The Symbols eclectic rock band is exploding out of the international music scene of Fort Collins, Colorado. Described as rock with indie and funk vibes, and smooth sounds "from a bygone era", the love, energy and sound of this new female-fronted power trio is infecting people's hearts in theaters and festivals across America.
You can learn more about The Symbols and their music at http://www.thesymbols.net
Michael Olson, a bass-playing friend of the band found himself ill with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) starting in 2005, so, to help cure their friend, Jasco and Sal set up The Michael Raymond Olson MS Fund in his honor in November of 2010. The band has a goal of raising $100,000+ for this fund by the end of 2030.
The fund can be accessed here: main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Events/HOM-General
Mer Sal - Bass, keys, Lead singer
Jasco - Lead Guitar
Ryan Sapp - Drums
Possible songs you may have heard by The Symbols:
"The Symbols" EP (2011)
The Way I Feel
Rules, Rules, Rules
"Be Here Now" EP (2011)
Good For Me
Be Here Now
Two Shades of Blue
"A CD" EP (2012)
Shake It Again
Change a Comin'
Leave This Storm
Unusual Covers (2010)
Gold Dust Woman
My Favorite Depression
Be Here Now
The Symbols: 4 out of 5 Stars
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"This is almost too classy for us. Lead singer Mer Sal has a wonderful set of pipes, that are ..."This is almost too classy for us. Lead singer
Mer Sal has a wonderful set of pipes, that are
amazingly accompanied by the expressive jazz guitar lines of
the band's guitarist, "Jasco". The Fort Collins band sounds like
it's more suited to play a high-caliber corporate event than it is
to play a dark rock-club, but even in this Windsor-knot-rich environment
the band still sounds like it can have some fun."
The Symbols- THE SYMBOLS EP
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The Symbols' new self-titled EP is a pretty decent stab of indie pop music. There's and effortless ...The Symbols' new self-titled EP is a pretty decent stab of indie pop music. There's and effortless and confidence to material, and rarely a moment that sounds unnatural or forced. The band has a sophisticated-yet-whimsical sound, and it suits them: at no point does the EP feel bogged down by self-awareness or the obligation to be serious. The end product goes down easy without feeling trite.
The opener "Kristin" would be a prime example. The song is a breezy-sounding lamentation of unrequited love, with some tasteful keys from vocalist/singer Mer Sal. "The Way I Feel" moves into moodier, blues-like territory and is equally good.
Sal may not have a classical singing voice, but she uses it to great effect and has personality to spare. Her vocal delivery has an obvious verve, a talent for ad-libbing and a tendency to extend and enunciate words to their fullest effect. These are all good things, which becomes clear in the surprisingly funky "Shake It". With only a few repeated lines she is able to take a rather sparse track and breathe a lot of life into it.
The best is saved for last, and "Ephemeral" is a beautiful, restrained closer with more quality keyboard work from Sal and a nice solo from guitarist Jasco. It's lush and organic, and really fleshes out an impressively diverse EP.
THE SYMBOLS EP is really solid stuff, and its warm, summery vibes make it a rather timely release. There's a lot to enjoy here, despite it only clocking in at under 25 minutes.
Symbols News, 2011
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7.25.11 The Symbols' music is scheduled to air on Anarchy1's radio show on September 3, 2011 from 8...7.25.11
The Symbols' music is scheduled to air on Anarchy1's radio show on September 3, 2011 from 8:00pm to 10:00pm!
VENTS Music is the official podcast for Vents Magazine. It is a new radio show just aired two weeks ago. It is aired on Anarchy1 online station (www.anarchy-1.com) on Saturdays at 8:00pm EST
The Symbols have also been selected by IRL Consultants for the Asia catalogue for the next year! Very exciting news!!! :)
News: June 28, 2011
The Symbols are nearly done creating the new EP "Be Here Now"! We expect to release it this July, 2011.
We expect to finish two more EPs beyond this one, by September.
We are hiring a new bass player.
If you feel qualified you may contact us via the contact page! :)
Looking for a photographer, as well, to take some HD photographs of the band, contact us as well if you have an offer.
