By Light We Loom
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By Light We Loom

Cleveland, Ohio, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Cleveland, Ohio, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Pop Rock

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This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Apr
29
By Light We Loom @ Coda

Cleveland, OH

Cleveland, OH

Mar
24
By Light We Loom @ Musica

Akron, OH

Akron, OH

Feb
25
By Light We Loom @ Private Show

Cuyahoga Falls, OH

Cuyahoga Falls, OH

Music

Press


Best of Cleveland 2016: Indie-pop Duo
Get lost in By Light We Loom's lush, euphoric sounds.
Spouses Eric Ling and Shanna Delaney may have lost four band members when popular folksy act Bethesda crumbled, but they gained a new sound when they formed indie-pop By Light We Loom in 2014. Able to create hundreds of loops using drums, synths and keys from a digital audio workstation, the new musical approach has helped them land a spot at the regional Midpoint Music Fest, and their Caught in the Tide EP made it into the Top 100 on college radio charts. “In some way, it seems like people have received us even better,” Delaney says. Indeed, the song “Scientist” shows the couple maintains the same emotional storytelling and high-energy vibe from Bethesda but brings a lusher, fuller sound that’s even more euphoric and textured. When Delaney conquered the new technology and was still able to command the stage with her signature dancing, she knew she hit the right note. “I felt like I was back to myself again, like I was doing what I was supposed to be doing,” she says. “I felt very free.” bylightweloom.com - Cleveland Magazine


"By Light We Loom is a brand new husband-wife indie-pop duo from Cleveland that writes beautiful, mysterious pop tunes drenched in atmospheric guitars and soaring vocals...(their) mysterious brand of mother-earth-pop is bound to earn itself legions of followers." - Aputumpu

As a husband and wife team, they spent the better part of a decade leading the indie-folk band Bethesda as it toured the midwest, highlighted by stops at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as Bonnaroo, CMJ, Bunbury, MidPoint Music Fests as well as sharing the stage with bands such as Mates of State, Sharon Van Etten, First Aid Kit, and many more.

Following the end of Bethesda, Shanna (vocals & loops) and Eric (guitars & vocals) found that their appetite for making and sharing music was far from satisfied. Armed with the power of loop technology and the excitement of a new challenge, they went to work crafting a wholly new and unique sound that engages the listener and beckons you to sing along.

Even in its short duration (founded in August 2014), By Light We Loom has lined up a notable touring schedule, highlighted by stops at the Midpoint Music Festival, Brite Winter Fest, NEO Cycle Music Festival, The Heights Music Hop, and opening for notable indie acts, including The Paper Kites, Telekinesis, Radiation City, The Mynabirds, Twin Forks, The Kin, Kopecky, Matt Pond PA, Frontier Ruckus, and more.

Excited about the new direction, By Light We Loom immediately entered the studio and came out with their debut single "The Ignition" followed by the release of their debut EP, "The Ignition," in May 2015, which has received outstanding reviews and received local radio play. Shorty after, By Light We Loom released their 2016 EP, "Caught in the Tide," which reached the top 100 on the college radio charts and is being played on over 100 college radio stations nationwide. - MidPoint Music Festival


- #99 out of the top 100 on the College Radio Charts
- In the top 200 for several weeks in a row - Muzooka


In case you missed it: "The Summit's Top 7 'Local Music Spotlight' Songs of 2016...so far" countdown is listed below... What are your thoughts???
7.) Hey Monea "Sweetness"
6.) The Strange Familiar "Rain"
5.) The Fifth Wheel "Dirty"
4.) Kate Tucker "Blue Hotel"
3.) Brian Lisik "January 13"
2.) By Light We Loom "Caught In the Tide"
1.) Angie Haze "Fireflies" - 91.3 The Summit


Picture on website and song used in the background of the promo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsh7MVai7hY - Cleveland Public Theater


The last time Cleveland-based married duo, By Light We Loom, was featured at Wordkrapht was in April 2015 when we gave our readers a first listen of their debut EP, The Ignition. So, what better way to enter the new year than with another exclusive look at the duo’s second EP, Caught in the Tide, (to be released January 12th, 2016)?

By Light We Loom plays the role of musical scientists mixing a variety of sounds together to create a well produced formula in the uplifting anthem, “Scientist.” In a track that can be interpreted as a song of hope, we hear Shanna Delaney rocking what can be described as that indie-pop version of that Colombian firecracker, Shakira, in vocals that flow along with that musical formula with a touch of soul.

A pleasant surprise arises when listening to “Caught in the Tide” as the harmonies of Ryan Humbert and Emily Bates assist By Light We Loom. We have featured Ryan Humbert in the past and were excited to hear that these Wordkrapht artists are collaborating together.

The last track on the EP, “Cardinal” is a song that Wordkrapht is honored to release to our listeners. With more of an electronica feel, “Cardinal” is quick paced and has an infectious beat, which is a common theme of Caught in the Tide.

By Light We Loom’s second EP is full of uplifting songs that will keep you moving. While Shanna Delaney provides lead vocals on every track, this is a team effort as Eric Ling joins her not only in marriage but in the gift of harmonies that guide in creating the beautiful trademark sound that is By Light We Loom. Caught in the Tide is the perfect way to start off the new year on a high note and we can guarantee that you’ll be dancing your way through every note.

WORDKRAPHT Rating: 5 Stars! - WordKrapht


A few years ago there was a spate of husband and wife/boyfriend and girlfriend duos popping up in the indiepop world, but that kind of pairing has been less prevalent of late. Has the romance gone out of the genre a touch? Not with Cleveland's By Light We Loom it hasn't. The married couple of Eric Ling and Shanna Delaney have been making sweet music together for several years as part of indie-folk group Bethesda, but this year they launched a new direction as a two-piece, releasing their first EP, 'The Ignition', at the start of summer. The follow-up, 'Caught In The Tide', is set for release on January 12th and takes this new, more electronic sound a step further with a solid set of songs that could each be a single.

There's potential for By Light We Loom to transcend the niche world of indiepop too, and you need look no further than 'Scientist' to see why. With a fully-realised sound, heaps of melody and a strong, slightly soulful vocal, it crosses into alt-pop territory without seeming engineered for a mass market. The music is simply good enough and universal enough to warrant one. It's no one-off either. 'Caught In The Tide' is also cleanly produced to give a clarity that allows the individual parts to not go unnoticed - it's the antithesis of groups that use heavy distortion, reverb and echo to achieve a full sound, By Light We Loom do so using subtly detailed and intricate layers. Even more tunefulness is ploughed into 'Clouds Will Cover Us' which is maybe the biggest production of all thanks to the sea of backing vocals that envelop the chorus and give the song even more lift. 'Cardinal' is similarly considered and has the same attention to detail and memorable melodies that permeate this EP, making sure that there's never a dip in quality. These tracks are bright, fresh, and full of promise, and By Light We Loom are a duo to fall in love with. - The Sound of Confusion


8:30 p.m. Saturday, January 2
Beachland Tavern, 15711 Waterloo Road, Cleveland
Tickets: $8 advance, $10 day of show via Ticketweb
You might know the duo of Shanna Delaney and Eric Ling from their tenure in the beloved local indie-rock band Bethesda. As the duo By Light We Loom, their music is just as compelling: A track like "Mason Jars," which appears on the new "Caught In The Tide" EP, ably splits the difference between heartfelt folk and whimsical pop. These Knees and Joshua Jesty open this EP release show. - Cleveland.com


Album Review: By Light We Loom, "Caught in the Tide"
Posted By Craig Lyndall on Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 9:21 AM
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In the spirit of full disclosure, I think By Light We Loom is going to be a very big band. I've already come to this conclusion after hearing just eight songs from the duo, which rose from the ashes of the acoustic band, Bethesda. I'm a fast fan after hearing their music for the first time recently. I saw them play at The Happy Dog on November 28, 2015 and instantly wanted to talk to them about their music. By December 7, I'd already had them on the Scene podcast to talk about their first EP Mason Jars, and the follow-up Caught in the Tide that they're releasing at the Beachland January 9th. That's a lot of quick exposure to a new band, but with each step along the way, I've only fallen more and more in love with the music that the husband-wife team of Shanna Delaney and Eric Ling are creating.

Caught in the Tide was recorded with Jim Stewart (Welshly Arms, Ohio Sky, These Knees) just like the band's first EP, but this one sounds like a progression. Both EPs sound good, but there's additional complexity to Tide. When I spoke with the band about the creative process, Eric was almost bashful about how he'd taken to the experimentation of creating the new loops, as if he'd lost control in an embarrassing binge. The band is a duo, so Eric plays guitar and sings backup while Shanna sings lead and fires off the loops from a device that looks like a tablet. These loops were created in painstaking fashion by Eric who would lock himself in a room, building them a piece at a time. Hearing the new EP, it's easy to hear that the work paid off.

"The Scientist" leads off the EP and it's a mix of guitar, more organic sounding drums and keys with accenting synths. Shanna's polished, dramatic vocals are front and center, but Eric's backup vocals are more prominent in the recording than on their first EP. They amp it up even further by having a chorus of friends back them up later in the song.

(You can listen to "The Scientist" here)


"Caught in the Tide" (the song) adds to this idea that there's no real genre for the band. Is it pop? Is it rock? This one channels the guitar and rhythm from 10,000 Maniacs before finding a chorus that has almost a dance club vibe. "Clouds Will Cover Us" has a huge chorus that the band sets up beautifully and in varying ways throughout the song. The EP ends with "Cardinal" which was a song I remembered from seeing the band live. It's another one that seems to use playfulness to offset urgency.

And just like that, it's over. For now, anyway.

As I said in the open, I think By Light We Loom is going to be a big band. In 2016, I'm unsure exactly what that means, but the two teachers from Kent are onto something with their first eight songs since the folding of Bethesda. What they've created is a collection of songs that sound both jubilant and urgent. They are earnest, but won't go so far as to completely break your heart. The music doesn't avoid melancholy, but there's just too much hope in there for it to be residual.

You can pick up a copy of the new EP at the Beachland on January 9th. They will be supported on the evening by These Knees and Joshua Jesty.

Tags: Music, Local Music, By Light We Loom, Image, Video - Cleveland Scene Magazine


Seen on TV: 1/16/16 - Fox 8 News at 5 PM


Sat 1/9 @ 8:30PM

The timing of Bethesda’s arrival on the local music scene nearly a decade ago couldn’t have been better.

The Kent-based sextet garnered national attention as part of the indie-folk music zeitgeist with major label involvement and memorable festival appearances (Bonnaroo, SXSW and Burning River Fest). However, the outfit was unable to keep up the momentum, eventually disbanding last summer.

“It was really sad,” said singer Shanna Delaney, who co-founded Bethesda with her husband Eric Ling. “At that point, we’d been training so many fill-ins for the regular members who started Bethesda but weren’t really playing with us anyway. Finally we said, ‘Guys, we can’t keep training people.’”

Coincidentally, less than a month after pulling the plug on Bethesda, Ling trained himself on music program Ableton Launch Pad. It turned out stylistically the loop-friendly sounds were exactly the creative direction this husband-wife duo sought to keep them challenged.

Last fall the couple unveiled its new band By Light We Loom, which left behind the indie-folk sensibilities of Bethesda for more of an indie-pop sound similar to the likes of Mates of State and Arcade Fire.

“We really get to have 100 percent creative control over our songs,” Ling said. “What you are hearing is a true representation of our songwriting. We rely more heavily on unique sounds and synths to build our sound. Our end goal of sharing life and story through our music remains unchanged. We love what we are doing now, and hope that others connect with it in some way.”

That connection began in May when the outfit released its debut EP Ignition. Now the duo is back with its second EP Caught in the Tide. To celebrate the release, By Light We Loom has booked a January 9 Beachland Tavern show.

“I think you will find a more confident collection of songs on Caught in the Tide,” Ling said. “Ignition was largely an experiment of combining our songwriting style with a new musical medium. With Caught in the Tide, we sought out certain sounds, and took our time building the song into something that we could imagine listening to over and over again. With each song we hone our sound and identity just a little bit more.”

Delaney said the latest four-track effort includes additional instrumentation and harmonies. She points to songs such as “The Scientist” and “Cardinal” as epitomizing the current By Light We Loom mindset with elaborate storytelling and a dance feel.

While previously By Light We Loom had been filling in its sets with acoustic Bethesda tunes, for the upcoming show the act will be debuting newly written acoustic tune “Canopy,” which Ling wrote about his recently deceased father.

“Eric has been writing a lot since his dad passed away before Thanksgiving,” Delaney said. “He really wants to share this intimate song”

Similar to its antecedent, By Light We Loom doesn’t perform covers. Still, Delaney hints there may be one in the group’s future.

“We really want to cover a Pat Benatar song,” Delaney said. “I’m a huge fan. I’ve always said if this didn’t work out I’d very much like to have a Pat Benatar cover band. I don’t know, I’m dying to play one song while wearing leather pants. Maybe I’ll chop my hair off too, we’ll see.” - Cool Cleveland


For music fans, one of the most rewarding experiences of following a band can be hearing how that band changes and matures over time. Such is the case with By Light We Loom’s Caught in the Tide, the second EP by the Cleveland indie-pop pair.

Formed from the ruins of Bethesda just over one year ago, the duo’s sound is as lush as the six-piece folk band ever was on this record thanks to painstakingly crafted synth and guitar loops of Eric Ling and production from audio wizard Jim Stewart. Soaring over this ocean of electronic waves are the shimmering vocals of Shanna Delaney, exhibited brilliantly on the gentle ebb and flow of the album’s opening track, “The Scientist.”

“Normally we write stories from our own lives,” said Ling of the song, “ but this one was a historical story.” Inspired by the career of Thomas Lynn Bradford, a spiritualist from the 20th Century famously known for committing suicide in an attempt to learn about the afterlife, the bouncy nature of this song serves as a perfect counterpoint to the lyric’s darker story. Immediately, the tight, full sound of this cut shows how By Light We Loom has grown more comfortable expanding their sound since the release of their EP Ignition last year.

The synth loops gel with Ling’s echoing guitar well on the EP’s title track as well, conjuring a lighter, more ambient atmosphere than on the opening track. “Clouds Will Cover” continues this trend with percussive vocals, proving to be yet another highlight. As the EP closes with driving “Cardinal,” Delaney’s vocals take center stage, channeling the ethereal mystique of vocalists like Florence Welch.

With Caught In The Tide, By Light We Loom proves themselves to be a duo growing ever more comfortable in their music making and songwriting abilities with four glistening pop gems.

Caught in the Tide is available Jan. 12 on the group’s website and for streaming on Spotify. For those in the Cleveland area, snag a copy beforehand at the group’s EP release show at the Beachland Tavern on Jan. 9 at 8 p.m. The duo will be accompanied by local favorites These Knees and Joshua Jesty and the Death Panels. - Midwest Action


Happy New Year, everyone.

I hope your 2016 resolutions are going well or are already abandoned because resolutions aren’t that great of a concept.

Either way, there are only 359 more days of the year — thanks to the leap year — so let us dive in to the immediate future.

On Saturday night, Cleveland wife-husband, indie-pop duo By Light We Loom will have a release party for their latest EP, Caught In The Tide. Singer/loopmaster Shanna Delaney and singer/guitarist Eric Ling offer four catchy examples of peppy, mostly upbeat pop tunes. BLWL, which sprang from the ashes of the couple’s previous band, Bethesda, still has some of that old band’s indie folk flavors. BLWL retains the sing-along choruses, those thumping 1980s throwback tom fills at the end of bars, jingly-jangling acoustic guitar underneath almost everything and Delaney’s ethereal voice and exacting enunciation heard in the EP lead single Cardinal. It’s built for the 91.3 The Summit crowd. The band’s previous EP The Ignition is still a part of the adult-alternative taste-makers’ local music spotlights.

The group will perform alongside fellow Clevelanders and indie popsters These Knees (singer/guitarist/keyboardist Stephanie Trivison, drummer Rob Hassing, bassist Bryan Robinson and guitarist Jesse Scaggs) who have an EP out called Night Fires, which was released in November. Third on the bill is Joshua Jesty & the Death Panels, which as you may surmise from the band title, is not the most self-serious of artists. He released a Christmas single last month, Here Comes Krampus, You Jerks that sadly didn’t make it onto our Christmas song contest with lyrics like:

“Hey, there all you boys and girls, your anti-Christmas spirit makes me wanna hurl. If your bad attitude remains persistent, Krampus gonna make Trump president.”

Jesty also has a nearly nine-minute piece called Meditative Sounds of Wind and Wind Chimes with Occasional Moments of Painful Dismemberment, which is exactly as the title describes with the moments of painful dismemberment involving the sound of a chain saw being revved along with some appropriate shrieks of terror and cries of “Why would you do that!!”

The self-described “professional starving artist” also has less tongue-in-cheek tunes and a series of four Like-Rabbit EPs that seem to vacillate between funny, skewed humor and awkward and often painful truths about being human trying to exist with other humans. - Akron Beacon Journal


“We’re learning a whole new way to write music,” said Shanna Delaney.

Delaney is one half of the duo that makes up Cleveland indie pop band By Light We Loom, and you can hear her energetic, moving vocals through their bouncy tunes. The other half is Delaney’s husband, Eric Ling, the guitarist and backing singer.

The two created the band in August 2014 and in May of 2015, they released their first EP, “The Ignition.” Just nine months later, they’re releasing their second EP titled “Caught in the Tide” at a Beachland Tavern show this Saturday, Jan. 9.

Before they became By Light We Loom, Delaney and Ling were members of Bethesda, an indie folk rock band. Bethesda gained popularity with performances around Ohio and more; Delaney said that her favorite memory as a musician was playing at Bonnaroo. “The Shins were playing on the stage next to us,” she said. “Right as they ended, we struck our first note.”

