Brown Shoe
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Brown Shoe

Sacramento, California, United States | INDIE

Sacramento, California, United States | INDIE
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"Spinner Feature"

"Late Nights" off the record, "The Gift Horse" was featured on AOL's music site Spinner. - AOL's Spinner


"We Are Hunted feature"

"Late Nights" featured on We Are Hunted charting at number one on the emerging artists chart on number four on the alternative chart. - We Are Hunted


"Daytrotter Session"

There doesn't seem to be enough alcohol in the house tonight to make it a real old man night, even if that's all that's wanted. It's been a week that has flown by as it's dragged. It feels like months have passed because sleep has been hard to come by. The rings around the bottom curves of the eyes are looking like tires or fleshy moons. There's not enough alcohol in the house tonight to make the previous week more able to be stomached. All that's available was one lonely can of Budweiser. It was dressed up with patriotic bunting around the top and bottom curvatures and it's gone now. It didn't last long and one more check of the humming fridge confirmed the worst.

All of this mood is partially due to our own week and partially due to listening to Brown Shoe's song, "Goodnight Old Man," a song sparked from a realization that this particular man has no one around any more to tell him what he can and cannot do, so he's defaulting morosely back into his old habits of heavy drinking. It's the first thing that he thinks of to kill the time and fill the space in his head. If he drinks fast enough, the head can wash in amber drink sooner and then there's less to fear, less to remember.

The band, consisting of vocalist/guitarist Ryan Baggaley, bassist Bryson Baggaley, guitarist Aaron Baggaley, guitarist Chandler Clemons and drummer Landon Baggaley, gives you a feeling that you're sitting in a worn out chair - with the springs jabbing you in the lower back - in a house that sitting at the end of a road that no one drives on. Even less people seem to be driving by these days. It's lonely. It's heartbreakingly, goddamn fucking lonely out here, where they bring us. You can be sure that the man in this song has thought of all his essentials and there's nothing but beer and Kentucky bourbon in the house. It reeks of insouciance and forfeiture. Oddly enough, that smell is still one that can exist as a betrayal to a golden and beautiful morning that could break so cruelly and calculatingly across a face, through the break in the drapes. That man will get up again and immediately wonder if he's going to go to bed the same way again tonight.
- Daytrotter


"Magnet Magazine"

Take Band Of Horses, throw in some Rogue Wave, a dash of Fleet Foxes and some unique California charm and you’ll get Brown Shoe, a band of brothers and friends that has been making music since 2005. Expressing heartache and loss through grand, daring musical compositions, “Diving Bell” is a song that’s easy to play over and over again. “Diving Bell,” from Brown Shoe’s fourth studio album The Gift Horse, is an great introduction to the band’s sun-soaked sound. - Magnet Magazine


"Nylon Magazine"

We first fell in love with North California quintet Brown Shoe last month for their folk-rock single “Late Nights.”

Now the boys have returned with the fourth single off their recently-released album The Gift Horse.

With twinkly melodies, softly stampeding percussion and layered vocals, it’s guaranteed to give your afternoon a major music update.
- Nylon Magazine


"The Chicken Fish Speaks"

The whole release is thoroughly engaging with that dark emotional vibe you get from “Automatic for the People”. A great unexpected release. — The Chickenfish Speaks, Grog Mutant - The Chicken Fish Speaks


"Performer Magazine"

Jackalope is about a relationship gone bad, specifically one of Ryan’s, and is Brown Shoe’s most-focused and heaviest album yet. Though its centerpiece is Ryan’s disintegrated relationship, the band shared the weight creatively – Performer Magazine, Brian Tucker - Performer Magazine


"Subcity Radio"

Throughout the album, Singer Ryan Baggaley manages to tap into everyone’s experiences of love and its ultimate consequence; a messy, soul destroying break up. – Subcity Radio - Subcity Radio


"Play STL"

… it should go without saying that each of the four are multi-instrumentalists, with a plethora of soundmakers listed in the credits. Their sound is an amalgam of shoegaze and introspective indie rock, with touches of lyrical genius and revelation. – Play STl Laura Hamlett - Play STL


"Brooklyn Rocks"