Date: 5/27/2011 4:41:52 PM
Response: RATING SCALE "1" Indicates the Lowest Score "5" Indicates The Highest Score
Recording Quality/Production: 4
Lead Vocals: 4
Lyric Writing: 4
Music Composing: 4
Song Arrangement: 4
Quality of EPK Content: 3
Overall Delivery: 4 -----------------------------
Dear Mer, Thanks for submitting the material for the evaluation.
I enjoyed the songs very much. Excellent writing, vocals and musicianship. I was impressed with everything that I heard. To give you insight to the scoring scale above, the majority of artists score in the 2.5 to 3.5 range in the various categories. Whenever an artist sees a 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3 or 3.5 as a score in a certain category (or categories) it means that's an area I feel they need to improve and develop. When an artist sees 4, 4.5 or 5 as their score in a category, it's a validation from a professional, confirming that the songs are of the highest level and show strong potential in the ultra-competitive music industry. To really raise the bar, every artist should work hard to earn a 4.5 or 5 in every category. It's a very competitive business and people averaging in the 3's (or less) will probably not get too far without a great deal of improvement and development. I don't give out 4's and 5's easily, so any of those you see, you have earned. Well done! One thing to keep in mind, at least for your songs designated as "Singles" (the songs geared towards winning over radio stations, record company executives and music publishers) - try to keep Intros under 10 seconds and try to reach the Chorus between the 40 and 43 second mark. This is very important in the following genres: pop, rock, R&B/pop, alternative rock, jazz/pop, punk and singer/songwriter If it's 44 seconds or longer into a song and the Chorus did not kick in yet, you should edit the arrangement accordingly. In rap music, the chorus can come in at the 59 second mark, since the verses are traditionally longer, compared to the other genres of popular music. Radio, Record Company and Music Publishing executives pay close attention to song arrangement, as they decide if an artist is developed enough for them to show interest. I'll now paste in some general career-enhancing tips and provide you with a link to free advice which is posted on my Web site. Thanks again for the music submission Mer and continued best wishes! I look forward to hearing from you soon and continuing our dialogue.
Best wishes, Gene Foley www.FoleyEntertainment.com
News: March 23, 2011
The Symbols has been accepted for airplay on Radio Crystal Blue! Kristin and Shake That Butt have been selected.
G3 Magazine is interested, and we're waiting to hear back from them!
News: March 30, 2011
The Symbols' song "Rules, Rules, Rules" has been selected to air on Tot's Radio!
News: April 21, 2011
The Symbols' song "Ephemeral has been selected for airplay on Pongid Radio (the radio station in Second Life).
News: May 23, 2011
The Symbols' members Jasco and Mer Sal have just returned from a week of backing Phil Brown's Guitar Army which headlined at Mayfest in Tulsa, OK, and performed at the Norman Music Institute in Norman, OK.
This week, The Symbols will be performing on Live At Lunch on KRFC 88.9FM on Thursday, May 26th.
May 27th, The Symbols are performing in a downtown concert series in Fort Collins called "Realities", and they will be in the square on Friday at 7pm.
May 28th, The Symbols are headlining a small arts festival at Avogadro's Number in Fort Collins, and the show starts at 8.
Be Here Now EP review
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"Be Here Now" CD Review "Be Here Now" By Dusty Ray "The Symbols’ newest release, Be Here Now,..."Be Here Now" CD Review
"Be Here Now"
By Dusty Ray
"The Symbols’ newest release, Be Here Now, is a soft musical stroll traversing through country, lounge, blues, reggae and funk-fusion. A guitar-driven album with vocals that fall somewhere between Bonnie Raitt and Joni Mitchell, Be Here Now is a dense and dance-worthy cut that does quite a bit in its short presentation.
"The Symbols have an unerring catchiness about them, dancing the fine line between pop and underground with rump-shaking simplicity and an enthusiastic ear for different styles. “Good For Me” opens up the cut and immediately presents the talent of Symbols guitarist, Jasco, and singer, Mer Sal. Jasco’s melodies interweave with Mer Sal’s vocals, creating an interesting, jazzy harmony.
"“Be Here Now” slows down the mood, combining folk with strange mixing effects and Stevie Ray Vaughan-esque guitar solos that roll over into the Bossa Nova-like track, “Soon.”