Switching gears to their current group came with its challenges. “We were used to six members,” said Delaney.

With just two members, Delaney and Ling made use of the Ableton music production program, including a larger range of instrumentation and looping. The results include shimmering, bouncy songs like “Scientist” and driving, layered songs like “Cardinal,” both off of “Caught in the Tide.” The result is a fun-loving, but still earnest EP.

“I’m really excited about this EP,” said Delaney. “We’re finally getting the hang of it, and now we’re just having fun.” - The Observer


Wordkrapht is honored to present our readers with a special “First Listen” of the debut EP The Ignition from the talented husband and wife duo, By Light We Loom. This may be their debut, but after listening through the four-track EP, this husband and wife team sound like they’ve been making music together for years. While By Light We Loom may have formed less than a year ago (in August 2014), they actually led the indie-folk band, Bethesda, for about a decade, so this duo has actually been together long enough to create this veteran sound.

The title track off The Ignition starts off with the keys repeating the same pattern over and over again along with the strums of the guitar and the heartbeat of the track through the percussion. Then Shanna Delaney’s silky smooth vocals enter. If Delaney had a super power, it would be the power to sing in a lower octave one second and then blow the audience away with pitch perfect higher octaves the next second. She glides from one octave to another with such ease that the listener just floats away with her voice. When the chorus of “The Ignition” kicks in, By Light We Loom brings in a beat that hypnotizes the listener into a dancing trance, not able to snap out of it until the track ends.

The next track, “Stand” has a positive vibe right from the start. With another beat that will have the listener moving along to the music, “Stand” is a passion filled song with Delaney conveying each emotion so clearly that the listener can feel the emotions in each note she sings. Delaney’s vocals also have a slight similar trait to the famous Colombian pop singer, Shakira.

“Measure of Us” continues By Light We Loom’s pattern of bringing quick, distinctive beats that get the listeners moving. This track has more of a storytelling aspect with Delaney sharing a story of love and continuing to convey each emotion with her voice.

The final track, “Mason Jars” starts off slow with only the vocals and a few strums of the guitar, but then the duo brings in that beat again, this time with the assistance of shakers to add a new sound to the mix. Eric Ling’s harmonies really shine through on “Mason Jars” with it becoming evident that this husband and wife duo were not only meant to be together in marriage but also to make beautiful music.

Each track on By Light We Loom’s debut EP, The Ignition, has it’s own infectious beat with no song sounding like the other on this four-track EP. The listener will never be bored because the duo brings something different to each track and the entire EP has a special one-of-a-king sound that is hard to obtain. The Ignition is similar to finding that needle in a haystack. By Light We Loom has carefully orchestrated a well-produced masterpiece in order to introduce the world to their uplifting, passion-driven music, and Wordkrapht can bet that this will not be the last time we hear new music from this talented Cleveland-based duo. - WORDKRAPHT


There's a part in the Odyssey where Penelope weaves and unweaves a funeral shroud to delay accepting the fate of her away-at-war husband. So when Bethesda broke up last summer, English teacher and frontwoman Shanna Delaney looked to the epic poem for the name of her new indie-pop outfit, By Light We Loom. "It reminded me of taking broken pieces and sewing them back into something else," she says. As the only remaining members of the 6-year-old indie-folk band, neither Delaney nor her husband, Eric Ling, played drums. So Ling locked himself in a room for six hours and learned loop technology. Then Delaney learned to trigger predesigned loops using a drum pad. Their first EP, The Ignition, debuts with a Happy Dog at Euclid Tavern show May 1. Bethesda fans will recognize the poetic songwriting and Delaney's dynamic vocals, but discover fresh ethereal melodies and danceable beats. "The songs are even catchier but still staying true to having meaning," she says. - Cleveland Magazine


Playlist for March 23 - 27, 2015
Tune in to wosradio to hear the show Weekdays at 5 PM ET (2 PM PT)

Julianne Ankley - I Still Think Of You
Liz Miller - Big Love
Betty Iron Thumbs - Crazy
Juwita Suwito - Belle Of The Ball
JoJo Worthington - Boo Radley
Ellie Fabe - Be A Girl Again
MIDWEST - Come On Home
JustCuz - Wish It, Dream It, Do It
Chanson Records feat. Desirae Donnell - Bright Sunny Day
Adrienne Tooley - Nowhere Girl
Val Blaha - Walk Away
Jodee Lewis - In The End
By Light We Loom - The Ignition
Natasja Lee Dickinson - Living On The Street
Endorphin Annie - The Right Words
Almost Awake - Ocean Eyes
Erika Anderson - Young N' Dumb
Ocean Bleu with Pink Dewberries - Goddess Rising Theme Song
Sonnet Cottage - Half Written Story
Bread And Butter Band - Take Me To Ohio
Michele McLaughlin - 11,000 Miles
Sola Reign - Old Thing
Maggie McGovern - Fall Into Me
Mizznekol - Ain't For the Money
Moriah Haven - Skinnier, (Not) Happier - Women of Substance Radio


By Light We Loom is about to release their first EP,” The Ignition.” As a husband and wife team, Shanna Delaney and Eric Ling spent the better part of a decade leading the indie-folk band Bethesda as it toured the Midwest, highlighted by stops at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as Bonnaroo, CMJ, Bunbury, and MidPoint Music Fests as well as sharing the stage with bands such as Mates of State, Sharon Van Etten, First Aid Kit and others.

Shanna, who is the featured vocalist, has a spectacular voice, sweet, rich and soulful. There are four songs on this EP, The Ignition, Stand, A Measure Of Us and Mason Jars. While the music is classified as indie pop, it is quite complex with nuances of folk, Americana and rock. Underlying all of this is an amazing dreamy quality. The lyrics are full of rich imagery that encourages self reflection. Sometimes they truly become conversational in nature and there is a transcendent, haunting quality to them. The quality of the recording is top-notch.

I think that when this new release comes out on May 1, 2015 it will prove to be a very popular EP. Since August of 2014 they have already had a brisk touring schedule and I know that I would love to have the opportunity to see them live. They will have digital distribution across all the major platforms. You can connect with them at www.bylightweloom.squarespace.com.

Reviewed by Timothy Buss, a Solo Artist and Producer. Check out my music videos, sign up for my monthy newsletters and get a free EP, www.timothybussmusic.com. - Indie Habit by Indie Music Bus


By Light We Loom is a brand new husband-wife indie-pop duo from Cleveland that writes beautiful, mysterious pop tunes drenched in atmospheric guitars and soaring vocals. For a two-piece band that has only been together for a couple of months, they showcase a remarkably well-developed sound on their debut cut “The Ignition”. Shanna (vocals & loops) and Eric (guitar and vocals) are well-travelled alumni of the indie folk scene, having played in the band Bethesda for the better part of a decade. Consequently their chemistry is palpable and the “The Ignition” sounds like it’s coming from experienced vets.

“The Ignition” begins with skittery Spanish beats, a beautiful piano melody line, and a delicately strummed clean guitar. The instrumental milieu is redolent of the sonic landscapes that Blonde Redhead revolutionized, particularly on the album 23. Shanna’s sings in a beautiful high register that sounds like Elizabeth Fraser on speed. Her delivery has an intense urgency that carries the spiritual lyrical content like a sucker punch to the gut. The song kicks wide open with a driving chorus that has an intense drumbeat and a refrain of “love is revelation”. This is catchy pop ear candy, but with a textural idiosyncrasy that sets By Light We Loom apart from other acts of their type. Gorgeous e-bowed guitars swim in and out of the mix, and drum pads sound like castanets, pots and bans, and chest thumps. There is something swirly and surreal happening here behind the pop hooks.

The only thing I would change here is the repetitious quality. By Light We Loom adheres strictly to the Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Bridge-Chorus-Chorus, format that has characterized pop songs for eons. This is normally fine, but I think it would suit By Light We Loom well to break the mold a little bit and add some structural uncertainty to their music. Shanna’s vocals are gorgeous but some of her lyrics get lost on account of annunciation.

By Light We Loom’s mysterious brand of mother-earth-pop is bound to earn itself legions of followers. This is a masterful debut.

DOWNLOAD “THE IGNITION” FOR FREE HERE

– Jacob Sunshine - APUTUMPU


Thursday, February 12, 2015
This Band Could Be Your Life: By Light We Loom
Akron Empire is excited to welcome back guest blogger Erica Scheutzow, who has written for us quite regularly over the past few years. When she is not sharing her favorite things about Akron with us, she runs a small business called As I Breathe I Hope, where she handmakes quirky original plush characters made from new and recycled fabrics. Check out AIBIH on Etsy and on Facebook.

This Band Could Be Your Life: By Light We Loom
By Erica Scheutzow

After many years, the band Bethesda has come to an end but members Shanna Delaney and Eric Ling aren’t done yet! Without skipping a beat, Shanna and Eric are pushing forward with their new project, By Light We Loom.

I heard the release of their first single, “The Ignition” in December and it was absolutely magical. I must’ve listened to it on repeat for what seemed like hours. Shanna and Eric possess a talent, passion and drive that makes you smile ear to ear when you hear their music and make you want more. I couldn’t be happier about their new venture and what they’re bringing to the music scene.

It was my pleasure to have a Q&A session with them about this new chapter and share their happenings with all of you. Let’s dig in!


Erica: How was the name of your new band decided upon?
BLWL: The name originated from the classic literary piece The Odyssey. In this story, Penelope (Odysseus’s wife) is facing the hard reality that her husband might not be coming home. Meanwhile, because of her beauty and fortune, she was being sought after by many men. To put the suitors off, she weaves a funeral shroud for her father-in-law, Odysseus father, and says she will pick a suitor once she has finished. Penelope, unwilling to give up hope of her husband’s return, would secretly undo the weaving that she had done the day before, and we imagine her doing this by candlelight. We loved this imagery of hanging on to hope, even when all signs seem to be saying that hope is lost. In our minds, by light she loomed. In a similar way, we were experiencing a period of “what now…” following the end of Bethesda (our former band). We could either let music in our lives wither away or pick up the broken pieces and loom them back together with hope. Like Penelope, we labored to prolong the hope and continue to do what we love most -write and perform music. There is also a double meaning. Loom is also a verb meaning “to be made majestic” or “to come into greater view.” We connected it with the idea that it is by God’s light we are the truest, rawest, greatest, most beautiful form of ourselves.

Erica: What was your vision for this band?
BLWL: We knew that we wanted to continue to have a BIG sound and engage our audiences with high-energy shows. It’s just who we are. Figuring that out with just two people was a task, but with the help of looping technology, we have been able to build songs that we are really proud of and really seem to capture what we are all about. Truthfully, we are just excited to write and perform new music. It is a fresh start for us. We decided not to carry any songs over from Bethesda and to just create something that is wholly new and wholly us. Our vision is to continue to write and perform music for ourselves, our God, and our fans. We hope that in some small way, our stories and our songs can connect with people and trigger a memory, a thought, or a conversation that reinforces that hope that drives and energizes all of us.

Erica: How would you relate the style and influence of your sound to your listeners?
BLWL: It’s difficult to describe - which we think is a good thing. It’s folk-story songwriting with indie-pop dancey synths, beats, and guitars. We write songs that have deep personal meaning to us and try to perform them with the energy and emotion that each song deserves. We hope that what we do is engaging, original, and familiar all at the same time. Something you can dance to, sing along to, and sit and contemplate life to all in the same night.



Erica: How would you depict your style of writing lyrics and music?
BLWL: Lyrics are very important to us. We are constantly moved by the things we encounter in our day to day lives. We try to harness this emotion and these feelings and tell an honest story with them that speaks to the difficulty in life, in both the mundane and profound, and the constant backdrop of hope. It takes time, but we think it is time well-spent. For the music, Eric basically locks himself in a room for hours to start. It really is a grand experiment. He writes the chord structure and the melody, and then builds synth beat loops for the entire song based on what seems to fit and give the song the desired energy. Then, he writes a hook on the guitar. Following that, he goes and searches for the sound to communicate that loop (whether it is a vintage synth or an antique horn, or others). He then designs the loop. After that, it’s counter melodies, rhythmic backing tracks, and on and on until we feel like the song has the desired effect. Then we play it - A LOT. We talk about it - A LOT. We change and tweak it - A LOT. After a long and exciting process, we finally play it and think, “THAT’S IT!” All of that to say, we are not searching for a specific “style,” but are really building every single melody, hook, beat, and harmony around the original song and lyrics. We are trying to create a beautiful and engaging tapestry on which to hang our song. It’s a process, but one that we love!

Erica: Do you have any other notable contributors to this album?
BLWL: Our producer and recording engineer, Jim Stewart, has been instrumental in helping us take our loops that are designed for live performance and modifying them for a studio recording. His input and wizardry has been HUGE!


Erica: When is your debut show?
BLWL: Our EP release will be Friday May 1st 2015

Erica: Do you have any upcoming festivals on your roster?
BLWL: We luckily got to play a few fests already in our short time together (We just started in August 2014). We got to play Midpoint Music Festival in Cincinnati, NeoCycle Fest in Cleveland, and Heights Music Hop in Cleveland. We’ll be playing Brite Winter Fest in Cleveland on Feb. 21st.

Erica: Will you be traveling locally or nationally for this album?
BLWL: We are currently working on late winter and spring tour dates regionally. We are planning trips to Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, Grand Rapids, and more. We also have local shows lined up with great local and national bands. We have already had the privilege of playing with some great national bands, such as The Kin, Twin Forks (Dashboard Confessional side project), Tiny Ruins, and more in our short existence. We’ll be playing with Frontier Ruckus at Beachland on February 7th. We are truly excited about what is in store! As we grow, we hope to continue to expand out and reach further into national tours once again.

Erica: What do you hope to gain through this new venture?
BLWL: We aren’t sure what the end-goal of this venture is at the moment. With Bethesda we had a clear, driving goal, but now we’re just enjoying writing and performing music and taking opportunities that present themselves. However, we certainly hope to continue to meet incredible people that care about music and others wherever we go. The rest is just the icing on top.

Erica: How can fans access your new album?
BLWL: Our album will be available on iTunes and our Bandcamp for purchase on May 1st, 2015.

You can learn more about By Light We Loom by visiting their website or their Bandcamp site. You can also follow their adventures on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Don't miss them at Brite Winter Fest in Cleveland on February 21st! - Akron Empire


By Light We Loom is a husband and wife indie pop duo hailing from Cleveland. Armed with a guitar, a drum pad and profound dueling vocals, By Light We Loom has a refreshing folky pop resonance. They create ambience on stage with their unique lighting and their admiration for each other is very visible during their performance, which adds to the overall experience. They openly feed off of each others energy and push the vibrance into their performance. Hardly ever standing still, the duo move and dance to the building back beats. By Light We Loom is preparing to release a new EP, The Ignition and you can catch them May 1 at The Euclid Tavern for the record release party. - Now It's Dark Magazine


First performance of "A Measure of Us" in an acoustic venue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tw-I6JFJTGY - Sofar Global


Last night Danielle and I went to the Grog Shop to see Twin Forks. Lead singer Chris Carrabba, previously of Dashboard Confessional, took some risk starting from scratch and creating the completely new sound named Twin Forks. Chris has been known to mingle and float between genres. He grew up passionate about music and one of his first bands was post-hardcore and named Further Seems Forever. Between then and now, Chris dedicated his time to an emo band called Dashboard Confessional (or simply “Dashboard”). Twin Forks was created in 2011 and originated in Florida. They released their first self-titled EP in 2013 and debut self-titled full length in early 2014. There are male and female vocals, banjos, mandolins, and tambourines which many people associate with an Americana sound. Their EP that was released last fall left listeners wanting more. It consists of five upbeat songs with a strong kick-drum presence (“Back to You,” “Something We Just Know,” “Cross My Mind,” “Can’t Be Broken,” and “Scraping up the Pieces”). No it did not feature much variety but it got everyone excited for their full length debut that was released earlier this year. On the full length album “Kiss Me Darling” features a solo by vocalist and violinist Suzie Zeldin. Her voice captivates listeners and encourages them to sing along. In other songs Suzie’s harmonies may be disregarded because the songs are so dynamic but here, Suzie and Chris both demand attention. I admit that live, they were grittier with a few pitch issues here and there but the energy in the room was simply alluring and infectious. They ended the show with “Back To You” which got people singing, clapping and dancing. Many people lingered to buy a CD or tee, get autographs, or hang out at the bar long after the set.



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By Light We Loom is a local band from the Kent area that opened the show. Previously known as Bethesda, the charming couple debuted as By Light We Loom just last night. They describe themselves as indie-folk pop and their short set last night was a perfect way to open the show. Shanna and Eric tell stories with their songs and converse with the crowd in between which proves just how genial they are. I can’t wait to hear their new music and witness how this project of theirs will develop from here.



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Seryn is a six-piece band from Denton, Texas. In my opinion, they were the highlight of the night since I hadn’t checked out the openers and didn’t know what to expect from either band. Their music is amazingly complex because the band is so large. Their debut album This Is Where We Are was released in 2011. They’ve released two singles in the last two years “Disappear” and “Ivory Black.” The first thing I noticed about them was their size and kept thinking that six people was nearly too much to fit on the stage. But a few songs into their set, I realized just how talented they are. They had stunning harmonies and sounded amazing live which made it hard to believe that it wasn’t prerecorded. The band is able to produce such amazing sound using a ukulele, banjo, accordion, violin, bass, various percussion and guitars. From their 2013 single “Ivory Black,” one lyric in particular stuck with me – “I’ll never learn to fly if I never leave this nest.” All of their music and lyrics evoke emotion which is often hard to come by. I was also impressed by their stage presence when I was struggling to single out the frontman and quickly realized that there isn’t one and didn’t need to be. Their latest single “Disappear” has me itching for more and I cannot wait for their sophomore album to be released. - KRYPTONITE


Given the stellar past couple of years it’s had, with momentum generated by its 2013 album The Reunion, high-profile festival gigs, touring, a showcase at Austin’s SXSW, and most recently, a splashy music release party at MOCA, it came as a shock to some of their fans when lilting Kent folk rockers Bethesda announced their imminent demise after six years.