These songs have a tight, pulsing bass line, big swirling guitars and very crisp, driving drums. – Brookln Rocks - Brooklyn Rocks


"Music Emissions"

…it is certainly going down as one any fan of melodic, soulful and uplifting rock music. They’re still able to do it honest, which is the absolute hardest thing for a band with pop tendencies to pull off. If this band isn’t being talked about all over the internet by the end of the year, I’ll be shocked. This one will most likely end up on more than a few best-of-the-year lists. – Music Emissions, Kevin Sellers - Music Emissions


"review point"

No wonder this band is known as Cali’s best-kept alt-rock secret. Each song is just a God-Breath away from a potential mainstream classic hit. Anthemic. Deadly yet disarmingly honest – Review Point - review point


"Smother Magazine"

Fun and delightful melodies poke their head throughout “The Wheat Patch”. A nice indie rock jaunt through Mainstream Ave. and Indie St. is what Mapquest is telling me about Brown Shoe. The vocals are spacey with huge atmospherics and delicate melodies. Engaging rhythms grab ahold of you at once and stir things up as the terrific songwriting settles in around you. Add to that a bit of introspective lyrics and you have a very cerebral indie pop band that delivers rock ‘n’ roll in the same fashion as some Radiohead tunes have.

- Smother Magazine (June 2006)


"Harder Beat Magazine (Flipside)"

Brown Shoe - The Wheat Patch
Its no surprise that Brown Shoe comes from Northern California. Just like the state with its long, winding roads and scenic views, The Wheat Patch is filled with long, winding songs, with picturesque sounds and stories. Carefully dancing the line between genres, this disc will appeal to fans of pop, shoe-gazer rock and the softer side of alt-rock.
Though the twelve tracks sound familiar, no single influence sticks out. Bits of Radiohead, Coldplay and Pleasant Grove can be heard next to fragments of REM, Bedhead and Neil Young. Really, a million little musical morsels from other bands flow in and out of each song, giving the bands own unique sound extra depth and intensity. This super-slow, extra-soft style of music isnt for everyone, but fans of moody music designed as a soundtrack to a rainy day will eat this one up. Relapse is the best of the bunch, though every track proves to be a winner. (Jason Janik) - Harder Beat Magazine


"Babble and Beat"

Brown Shoe’s sound is complex but pretty laid back, soothing and multi-layered... and we find it so refreshing! Beautiful sounds flow continually on ‘Vanity’ - but with occasional and unconventional melodies strategically placed within them. The result is quite lovely and it will securely, but gently, lock you in place while you listen to the CD all the way through, whether you intended to at the moment or not. You’d have it no other way though.
Many bands came to mind, but only in fleeting moments, while we listened to this 13-song release. However, the conclusion is that Brown Shoe is uniquely fresh because there is much more of them on the CD than bands they admire. Babble and Beat June 2007
- Babble and Beat


"Music Emissions"

Music Emissions – Kevin Sellers Sept 07

I love family bands. There almost always seems to be an added cohesiveness to the music when two or more of the musicians are related; don't ask me why, just listen to Chevelle's "Wonder What's Next" or Pantera's "Cowboys From Hell" for examples. Folsom, CA's Brown Shoe features three brothers and a friend who started out in a garage, aiming for a simple sound that only grew and grew out of those confines and into a wider consciousness. After The Wheat Patch's successes, the extended family of Brown Shoe found themselves in Kentucky recording Vanity, an album that is equal parts Coldplay, Sigur Ros, My Morning Jacket and mostly just plain beautiful in it's 'simply deep' mannerisms.

There's definitely an aquatic theme running through the album but it's never really pinned down; tracks like "The Ship", "Watershed" and "Ness" are like ship-wrecked and stranded souls, lingering on the beach of a dream-island. Ethereal, breezy and heavily dependant on gentle rhythms and melodies. While the band is often found in a Coldplay-like pop-rock format, at times they'll stretch their chops and create texture-rich moments (Low-Fi Audio File) and bold, ambitious twists in sound that come off like Sigur Ros outtakes (Desole). There's ample proof of brimming talent throughout - especially in the oft-ignored-but-highly-important catchiness factor. Brown Shoe are not afraid to write great pop music, but they do it honest enough on these 13 tracks to make you recognize and feel at home amongst their indie roots.

