Aaron Mannino
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Aaron Mannino

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Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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"Aaron Mannino in The Seattle Times"

What are they feeding these Eastside kids?

Like fellow Eastsiders Pecknold, Isaac Brock, Jeremy Enigk and Shane Tutmarc (Dolour), Aaron Mannino was rocking out in bars when he was under 21: He was 14 when his old band Tribute started getting shows.



Ten years and two bands (Sofie Tucker, Little Hand of the City) later, Mannino is a solo artist. He has found a pop sound that is somewhere between Elliott Smith (but not as dark) and Rufus Wainwright (but not as bright).

This promising pop piano player-singer has a show at Gallery 1412 on Wednesday (8 p.m., "sliding scale" $5-$15, all ages). His self-released album ("Sympathy for the Wolf") is full of bouncy music and arresting lyrics.

Like a boxer who dances around the ring effortlessly and then delivers stinging jabs, Mannino's music is deceptively upbeat, which can be a smoke screen for knockout lines:

"he's got my name and he's got my eyes, but he's just some guy with a different life"

"I could turn around and forget my own face"

"you're so fake you don't know what is real"

On songs like "The Person You Were Meant To Be," Mannino is blissfully Beatles-esque; he is in and out of this rarefied air on his first album, but what potential.

Check him out at MySpace: www.myspace.com/aaronmannino

Tom Scanlon, Seattle Times, 03/23/07
- The Seattle Times


"Aaron Mannino in The Daily Vanguard"

Aaron Mannino is a talented singer/songwriter from Seattle, and he pretty much fits the mold for what you'd expect from the "singer/songwriter" label. He seems equally talented on piano and guitar. He sings well and clearly, he writes good melodies to generally upbeat songs about love, relationships, destiny, and fulfilling your potential, on songs like "The Person You Were Meant to Be," "You've Got a Reason to Live" and "Happy Now." He even covers Neil Young's song "Birds." The mood of the album is equal parts Cat Stevens, Elliott Smith, Rufus Wainwright, and even his Seattle compatriots The Posies. The point is, he's fucking talented. Most songs feature Mannino's multi-tracked voice doubling the melody and harmonizing with himself, frequently covering more than one harmony line. This is the kind of album that makes me glad to be a music reviewer. Strong songs, memorable melodies, and clever lyrics make Mannino a welcome addition to the Northwest music community. His lyrics tend toward the "relationship problems" mode, as on "The Person You Were Meant to Be" where he sings, "All the while you've been my lover and my best friend?in a lot you've been a sinner and a saint, dear?I've come back round when you're not afraid to be the person you were meant to be." This album is sort of self-released, according to his website, but it sounds as professionally recorded and mixed as any. With a talent as exceptional as his, it's really kind of amazing that he's not much more famous, but he's still young and Seattle seems to be giving Mannino some due attention. So now, we wait for Portland and the rest of the world to catch up with this talent.

By Kate Folsom, The Daily Vanguard, Portland, OR, 03/09/07
- The Daily Vanguard, Portland, OR


Discography

"Sympathy For the Wolf", LP, CD, released 01/27/07. "Everything The Hard Way", LP, CD, to be released 01/2009. Several songs (from both releases) available for listening here and at www.myspace.com/aaronmannino.

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Bio

Aaron Mannino started off as a young rocker, leading his first band playing shows in Seattle at age 14. He would have then cited his main influences to be Nirvana and The Beatles. His music slowly drifted towards The Beatles side of his influence spectrum, as well as other '60's songwriters, and eventually led him to where he is at now: a true songsmith with great song-hooks, drawing from a wide plain of influences, from Radiohead, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, to more modern acts such as The Strokes and The Shins. His songs at times feel like folk ballads, and at other times powerful alternative pop, with a new twist, but familiar and always leaving the listener with something to hum along to.

After fronting bands in Seattle from age 14-23, Aaron headed out as a solo artist. He released his first solo album at the beginning of 2007, "Sympathy For the Wolf". He played on his hometown world-renowned station, KEXP 90.3, headed out on a few tours of the West and East coasts of the US, and played two shows in Austin during SXSW. In August 2007, Aaron left his hometown to find a place in the singer/songwriter digs of New York City, but not before heading back to the studio in Seattle to record 12 new songs. It was the aim to finish this new collection that brought Aaron back to Seattle, WA, where he currently resides.

Aaron's biggest influences as a songwriter are more likely the movies and books he seeks out, as his lyrical style draws largely from classic novels and feelings derived from all forms of artistic expression. He is a compulsively prolific songwriter, and often finishes an album feeling already two albums ahead of it. But he happily performs all the songs from his current albums for any and all who know his songs and hum along.

His new album, "Everything The Hard Way" is set to be released in January 2009, on SeeThru Records in Seattle.