They’ll play their final gig at Burning River Fest July 25. But Bethesda’s engine — the husband-and-wife duo of Eric Ling and Shanna Delaney — have already regrouped as By Light We Loom and will have made their local debut even before Bethesda breathes its last.

They’ve booked a show at the Grog Shop opening for Twin Forks featuring Dashboard Confessionals’ Chris Carrabba and folkie Texas sextet Seryn.

“Join us as we either crash and burn or prevail playing our first show as our new project! ;),” says their online invitation. “Either way, it would just be fun to laugh and hang with our friends as we get out all the kinks!”

Admission is $15. - Cool Cleveland


Shanna Delaney has fronted the Kent-based alt-folk act Bethesda (bethesdaband.com) since it formed three years ago. On the band’s most recent album, The Reunion, a disco that could loosely be categorized as alt-country or indie pop she evokes Neko Case in the moody ballad "We Grow Old" and sounds a bit like Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis on the fiery "Poison Heirloom." One of the area’s true vocal talents. - Cleveland Scene


Singer Shanna Delaney and rhythm guitar Eric Ling met a few years ago while they were students at Kent State. After a bad first date on which they intended to attend a Badly Drawn Boy concert but never made it to the show, they discovered they had similar musical interests and subsequently formed Bethesda (bethesdaband.com) about four years ago. In the last year, they've had a number of line-up changes prior to recording their latest album, The Reunion. But the dust has settled and the resulting album is a terrific effort that sounds more indie than folk. - Cleveland Scene


Bethesda: ‘Reunion’

Yeah, a cynic might argue that this Kent sextet is surfing the wake of the current indie-folk wave caused by Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons, the Decemberists and other bands with unusual acoustic instrumentation (banjos and fiddles!), but it’s pretty good at carving out its own version of the increasingly common (as in it’s been in a bunch of commercials and film trailers) sound.

Lead singer Shanna Delaney has a confident, classically trained sounding, sprightly soprano that cuts through the often jingly jangly grooves of songs such as the peppy potential Target-commercial-soundtrack Go. But the band, which uses plenty of electric instruments, too, isn’t simply aping a popular sound, i.e. it eschews the big wordless gang-choruses.

The group’s single Rotted Pines has been in rotation on 91.3, and the ethereal spare Signs is just pretty.

Check out the band next Saturday at JB’s Concert Club in Kent. - Akron Beacon Journal


NUMBER 4 ON CLEVELAND'S 10 BEST ALBUMS OF 2013!

"THE REUNION" by Bethesda - Cleveland Music City


As opposed to full concerts, I chose to call out individual performances that left a lasting impression on me.At the last minute we made a snap decision to head to Akron to support Bethesda for their album release show. It was the first time I had ever been to Musica and I loved the room. It was the perfect place for Bethesda to unleash their latest album The Reunion into the world. - The Cellar Door CLE


In the case of Ohio sextet Bethesda, their name
isn’t a tribute to the Maryland city but to the
ancient reference of the sacred pool where the
faithful would gather to be healed by its regenerative
waters. Led by the husband-and-wife team
of Eric Ling and Shanna Delaney, Bethesda
offers a similarly restorative experience with a
rootsy sound that draws on Ling’s love of Elliott
Smith and Conor Oberst and Delaney’s devotion
to musical theater and Bluegrass, as well as an
ironclad artistic honesty. Bethesda’s talent and
integrity shine like a beacon through their trio
of consistently excellent recordings — 2010’s
Love in a Time of Tra La La, 2012’s five-song EP
Dream Tiger & Other Tails and their latest, The
Reunion — while their ecstatic live shows have
been forged in the furnace of almost constant
touring, with stops at Bonnaroo and SXSW along
the way. Bethesda isn’t interested in making
mere Facebook friends, they’re looking to make
a real connection with their audience the old
fashioned way — with a transformational musical
experience and real human interaction. - Cincymusic


Although Bethesda is an Ohio-bred band whose homespun tales and sounds are grounded in the folk tradition, the members' ecletic musical backgrounds, creative energy and flair for the dramatic ensure that they're never beholden to the trappings of one particular style. Instead, the group's core of musicians – violinist Christopher Black, bassist Dan Corby, vocalist Shanna Delaney, guitarist/vocalist Eric Ling, drummer Justin Rife and guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Jesse Sloan – have cultivated a refreshingly vibrant sound that has made them a band to watch. Their music has been slated to appear in programming on Showtime, MTV, Oxygen, VH1 and E!; they've shared the stage with such noted indie acts as Azure Ray and fellow Ohio native, Jessica Lea Mayfield, and exposure on more than 200 independent and college radio stations nationwide has given them serious buzz.

Delaney hails from Circleville, Ohio, while Ling grew up in nearby Bellefontaine. Sloan originally came from Florida, Rife from Tallmadge, Ohio, Corby from Chardon, Ohio, and Black was most recently living in Connecticut. The members brought divergent tastes, with Rife coming from a background playing in punk bands and Delaney having found her voice in musical theater. Ling was a student of the lo-fi acoustic school, emulating artists such as Elliott Smith and Conor Oberst. "I had a horrible voice and so did they, so I thought that was what it was all about – singing with the crackling voice and writing really thick lyrics," says Ling. "Then I met Shanna, and she had an amazing voice, and had vocal training, and listened to a little bit of folk and bluegrass growing up, and did musical theater – so [we were at] polar opposite sides of the world. The first couple times we tried to write, it was a big fight." The name Bethesda came at the suggestion of Sloan's father – a reference to the "healing" pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem.

The band's debut long player, 2010's Love in a Time of Tra La La was the sound of Bethesda trying to reconcile their genre-spanning influences. "Our first record was very much a blend of all of our influences coming together – I wouldn't say fighting, because there was a blend there, but I think now we've really learned how to write together," says Rife. Tim Gerak, who'd made a name for himself playing with group The Six Parts Seven, handled production duties for Tra La La at his Akron recording studio, and the band tapped him to oversee the 2011 follow-up EP, Dreamtiger & Other Tails. Ling still oversaw the majority of the songs, penning lyrics that were adapted and reworked with Delaney's input, but the entire band came together in the process creating an inevitably tighter dynamic. That would serve as the framework for nearly all the EP's tracks. The first album was finished in less than a month, while the EP – despite half the number of tracks – took nearly two.

Dreamtiger introduced the string support of Estee Beasley (a role now handled by violinist Christopher Black), adding to an already rounded sound. Although most the EP's tracks clock in at more than four minutes, there are enough hooks and engaging lyricism to keep the mix on a speedy course. The dreamlike imagery is echoed in the cover art (designed by Corby's wife Morgan; pictured above), which resembles a children's storybook. "Even though it's a genre of music we really couldn't put our finger on, that's great, because this is something original we are creating together," says Ling. "[Dreamtiger] marks a new direction for us – sort of a magical, folk, indie-pop thing that's happening that I think is really our sound."

Each member of the band agrees they prefer the live setting over the studio, the chance to engage with audiences and best harness the energy of their recordings. "The live experience is what I love," says Delaney. "I think that's because that's what I grew up doing – musical theater, opera – the stage, live performing."

As the band prepares to record the follow-up to Dreamtiger, they sat down with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to talk about how they came together, their influences, feeling an intimate, emotional connection with artists' lyric sheets in the Museum, and the major impact of the Women Who Rock exhibit.
- See more at: http://rockhall.com/blog/post/7293_rock-hall-sessions--bethesda/#sthash.pmCbfiip.dpuf - Rock & Roll Hall of Fame


Voted #1 Best Band 2011 - Fox 8


Because not every band from Akron sounds like the Black Keys. Some, in fact, sound like a female-led Decemberists. - Esquire Magazine


When I started the “Band of the Month” feature last year, I had no idea we would be introduced to all the amazing artists that we wound up working with. From a feature with now-indie-giants, Of Monsters and Men, to the beautiful bedroom tunes of Faye Webster, the site found community and excitement in this feature. As we move forward into 2013, we plan to continue to share with you music that we’ve grown to love. Thanks for all your support these past few years.

- Sean Pritchard
Bethesda

Bethesda

Our introduction to the band came at MidPoint in Cincinnati last year. We had settled in for a drink and begin chatting with a bartender (who consequently was from our hometown), before being abruptly cut off by this strangely beautiful noise coming from the stage. Enter Bethesda… What was the MidPoint experience like for you all?

Shanna: The MidPoint experience was wonderful. We played at the Know Theatre, and the sound guy was very professional and the bar staff was kind and helpful. Everything was well-organized.The crowd was really energetic and courteous. You could tell that people were there to hear music. Sometimes when a band goes to perform, the music can be an afterthought. However, Cincinnati has a rich and growing scene where people respect and love music. We were so honored to be a part of that.

Eric: The MidPoint fest was awesome! We met a lot of great people and the crowd responded really well to our music! We are so impressed with the Cincinnati music scene and its dedication to original music!
Bethesda at MidPoint 2012 - Will Hawthorne

Bethesda at MidPoint 2012 – Will Hawthorne

With all the time spent on the road last year, did the decision to write the new album come following your fall dates or was it a work in progress?

Eric: A bit of both, really. We are always working on new material and are always working on the next record. However, without a deadline we find it difficult to “complete” songs. So, for this album, we set the summer dates for recording and proceeded to work our tails off to make the songs as “complete” as possible before the date. A time crunch forces us to be decisive and sort of live with the songs, which makes it a very intentional process, rather than passive and elongated.

Due out April 9th, The Reunion is a collection of stories, both personal and from your listeners. Explain to me what exactly you did with getting your audience involved in the writing process of the album.

Eric: It really is more of an observational exercise than anything. We are very close with our friends and fans and try to be in tune with their struggles and successes. When we are moved by a story, we write about it in hopes that others resonate with it as well. As songwriters, we strive to write songs that give justice to the stories being told, whether they are our own or the stories of others. We believe we are storytellers and are inviting our audience to live in the stories that we have been given to tell. Recently we have asked our fans that donated on Kickstarter to give us 5 facts to write a song about their life as a reward. None of these songs show up on this album, but a few of them very well might end up on the next one. It is the commonality of our stories and the hope that is injected into each of them that keeps us pushing on and ignites our desire to write.
Of the stories collected, is there a particular one that stands out to you the most?

Shanna: I love all of our songs on the album, of course. However, the one that is most personal to me is “Fit to Leave.” The song was written from my brother, Stevie, who passed away in a motorcycle accident several years ago. I had always wanted to write a song for him, but every time I tried, it never really came out how I wanted it to. Finally, on this album, we were able to come up with a song for and about him that captures my feelings on his passing. Part of the song is a first person narration from Stevie’s perspective, viewing himself as an unlovable, unworthy person due to his mistakes. The song is in part about unfairly judging people while they are alive and that there is love and hope for all, no matter what their mistakes may be. This album is made up of stories that we hope people will connect with that will bring them hope, peace, and joy. If more struggles come out of listening, that’s okay too. We just want people, including ourselves, to hear the album and let it impact them in some way.

Eric: I am personally invested in each of the songs on this album. Probably the one that resonates the most is “The Reunion”. A few years back, my grandfather was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He called me up and asked me if I would write a song about his life, and I agreed, of course. I worked my tail off trying to write a song that gave justice to his life, but I just couldn’t put something together that did him justice. It wasn’t until his funeral where everyone came together to pay homage to his life, that it hit me. These people were all carrying parts of my Grandpa’s story and had reunited to make his story whole – what a beautiful way to send him off. The song tries to capture the beauty of that day and couple it with the joy my grandpa was feeling knowing that he was both meeting his maker and reuniting with his wife who had passed a few years earlier. It’s one of those songs still evokes all kinds of emotions when I hear it. I hope others resonate with it as well.
The Reunion Album Art

The Reunion Album Art – Morgan Mzik

When picking the track order for The Reunion, did these stories play into how you arranged the songs or was it based on the musical composition?

Eric: When we were discussing the order of the tracks, we decided that we had two options. 1) To organize the songs based on musical composition and how the melded together and 2) To mold them together in such a way that the stories have a purpose and we are delivering a message through song. We chose the second, because, really it is what is most important to us. The album starts with this anthem towards death, inviting it as a reunion with all of those that have gone before. It moves through a series of stories in which loved ones are reunited, life struggles challenge unions, hardships are overcome, and it ends with a peace (“Patterns”) where we know that “we are gonna get to where we’re goin’.” By our best understanding and through the collection of our stories, this spans both life and death and breathes hope into each.
What prompted you all to make the temporary move to Colorado to record instead of hanging around Ohio?

Shanna: We recorded our first full-length and ep with Tim Gerak (formerly of Six Parts Seven) of Mammoth Cave Studios when he lived in Akron, Ohio. We formed a relationship with him and his wife and also admired his talents as a recording engineer. We didn’t really want to go with anyone else for the album, so we followed Tim to Denver, CO to record The Reunion with him at the beginning of July 2012.

Eric: Exactly! Tim knows our sound so well, and is a magician in the studio. We decided to give him more control over how the record sounded by asking him to produce as well as engineer, and we are really excited about the results. It may have seemed crazy to travel half-way across the country for a recording, but we think the results speak volumes! We are already planning on going back for our next one!
The first single from the album, “Go”, is a jolly number with a video featuring the band performing in front of a line of Irish dancers. Was it distracting to film with so much going on at once, or do you wish more people broke out in line dances at your shows?

Eric: Haha! Not at all! We feed off of the energy, and it was the same with the Irish dancers. They brought so much talent and dedication to their craft, and performed with such grace that it brought the best out of us. We have always been the band that has its best performances to the most engaged crowds. In fact, the dancers actually performed with us at our local pre-release show in Arkon on March 2nd. It was incredible!!! Energy is always contagious. So next time you all are thinking about dancing at a show, DO IT! It just might take the live experience to the next level!
TheBlueIndian.com has a strong connection with the Buckeye State for a number of reasons; We’ve had writers and photographers based there, visited a number of festivals there, and included quite a few Ohio-based band on our compilations. What other acts from around the state should we be keeping our eyes on?

Shanna: Ashley Brooke Toussant (singer-songwriter), A Band Named Ashes (folk), Winslow (Soul/pop/funk), The Mitchells (indie-pop), and many more. There are really so many wonderful acts coming out of this good state of Ohio!

If people want to buy the new record, where would you suggest they visit?

Shanna: iTunes for the week of April 9-16th. We have a special and exclusive digital pack we will be giving out to those that download the album from iTunes in the first week. For more on that follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bethesdaband
bunburyOne of the highlights of your upcoming tour schedule is the Bunbury Music Festival, scheduled for the 12th-14th of July in Cincinnati. Headlining sets from The National, fun., MGMT – and support from over 80 other acts – including you all! Looks like we’ll be making yet another trip to the 513..

Eric: We are so excited for this fest. This show is occurring on our (Shanna and Eric) wedding anniversary, and Belle & Sebastian is playing that same day. I used to make mix cd’s for Shanna that included quite a bit of Belle & Sebastian, so we are really excited. I couldn’t think of a better place to spend our anniversary!
I’ve spent time in Akron before (and actually wound up having a long, somewhat odd conversation with Dan Auerbach’s dad..), but never spent time in Kent.. What does one do if they’re looking for a good time there?

Eric: Kent is a place for friends. Find a local coffee shop or pub and inject yourself into conversation. You will find a friendly and intellectual community that promotes the arts and pursues unexplored territory daily. We are just glad to be a part of it all!

The 2013 Grammy’s were:

Justin: Typical. Same players, same winners. It’s nice to see some independent artists get more recognition than in years past. However, there is still a long way to go before this celebration of music is all-inclusive. They keep eliminating categories making it even more difficult to break in.

Eric: On? I missed them….intentionally? Maybe :D

Shanna: I second that. Given Eric and I are school teachers by day, we were most likely fast asleep for that 5:30 am alarm clock.

Best Chili in Ohio:

Shanna: I can’t stand chili, but my mama makes the best. I can tolerate her chili at least, and others say it’s the best they’ve ever had!

Justin: Whitey’s Booze’n Burgers in Richfield. They have the BEST I’ve ever had and I’ve had a lot.

Favorite local beer:

Shanna: How about a warm, cup of tea for us grannies?

Eric: Great Lakes Brewing Company – CLEVELAND LOVE!
Strangest place you’ve played:

Shanna: Oh, wow. We have been in some crazy places. I would definitely say Rochester, NY. I don’t want to name the venue, because it’s actually a fantastic place to play and the booker is a great guy. However, this is where we coined the term “Rochester weird.” It was just a series of crazy events one after another from the bouncers yelling at us because they didn’t think we were in a band and wouldn’t let us in the venue, eighty year old men playing flutes and reciting humorous poetry before our set, people dressed like elves doing a dance in the middle of the room, a razor used for coke sitting on the bathroom sink, a guy getting thrown up against our van by the cops, another guy falling in front of our van getting whisked away by an ambulance (maybe it’s the van), etc. These events were only drops in the bucket of our experience with Rochester this particular night, but we continue to go back because the city is really awesome! ( I guess this wasn’t a short answer…haha..you may shorten)

Eric: Trenton, NJ in a basement club where there were multiple layers of urine covering every square inch. We played anyways and ended up inviting in and dancing along side a homeless lady who later invited us to breakfast at the shelter. It ended up being a great and memorable night, but we certainly weren’t sure as to what might be transpiring when we first showed up. It is by far the shadiest club we have ever played. But music softens hearts and brings the unlikeliest people together. That is why we do what we do.
Best part of the recording sessions for The Reunion:

Shanna: Listening to a year’s worth of hard work, sweat, and tears mix together and come out of the speakers to create something you wouldn’t even imagined on your own with your band family.