I come across quite a few under-appreciated and lesser-known bands nowadays, part of the job and all. When it comes to Brown Shoe and Vanity, I see no reason why they shouldn't be as popular as your Coldplays and Keanes and the like. The music may be ultimately similar, but a grand progressive outlet throbs and pulses beneath it all and that makes all the difference between following and leading. Brown Shoe may be playing a style of music we're all familiar with, but not many bands have as firm a grasp on it as can be.

- Music Emissions


"Scratch Magazine"

Mixing equal parts The Belles and Red House Painters, Brown Shoe has created a CD full of amazing and beautifully infectious pop songs. The band's somewhat ambiguously elementary name may be their biggest hindrance, but not judging a book by its cover pays off in full if you can look past the name and get to the music. Solid vocals and soothing melodies bring forth visions of summer sunsets and bonfires with your closest friends. This is honestly one of the best CDs I've heard in a while. -Josh - Scratch Magazine


"Anti Music Network"

This quartet from the northern California city of Folsom sound very much like
an English version of Iceland’s Sigur Ros. But Brown Shoe is much more than
a Sigur Ros sound a like band. This foursome’s debut CD “The Wheat Patch” is
a collection of 12 original tunes that blends the ambient sound of new age
with some good old fashioned rock’n’roll guitar music. And then the lads
throw in some non-traditional rock music instruments like spoons and a banjo
into the mix for good measure. The vocal harmonies from all four band
members combine for a perfect mix with the ambient sounds of the new age
style music.

Sigur Ros may have started the move toward the idea of new age rock, but
Brown Shoe is here to make sure the genre is here to stay for some time to
come.
Brown Shoe "The Wheat Patch"
4 Stars - July 2006


"Rockin World"

This quartet from the northern California city of Folsom sound very much like an English version of Iceland's Sigur Ros. But Brown Shoe is much more than a Sigur Ros sound a like band. This foursome's debut CD The Wheat Patch is a collection of 12 original tunes that blends the ambient sound of new age with some good old fashioned rock'n'roll guitar music. And then the lads throw in some non-traditional rock music instruments like spoons and a banjo into the mix for good measure. The vocal harmonies from all four band members combine for a perfect mix with the ambient sounds of the new age style music.
Sigur Ros may have started the move toward the idea of new age rock, but Brown Shoe is here to make sure the genre is here to stay for some time to come. - Rockin World


"Music Connection"

Northern California fourpeice Brown Shoe make expansive, introspective and sometimes angelic music that belies their drab-as-dirt name. Vaguely influenced by Brit bands such as Radiohead and Doves, this very American outfit also recall NoCal stoner-rock group The Mother Hips, in the warm clarity of their sound. On "Travelling," "Northern Lights" and "Analog," Ryan Baggaley's lead vocals are a solid anchor for this earthy yet cerebral band. - Music Connection Magazine


"Metro.Pop"

Review in Issue #25
Written by: Shannon Barry

Northern California four-piece band Brown Shoe makes introspective, angelica music. Seemingly influenced by Brit bands like Radiohead and Keane, their songwriting is beautiful, complimented by the atmospheric lead vocals of Ryan Baggaley. It is truly amazing the heights to which Baggaley can soar when given the proper musical accompaniment, as exemplified in “bombs Away.” While this indie pop is sure to stop you in your tracks, each song has something different to offer. Be it the piercingly beautiful lead vocals on “Northern Lights” or the back drum beats of “analog,” this is an atmospheric album, full of twits and turns. This quartet delivers an album full of moody rock in a pensive package. Ideal for fans of REM, Muse and Radiohead, Brown Shoe will surely awe the listener with its heart piercing work and the compassion that shines through in its wistful melodies and affectionate lyrics.”
- Metro.Pop


Discography

The Gift Horse 2011
CF
Colt Rider
All Your Ghosts
Diving Bell
Sick Man
Late Nights
The Run
Pauper
Criminal Baker
Sweet Crazy Baby
Jackalope (2008)
Take This Paper and Burn It
Sixes
Aquarium
Lightfoot
Uh Oh
XX XY
Tappy
Pulp
Cellar
The War
Late
Grifter
Rivals
Hey

