Tin Leaves
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Tin Leaves


Band Alternative Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"A Choir Silence: Mood-swing music"

The first time I ever heard of A Choir Silence, the band was described to me as “Lancaster’s Bright Eyes.”

“Good god,” I thought. “The original Bright Eyes is bad enough. Now we have a local version? Check please.”

Relief came quickly in the form of the band’s MySpace site, which delivered a batch of quirky pop-rock that was nowhere near as mopey or self-indulgent as Conor Oberst’s quivering folk meanderings.
To my ears, A Choir Silence is closer to Lancaster’s version of The Shins. That’s a hefty compliment, and needs to be taken in context. But still, the band’s ability to scotch-tape together an endless stream of pop hooks yet remain completely and utterly left of center is far more “Garden State” than Saddle Creek.

As guitarist John Shavel explains, A Choir Silence looks less to weepy folk singers and more to mainstream bands like the Beatles and Weezer for inspiration – with a few … more unusual influences thrown in for good measure.

“We like a lot of video game music. I love music from old Nintendo games, like ‘Mario Bros.’ and ‘Legend of Zelda,’” Shavel says without an ounce of irony. “Usually when we’re writing stuff, we’ll compare it to a scene in a video game, like, ‘That sounds like a castle,’ or whatever.

“It’s pretty nerdy,” he admits with a laugh. “I think classical music is also a big influence. I play cello, and I’ve been in orchestras most of my life as well.”

A Choir Silence has been lurking around Central Pa. for the past year or so, playing for drunk dudes in a bar one night and local literati the next. Shavel admits that it’s been somewhat of a confusing existence straddling the band’s two worlds. The band is too smart for the typical bar crowd, but too upbeat for the more-indie-than-thou scenesters. It can make for some downright confusing situations.

“We do notice that when people do like us, they usually are really into it. But it’s not always easy finding that audience,” Shavel says. “I feel like we have a hard time finding other bands that really fit well with us. A lot of bands have a really ambient flow, and people just kind of stand and stare. When we play something a little more upbeat, people don’t know what to do.”

You’d be hard-pressed to find a band that seesaws back and forth between pop bliss and open-mic-poetry melodrama as quickly as A Choir Silence. Lyrically, the songs delve into some dark places, while musically they’re as buoyant as a lifejacket.

“It’s not like we’re depressing, but it’s still very emotional,” Shavel says succinctly. “We have a lot of fun with our tunes, but also it can be really serious.”

Even the meaning of the band’s name has a kind of sadly uplifting feel to it.

Ripped directly from the band’s website: “Imagine a truly life-changing, epic moment in a person’s life, something of great magnitude like a car accident or falling in love, where the entire world seems to stop and is suspended in quiet from all sides: that is a choir silence.”

Is it whimsical or a total drag? Your guess is as good as mine.

Even if it’s not “Lancaster’s Bright Eyes,” A Choir Silence is helping to fill a certain gap in area music – that no-man’s-land between cerebral rock and to-hell-with-it-all pop.

“We all take it really seriously,” Shavel says. “We’d all love for it to be our job, to play music. That’s pretty much all I ever really wanted for myself ever since I was pretty young, ever since I started playing cello. I mean, I just love music. It would be the greatest thing ever to be able to play music for the rest of my life.” - Fly Magazine: November 2007


Still working on that hot first release.



Imagine if you will a truly life-changing epic moment in a persons life, something of great magnitude like a car accident or falling in love, where the entire world seems to stop and is suspended in quiet from all sides: that is a "choir silence." Everything going silent all at once with a thousand voices. Our music is meant to represent those moments of tremendous feelings, to steal your heart away or take you into the dark. To evoke a sigh or make you smile.

A Choir Silence began as no more than two musicians with a knack for complementing each others' style. Having been in bands together for years, Jon Telencio and John Shavel grew a musical bond that would transcend into truly masterful song crafting and composition. They began recording as a means to compensate the lack of drummer and bass player and soon had numerous songs in their repertoire, all multi-instrumental musings paired with intricate, genuine lyrics heralding stories of loss and love, emphasizing their catchy indie-symphonic counterparts. With each new tune created it felt more and more like these brilliant musical secrets needed an audience. With the strong desire to perform their material to the public, Shavel and Telencio recruited brothers, Dan and Drew Ricca (drums and bass, respectively) to form what is now their current lineup. Heavily influenced by The Beatles, The Shins, and early Weezer, A Choir Silence is ready to breakthrough to a mainstream audience and give them what they didn't know they were missing...truly heartfelt, intelligent songwriting that can only be described as timeless.

A Choir Silence have played with many great bands including: Rooney, Jimmie's Chicken Shack, Division Day, New Atlantic, Self Against City, Ennui and many more.