Eric: The end product!!! Everything else is a marathon and it ain’t easy. But when you hit the finish line, you may be exhausted, but you also know that you have completed something that can’t be taken away….ever. We have etched our place in the micro-history of music. And THAT feels great!

Ultimate tour cuisine:

Shanna: Cheese pizza (although I have to eat it with olive oil/garlic sauce instead of red sauce when touring because sadly it’s bad on the old pipes)

Justin: Chicago style hot-dogs and Dr. Pepper.

Eric: Chicken & Waffles in Austin, TX. Changed my life!!!! - The Blue Indian


It was a HOT one when we interviewed Kent, Ohio’s Bethesda on the final day of the 2013 Bunbury Music Festival. Turns out, it would be our last interview of the weekend as we hopped into the car and headed back to Columbus rather than stick it out for the rest of the evening. Unfortunately, when doing interviews at festivals it’s difficult to find a quiet spot so you’ll hear some of Mia Carruthers’ set in the background as Connie and Olivia chat with Bethesda. - Kids Interview Bands


http://www.ideastream.org/applause/entry/54308 - NPR


The month of March 2012 came in like a lion and went out like a lion for us here at Storyboard and thank goodness that somewhere in the mix we had a chance to get out and about Around Town to take in some of the wonderfulness with our brand spankin’ new multimedia producer, Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon. We hope you enjoy the magical moments he captured on the streets of Austin during the SXSW Music Festival along with a little bit about the production process.

Be sure to email us at storyboard@kut.org with suggestions of things you think we should keep an eye out for!
Bethesda
Anyone that’s been on 6th Street during SXSW understands that feeling of listening to ten different radio stations at the same time, all of them turned all the way up. Ohio band Bethesda was in the middle of this, competing with a goth metal band on 6th and Red River, a SRV wanna be on the opposite corner, and a raging rock show from the tiny club right behind them. When I spotted them they were packing up their gear in hopes of finding a spot more suited to their folk inspired sound. They were instantly interested when I creepily invited them into an alleyway to shoot some video. We found a quiet spot between dumpsters, recruited a passerby to hold a shotgun mic and shot a couple of videos. They’re a five piece band so it’s tough to get them all on camera, but if you look closely you can see drummer Justin Rife in the background banging on a drum kit made of cardboard boxes and my bike frame as a cymbal. - NPR


Every few months, we’ll have a band contact us about stopping in Macon to record an Acoustic Alley session even though they’re playing in Atlanta or Athens (or beyond) that evening. Such was the case with Bethesda, our Band of the Month for April 2013.

We were introduced to the group last year at MidPoint Music Festival in Cincinnati and became fast fans of their anthemic folk-pop. Earlier this summer, they visited us for a mid-day session that entertained a few lunch-crowd onlookers and downtown regulars.

With the fiery figure of Shanna Delaney at the helm, Bethesda plays lively, classically-inspired folk-pop that doesn’t shy away from having an edge. Earlier this year, they released their sophomore LP, The Reunion, to high praise from a slew of publications based in the mid-west and beyond.

The band currently has dates lined up through November and will be returning to MidPoint Music Festival on Saturday, September 28th. - The Blue Indian


Starting in Kent, Ohio (the first reason to love them and listen) Bethesda will sound mighty familiar if you’re a fan of Ear to the Ground. And if you’re not a fan of ETTG, you should be so you can hear about more awesome music like Bethesda. From their first album as the self-titled EP in 2008, the upcoming release of The Reunion makes four albums for this dynamic locally grown group. Bethesda has toured with Jessica Lea Mayfield, Frontier Ruckus, River City Extension, and He is We, among others. This mix of quirky, funky, soulful sound and an innocent visual creative energy make for a sort of modern Alice in Wonderland feeling that’s almost dreamlike in its playfulness.

“Indie folk” seems to be a popular genre of late, and Bethesda and The Reunion fit in that general area of the musical spectrum. If I’m being honest, I have to admit that I hate the tem “indie folk” because at its heart, it’s an oxymoron. Folk is music that is of the people, more cultural art than high art, while independent implies coming from one’s self. No person grows from his or herself alone, they grow as part of a community, so the idea of indie folk is something that seems beyond hard to understand for me. But in Bethesda I can start to see a glimmer of this discordance coming together well. If one were to take Eric Carle mixed with Maurice Sendak and set it to a soundtrack of Ashley Brooke Toussant and Lily Allen, I’m pretty sure The Reunion is what you would end up creating. At the same time, indie folk plain old fits for The Reunion. Local band makes good and has their own album(s), then instead of getting signed somewhere, funds a new album via Kickstarter (how I ended up with an early copy, full disclosure).

The album starts off like many reunions do, an individual slowly joined by others who know each other well, with people jumping in and out of the music as they jump in and out of our lives at times, the highlights being the times when everyone is present and partying together. “Go” starts off at full-power and lets the listener get really revved up before a more gentle opening to As We Grow Old. This seems appropriate, as it takes a bit to warm up as our bodies age instead of jumping out of bed ready to go when we’re younger. There are some restive, contemplative parts to As We Grow Old, before Fit to Leave gets a bit more edgy, or at least not all bouncy and happy and ventures into more theological realms. Signs is eerily beautiful, with abstract vocalization intermixing with strong lyrics and solid instrumentation. After this more low-key reprieve, Rotted Pines brings us back to light-spirited and uplifting sounds with a more fantastical story to tell. Stop Motion Picture is possibly my favorite track with a nearly perfect balance of high and low, fast and slow. The Water’s Way flows like a river, slow and steady at a surface level but deep and powerful if you look below that initial glance, with some lilting riffles at times to mix things up a bit. Water continues to leak a little into the next hand-clapping, foot-stomping tune, as Poisoned Heirloom positively bites at times. Patterns wraps up the album with a slowing, calming melody that ends on a resolved and fulfilled feeling.

This album more than others that I’ve reviewed here on ETTG is great for any number of age groups, and really strikes me as a child-friendly selection. If you want to introduce kids to all that they can do, show them Bethesda. Show them art, show them music, show them creative people coming together to make something that didn’t exist before, and show them the community support that made this dream after the Dreamtiger a reality.

Personnel: Shanna Delaney (Lead vocalist, mad tambourine, hand-claps), Eric Ling (Guitar, vocals, whispers), Jesse Scaggs (Guitar, banjo), Dan Corby (Bass), Justin Rife (Drums and loud noises), Christopher Black (Violin/Viola, keyboard), Evan Story (Drums)

Tracks: The Reunion, Go, As We Grow Old, Fit to Leave, Signs, Rotted Pines, Stop Motion Picture, The Water’s Ways, Poisoned Heirloom, Patterns - Ear to the Ground


Bethesda

Self-released

The Kent band's new album is a study in the haunting and oddly enthralling beauty of heartache. Draped in folk and Americana conceits, Shanna Delaney's smart, mature phrasing and soaring choruses shine. "The Reunion" is a progression for the band, one in which the players seem more confident, more willing to pick their spots, rather than just throwing everything out there at once. It pays off in an album that can sit comfortably and confidently next to any of the current crop of Mumfords and Avetts. Grade: B+ - Cleveland Plain Dealer


There’s a shift going on in music. An undercurrent of bands that are fueled by a passion for what they are doing coupled with a cathartic quality in their writing that embraces the listener and pulls them in. Kent’s Bethesda is no exception.

This band draws you in with the angelic vocals of Shanna Delaney and wraps you in its delicate folk rock instrumentation by fellow band members Eric Ling (guitar/vocals), Jesse Scaggs (banjo/guitar), Chris Black (violin/viola), Dan Corby (bass) and Justin Rife (drums). The result is an uplifting sound that breathes a breath of fresh air into the mundanity of life.

We had the opportunity to meet up with Shanna Delaney and Eric Ling—the couple that fronts the band—prior to their performance at Cleveland’s Brite Winter Fest. Get to know a band that is trying to build a community of musicians who can inspire one another to create together.

Where did the name come from?

Ling: In Jewish-Christian tradition, bethesda is a pool of healing, and we liked the idea. We sing about a lot of hurt, a lot of pain, just reality, life; we try to be really honest in our songs and what we’re experiencing in life. We really liked the idea of just bringing hope to all of that. We write dark songs filled with hopeful melodies. We like the idea of going into a place and making it brighter than it was when we got there.

What kind of music inspires your sound?

Delaney: That’s a difficult question! When we first started out, Eric was really into Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, that sort of thing, and I was coming from an opera/musical theatre background, and kind of a country and ’80s background, too. We were coming from that. I would say as we grew together and started checking out more music, became adults and kind of grew into our own, we were inspired by bands like Sufjan Stevens, Anathallo. I think that’s where our big band noise comes from, and that’s why we wanted more members. Now, we’re very much influenced by bands like Mumford & Sons, Eisley, The Decemberists… Mates of State was a really big one for us when we were coming together and dating. We’re all over the map.

And you guys are playing SXSW this year?

Delaney: We have two shows down there; we’re doing a Red Gorilla showcase that we’re playing two shows for.

Ling: That’s the dream, to play SXSW. We’re going to be surrounded by all of our favorite bands. A year ago, before Dreamtiger was released, none of this was happening. I feel like we’ve worked really hard, we’ve been really blessed, now we’re going to SXSW and not playing just one show, but playing two shows at SXSW. It’s going to be so fun. We get to go to all of our favorite labels’ parties, too.

What advice would you give other bands that want to be able to play something like SXSW one day?

Delaney: Work hard. We work so hard. I think you have to be talented, but the other part of it is that you have to work for it. So many people don’t want to work for it. We’re workaholics. I mean, we get up at 5 in the morning, we work all day as teachers, and then we come home, and all we can think about is Bethesda. We’ll spend all night working on Bethesda, from 3:30 to when we have to go to bed at like 9. It doesn’t even feel like work because you want to be doing it.

Ling: If you really love what you’re doing and believe in what you’re doing, just work hard at it and have integrity. Don’t just slack off or get discouraged because other people don’t believe in it. Work hard and believe in it. Surround yourself with people that care about you and support you.

Let’s talk about this new album. You guys are doing a Kickstarter campaign to fund it, and you’re at around 90%.

Ling: We’re really excited! I guess as a band, you’re always excited about the next album. I feel like our new songs are a step in a new direction that we’re super proud of. This will be our second full-length album. We’re really excited about having a second full-length since we feel like we’ve really matured as a band.

Delaney: The first song we wrote for that album was “Reunion,” and it has a folk feel. Eric wrote it about his grandpa. His grandpa asked him to write a song right before he passed away, and he never got to before he passed, so it came to him one day, and Eric wrote that. The very next song after that is about my brother, who passed away when I was in college in a motorcycle accident, and I’ve been wanting to write this song since I could remember. I think there was a song in me for him, and I just couldn’t write it. We’re thinking about calling the album The Reunion; there seems to be a theme of a reunion, just reuniting and experiencing that feeling that comes with a reunion and coming together.

Ling: Some of the songs we’ve written so far are some of the most amazing songs that we’ve written, and performing them live has been a blast. We are also ridiculously humbled by the amount of money people have donated.

Delaney: We don’t take it lightly. There are times when we’ve got in a pledge, and we’ve wept when people we know have no money to give, gave to us. We want to hope that our music is more than just music, that we are helping people achieve some sort of healing, or emotion, and that we are more than just musicians.

If you loved what you heard and read, hop over to Kickstarter and help Bethesda reach the $8000 mark so that you can own a copy of their album on vinyl. - The Vinyl District


Tonight at downtown Akron live music venue Musica, a local band will make its case for becoming a national band.

Akron/Kent-based band Bethesda will celebrate the release of its second full-length album, The Reunion, a 10-song collection of melodic, acoustic-based indie folk. The band — violinist Christopher Black, bassist Dan Corby, singer Shanna Delaney, guitarist/singer Eric Ling, drummer Justin Rife and guitarist/singer/keyboardist Jesse Scaggs — are all in their mid to late twenties. They recorded the latest album and previous releases with former Six Parts Seven member Tim Gerak at his Mammoth Studios in Colorado.

The Reunion is a refinement of the sextet’s previously scattered sound with two new members (Black and Scaggs) helping to provide cleaner arrangements and better use of dynamics.

“They each bring a new sound to the album. This has more of a folk-pop and maybe a little bit of Americana in there and I think this album is much more cohesive …” Delaney said.

Throughout The Reunion, there is an underlying theme, which Delaney said was a happy accident.

“We noticed that these stories were coming together. We didn't mean to or try to make it happen but we noticed that they were all stories about people reuniting in some way — whether that be later on after death or in this world,” she said pointing to the title track about Ling's grandfather, Fit to Leave written for Delaney's brother who died while she was in college and Signs about Ling's brother's long-distance relationship.

“We always sit down and talk about the stories first before we even start writing parts and so we made sure to really go through these songs and make sure the tone and the mood that we [wanted] to come across in the songs” came through, she said.

The album was funded entirely by a Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $8,000, giving the bank accounts of Ling and Delaney, who historically used their own money, a break.

The Reunion should please fans of the increasingly popular indie folk-pop sound of bands such as Arcade Fire and Mumford & Sons, both of whom have won Grammys, sell out concerts and sell scores of records.

Delaney, a proud music theater geek who also studied opera, uses her unique and immediately recognizable and occasionally dramatic alto on songs such as the rising and falling Signs and the peppy Rotted Pines featuring the now familiar indie-folk shuffle groove. Go sports a kinetic bluegrass groove and, as with many of the tunes, a catchy, hummable chorus, while Delaney and Ling harmonize on the toe-tapping up-tempo indie-pop tune Stop Motion.

Right now Bethesda members are primarily weekend warriors, traveling and playing shows on Fridays and Saturdays as all the band members have “real” jobs. Ling and Delaney are both teachers (Delaney’s also in graduate school), and other members’ job titles include graphic designer and banker. But that could all change with the new album.

Bethesda will launch a radio campaign with radio promoter/marketing firm Unleashed music and has picked up nationally known P.R. firm Team Claremont and record label Inkind Music, run by a former Virgin board member who is still connected enough to get the album distributed by Sony.

The band settled on its acoustic-driven sound because founders Ling and Delaney are both fans, with Delaney growing up playing and singing bluegrass music “like a bunch of hillbillies” with her family. Ling was a fan of the often spare, dour sounds of singer/songwriters such as Elliot Smith. Nevertheless, Bethesda members realize their timing is serendipitous, dovetailing with a critically and commercially popular sound.

“Right,” Delaney said, “the Decemberists and Arcade Fire, when you see them doing so well, it definitely gives you hope. My mom said to me a year ago, ‘Do they even have a name for your kind of music?’ and I said ‘Yes, Mom’ and now you see it becoming rampant and that's very good for us.”

Bethesda will be making its second trip to the South By Southwest music festival in April in Austin, Texas, and then plans to embark on its most extensive tour this June. With a label, a publicist and the band’s take on what is a popular sound, Bethesda appears to be pointed in the right direction.

“It's exciting, and we'll see where we go; we'll see what happens,” Delaney said. - Akron Beacon Journal


Shanna Delaney and Eric Ling are ready for their big moment. Or at least a bigger one than they’ve had to date. Balancing day jobs, graduate school and a band with a growing platform is simply becoming too much for the members of Bethesda. The good news is that their new album, The Reunion, will likely serve as a tipping point toward much greater things.

The Ohio based sextet brings a folk-driven roots rock mix that’s conjured comparisons to The Decemberists among others, but the end result on The Reunion is undoubtedly original. As a good bet to break through, we sat down to get the story behind Bethesda and what drives them to work as hard as they do.

Stereo Subversion: Talk a bit about your chaotic schedule.

Shanna Delaney: It’s a bit like working three full-time jobs: managing Bethesda, going to grad school at night and then teaching—my “real job”—all day. [Laughs]

SSv: When you’re already so busy, can you talk about what makes you put energy behind Bethesda in the first place?
I think ultimately the goal in music is never to be rich or famous. Or if that’s your goal then good luck! [Laughs] But just to be able to make enough so that we can do it for a living, so we can scrape by, so we can do what we love, that would be gaining traction for us.

I think ultimately the goal in music is never to be rich or famous. Or if that’s your goal then good luck! [Laughs] But just to be able to make enough so that we can do it for a living, so we can scrape by, so we can do what we love, that would be gaining traction for us.

Shanna: Well that’s definitely where my greatest passion lies, actually for Eric [Ling] and I both. I’ve always felt like I was supposed to do music, like it’s my calling so to speak. So when you love something that much it doesn’t feel like work. It doesn’t even feel like you’re taking out time from your life; in fact it energizes you and energizes other areas of your life. It’s not that teaching isn’t important or that we don’t enjoy it, but I know for both of us that music is what we would truly love to be doing full-time.

SSv: So how have you chased that in the past? How have you whet your appetite to put the work into it?

Shanna: For me, I’ve always had a huge musical background in my family. I was really involved with musical theater all the way through high school, and I actually went to college for musical theater, but I decided that wasn’t something I loved anymore or wanted to do. I had always loved literature, so I thought, “I’ll change over to that and be a teacher.”

But the real kind of music I wanted to do was writing my own music and performing it for others, so that drive is what kind of kept us going. And then meeting our bandmates and finding people who had the same passion for what they were doing and had the same goals I think has helped as well.

SSv: Tell us about the earliest incarnation of Bethesda? How did that begin to come together?

Shanna: Eric and I met at Kent State University in Ohio. When we first met he was really young, had self-taught himself guitar and was really into a lot of lo-fi music, Bright Eyes and whatnot. I’m coming from a theater background, so when we first met we both really loved music but it was definitely a challenge to start working together. [Both laugh]

But then some time passed and now we’re married, and during the first year we were married I told him this is what I really want to do. I can’t picture my life without music being a major part of it. I feel like we were brought together because I do most of the singing but wasn’t much of a songwriter, whereas he doesn’t like to sing but he loves to write lyrics and music, so it just seemed like a natural fit to be brought together like that.

