songs d
45 min. to 3 hour shows - Sets to meet gig spefications. Full PA and lights for small to medium indoor and outdoor events
Never Look Back
Love Around You (29)
Small Town Girl
Circles Never End
You're That Girl
Old Fashioned Lovin'
World To Me (It Makes Me Feel)
Happens Like This, Sometimes
Not Far Away
Rock and Roll Superheroes
Pigs at the Wall (The Marathon Song)
Angels at Work
Into Your Arms
Wow and Flutter
Feel a Whole Lot Better
And many more....
There are no upcoming dates at this time.