Vanity (2007)
Track Listing:
The Ship
Holiday in Capetown
Watershed
Screaming Dinosaurs
Heavy Handed
Low-Fi Audio File
Ness
ii
Polliwog
Good Night Old Man
Pop Song
Desolee
cbc

The Wheat Patch (2006)
Tracks Listing:
Good Morning
Traveling
Northern Lights
Analog
High Strung
Plains
Bombs Away
Silo
Postcards
Coquetish Cokehead
Relapse
Mad Had Her

Photos

Bio

In 2004, just as fall arrived in Los Angeles, Ryan and Aaron Baggaley packed up their Venice apartment and left town. After years of playing guitar on their own terms, the brothers started in together with an aim to make music that will “change the tone of your day,” as Aaron puts it. They moved back home to Folsom, California, to a house near the lake where they spent their summers as kids, a few miles from the prison made famous by Johnny Cash and a handful of high-profile criminals. “We liked LA fine,” explains Ryan, “but there were too many distractions. We needed to isolate ourselves.”

Joining up with drummer Jim Mikesell, whom they met working a construction job, Ryan and Aaron recruited younger brother Bryson to play bass after going through a series of misfits. Bryson, like his brothers, had never taken formal music lessons—“We wanted someone that could grow the way we were growing,” says Ryan. “I started playing with my thumb,” Bryson recalls, grinning. “I learned quick. The blisters went away.” The band’s aesthetic evolved under the premise of creating a sound that is at once confrontational and vulnerable; both warm and discomforting—a sound not burdened by what’s come before them. “I have a massive aversion to minor, bluesy, psychotropic music. I don’t know why,” says Ryan.

Brown Shoe’s aesthetic indeed came together quickly. Heading into the studio with Joe Johnston of Pus Caverns (Cake, The Deftones) in the summer of 2005, the band recorded The Wheat Patch, an album that would serve as the cornerstone for the swelling, ethereal soundscapes and melodic narratives that mark the band’s sound. After playing a handful of festivals including SXSW and the Midwest Music Summit in 2006, the band wrote and recorded Vanity with producer Dwayne Lundy of Shangri La Productions (Ben Sollee, These United States), whom they met on the festival circuit. Venturing away from the warm, fuller sound of the previous record, Vanity was a reflection of Lundy’s minimalistic aesthetic and the recording environment—a large warehouse studio in Kentucky in the dead of winter. “We used space heaters to warm up our hands before we tracked. I think the album reflected that,” says Aaron.

In January of 2008, after taking the better part of a year to refocus their sound and write the next record, the band headed back into the studio to record Jackalope, working once again with Joe Johnston at Pus Carverns. Coming off the dissolution of an intense relationship on Ryan’s end, Jackalope marked a return to the foundations of Brown Shoe’s songwriting, turning out tracks like “The War” and the anthemic “Aquarium”—songs that aim to pull your heartstrings taut and take little care in being gentle about it. An underground favorite of the college radio scene, Jackalope was hailed as Brown Shoe’s “most focused and heaviest album yet” by Performer Magazine, drawing comparisons to bands as varied as Sigur Ros, My Morning Jacket, REM and Explosions in the Sky.

After the September 2008 release of Jackalope, the band toured extensively, playing over 100 shows across the country in eight months. But upon their return home, the band was faced with some news: Jim, their drummer, was leaving. In keeping with their old recruitment techniques, the band called on younger brother Landon (if you’re counting, there are eight Baggaleys all together) to play drums.

The band headed back to Pus Caverns in 2010 to record The Gift Horse, a manically expansive and treacherous tale coming off more heavy heartbreak. Four months in to the recording process, with the record halfway done, Ryan fell mysteriously ill, spending a month in the ICU, the doctors at a loss. All but paralyzed by the uncertainty of Ryan’s future, the band went back into the studio at his urging—“I thought, if this is the last story I’m going to tell, it has to get done.” Over the next few months, in the process of recovering from what turned out to be a rare, fluke blood infection, Ryan went i