But then we started attending a church out here called the Veneer Community Church and that’s where we basically met the rest of our bandmates one by one. And then in the past year we’ve gotten a new lead guitarist, Jesse Scaggs, and we also got a violinist/viola/keyboard player, Christopher Black, so we kind of added that to our sound.

So our sound has changed over the years. This will be the fifth year we’ve been together, but it really feels like a new band because we’ve added the two new members this year. But we still have the original four out of the five too. We all love what we do and believe that what we’re doing is helping people.

SSv: When you say it feels like a new band, were there elements before that you really strove to keep despite the new lineup.

Shanna: I think, when you first start a band, you kind of throw things at the wall and try to make everything work. We’re all from different backgrounds. I also have a bluegrass background in addition to the musical theater background, so I’m kind of all over the place. Eric comes from that lo-fi background. Justin, our drummer, was in a punk band. And then Chris was classically trained as a violinist, so it’s funny. We all had very different musical backgrounds when we first came together but we all knew we loved to write music and wanted to play together, so we just sort of put everything in and then let a song be what it is.

But now, we’ve decided to keep more of the folkier elements that we’ve been heading in the direction of. The guitarist that we used to have in the band was into more of the math rock sound, so that was difficult because you could tell the difference between the songs that Eric was writing and then the songs that he wrote. It’s not that they weren’t good, but it wasn’t as cohesive as it is on this album, so I think we just decided to go in more of the folk direction because we thought that’s what we did well.

So we’ve kept a lot of those elements in the band, but when we put out a song we try to just let it work instead of dictating too much. We have it in mind what the mood is and what the feel of the story is, but we let everybody come to the table and write their own parts. We’ve always been really big about letting a song be what it’s supposed to be and not worrying about what’s “in” right now because it’s real easy to give in to that pressure.

SSv: So was there just a common love in the band for the folk rock sound more than any other? Did it feel more honest to you? What informed your decision as a band to go that route?

Shanna: I think part of it is that we’re acoustically-driven and led by the acoustic guitar. We have a lead guitarist, of course, but what really drives the sound is the acoustic. Everything is written on the acoustic, and so I think that lends itself real well to that. But I think it’s something that’s also better for me, vocally. A bunch of us are also really into Sufjan Stevens and—my personal favorite—The Decemberists, and so I think you can’t help but be influenced by some of those bands that you listen to.

SSv: So is that a feather in your cap when someone compares you to The Decemeberists? Sort of a “Yes!” moment?

Shanna: You know, on the one hand it’s like, do you want to be compared to anybody? Because sometimes when that happens it’s easy for people to say that you’re trying to be like them and aren’t original, but obviously when you love a band that much it’s a huge honor and very flattering. In a lot of ways we’re nothing like them but it’s an honor, to me, to hear something like that.

SSv: What are the emotions right now with it being release week? What’s your mindset like?

Eric Ling: It’s real exciting. We’ve been working on this album for a year now, maybe a little bit less than that, and it’s been done since this past August, so we’ve been so excited about it and we’re excited to share it with people. We’re pumped for people to actually hear the album, get those responses and see how everything goes.

There are also some nerves in there, especially when you’ve invested so much into something that we’re very proud of. You want it to be accepted, you want it to do well, so it’s kind of like we’re putting our baby out there for the public.

Shanna: Hope it’s not an ugly baby! [All laugh.]

Eric: So yeah, we’re just hoping to gain some traction for it, I guess. It’s hard to put into words everything that has gone on, but we’re confident and we’re excited. We feel good about the product that we’re putting out there.

SSv: You talk about gaining traction, and not only does that mean different things to different people, but it also means different things as the music industry continues to change. What does that mean for you guys at this point?

Shanna: I think ultimately the goal in music is never to be rich or famous. Or if that’s your goal then good luck! [Laughs] But just to be able to make enough so that we can do it for a living, so we can scrape by, so we can do what we love, that would be gaining traction for us.

But also, recently we’ve been having a conversation about how success looks different to different people, and just redefining what we believe success to be. We were talking about this in another interview about how a lot of what we do is just storytelling. We cull these stories from our own lives and from the lives of people that we know.

Some of those are very good experiences, and some are very bad experiences, but in all of it we hope that somehow our stories reach people and lead them to feel a certain way, and not necessarily a way that we desire them to feel. I think anytime anyone makes music they just want to tug at people’s hearts in a way, because music is a way of speaking to people that I think other mediums don’t.

And so I think for us, the celebration for us is the stage, the performance, but one of my favorite parts is after the show. A lot of people feel really drained by then, but we feel revived when people come up to us. Sometimes they’ll just come up to our merch table and be crying and they don’t even know why. Or they say, ‘Hey, you told that story about your grandpa or your brother that passed away. I had a brother who passed away.’

I think connection is one of the most important parts of the experience, and after doing this for a couple years… you always say you want it to be the connection and being part of changing people’s lives and making them feel something, and I think we’re starting to get to the point where we define success as more what it does for other people in their lives than maybe what it does in ours.

Eric: Everything she said there in terms of gaining traction is right on. It’s just growing that audience and the amount of people we can share this with. We just want to get this out there, get it to as many ears as possible and take it from there. Hopefully that will result in us being able to travel more places and play more places and maybe potentially do it for a living at some point, but right now we’re excited about where we’re at and are definitely enjoying the journey as much as we are seeking teh destination. - Stereo Subversion


If you need any proof that indie music is quickly becoming mainstream, look no further than Arcade Fire. The band first burst onto the scene in 2004 with their debut album Funeral, which garnered much critical acclaim and is now regarded by many as one of the best albums of the last decade. 2007′s Neon Bible continued the band’s success by debuting at Number 2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The band then cemented their status in the public’s consciousness by winning last year’s prestigious GRAMMY Award for Album Of The Year with their third album, The Suburbs. Arcade Fire stand out from the plethora of other indie rock bands through their use of baroque influences and varied instrumentation; using anything from violins to accordions to xylophones and many more. Their music can best be described as “anthemic,” and their headlining slots at huge festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo this year have proved that their music is intended for the masses. Luckily, OurStage’s own Bethesda share Arcade Fire’s penchant for making stadium ready indie rock.

OurStage's Bethesda

Arcade Fire















Like Arcade Fire, Bethesda is great at creating slow-building songs that lead to epic conclusions. Their song “Dreamtiger” is a perfect example of this formula, and it bears some resemblance to Arcade Fire’s song “Haiti.” Both songs begin with strummed acoustic guitar chords, but add a variety of instruments as the songs progress. While “Dreamtiger” picks up momentum pretty quickly, the song takes a drastic change about halfway through. Here, all of the instruments drop out except for the acoustic guitar and vocals. Other instruments like violin and electric guitar are soon added to create texture, followed by the entrance of a snare drum, which creates a march-like rhythm that gradually gets faster and faster. This eventually leads into the bold ending, with the repeatedly sung refrain “we are free” backed by pounding, rhythmic drums and guitars. Words can’t fully do this song justice; you really need to listen to it yourself. “Oh, How We Crane Our Throats!” is another Bethesda song with some similarities to Arcade Fire. This song also begins slowly, this time with acoustic guitar, banjo and vocals. Violin is soon added to the mix to double the vocal harmonies. However, this slow section only lasts for a short period of time, as the song quickly picks up tempo. Driven by a pounding bass drum beat and hand claps, the song sounds like it could be played at a hoedown.

However, Bethesda’s sound differs from Arcade Fire thanks to their female lead singer. While Arcade Fire occasionally uses female vocals, the majority of the singing duties are handled by lead singer Win Butler. In Bethesda, Shanna Delaney’s unique voice is a crucial component of the band’s sound. Her high pitched soprano is a one of a kind voice that is immediately recognizable. Bethesda also creates their unique sound through their use of elements of power pop and synth pop. “A Song for the Peasant Farmer” is an upbeat song that uses a catchy synthesizer melody and driving guitar chords to create a fun song that will instantly have you bobbing your head. In the end, Bethesda’s greatest strength lies in their ability to meld a bizarre variety of instruments and influences into a cohesive whole. - OurStage


I first discovered Bethesda last year at MPMF! The six-piece band is led by Eric & Shanna, who met while studying at Kent State. “Our first date was a road trip to Cleveland for a Badly Drawn Boy concert. We got completely lost, missed the show and ended up at Ruby Tuesday’s for dinner … and she still wanted to see me after that!” remembers Eric. They did have to work out their musical differences - Shanna was in music theater, with roots in bluegrass music; Eric was into angsty singer-songwriters including Elliot Smith and Bright Eyes. “I gave up my desire to be dissonant, she started to open up to a more indie approach.“ remembers Eric. It was in the healing waters of the Caribbean that they further committed to making beautiful music together. “I remember talking with Eric while we were swimming one day on our honeymoon, telling him that playing music needed to always be a part of my life,” said Shanna. “Eric promised we would figure out a way for us to always be making music.”

Bethesda are six friends from Kent, Ohio, who came together in the interest of channeling their desires for meaningful living into the artistic expression of music. The result? Bethesda, an indie rock group that brings together folk roots, indie beats, crafty guitars, and soaring vocals with meaningful lyrics to build songs that move your heart and feet in equal measures. Last year at MPMF, this band was one of my favorite discoveries. Don't miss your chance to see this band, thier live show will leave you speechless. - Cincymusic


or Bethesda, rock festivals are a mother lode of like- minded music lovers — and a great place to gain new fans.

The folky Kent-based band, which has played Youngstown several times, exists in a narrow niche that widens at places such as Bunbury Music Festival. Bethesda will perform on a side stage at the Cincinnati rock fest this weekend, and they will fit right in. The headliners include indie-rock royalty such as The National, Yo La Tengo, fun., Cake, MGMT, Tegan & Sara, Belle and Sebastian, Tokyo Police Club and Devotchka.

Red Wanting Blue, the Columbus-based band with a huge following in Youngstown, also is on the undercard.

Bethesda is a unique act that combines the furious pace of Mumford & Sons with the storytelling and whimsy of the Decemberists. But they have a fuller and more lush sound than either band, plus the pristine voice of lead singer Shanna Delaney.

They’re not for everyone, but the six-piece ensemble is getting a boost from the renewed interest in modern folk and timeless Americana.

Eric Ling, rhythm guitarist-vocalist and founder of Bethesda, knows the value of performing at a national festival. His band started at the top of the heap last summer when it was accepted to play at Bonnaroo, and the benefits from that gig continue to pay off.

“For a band like ours, you can’t beat it,” said Ling. “A lot of people go [to festivals] to discover bands, and it puts you in the company of the best of the best. The people who show up expect all of the bands to be excellent. The festivals are very carefully curated, and if you’re chosen, it lets everybody know that you are in the same conversation [with the headliners]. You just can’t do that on tour or with local shows. People at the festival are excited. It’s an in crowd. They are careful listeners who are ready to accept new music. It’s a perfect situation.”

A festival slot also puts a band on the radar of the national press and makes getting plum gigs easier. Having Bonnaroo on its resume made getting accepted by Bunbury a snap for Bethesda.

The band will play at 3:30 p.m. Sunday on the Lawn Stage. It’s a lazy time of the day, but just fine for Bethesda, because the band has a visual and sonic quality that cuts through the haze. A typical phenomenon when Bethesda gets going is a rapid influx of folks, like moths drawn to a flame.

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“At Bonnaroo, we started playing with about 10 people listening and ended up with about a thousand, and they were dancing and loving it,” said Ling. “People even made signs for Shanna by the end of our set. She was flying all over the stage, and they looked her up [on smartphones].”

Bethesda released its third album, “Reunion,” in April. After the summer touring season ends (it should be noted here that Ling and Delaney, who are married, are both school teachers in the Akron and Kent areas and get the summer off), the band will get to work on songwriting.

The rest of the band is Dan Corby, bass; Justin Rife, drums; Christopher Black, violin and keys; and Jesse Scaggs, lead guitar and banjo.

Red Wanting Blue is quite a bit beyond Bethesda in magnitude but still values the opportunity that Bunbury presents. The band, which includes Youngstown native Dean Anschutz on drums, has amassed a large and loyal multistate following over its 15 years and signed a recording contract a couple of years ago.

RWB has played its share of festivals, including the All Good jam-band weekend in southern Ohio last year. While it’s a compliment to get invites to such radically different festivals, Scott Terry, lead singer and songwriter for RWB, said the band prefers the indie-rock vibe at Bunbury and fits in better there.

Getting selected validates your work, said Terry — and also makes for some interesting tales. At one festival last year, RWB took the stage right after a then-little known act called The Lumineers (“Hey-Ho”).

I asked Terry if that means he can say the Lumineers opened for RWB. “I guess so,” he said with a laugh.

RWB has toured like fiends for years but is now focusing on larger cities and fewer shows. The band hasn’t played Youngstown for a year, but Terry said the city will always be on its list, and a show will be booked as soon as a suitable venue can be found. - The Vindicator


A Bethesda performance is a celebration. The six-member band's blend of banjo, violin, guitar, bass, drums, keyboard and vocals energizes a crowd. Beer bottles shoot up, girls dance and even the most uptight characters bob their head.

Lead singer Shanna Delaney shows her musical theater and opera roots as she performs the band's carefully crafted songs with wide eyes and outstretched arms. But the connection she's striving for goes deeper than theatrics. "One of the best parts of the show for me is after the show, when I get to have conversations with people about real world things," she says.

Delaney says one of the band's new songs, "Fit to Leave," about her brother who died in a motorcycle accident, has spurred discussions with concertgoers who have also lost a sibling.

"We want our stories to be a genuine representation of ourselves, but we also put them out there in a vulnerable way," she says. "We are hoping they make a difference for someone else."

Delaney and her husband, Eric Ling, started the band after meeting drummer Justin Rife and bassist Dan Corby at a community church in 2008. Bethesda released its first full-length album in 2010 and followed it with an EP in 2011.

When it came time to record another full-length album, the growing band (which had added Jesse Scaggs on guitar, and violinist and keyboardist Christopher Black) wanted to continue working with producer Tim Gerak, who had produced its first two albums. But Gerak had moved from Akron to Denver.

So all six members drove to his Mammoth Cave Studio to record The Reunion (released in the spring).

Delaney says Bethesda has found its sound with The Reunion, which has a more cohesive folk-rock vibe than its previous releases. The theme of reunions organically emerged as she and Ling were writing the album, starting with the title track he penned after the death of his grandfather.

"He wrote this song to try to capture the beauty of his grandfather and his grandmother," Delaney says. "At the end of the song, it's about seeing death differently — as a celebration."

The band's sound and conscientious approach has earned it a slot playing at major music festivals such as SXSW and Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. Bethesda will play locally at the Cleveland Museum of Art July 5, Taste of Tremont July 21 and Burning River Fest July 27.

"Right now we are touring and doing the part we love the most, which is the live shows," Delaney says. "Hopefully people grab onto that."

MORE INFO: bethesdaband.com - The Cleveland Magazine


Bethesda – “Go” (The Kent, Ohio based band create a dynamic folk rock sound that blends together the soaring, theatrical voice of Shanna Delaney and her husband, guitarist Eric Ling’s complimentary vocals with the anthemic pomp of early Arcade Fire and a positive message on their sophisticated sophomore album, The Reunion, out now on Inkind Music. The band is currently on tour and is making a stop at Dayton’s South Park Tavern on Friday 04/12.) http://www.bethesdaband.com/ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-reunion/id632216602 - Atlas and the Anchor


Akron Empire would like to welcome guest blogger Ash Adams, a freelance writer and good friend with Ohio roots currently based in Anchorage, Alaska. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications nationally. To follow Adams' work, visit her blog, Brian & Ash, which she manages with her husband, Brian Adams.

This Band Could Be Your Life: Bethesda

Photo courtesy of Brian Adams

It's really rare for one of your friends' bands to be one that you actually listen to when they're not around. And it's not because you don't love your friends—you do—it's just that you'd rather listen to good music.

This is why it took me almost 2 years to listen to Bethesda's first EP. Because I'm friends with Eric Ling and Shanna Delaney and, quite frankly, a little jaded after listening to a lot of bad music created by good people that I love. So when I finally listened to the band's first full-length album, Love in the Time of Tra La La, I was humbled, I was ashamed, and at the same time, I was squealing with delight.

YES. This was what I'd been waiting for at all of those other shows, listening to all of the failed bands of my friends.

Powerhouse lady vocals, poignant lyrics, melodic guitars, dancy percussion, tambourine, chimes, violin, and Midwestern swagger all intelligently stitched together into joyful, full sound. It was better than good—it was something I wanted to listen to and share with people.

My lack of faith then is embarrassing still. It's not that I didn't know that they were talented—the first time I heard Shanna's voice was in her car on one summer day in Kent, and I was blown away. So, consider this piece my personal apology for not believing in you guys from the get-go, Shanna and Eric. Please understand that I'd just been burned too many times before.

This disclosure is also for you, the reader. I may be friends with Bethesda, but I am still severely unbiased. I had no idea that Bethesda's songs would make it onto nearly every mix I've made during the past 2 years, including the one I made for my first child's birth. In fact, if asked beforehand, I may have bet against them. But I was wrong, so wrong.

And even still, Eric was willing to answer a few questions for me this week so that I could tell their story on this blog.

Bethesda's story starts in the way of many good stories. He meets she and then good things happen. Eric and Shanna, now married, were both attending Kent State, where they met one night through a mutual friend at a local pizza shop, Pete's Arena. “We had one of those moments,” Eric says, “where we knew something significant had just happened. A few “chance” encounters later, Shanna scrawled her number down my arm and the rest is history. I was hers without debate from that time forward.”

