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Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Alternative




"Awolnation - Megalithic Symphony"

An ice cold record that's immensely satisfying and thrilling in the same breath...

Rating: 9

What’s cooler than being cool? Best ask Awolnation as they’re about to go stellar. Currently burning up the playlists of media outlets around the globe with haunting ADD anthem ‘Sail’, the album itself is made up of various disparate elements that conspire to create a satisfying whole. Each track possesses a unique energy and sound, from the synth-heavy ‘Soul Power’ to the great ball of fire that is ‘Burn It Down’, Aaron Bruno has crafted a work that’s both immediate and offers long-term thrills, seemingly effortlessly. In bygone times he would be drowned as a witch for this kind of magic. - Rock Sound

"Longest Hot 100 Run"

"Sail" by AWOLNATION (aka, Aaron Bruno) has made its waves a bit less conventionally.

It peaked at No. 17 on the Hot 100 in October, having first graced the chart the week of Sept. 3, 2011. (It's, thus, appeared on the Hot 100 in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.) While "Sail" similarly crossed from rock to pop radio, having peaked at No. 5 on Alternative Songs in August 2011 and No. 17 on Pop Songs more than two years later, its rise has been powered less by lofty airplay chart ranks and more by non-traditional catalysts, including user-generated YouTube videos featuring the song's audio. It's sold 4.8 million downloads. (Follow further in-depth analysis of the steady growth of "Sail" here.)

Notably, both "Radioactive" and "Sail" were additionally aided by advertising synchs, including ads for Beats By Dre for the former song and BMW for the latter.

That both songs simultaneously crash through historical chart longevity barriers in 2014 isn't a coincidence. Modern-day marketing methods, including commercial synchs; viral popularity; and radio's penchant to play the biggest hits more in an era of real-time audience measurement (i.e., Nielsen Audio's Portable People Meter) have helped spur their long chart stays.

Such factors also seem to portend that more crossover hits could make themselves comfortable for similar glacial Hot 100 stays going forward. - Billboard

"Electro-rock crew overdoses on big ambitions on Album Two"

L.A.'s Awolnation broke out with their 2011 hit "Sail," a dark and stormy electro-rock power ballad on which singer Aaron Bruno succeeded in sliding the phrase "blame it on my ADD" into the pop consciousness. His ADD is still cooking on the band's latest album: Bruno is a studio impressionist whose songs flip from Cali-pop whimsy to lumpy dance rock to shout-y arena bombast as he drops chest-thumping lines like "I stand alone and curse at the sky." At their best, songs like "Dreamers" and "Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)" hint at something approaching the Queen of EDM — a terrifyingly ambitious idea that even someone more talented than Bruno would have a tough time pulling off.

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Megalithic Symphony (2011)
Back From Earth (2010)



Hit singles are great, but for every real artist the dream when they go into the studio is to make music that reaches people, songs that strike a deep chord and resonates with audiences well after the track ends.

For Aaron Bruno, the architect of white-hot new rockers AWOLNATION, hearing that his brilliant Megalithic Symphony has achieved that lofty ambition with anyone is the greatest reward of the success the band is enjoying now.

“There’s a good amount of word of mouth stuff going on with this record where I meet fans after the show and they’re like, ‘Oh man, I hadn’t heard of you guys and my friend turned me on and it’s my favorite record in the last 10 years,’” Bruno says. “People are saying stuff like that to me, which is obviously the goal and it blows my mind.”
To make that connection you need two things, the first being a hit song that brings fans into the music.

AWOLNATION has that with the unlikeliest of radio successes, “Sail,” a dark, infectious tale of angst with an unmistakable and unforgettable hook where Bruno wails at some point, “Maybe I should cry for help/Maybe I should kill myself/So blame it on my A.D.D. baby.”

As we said, not a likely radio hit. In fact, Bruno is as surprised as anyone by the success of “Sail.” “It has been charting and still climbing, but it was never intended to be a song that was on the radio,” he says. “I think I just struck a nerve in people and caused a visceral reaction with the sort of the nursery rhyme aspect of the melody and how simple it is.”

The second ingredient for a lasting impression is originality, something that stands apart from the banality of top 40 radios and dares to speak to people’s true feelings, both musically and lyrically. Bruno has definitely done that with Megalithic Symphony, an album whose uniqueness is evident right from the ambitious title and carries on throughout the 14-song collection.

From the opening title piece, a mishmash of computerized sounds and keyboards that culminates with a robotic voice calling out the band’s name twice, and the following 22-second sound bite, “Some Sort Of Creature,” Bruno invites fans in on a journey into his musical Wonderland. And it is a dizzying soundscape, one that moves from the frenetic paces of the hook-laden “Soul Wars” and the vaguely Nine Inch Nails-esque “Burn It Down” to the engaging upbeat feel-good dance hooks of “People,” a song that begins with Bruno thanking fans for listening and saying, “I am grateful for this,” and the hard grind of “Kill Your Heroes,” a song who vivid imagery starts with Bruno singing, “Well, I met an old man dying on a train/No more destination, no more pain/Well he said one thing before I graduate/Never let your fear decide your fate.”

Among the tracks that fans are picking up lyrically the most are the soul/pop gem “Not Your Fault” and the more than 12-minute closer, “Knights Of Shame,” which informs listeners from the outset, “Dance, baby, dance, like the world is ending.”

For Bruno, that fans are picking up on that song is as gratifying as the success of “Sail.” “A lot of people seem to know that whole thing and that was like the most fun time of my life making that song,” he says. “And when we play it live it’s so enjoyable, so I’m stoked that people are into it.”
Like “Not Your Fault” “Knights” is an amalgam of styles, something that bridges techno, soul, a lullaby feel, rock, rap, and pop into one 21st-century anthem. That much diversity in one song can blow the minds of an industry still used to the compartmentalized mentality of the 20th century record stores where every genre had its own bin.

But you won’t pigeonhole Bruno into one style of music. “I like so much music. I love old country music, I love a lot of kind of silly pop stuff, I love all hip hop, all different eras, obviously metal, punk rock, indie rock, there’s no one genre that I love more than another one. So I think that comes through in the music,” he says.

That does lead to some memorable, occasionally confusing, and very flattering descriptions. “I’ll talk to one person and they’ll go, ‘I hear Nine Inch Nails meets Aretha Franklin.’ I’m like, ‘That’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard. How does that even make sense?’” he asks. “I’ve heard the Nirvana comparisons, Nirvana meets Outkast meets Prince, that’s a comparison I love obviously.”

All of those artists have achieved the dream that Bruno has been striving for since he started making music. “It’s always been a goal of mine to make that special record people remember as sort of like a landmark in time.” With Megalithic Symphony Aaron Bruno has proven that he is the unique talent that can make that dream come true.

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