From their early days rehearsing and recording in a dusty, West LA guest house, alt/pop band Shattered Atom has grown from a small project to a unique and musically disarming powerhouse of an act. Atoms aren't just split—they're shattered, the sound exploding from this talented four-piece like no other band you've heard before.
Comprised of Jeremy Wilford (vocals), Kelsey Drayton (drums), Daniel Khim (guitar) and Troy Ross (bass), Shattered Atom works organic and electronic sounds into a solid pop structure. Wilford's catchy melodies coupled with the band’s high energy performance often draw comparisons to the likes of Coldplay and The Killers.
Shattered Atom released their debut EP entitled, “Why” in 2007. When the EP’s title track landed them a gig in front of a 17,000 capacity crowd at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the band knew they had struck a chord. The group has only grown since then, having two songs placed in the MTV series “Band in the Bubble” and playing to packed houses at notorious L.A. clubs like The Derby, The Viper Room, The Knitting Factory and more. They've quickly become a favorite up-and-coming band in the indie scene, named one of 2008's Top Unsigned Bands by Music Connection Magazine. All the while, they've kept honing their craft and increasing their fan base with each live show.
The band is currently booking shows in and around the Los Angeles area to promote the high energy tunes of their newly released, first full-length album, “The Knife, The Thief.” With a loyal fan base and no shortage of exciting developments, Shattered Atom is ready to make a splash on the music world at large.
Jeremy Wilford - keys and vocals
Kelsey Drayton - drums
Daniel Khim - guitar
Troy Ross - bass
EP - "Why" (2007)
LP - "The Knife, The Thief" (2009)
Live Review by Music Connection
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Material: Shattered Atom are aptly named. This act shatters musical boundaries. Their music, a for...Material: Shattered Atom are aptly named. This act shatters musical boundaries. Their music, a form of Indie pop-rock is almost experimental in nature, combining elements of Coldplay and Radiohead with the excess of INXS. With intriguing appeal, they create a style of music that shapeshifts genres and takes listeners on an incredible journey through a wonderland of sounsds.
Musicianship: The musicianship in this band is brilliant. The players serve the songs rather than their egos. Jeremy Wilford is the heart and soul of the music. His playing and singing are reminiscent of Coldplay's Chris Martin and the less extravagant Elton John. With songs that swoop and soar with dynamic breakdowns and signature changes, the band has a heavy workload. Nonetheless, they cruise through the music's complexities and make it sound easy, even when it's not.
Performance: With music this beautiful, it's tempting to let it speak for itself. And that's exactly what Wilford did on the first few songs. Unfortunately, that isolated him and prevented him from connecting with the audience. At mid-set, he finally raised his eyes from the keyboard and started getting the crowd into it. When joined by guest vocalist Adjoa Skinner, the set really took off. By its conclusion, the room was jumping and cheering but it was almost too late.
Summary: These guys are bringing something new to the piano pop genre. It's a form of music that's fresh and - at times - stunning. With outstanding craftsmanship and a unique delivery, their material scores on all points. The live show could use some work to get listeners into the music quicker but overall, Shattered Atom deliver a compelling alternative to the piano-based acts currently on the market. In fact, they take it somewhere else by adding a depth to it that is impressive and inspiring.
- Bernard Baur
Album Review - “The Knife, The Thief”
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The Los Angeles-based band Shattered Atom sure knows how to paint a picture – scratch that, construc...The Los Angeles-based band Shattered Atom sure knows how to paint a picture – scratch that, construct a world with music. Following their well-received Why EP released in 2007, they set the bar so high you’d question whether or not anyone could ever reach it. The resulting release – entitled The Knife, The Thief – is a heartfelt album built upon a foundation of love. Listeners are bound to experience a sizable swell of emotion that stems from the album’s ten tracks. Whether good, bad, or ugly, there is no subject more universal than love.
The Knife, The Thief starts off poetically with “Under the Stars”, in which one can already sense an intense desire of two souls being and remaining together. The album continues along in such a manner, and by the time we reach “Shadow” we find a slight channeling of Muse by the time we get to its chorus – haunting and longing, with jolts of energy ready to launch at every corner. If any similarities must be drawn, it would be with the aforementioned Muse meets U2 meets Coldplay, which would only be in the vocal and ambiance department and thankfully that’s where the similarities end.
It can’t be denied that Shattered Atom’s talent lies in their classic orchestrations – more so than their lyrics, which are at times ambiguous and eerily Utopian. Of course, in an effort to wedge my foot in my mouth, it begs to be said that appropriately simple lyrics can express so much with the right melody. Merely reading “Oh, the dark, the night / the spark, the light / it’s shining, it’s blinding”" (”Maybe Someday”) might not be much to look at, but its intention is felt within the 3.5-minute whirlwind in which it is repeated for emphasis. Also, the longing behind the words “That’s all she wrote [...] That’s all I have left to give / That’s all there was and all there is / That’s all I know” (”Innocent”) recalls an honest declaration of longing neither sappy nor worthy of mocking (there, we said it). In either case, the textured quality and tested limits of the seemingly basic instruments and vocals is what makes the album worth playing on a loop.
The Knife, The Thief is a truly beautiful work. It also has the decency to implant a couple of notions in our brain. (1) That passion is not merely an answer to a casting couch interview question. (2) That love and its unruly cousins are programmed to stay a little longer than anticipated and we should plan on gracefully dealing with it.
The Knife, The Thief will be released on September 23rd.