Eric was writing lo-fi guitar songs before they met, and Shanna was just coming out of the Kent State musical theatre program, so it was natural that music was a part of their relationship from the very beginning. “It was actually really difficult to begin with,” Eric says. “Shanna was vocally trained, and I was not trained in anything – ever. So there was a natural tension as we stumbled towards coming up with something that we were both excited about. After quite a bit of blood, sweat and tears, we had a handful of lo-fi acoustic-folk songs that we started to perform for our friends and family.”

They started playing these songs together as the Silver Diamond Doves. A couple of years later, Eric says, after attending an Anathallo, Sufjan Stevens show at Calvin College, the duo decided that they wanted to collaborate with other musicians, “to bring even more life to the songs that we had been creating.”

The couple spread the word at Vineyard Community Church, a local arts-focused church that they attended, and soon the couple had found a bassist (Dan Corby), a drummer (Justin Rife), and the band's original guitarist (Jesse Sloan).

“Soon, we had a full band, and we were intoxicated by the creative high of collaborating to create something truly original, full, and a whole level above what we were capable of by ourselves,” Eric says. “In our first practice, we had our ahhhhhhh! moment where everything fit so perfectly and naturally that we knew we wanted to take it as far as we possibly could.”

The band booked their first show at a coffee shop in Stow soon after, but as the day quickly approached, the group was still without a name. In the end, the name came from Sloan's father who suggested “Bethesda,” which in Jewish and Christian tradition is a pool of healing.

“We love the imagery of this place where the broken gathered in hopes that the water will bring some healing and give new life to them,” Eric says. “We write honest songs about the suffering and difficulties of life, but also about the life-giving hope that we believe in, so we thought it was fitting.”

The name stuck. It has just been a few years since Bethesda played that first show in the coffee shop, but since then, the Akron/Kent-based sextet has toured all over the country, playing at SXSW this year and booked for Bonnaroo 2012. The band has been slated for over thirty shows on big-name networks, and was interviewed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Photo courtesy of Brian Adams

And, in addition to working day jobs, they've found time to do some serious recording. After releasing its self-titled EP in 2008, the band released its first full-length album (Love in the Time of Tra La La) in 2010, its second EP (Dreamtiger & Other Tails) in 2011, and they are currently working on their second full-length album, which is scheduled to be released in 2013.

“We are really excited about this one,” Eric says of the album currently in production, tentatively called The Reunion. “I think people will be surprised by the dynamics of the album.”

But even though they've been gaining national acclaim, Bethesda hasn't lost their Cleveland pride.

“Cleveland is a city whose musical history is full of some of rock’s greatest acts,” Eric says. “With the burden and delight of this history, Cleveland is in the middle of an artistic resurgence as the city continues to be filled with appreciative folks that care about culture and invest in their communities. We are thrilled to be a small part of it each time we take the stage in Cleveland. It is truly an electric and unique experience. Really, I think it is a legacy thing. When kids grow up in a creative culture, they are more likely to be supported in their own creative efforts and believe in the importance of creating and sharing their art form. We are privileged to be a part of such a community.”

If you haven't heard Bethesda yet, chances are you will soon. To see them live, visit their website to keep up with their tour schedule or head up to the BeachlandTavern next Wednesday, May 30th where they'll be opening for Plants & Animals. - Akron Empire (Ash Adams)


As most musicians know, sometimes the hardest part of being in a band is setting aside your creative differences. But what some see as a conflict, Bethesda sees as a creative discussion.

“We encourage all band members to have input on each song, and we methodically build the song according to the collective vision,” said Eric Ling, rhythm guitar and backing vocals for the band. “Of course, some ideas click a little more than others, but I think what makes what we do original is that what you hear is a product of honest collaboration.”
Artwork for Bethesda's album, "The Reunion".

Artwork for Bethesda’s album, “The Reunion”.

The discussions paid off. After releasing three albums, the band agrees that their upcoming release, The Reunion, embodies the mature sound the band was pining after since the band’s inception. The Kent indie-folk band managed to maintain their love for lyrics on the album, all the while weaving in crafty guitars and ascending vocals that long-time fans are used to.

The band had a busy 2012 playing notable festivals like Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, MidPoint Music Festival and RedGorilla Music Festival at SXSW. Since then, Bethesda has been preparing for the release of The Reunion which they will be hosting a local release party for at Musica in Akron on Saturday, 2 March at 8 p.m. The Reunion will make its national debut Tuesday, 2 April.

When Bethesda began writing songs for the album, Shanna Delaney (lead vocals) said that they started to notice an overall theme of reuniting and uniting with loved ones. It began with the album’s title track, “The Reunion,” then they wrote “Fit to Leave” and “Go.”

“‘Fit to Leave’ was written for my brother, Stevie, who had passed away in a motorcycle accident several years ago,” Delaney said. “I had always wanted to write a song for him, but every time I tried, it never really came out how I wanted it to.”

“This album is made up of stories that we hope people will connect with that will bring them hope, peace, and joy. If more struggles come out of listening, that’s okay too,” she added. “We just want people, including ourselves, to hear the album and let it impact them in some way.”

The band first got together four years ago, and at the time, there was really no plan. Delaney explained how in the beginning, the band just jumped right in and started playing the first thing that came to mind.

“Now, we still allow for people to write their own parts and put their creative twists on them, but when Eric and I bring a song, we generally know what kind of feel we are going for so we communicate that,” she said.

Communication became especially crucial when the band added a new guitarist, Jesse Scaggs, and a violinist, Christopher Black, Ling said.

“The record has taken on new dynamics that perhaps were quite as present before,” Ling added. “With that being said, we are still Bethesda, and our brand of indie-folk with lyrics that have depth and meaning to them, and thoughtfully composed musical soundscapes with Shanna’s soaring/melodic vocals is certainly all over this album.”

Although the new album may sound different with the addition of new members, long-time fans will be happy to know that the band stuck with the same producer. And it wasn’t easy to make this happen. The band explained how Tim Gerak at Mammoth Cave Studio had produced their past three albums. It seemed only fitting to have him produce their national debut album. The only problem? Gerak moved to Denver. So, the band followed him despite having to use all their vacation time from their 9-to-5′s just to make it happen.

“We were basically living in the studio for a week. Some of us slept in iso booths while others didn’t sleep at all,” Justin Rife, drums for the band, said. “It was a monumental task to get this recorded in the week that we had.”

And perhaps the most interesting thing of all is that the band used Kickstarter to fund the album.

“It was a really humbling experience seeing the generosity of our friends and fans in supporting our dream,” Ling said.

BethesdaflyerWith many things in the hopper for 2013, including spots at notable local music festivals like Brite Winter Festival in Ohio City and Cellar Door Rendezvous at Beachland Ballroom and Tavern in February and March, respectively, the band hopes to continue creating buzz starting with the release show.

“I’d like to get our new album in the ears of as many people as possible,” Dan Corby, bass for the band, said. “We have something new and unique to offer and if we could gain national attention, I’m sure we’d surprise a lot of people.”

Delaney said the band has also started working with Unleashed Music out of Los Angeles, which will hopefully garner more national attention. Ling added that the band is also working on playing more festivals, weekend and full-week tours in support of the album with the help of their new booking agent at Prater Day Booking. Fans can also expect a couple of music videos from the new album, which are currently in the works.

Check back at Nasty Fancy for a review of the album and coverage of the record release show at Music in Akron. If you can make it out to the show, we hear they do not disappoint. And with new additions made to band, long-time fans can expect something different. - Nasty Fancy


Back in May, Bethesda was featured by guest blogger Ash Adams as one of the first in our ongoing series of local band profiles, This Band Could Be Your Life. (Check out that post here!) Now they are about to release a new album, which seemed like a perfectly reasonable excuse to sit down with singer Shanna Delaney and guitarist Eric Ling and talk about what's in store for fans with the release of their new album, The Reunion.


All photos taken from the band's Instagram Feed. You too can follow their adventure's by following them @bethesdamoments

What are some of your goals as musicians for the New Year?

Eric: The big goal is always the same: do music for a living. Not for a ton of money, but enough to get by and to do what we love. We have put together a really great team for this album (radio with Team Clermont, management/promotion with Unleashed Music, and booking with Prater Day Booking) in hopes of making this dream a reality. What does this look like? Hopefully playing some really great festivals, weekend and full week tours in support of the album, music videos (two are in the works), radio play, national/local press, and much much more! Outside of all of this, we always make it a point to meet and build relationships with our fans and other artists and to invest in our own local music community. It is all kicked off on March 2nd, 2013 with the Album Release Party at Musica in Akron. It is going to be a great year!


Artwork for the Upcoming Show at Musica March 2nd

What should fans expect from the new album?

Eric: This new album is our most mature album to date, but I guess that goes without saying. We really feel like we have come into our own as songwriters and music composers. We really focused on making this album have the energy of our live shows, and for the emotion of the songs to be palpable. Without getting too nerdy on the sound side of things, fans will notice a pretty big change in our recording. It definitely has more grit and life than anything we have done before. With a new guitarist (Jesse Scaggs) and violinist (Christopher Black), the record has taken on new dynamics that perhaps were quite as present before. With that being said, we are still Bethesda, and our brand of indie-folk with lyrics that have depth and meaning to them, and thoughtfully composed musical soundscapes with soaring/melodic vocals is certainly all over this album. We really just can’t wait to share this with everyone – we are so excited about these songs and this album!

Tell us about the process of making the new album. How was it different than albums you've made in the past?

Eric: Many things were different about this album. First of all, the album was fully funded through fans via Kickstarter. It was a really humbling experience seeing the generosity of our friends and fans in supporting our dream. With that newfound confidence and resolve, we went out to Denver, CO to follow our favorite sound engineer, Tim Gerak of Mammoth Cave Records. On prior recordings, because they were local, we would break up the recording over a series of months. But this time, we practically locked ourselves in a studio for 14+ hour days for 7 straight days. As a result, this records has a lot of continuity and life to it that may have been a bit absent when the experience was a secondary and spread out process. Our two new members also brought completely new elements to the recording table with a more melodic lead guitar and strings, strings and more strings. We tried to take full advantage of that. Finally, we asked Tim Gerak to be our producer. It was our 3rd record and no one knew us better than Tim. Involving him in the creative process for the project really helped us capture the sound we were looking for. And we just brought a confidence and vision to the studio with these songs that was a bit lacking on prior recordings. We are really really happy with the results.

Shanna: “The Reunion” was the first song we wrote for this album. After that, I believe it was “Fit to Leave,” then “Go,” and so on. We started to notice that we unintentionally had written songs that followed the same theme of reuniting/uniting in some way with loved ones. For example, “Fit to Leave” was written for my brother, Stevie, who had passed away in a motorcycle accident several years ago. I had always wanted to write a song for him, but every time I tried, it never really came out how I wanted it to. Finally, on this album, we were able to come up with a song for and about him that captures my feelings on his passing. This album is made up of stories that we hope people will connect with that will bring them hope, peace, and joy. If more struggles come out of listening, that’s okay too. We just want people, including ourselves, to hear the album and let it impact them in some way.

Tell us about some of your favorite memories as Bethesda.

Shanna: This is such a hard question. There are so many moments this year!
One of my favorite memories was from this year at SXSW. A few of us decided to go play in the streets and just have some fun. A guy from NPR Austin (WKUT) spotted us and invited us into an alley (I know…sounds creepy) to play a few songs for a live video feature. Justin made drums out of boxes he found in the dumpster conveniently located next to us, and the rest of us (me, Eric, and Chris) situated ourselves in front of the camera and performed. I had to sort of yell/sing over the traffic, but it was worth it. Then a random guy came running down the alley and offered to hold the microphone for the videographer while he filmed. Then a lady came running down the alley all at the same time to shoot some photos for a fashion column. It all happened so fast and was surreal, but it was super fun. I want to do it again!

Eric: My favorite memory has to be performing at Bonnaroo Music Festival this past summer. We got to meet so many terrific artists (including sitting by the Beach Boys at dinner). It was surreal! When we were loading on to the stage from our golf cart, The Shins were finishing up their set. I was pinching myself at that point. When we hit the stage, we had the show of our lives. I’ve never felt quite the same buzz after a show as I did that night. I got to do all of that with 4 of my best friends and my wife! You kidding?

Shanna: During our show, the crowd was dancing and going crazy. A few people were sitting on other people’s shoulders or were in the crowd holding signs that said, “Go Shanna.” I didn’t know these people at all. They just knew my name. This made me a little giddy.


Bethesda performing at Cellar Door Cleveland
Where can we see and hear more?

Our website, www.wearebethesda.com, is our home base. If you want to RSVP to our Album Release Party on March 2nd at Musica in Akron, you can follow this link: http://www.facebook.com/events/505872819436956/?ref=ts&fref=ts - Akron Empire


Meet the Band: Shanna Delaney (vocals, tambourine); Eric Ling (rhythm guitar); Justin Rife (drums); Dan Corby (bass); Jesse Scaggs (lead guitar); Christopher Black (violin/viola, keys)

The New Line-up: Delaney and Ling met a few years ago while they were students at Kent State and subsequently formed the band about four years ago. But in the last year, they've had a number of line-up changes prior to recording their new album, The Reunion, last summer. "It's like a new band now," Delaney says.

Big at Bonnaroo: Last year, the band played Bonnaroo. While the group had to compete against jam icons Phish, who were playing the festival at the same time, it still attracted a decent crowd. "We were on the Miller Lite stage in the middle of the whole festival," says Delaney. "The Shins were finishing up on the stage next to us. It was kind of surreal, but it went really, really well. I was like, 'Oh God, please let me play well.' We had several hundred people there."

Why You Should Hear Them: The band's new album, The Reunion, could loosely be categorized as alt-country or indie pop and will appeal to both camps as Delaney evokes Neko Case in the moody ballad "We Grow Old." The band comes off a bit like indie rockers Rilo Kiley in the fiery "Poison Heirloom." "This record sounds more folk-rock than indie pop," Delaney says. "But that's what we do well. I feel like the folk elements suit us well. We've never tried to fit into any sort of hole at all. We just play what we like."

Where You Can Hear Them: wearebethesda.com

Where You Can See Them: Bethesda performs with A Band Named Ashes and Eddie Doldrum at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 2 at Musica in Akron. — Jeff Niesel - Cleveland Scene


Bethesda, The Reunion

I’ve been wondering how long the appeal of the current crop of loud-acoustic (for want of a better term), sort-of-folk bands like Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers will last. This oddball sub-genre of music revels in punchy rhythmic elements and un-folk-like dynamic extremes, but if there are drums, they are not the highly processed skins of today’s rock and pop. The popularity of these bands lies, surely, in their fusion of the urgent energy of rock with acoustic-roots authenticity. But will it be a lasting evolution in taste, or a fad? History suggests the latter.

Bethesda is a drum-heavy, semi-electric exemplar of the style. They’re a wordy band, too, but Shanna Delaney’s lead vocals are so tightly threaded into the dense arrangements that on first listen my brain registered no more than a phrase here and there. The music carries a lot of drama, and on further listens I found myself wanting words to match and not hearing them.

Full of joyous shouts, sea-shanty fire, and pleasantly incongruous prettiness courtesy of Delaney’s sunny voice and Christopher Black’s warm fiddle, this energetic collection can’t fail to please fans of that Grammy-winning, en vogue dynamic-folk style. - Blog Critics


A simple message in a big bundle of happiness, Bethesda comes to town January 6th with the goal of making Kalamazoo all warm and fuzzy inside—so much so that my beard is becoming jealous with the coming days.

The six-piece band, made up of vocalist Shanna Delaney; her husband, auxiliary-vocalist and acoustic guitar player, Eric Ling; drummer Justin Rice; bass player Dane Korby; guitarist Jesse Sloan; and violinist Christopher Black; are playing the Old Dog Tavern for an all ages shows Friday, January 6th. The group, trekking out from their base of operations in Kent, Ohio, was recommended that they stop and perform here by local artists.

"Gun Lake and Joe Hertler tout the Kalamazoo Music scene," Delaney explained, "and we were looking for a place to play before our show at Reggie's." Bethesda is to be featured in a live interview on Fearless Radio the day after their show in Kalamazoo, followed by a performance at Reggie's Music Joint in Chicago the same night.

A band of simple pleasures, but eclectic taste, Bethesda has a light and nimble sound that still provides an ample amount volume. The group has gathered band members from all walks of musical life to create a sound akin to a tambourine—bouncy and weightless, but still raucous when shook. To create what Ling calls "music about real life and real struggles and the things that bring us hope" the band borrows influence from a plethora of artists and genres. While vocalists Eric Ling and Shanna Delaney are fans of bands such as Mumford and Sons and Feist, artists that Ling feels have "a lot more range and melody" to their music and Delaney acutely describes as "folksy," drummer Justin Rice listens to everything from Fleetwood Mac, The Clash, Operation Ivy, and Rancid. "We come from different musical backgrounds, influences and tastes. I gear up with punk rock, metal, ska--a lot of a noises, playing fast and full," drummer (and resident fire breather) Rice said. Now he is influenced by Motown. Violinist Christopher Black emulates the fiddling of the Dublin rock-music band The Frames for his work with Bethesda, and Dane Korby enjoys the bubbly bass riffs of the French band Phoenix every now and then. Guitarist Jesse Sloan listens to 90's emo/indie rock.

This boiling pot approach doesn't mull the taste of the band's sound either, as most of their lyrics comes across clearly and the instrumentality isn't lost amidst a cacophony noise. "When we come together to write a song we bring a fresh perspective-- and a different perspective. There is a lot of freedom to express and write your own stuff. We really believe we are providing something original," said Ling. On a whole the band aims to bring a message of healing with their music. "We are a band that brings healing and joy to places of darkness," Ling said. This can be understood by taking a brief, scholarly, look at the band's name—Bethesda. As Ling explained it, derived from "a tale of Jewish and Christian tradition about a pool of healing" located in Biblical Jerusalem .