"“Two Shades of Blue” brings yet another genre to the table with its reggae-revival bounciness. This track displays hilarious lyrics, and is themed around finding love based on favorite ice-cream flavors. The Symbols close out Be Here Now with a peculiar funkiness: “It” is the strongest track on the album, and is a fitting close to a varied EP.
"Technique is important to The Symbols; they can change their sound in the blink of an eye. Though the vocal delivery can be shaky at points, and there are other spots of compositional uncertainty, Be Here Now is a great representation of The Symbols’ sound. For all of its brevity and quirks, this album is definitely still worth a listen."
-Dusy Ray, Scene Magazine
The Symbols' live show review in The Music Initiative (TMI), March 2012:
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Something different! That’s the Colorado- based band The Symbols’ slogan and life mantra. A fresh ...Something different! That’s the Colorado-
based band The Symbols’ slogan and life
mantra. A fresh pop sound stemming from
familiar blues, funk and jazz genres, yet
seamlessly pulled off in an intransient, modern
way. Upon frst listen, vocalist Mer Sal sounds
like Gwen Stefani’s protégé, but after a few
songs in, it becomes clear that there is much
more to The Symbols than meets the ear.
Their sound can best be described as 90s
sensation, Shawn Colvin, covering a Blondie
tune mixed with Fleetwood Mac’s songwriting
skills and Santana’s coveted guitar solos. It’s
unique and whimsical; it’s whimsically unique!
The genre-crossing foursome’s show is an
amalgamation of different sounds, musical
textures and rump shaking, making it a force
to be reckoned with for any musically inclined
audience member. Guitarist, Jasco, teases the
crowd with sexual bluesy guitar licks while Mer
ignites our funky bones, succumbing to her
buttery smooth and hypnotically-inspiring vocals.
I’m in a blues trance and refuse to get out, until
the drums pick up and the guitar’s whammy
bar splices the solo; Mer steps off stage, giving
the audience some peace with
the guitar-drum-bass ménage a
trois, then when I thought I’ve
fnally been lost in the groove,
Mer is back and belting out all
sorts of demons like the Blues greats
that have paved the way before her.
The Symbols spice up the night with
their uniquely fresh funky grooves and
moves, making for a memorable experience at
Denver’s Bushwacker’s Saloon.
Not only do The Symbols put on a great live show,
but they also help save lives. After a long-time
friend became diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis,
The Symbols have been determined to fght
the disease in his honor. A share of the band’s
proceeds goes to the Michael Raymond Olson MS
Fund, a fund the band started to raise money for
his support. True hometown heroes! Please visit
HOM-General for more information and to
donate to their cause! Check out tunes and things
from The Symbols’ website www.thesymbols.net.
Kristin (soulful pop-rock ballad)
The Way I Feel (bluesy pop)
Rules, Rules, Rules (humorous Americana)
Shake it (sexual funk)
Ephemeral (avante garde ballad)
Soon (jazzy ballad)
It (sexual funk)
A Song (soulful ballad)
Good For Me (funk rock)
Be Here Now (soulful ballad)
2 Shades of Blue (funk rock)
Sparkle (uptempo dance psychedelic)
Just The Way You Are (Funk ballad)
Everybody Knows (Classical Guitar rock)
Crying Your Tears (R&B/Punk Rock)
Ball Bearings (Rock Shuffle)
Shake It Again (Rock Shuffle Funk)
Just To Be With You (Reggae Love Song)
It Was You All Along (Slow Love Ballad)
You Are, You Will Be, You'll Be Forever (Latin Rock Anthem)
My Favorite Depression Medley (rock meshed with jazz)
Help Me/Higher Ground Medley (blues meshed with funk)
COVERS (Not all are listed):
Gold Dust Woman (Uniquely swung)
Summertime (Jazz funk)
All Along the Watchtowers (Modern jazz funked)
Little Wing (Funk rocked)
Sunshine of Your Love (Shuffled)
I Got Loaded (Up tempo rock)
Low Rider (Funk)
House of the Rising Sun (Soul jazz R&B)
Sky Is Crying (Funked version)
Thrill Is Gone (bluesy jazzy)
I Wanna Be Sedated (shuffled punk rock)
Tore Down (blues)
Pride and Joy Rhumba (Rhumba)
Immigrant Song (Hindustani electro trance)
Sex Machine (funk)
Dreams (soulful ballad)
Good Morning Heartache (latin)