1. Under the Stars
2. Will You Call?
5. Then You’ll Know
7. Hold Me Closely
8. Last Dance
9. Maybe Someday
Band Review by Beyond Race Magazine
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Audaciously self described as a melding of Coldplay, The Killers and Radiohead, Shattered Atom posse...Audaciously self described as a melding of Coldplay, The Killers and Radiohead, Shattered Atom possesses an unavoidably compelling voice that lingers after the music stops. Although not emitting the same blinding versatility of Thome Yorke, their intentions are rightly guided.
The Band's first full length album is scheduled to be released in February of 2009 and will include their single "Hold Me Closely," which includes the subtleties of softer alternative rock and a sprinkling of Jeremy Wildford's atmospheric keyboard. "Galaxies" is slightly more extraterrestrial, combining a mix of spacial synths, nostalgic melodies and Wilford's flaring vocals.
The band carefully marries instrumentals together with electronic overdubs to create an evenly braided flow of sound. Tracks often seem longer than they are, given the number of slowdowns and variations in the chorus and verse sections. This works delightfully in Shattered Atom's favor as the lyrics paint a moving story that parallels with the music. In the end, their sound does in fact match up with many of the same trademark qualities that are prominent within Coldplay and The Killers (sorry, no Radiohead).
Truly a quartet of talent, Shattered Atom have successfully adapted and fused a variety of music styles together into a well-packaged presentation that is nothing short of addictive.
Know Your LA Bands - Shattered Atom
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LA.CityZine brings you LA band, Shattered Atom, as a part of our “Get to know your LA Bands” series....LA.CityZine brings you LA band, Shattered Atom, as a part of our “Get to know your LA Bands” series. Stemming from West Los Angeles, this group has been touring around this city since 2006 and recently has been playing to sold out crowds at The Derby, The Viper Room, The Knitting factory and more. These boys are out to do more than just sell albums, they’re here to make a difference. Recently they have been using their music to help promote shows that benefit Luekemia/Lymphoma Society as well as the Crohns and Colitis Foundation of America. The bands name comes from their style which is described as “simple, unimposing, and strangely disarming. Like atoms that are shattered, their music explodes.” It’s not hard to tell that these guys have degrees in subjects varying from mathematics and engineering, to percussions and philosophy.
The band is made up of Jeremy Wilford on lead vocals and keys, Kelsey Drayton on drums, Daniel Khim on guitar, and Troy Ross on bass, and they’re just about to kick off their awesome summer in Los Angeles. The will be performing at a number of upcoming shows in Los Angeles, at the House of Blues on June 5, Perloff Quad at UCLA on June 22, and Saddle Ranch Chop Houce on July 16th. Or if you prefer, you can purchase a copy of their debut EP entitled, “Why.”
LA.CityZine was lucky enough to speak with lead singer Jeremy Wilford and ask him about his band, his message, and his guilty pleasures.
Could you give a brief description of your band?
We are a four piece Indie/Alternative Pop band out of Los Angeles. Our sound is derived from influences including Coldplay, The Killers, Arcade Fire, and Sigur Ros, among others. Typified by the standard rock formula of guitar, bass, drums and vocals, we also incorporate extensive synthetic and electronic sounds.
What was the first record/cd/tape you ever bought? And where did you buy it?
The first record I remember buying is Aerosmith’s “Pump” at Zia Records in Arizona I was in 5th or 6th grade and would listen to it every night on my walkman before going to sleep. I almost strangled myself when the cord wrapped around my neck.
How long have you been playing music and how many instruments can you play?
I’ve been involved in music since I was a child. I play the keys and I sing and occasionally play the kazoo, but don’t ask me to play the tambourine. I’m interested in learning the therimen.
How do you get ready for a live show?
I make funny noises and drink tea.
What’s your favorite song to play live?
“Last Words.” It’s unapologetically sappy, ironically played first in the set, and is just plain beautiful.
Dead or alive. What 5 acts would you have play with you at a festival?
U2, Coldplay, Tom Waits, Radiohead and Joy Division.
How did you come up with the name for your band?
The imagery of an atom shattering was fitting for how we consider ourselves as a band. Specifically, the idea that a lot of energy can come from a small entity.
What messages do you hope your songs send out to listeners? If any.
Our goal is not to send a specific message, but to convey emotions both good and bad. We want to paint pictures that evoke memories within people that enable us to connect with people. Hopefully this process will expand people’s minds both musically and emotionally.
What was your favorite venue for a show?
The Viper Room on Sunset Blvd.
What’s your most memorable experience on the road story?
By dumb luck we happened into an opportunity to play at the MGM Grand in Los Vegas in front of 17,000 people. I’ve never felt like a rock star before or after, but I did this day. Ironically, the night before we played for 9 people at a bar off the strip.
What’s the best cure for a hangover?
Probably not to drink that much the night before. But my Irish friends say to start drinking in the morning.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
It may not be appropriate for all audiences. Ha ha. Real answer: American Idol.
Who would play you in a film based upon your life?
What’s the best piece of advice someone has ever given you and did you take notice?
Don’t feed the bears.
What would be your perfect LA day?
Beach in the morning, C & O for lunch, see a movie at the Chinese Theater, and play a show at the Roxy.
What would be the best compliment someone could give you about your music?
That it changed the way they look at music.
What three things could you not live without?
Piano, ipod, chapstick.
Tell us a fact about yourself we probably don’t already know.
I used to live in Liverpool, England in a house on Penny Lane with an Irish rock band.
Set list -
1. Will You Call
2. Under the Stars
3. Then You'll Know
4. Maybe Someday
5. Last Dance
Set length - 35 minutes
There are no upcoming dates at this time.