As a band they acknowledge the influence as one that "is definitely that Christian faith" but don't classify themselves as a Christian band. One should expect lofty lyrics rather than beat-you-over-the-head symbolism here, as their songs focus on tropes of hope and love rather than the faith of Christianity itself. Black says, as for the show on January 6th goes, that the band is looking "to have a lot of fun, bring a lot of energy, and have a great time in the city. We have to show how much energy--how much love--we put into what we do."

Oh, and Justin might breathe fire. No big deal or anything. - Kalamazoo Scene


In Jewish/Christian tradition, the word Bethesda refers to a pool of healing that served as the desired destination for people of the Holy Land traveling for weeks or months with their crippled loved ones in tow in hopes of experiencing the pool's healing powers.

The six-piece folk outfit going by the same name also uses the term to denote an underlying idea for its band members. According to the band's website, Bethesda aims to deliver an experience evocative of this legendary transcendence to their live shows.

"We love that image and work hard daily to live up to that name," vocalist and rhythm guitarist Eric Ling said.

Bethesda has a show this Friday at Jackie O's Public House in Athens.

Hailing from Kent in Northeast Ohio, Bethesda includes Ling and his wife, lead singer and front-woman Shanna Delaney, bassist Dan Corby, drummer Justin Rife, violinist and keyboardist Christopher Black, and lead guitarist and banjo player Jesse Scaggs.

The all-ages show is slated to start at 10 p.m.

For those who attend, Bethesda's members hope that the audience will connect with their music in one way or another.

"Whether that connection is an emotional one, or just dancing the night away, we feel we have stories to share and are going to lay our hearts on our sleeves and have a great time doing it," Ling said. "When the audience joins in on that, it makes for an incredible night."

Attending audience members can expect up-beat, indie-pop tunes rooted in a traditional folk sound with Delaney's lead vocals dominating the supporting keys and strings.

The group has played its share of big-name venues and opened for some heavyweight indie acts, such as Sharon Van Etten, Azure Ray and The Hush Sound. They also played the 2012 Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tenn. Ling recalled that show as a surreal experience for the members, where they began their set as The Shins, a stage over, were hitting their last note.

"With 80,000 people all dancing and cheering and supporting music, it just blows you away," Ling said. "The crowd just kept growing, and we had the performance of our lives. I don't think we'll ever forget hearing that festival cheer for the first time. It was deafening and beautiful."

Although the band enjoyed the festival experience, Ling said that the emotional and musical stability for the band is achieved by building up a fan base with small local shows every weekend. For this reason, he added, the band is looking forward to playing Jackie O's, since they've heard great things from bands who frequent the area and love visiting Athens.

"At a huge festival, you are part of a huge musical experience in so many people's lives, and it is a great privilege and a lot of fun," Ling said. "At intimate venues, you are creating a more personal musical experience, connecting and talking with fans and laying a foundation in the town for future shows and support."

Having released their second full-length album, "The Reunion" on April 9 with InKind Music, Bethesda's members are embarking on a Southern U.S. tour this summer in support of their latest release, which was "fully funded through fans via Kickstarter," Delaney said.

With this tour, they have also secured a slot at Cincinnati's Bunbury Music Festival alongside headliners including MGMT, The National, Yo La Tengo, Tegan and Sara, and Bell and Sebastian from July 12-14. Their performance at the festival will also mark Delaney and Ling's six-year anniversary.

"We will jog over to watch one of our favorite bands while we dated, Belle and Sebastian, to close out what promises to be a pretty perfect anniversary night," Ling said.

Be sure to take advantage of being able to tap into the experience that is Bethesda first-hand on Friday before they head south. - The Athens News


It was a HOT one when we interviewed Kent, Ohio’s Bethesda on the final day of the 2013 Bunbury Music Festival. Turns out, it would be our last interview of the weekend as we hopped into the car and headed back to Columbus rather than stick it out for the rest of the evening. Unfortunately, when doing interviews at festivals it’s difficult to find a quiet spot so you’ll hear some of Mia Carruthers’ set in the background as Connie and Olivia chat with Bethesda. - Kids Interview Kids


See document - City Beat


Flux Pavilion
High-Spirited Good Times with Bethesda at MPMF!
High-Spirited Good Times with Bethesda at MPMF!
By Courtney Phenicie on Friday August 30, 2013 9:59am 1 Comments

I first discovered Bethesda last year at MPMF! The six-piece band is led by Eric & Shanna, who met while studying at Kent State. “Our first date was a road trip to Cleveland for a Badly Drawn Boy concert. We got completely lost, missed the show and ended up at Ruby Tuesday’s for dinner … and she still wanted to see me after that!” remembers Eric. They did have to work out their musical differences - Shanna was in music theater, with roots in bluegrass music; Eric was into angsty singer-songwriters including Elliot Smith and Bright Eyes. “I gave up my desire to be dissonant, she started to open up to a more indie approach.“ remembers Eric. It was in the healing waters of the Caribbean that they further committed to making beautiful music together. “I remember talking with Eric while we were swimming one day on our honeymoon, telling him that playing music needed to always be a part of my life,” said Shanna. “Eric promised we would figure out a way for us to always be making music.”

Bethesda are six friends from Kent, Ohio, who came together in the interest of channeling their desires for meaningful living into the artistic expression of music. The result? Bethesda, an indie rock group that brings together folk roots, indie beats, crafty guitars, and soaring vocals with meaningful lyrics to build songs that move your heart and feet in equal measures. Last year at MPMF, this band was one of my favorite discoveries. Don't miss your chance to see this band, thier live show will leave you speechless.

Bethesda plays MidPoint Music Festival Saturday September 28th, 9:15p at Mr. Pitiful’s.
- CincyMusic


If the name Bethesda makes you think of either Maryland or video games, the band that shares that moniker is about to change your frame of reference. The sextet from Kent, Ohio, crafts folklore-infused indie-rock informed by storytelling traditions and resonant with strings (guitar, violin, banjo) and the rich vocal of lead singer Shanna Delaney. There's something Old-World about Bethesda's sound (they point out that the name comes from "the sacred place in ancient times where people would flock in hopes of experiencing the healing power of the waters"), filtered through pop savvy. They take the stage at Jack of the Wood on Saturday, June 29 with Marshall Brown Band and The Restoration. 9 p.m., $7. http://www.jackofthewood.com.
- Mountain Xpress


BETHESDA "Go"

Voted Best Female Vocalist and Best Americana Band at this year's Cleveland Scene Music Awards, Bethesda is clearly making waves (water reference to their namesake -the mythical Pools of Bethesda- not the city in Maryland). "Go", from album The Reunion, showcases Shanna Delaney's crystal-clear voice delighting with a mighty hook played by a tight 5-piece band. Irish dancers vs. hipster indie folk rockers on this fun clip, which deftly showcases the roots of their music with cool performances by all. Can't wait to catch a show! - MendoWerks


Every few months, we’ll have a band contact us about stopping in Macon to record an Acoustic Alley session even though they’re playing in Atlanta or Athens (or beyond) that evening. Such was the case with Bethesda, our Band of the Month for April 2013.

We were introduced to the group last year at MidPoint Music Festival in Cincinnati and became fast fans of their anthemic folk-pop. Earlier this summer, they visited us for a mid-day session that entertained a few lunch-crowd onlookers and downtown regulars.

With the fiery figure of Shanna Delaney at the helm, Bethesda plays lively, classically-inspired folk-pop that doesn’t shy away from having an edge. Earlier this year, they released their sophomore LP, The Reunion, to high praise from a slew of publications based in the mid-west and beyond.

The band currently has dates lined up through November and will be returning to MidPoint Music Festival on Saturday, September 28th. - The Blue Indian


(In Print Version of Magazine as well)

A Bethesda performance is a celebration. The six-member band's blend of banjo, violin, guitar, bass, drums, keyboard and vocals energizes a crowd. Beer bottles shoot up, girls dance and even the most uptight characters bob their head.

Lead singer Shanna Delaney shows her musical theater and opera roots as she performs the band's carefully crafted songs with wide eyes and outstretched arms. But the connection she's striving for goes deeper than theatrics. "One of the best parts of the show for me is after the show, when I get to have conversations with people about real world things," she says.

Delaney says one of the band's new songs, "Fit to Leave," about her brother who died in a motorcycle accident, has spurred discussions with concertgoers who have also lost a sibling.

"We want our stories to be a genuine representation of ourselves, but we also put them out there in a vulnerable way," she says. "We are hoping they make a difference for someone else."

Delaney and her husband, Eric Ling, started the band after meeting drummer Justin Rife and bassist Dan Corby at a community church in 2008. Bethesda released its first full-length album in 2010 and followed it with an EP in 2011.

When it came time to record another full-length album, the growing band (which had added Jesse Scaggs on guitar, and violinist and keyboardist Christopher Black) wanted to continue working with producer Tim Gerak, who had produced its first two albums. But Gerak had moved from Akron to Denver.

So all six members drove to his Mammoth Cave Studio to record The Reunion (released in the spring).

Delaney says Bethesda has found its sound with The Reunion, which has a more cohesive folk-rock vibe than its previous releases. The theme of reunions organically emerged as she and Ling were writing the album, starting with the title track he penned after the death of his grandfather.

"He wrote this song to try to capture the beauty of his grandfather and his grandmother," Delaney says. "At the end of the song, it's about seeing death differently — as a celebration."

The band's sound and conscientious approach has earned it a slot playing at major music festivals such as SXSW and Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. Bethesda will play locally at the Cleveland Museum of Art July 5, Taste of Tremont July 21 and Burning River Fest July 27.

"Right now we are touring and doing the part we love the most, which is the live shows," Delaney says. "Hopefully people grab onto that."

MORE INFO: bethesdaband.com - Cleveland Magazine


Radio Interview on page


Next Sunday, July 14th, local indie-rockers Bethesda will venture to the shores of the Ohio River for a set at the Bunbury Music Festivalin Cincinnati.

We spoke with members Shanna Delaney and Eric Ling about their summer tour (and the off day spent tubing and knee boarding in Charlotte), their latest album, the local music and arts scene, and the significance of Belle & Sebastian.


play
InterviewBethesda
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Bethesda performs at the Cleveland Museum of Art this Friday night as part of the Mix First Fridays Happy Hours. Tickets are $8 advance, $10 day of show and FREE for members.


Their latest album The Reunion is available for purchase now on iTunes. Visit Bethesda online at BethesdaBand.com.

This years’ Bunbury festival will feature bands, Fun.on July 12th, MGMT on July 13th and The National on July 14th. Along with these three bands, 80 others (like Bethesda) will be joining them! For all the artists, times they will be performing, and on what stage, here’s a lineup list.
- Q104 Cleveland - CBS


Audio/Radio interview and performance - NPR: Around Noon (now The Sound of Applause)


This past Friday, Cleveland Museum of Art’s MIX First Friday Happy Hour returned with a patriotic theme just in time for a post Independence Day celebration. MIX Americana featured beer from local Ohio breweries, music from the band Bethesda, fun art activities, and, of course, lots of mingling!



Decked in red, white, and blue, the museum’s beautiful Atrium was packed with guests sipping local brews from Ohio favorites Cellar Rats, Rivertown Brewing Co., Columbus Brewing Co., and Great Lakes Brewing Co.



Akron-based indie folk band Bethesda entertained the crowd with their upbeat tunes–there was plenty of dancing going on all evening long!



In addition to the brews and music, The Print Pony Gallop made a fun appearance. Guests were invited to make their very own prints by taking a ride atop the rocking horse.





MIX First Friday Happy Hours happen the first Friday of each month from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Advance tickets are $8; $10 the day of the event. Members are free. Click here to learn more about MIX First Friday Happy Hours at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

- Discovering Cleveland


For Bethesda, rock festivals are a mother lode of like- minded music lovers — and a great place to gain new fans.

The folky Kent-based band, which has played Youngstown several times, exists in a narrow niche that widens at places such as Bunbury Music Festival. Bethesda will perform on a side stage at the Cincinnati rock fest this weekend, and they will fit right in. The headliners include indie-rock royalty such as The National, Yo La Tengo, fun., Cake, MGMT, Tegan & Sara, Belle and Sebastian, Tokyo Police Club and Devotchka.

Red Wanting Blue, the Columbus-based band with a huge following in Youngstown, also is on the undercard.

Bethesda is a unique act that combines the furious pace of Mumford & Sons with the storytelling and whimsy of the Decemberists. But they have a fuller and more lush sound than either band, plus the pristine voice of lead singer Shanna Delaney.

They’re not for everyone, but the six-piece ensemble is getting a boost from the renewed interest in modern folk and timeless Americana.

Eric Ling, rhythm guitarist-vocalist and founder of Bethesda, knows the value of performing at a national festival. His band started at the top of the heap last summer when it was accepted to play at Bonnaroo, and the benefits from that gig continue to pay off.

“For a band like ours, you can’t beat it,” said Ling. “A lot of people go [to festivals] to discover bands, and it puts you in the company of the best of the best. The people who show up expect all of the bands to be excellent. The festivals are very carefully curated, and if you’re chosen, it lets everybody know that you are in the same conversation [with the headliners]. You just can’t do that on tour or with local shows. People at the festival are excited. It’s an in crowd. They are careful listeners who are ready to accept new music. It’s a perfect situation.”

A festival slot also puts a band on the radar of the national press and makes getting plum gigs easier. Having Bonnaroo on its resume made getting accepted by Bunbury a snap for Bethesda.

The band will play at 3:30 p.m. Sunday on the Lawn Stage. It’s a lazy time of the day, but just fine for Bethesda, because the band has a visual and sonic quality that cuts through the haze. A typical phenomenon when Bethesda gets going is a rapid influx of folks, like moths drawn to a flame.


“At Bonnaroo, we started playing with about 10 people listening and ended up with about a thousand, and they were dancing and loving it,” said Ling. “People even made signs for Shanna by the end of our set. She was flying all over the stage, and they looked her up [on smartphones].”

Bethesda released its third album, “Reunion,” in April. After the summer touring season ends (it should be noted here that Ling and Delaney, who are married, are both school teachers in the Akron and Kent areas and get the summer off), the band will get to work on songwriting.

The rest of the band is Dan Corby, bass; Justin Rife, drums; Christopher Black, violin and keys; and Jesse Scaggs, lead guitar and banjo.

Red Wanting Blue is quite a bit beyond Bethesda in magnitude but still values the opportunity that Bunbury presents. The band, which includes Youngstown native Dean Anschutz on drums, has amassed a large and loyal multistate following over its 15 years and signed a recording contract a couple of years ago.

RWB has played its share of festivals, including the All Good jam-band weekend in southern Ohio last year. While it’s a compliment to get invites to such radically different festivals, Scott Terry, lead singer and songwriter for RWB, said the band prefers the indie-rock vibe at Bunbury and fits in better there.

Getting selected validates your work, said Terry — and also makes for some interesting tales. At one festival last year, RWB took the stage right after a then-little known act called The Lumineers (“Hey-Ho”).

I asked Terry if that means he can say the Lumineers opened for RWB. “I guess so,” he said with a laugh.

RWB has toured like fiends for years but is now focusing on larger cities and fewer shows. The band hasn’t played Youngstown for a year, but Terry said the city will always be on its list, and a show will be booked as soon as a suitable venue can be found. - Vindicator


Bethesda, The Reunion

I’ve been wondering how long the appeal of the current crop of loud-acoustic (for want of a better term), sort-of-folk bands like Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers will last. This oddball sub-genre of music revels in punchy rhythmic elements and un-folk-like dynamic extremes, but if there are drums, they are not the highly processed skins of today’s rock and pop. The popularity of these bands lies, surely, in their fusion of the urgent energy of rock with acoustic-roots authenticity. But will it be a lasting evolution in taste, or a fad? History suggests the latter.

Bethesda is a drum-heavy, semi-electric exemplar of the style. They’re a wordy band, too, but Shanna Delaney’s lead vocals are so tightly threaded into the dense arrangements that on first listen my brain registered no more than a phrase here and there. The music carries a lot of drama, and on further listens I found myself wanting words to match and not hearing them.

Full of joyous shouts, sea-shanty fire, and pleasantly incongruous prettiness courtesy of Delaney’s sunny voice and Christopher Black’s warm fiddle, this energetic collection can’t fail to please fans of that Grammy-winning, en vogue dynamic-folk style. - Blogcritics


Bethesda – “Go” (The Kent, Ohio based band create a dynamic folk rock sound that blends together the soaring, theatrical voice of Shanna Delaney and her husband, guitarist Eric Ling’s complimentary vocals with the anthemic pomp of early Arcade Fire and a positive message on their sophisticated sophomore album, The Reunion, out now on Inkind Music. The band is currently on tour and is making a stop at Dayton’s South Park Tavern on Friday 04/12.) http://www.bethesdaband.com/ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-reunion/id632216602
Download: http://soundcloud.com/bethesda/go
- Atlas and the Anchor


In Jewish/Christian tradition, the word Bethesda refers to a pool of healing that served as the desired destination for people of the Holy Land traveling for weeks or months with their crippled loved ones in tow in hopes of experiencing the pool's healing powers.

The six-piece folk outfit going by the same name also uses the term to denote an underlying idea for its band members. According to the band's website, Bethesda aims to deliver an experience evocative of this legendary transcendence to their live shows.

"We love that image and work hard daily to live up to that name," vocalist and rhythm guitarist Eric Ling said.

Bethesda has a show this Friday at Jackie O's Public House in Athens.

Hailing from Kent in Northeast Ohio, Bethesda includes Ling and his wife, lead singer and front-woman Shanna Delaney, bassist Dan Corby, drummer Justin Rife, violinist and keyboardist Christopher Black, and lead guitarist and banjo player Jesse Scaggs.

The all-ages show is slated to start at 10 p.m.

For those who attend, Bethesda's members hope that the audience will connect with their music in one way or another.

"Whether that connection is an emotional one, or just dancing the night away, we feel we have stories to share and are going to lay our hearts on our sleeves and have a great time doing it," Ling said. "When the audience joins in on that, it makes for an incredible night."

Attending audience members can expect up-beat, indie-pop tunes rooted in a traditional folk sound with Delaney's lead vocals dominating the supporting keys and strings.

The group has played its share of big-name venues and opened for some heavyweight indie acts, such as Sharon Van Etten, Azure Ray and The Hush Sound. They also played the 2012 Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tenn. Ling recalled that show as a surreal experience for the members, where they began their set as The Shins, a stage over, were hitting their last note.

"With 80,000 people all dancing and cheering and supporting music, it just blows you away," Ling said. "The crowd just kept growing, and we had the performance of our lives. I don't think we'll ever forget hearing that festival cheer for the first time. It was deafening and beautiful."

Although the band enjoyed the festival experience, Ling said that the emotional and musical stability for the band is achieved by building up a fan base with small local shows every weekend. For this reason, he added, the band is looking forward to playing Jackie O's, since they've heard great things from bands who frequent the area and love visiting Athens.

"At a huge festival, you are part of a huge musical experience in so many people's lives, and it is a great privilege and a lot of fun," Ling said. "At intimate venues, you are creating a more personal musical experience, connecting and talking with fans and laying a foundation in the town for future shows and support."

Having released their second full-length album, "The Reunion" on April 9 with InKind Music, Bethesda's members are embarking on a Southern U.S. tour this summer in support of their latest release, which was "fully funded through fans via Kickstarter," Delaney said.

With this tour, they have also secured a slot at Cincinnati's Bunbury Music Festival alongside headliners including MGMT, The National, Yo La Tengo, Tegan and Sara, and Bell and Sebastian from July 12-14. Their performance at the festival will also mark Delaney and Ling's six-year anniversary.

"We will jog over to watch one of our favorite bands while we dated, Belle and Sebastian, to close out what promises to be a pretty perfect anniversary night," Ling said.

Be sure to take advantage of being able to tap into the experience that is Bethesda first-hand on Friday before they head south. - The Athens News


The Kent band has an excellent new album out, just signed to InKind Records and scored a distribution deal with Sony Red, gaining a bit of well-deserved traction. To top it off, they also just released a video for "Go" off "The Reunion."

Replete with traditional folk dancers, "Go" showcases Shanna Delaney's charismatic delivery and the band's energetic, modern folk sound that can stand pick-for-pluck with any of the current beard-and-vest set. - The Cleveland Plain Dealer


The Reunion

Bethesda

Self-released

The Kent band's new album is a study in the haunting and oddly enthralling beauty of heartache. Draped in folk and Americana conceits, Shanna Delaney's smart, mature phrasing and soaring choruses shine. "The Reunion" is a progression for the band, one in which the players seem more confident, more willing to pick their spots, rather than just throwing everything out there at once. It pays off in an album that can sit comfortably and confidently next to any of the current crop of Mumfords and Avetts. Grade: B+ - Emmet Smith of The Cleveland Plain Dealer


Bethesda and Mammoth Cave Studio and Cauliflower Audio, 2013.

Bethesda: http://bethesdaband.com

Starting in Kent, Ohio (the first reason to love them and listen) Bethesda will sound mighty familiar if you’re a fan of Ear to the Ground. And if you’re not a fan of ETTG, you should be so you can hear about more awesome music like Bethesda. From their first album as the self-titled EP in 2008, the upcoming release of The Reunion makes four albums for this dynamic locally grown group. Bethesda has toured with Jessica Lea Mayfield, Frontier Ruckus, River City Extension, and He is We, among others. This mix of quirky, funky, soulful sound and an innocent visual creative energy make for a sort of modern Alice in Wonderland feeling that’s almost dreamlike in its playfulness.

“Indie folk” seems to be a popular genre of late, and Bethesda and The Reunion fit in that general area of the musical spectrum. If I’m being honest, I have to admit that I hate the tem “indie folk” because at its heart, it’s an oxymoron. Folk is music that is of the people, more cultural art than high art, while independent implies coming from one’s self. No person grows from his or herself alone, they grow as part of a community, so the idea of indie folk is something that seems beyond hard to understand for me. But in Bethesda I can start to see a glimmer of this discordance coming together well. If one were to take Eric Carle mixed with Maurice Sendak and set it to a soundtrack of Ashley Brooke Toussant and Lily Allen, I’m pretty sure The Reunion is what you would end up creating. At the same time, indie folk plain old fits for The Reunion. Local band makes good and has their own album(s), then instead of getting signed somewhere, funds a new album via Kickstarter (how I ended up with an early copy, full disclosure).

The album starts off like many reunions do, an individual slowly joined by others who know each other well, with people jumping in and out of the music as they jump in and out of our lives at times, the highlights being the times when everyone is present and partying together. “Go” starts off at full-power and lets the listener get really revved up before a more gentle opening to As We Grow Old. This seems appropriate, as it takes a bit to warm up as our bodies age instead of jumping out of bed ready to go when we’re younger. There are some restive, contemplative parts to As We Grow Old, before Fit to Leave gets a bit more edgy, or at least not all bouncy and happy and ventures into more theological realms. Signs is eerily beautiful, with abstract vocalization intermixing with strong lyrics and solid instrumentation. After this more low-key reprieve, Rotted Pines brings us back to light-spirited and uplifting sounds with a more fantastical story to tell. Stop Motion Picture is possibly my favorite track with a nearly perfect balance of high and low, fast and slow. The Water’s Way flows like a river, slow and steady at a surface level but deep and powerful if you look below that initial glance, with some lilting riffles at times to mix things up a bit. Water continues to leak a little into the next hand-clapping, foot-stomping tune, as Poisoned Heirloom positively bites at times. Patterns wraps up the album with a slowing, calming melody that ends on a resolved and fulfilled feeling.

This album more than others that I’ve reviewed here on ETTG is great for any number of age groups, and really strikes me as a child-friendly selection. If you want to introduce kids to all that they can do, show them Bethesda. Show them art, show them music, show them creative people coming together to make something that didn’t exist before, and show them the community support that made this dream after the Dreamtiger a reality.

Personnel: Shanna Delaney (Lead vocalist, mad tambourine, hand-claps), Eric Ling (Guitar, vocals, whispers), Jesse Scaggs (Guitar, banjo), Dan Corby (Bass), Justin Rife (Drums and loud noises), Christopher Black (Violin/Viola, keyboard), Evan Story (Drums)

Tracks: The Reunion, Go, As We Grow Old, Fit to Leave, Signs, Rotted Pines, Stop Motion Picture, The Water’s Ways, Poisoned Heirloom, Patterns - Ear to the Ground


Shanna Delaney and Eric Ling are ready for their big moment. Or at least a bigger one than they’ve had to date. Balancing day jobs, graduate school and a band with a growing platform is simply becoming too much for the members of Bethesda. The good news is that their new album, The Reunion, will likely serve as a tipping point toward much greater things.

The Ohio based sextet brings a folk-driven roots rock mix that’s conjured comparisons to The Decemberists among others, but the end result on The Reunion is undoubtedly original. As a good bet to break through, we sat down to get the story behind Bethesda and what drives them to work as hard as they do.

Stereo Subversion: Talk a bit about your chaotic schedule.

Shanna Delaney: It’s a bit like working three full-time jobs: managing Bethesda, going to grad school at night and then teaching—my “real job”—all day. [Laughs]

SSv: When you’re already so busy, can you talk about what makes you put energy behind Bethesda in the first place?

Shanna: Well that’s definitely where my greatest passion lies, actually for Eric [Ling] and I both. I’ve always felt like I was supposed to do music, like it’s my calling so to speak. So when you love something that much it doesn’t feel like work. It doesn’t even feel like you’re taking out time from your life; in fact it energizes you and energizes other areas of your life. It’s not that teaching isn’t important or that we don’t enjoy it, but I know for both of us that music is what we would truly love to be doing full-time.

I think ultimately the goal in music is never to be rich or famous. Or if that’s your goal then good luck! [Laughs] But just to be able to make enough so that we can do it for a living, so we can scrape by, so we can do what we love, that would be gaining traction for us.

SSv: So how have you chased that in the past? How have you whet your appetite to put the work into it?

Shanna: For me, I’ve always had a huge musical background in my family. I was really involved with musical theater all the way through high school, and I actually went to college for musical theater, but I decided that wasn’t something I loved anymore or wanted to do. I had always loved literature, so I thought, “I’ll change over to that and be a teacher.”

But the real kind of music I wanted to do was writing my own music and performing it for others, so that drive is what kind of kept us going. And then meeting our bandmates and finding people who had the same passion for what they were doing and had the same goals I think has helped as well.

SSv: Tell us about the earliest incarnation of Bethesda? How did that begin to come together?

Shanna: Eric and I met at Kent State University in Ohio. When we first met he was really young, had self-taught himself guitar and was really into a lot of lo-fi music, Bright Eyes and whatnot. I’m coming from a theater background, so when we first met we both really loved music but it was definitely a challenge to start working together. [Both laugh]

But then some time passed and now we’re married, and during the first year we were married I told him this is what I really want to do. I can’t picture my life without music being a major part of it. I feel like we were brought together because I do most of the singing but wasn’t much of a songwriter, whereas he doesn’t like to sing but he loves to write lyrics and music, so it just seemed like a natural fit to be brought together like that.

But then we started attending a church out here called the Veneer Community Church and that’s where we basically met the rest of our bandmates one by one. And then in the past year we’ve gotten a new lead guitarist, Jesse Scaggs, and we also got a violinist/viola/keyboard player, Christopher Black, so we kind of added that to our sound.

So our sound has changed over the years. This will be the fifth year we’ve been together, but it really feels like a new band because we’ve added the two new members this year. But we still have the original four out of the five too. We all love what we do and believe that what we’re doing is helping people.

SSv: When you say it feels like a new band, were there elements before that you really strove to keep despite the new lineup.

Shanna: I think, when you first start a band, you kind of throw things at the wall and try to make everything work. We’re all from different backgrounds. I also have a bluegrass background in addition to the musical theater background, so I’m kind of all over the place. Eric comes from that lo-fi background. Justin, our drummer, was in a punk band. And then Chris was classically trained as a violinist, so it’s funny. We all had very different musical backgrounds when we first came together but we all knew we loved to write music and wanted to play together, so we just sort of put everything in and then let a song be what it is.

But now, we’ve decided to keep more of the folkier elements that we’ve been heading - Stereo Subversion




Meet the Band: Shanna Delaney (vocals, tambourine); Eric Ling (rhythm guitar); Justin Rife (drums); Dan Corby (bass); Jesse Scaggs (lead guitar); Christopher Black (violin/viola, keys)

The New Line-up: Delaney and Ling met a few years ago while they were students at Kent State and subsequently formed the band about four years ago. But in the last year, they've had a number of line-up changes prior to recording their new album, The Reunion, last summer. "It's like a new band now," Delaney says.

Big at Bonnaroo: Last year, the band played Bonnaroo. While the group had to compete against jam icons Phish, who were playing the festival at the same time, it still attracted a decent crowd. "We were on the Miller Lite stage in the middle of the whole festival," says Delaney. "The Shins were finishing up on the stage next to us. It was kind of surreal, but it went really, really well. I was like, 'Oh God, please let me play well.' We had several hundred people there."

Why You Should Hear Them: The band's new album, The Reunion, could loosely be categorized as alt-country or indie pop and will appeal to both camps as Delaney evokes Neko Case in the moody ballad "We Grow Old." The band comes off a bit like indie rockers Rilo Kiley in the fiery "Poison Heirloom." "This record sounds more folk-rock than indie pop," Delaney says. "But that's what we do well. I feel like the folk elements suit us well. We've never tried to fit into any sort of hole at all. We just play what we like."

Where You Can Hear Them: wearebethesda.com

Where You Can See Them: Bethesda performs with A Band Named Ashes and Eddie Doldrum at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 2 at Musica in Akron. — Jeff Niesel
- Cleveland Scene Magazine


Tonight at downtown Akron live music venue Musica, a local band will make its case for becoming a national band.

Akron/Kent-based band Bethesda will celebrate the release of its second full-length album, The Reunion, a 10-song collection of melodic, acoustic-based indie folk. The band — violinist Christopher Black, bassist Dan Corby, singer Shanna Delaney, guitarist/singer Eric Ling, drummer Justin Rife and guitarist/singer/keyboardist Jesse Scaggs — are all in their mid to late twenties. They recorded the latest album and previous releases with former Six Parts Seven member Tim Gerak at his Mammoth Studios in Colorado.

The Reunion is a refinement of the sextet’s previously scattered sound with two new members (Black and Scaggs) helping to provide cleaner arrangements and better use of dynamics.

“They each bring a new sound to the album. This has more of a folk-pop and maybe a little bit of Americana in there and I think this album is much more cohesive …” Delaney said.

Throughout The Reunion, there is an underlying theme, which Delaney said was a happy accident.

“We noticed that these stories were coming together. We didn't mean to or try to make it happen but we noticed that they were all stories about people reuniting in some way — whether that be later on after death or in this world,” she said pointing to the title track about Ling's grandfather, Fit to Leave written for Delaney's brother who died while she was in college and Signs about Ling's brother's long-distance relationship.

“We always sit down and talk about the stories first before we even start writing parts and so we made sure to really go through these songs and make sure the tone and the mood that we [wanted] to come across in the songs” came through, she said.

The album was funded entirely by a Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $8,000, giving the bank accounts of Ling and Delaney, who historically used their own money, a break.

The Reunion should please fans of the increasingly popular indie folk-pop sound of bands such as Arcade Fire and Mumford & Sons, both of whom have won Grammys, sell out concerts and sell scores of records.

Delaney, a proud music theater geek who also studied opera, uses her unique and immediately recognizable and occasionally dramatic alto on songs such as the rising and falling Signs and the peppy Rotted Pines featuring the now familiar indie-folk shuffle groove. Go sports a kinetic bluegrass groove and, as with many of the tunes, a catchy, hummable chorus, while Delaney and Ling harmonize on the toe-tapping up-tempo indie-pop tune Stop Motion.

Right now Bethesda members are primarily weekend warriors, traveling and playing shows on Fridays and Saturdays as all the band members have “real” jobs. Ling and Delaney are both teachers (Delaney’s also in graduate school), and other members’ job titles include graphic designer and banker. But that could all change with the new album.

Bethesda will launch a radio campaign with radio promoter/marketing firm Unleashed music and has picked up nationally known P.R. firm Team Claremont and record label Inkind Music, run by a former Virgin board member who is still connected enough to get the album distributed by Sony.

The band settled on its acoustic-driven sound because founders Ling and Delaney are both fans, with Delaney growing up playing and singing bluegrass music “like a bunch of hillbillies” with her family. Ling was a fan of the often spare, dour sounds of singer/songwriters such as Elliot Smith. Nevertheless, Bethesda members realize their timing is serendipitous, dovetailing with a critically and commercially popular sound.

“Right,” Delaney said, “the Decemberists and Arcade Fire, when you see them doing so well, it definitely gives you hope. My mom said to me a year ago, ‘Do they even have a name for your kind of music?’ and I said ‘Yes, Mom’ and now you see it becoming rampant and that's very good for us.”

Bethesda will be making its second trip to the South By Southwest music festival in April in Austin, Texas, and then plans to embark on its most extensive tour this June. With a label, a publicist and the band’s take on what is a popular sound, Bethesda appears to be pointed in the right direction.

“It's exciting, and we'll see where we go; we'll see what happens,” Delaney said.

Malcolm X Abram can be reached at 330-996-3758 or by email at mabram@thebeaconjournal.com. He’s also on Facebook as Malcolm X Abram. … Go figure. - Akron Beacon Journal


When I started the “Band of the Month” feature last year, I had no idea we would be introduced to all the amazing artists that we wound up working with. From a feature with now-indie-giants, Of Monsters and Men, to the beautiful bedroom tunes of Faye Webster, the site found community and excitement in this feature. As we move forward into 2013, we plan to continue to share with you music that we’ve grown to love. Thanks for all your support these past few years.

- Sean Pritchard
April 2013 Band of the Month BETHESDA

Bethesda

Our introduction to the band came at MidPoint in Cincinnati last year. We had settled in for a drink and begin chatting with a bartender (who consequently was from our hometown), before being abruptly cut off by this strangely beautiful noise coming from the stage. Enter Bethesda… What was the MidPoint experience like for you all?

Shanna: The MidPoint experience was wonderful. We played at the Know Theatre, and the sound guy was very professional and the bar staff was kind and helpful. Everything was well-organized.The crowd was really energetic and courteous. You could tell that people were there to hear music. Sometimes when a band goes to perform, the music can be an afterthought. However, Cincinnati has a rich and growing scene where people respect and love music. We were so honored to be a part of that.

Eric: The MidPoint fest was awesome! We met a lot of great people and the crowd responded really well to our music! We are so impressed with the Cincinnati music scene and its dedication to original music!
April 2013 Band of the Month BETHESDA

Bethesda at MidPoint 2012 – Will Hawthorne

With all the time spent on the road last year, did the decision to write the new album come following your fall dates or was it a work in progress?

Eric: A bit of both, really. We are always working on new material and are always working on the next record. However, without a deadline we find it difficult to “complete” songs. So, for this album, we set the summer dates for recording and proceeded to work our tails off to make the songs as “complete” as possible before the date. A time crunch forces us to be decisive and sort of live with the songs, which makes it a very intentional process, rather than passive and elongated.

Due out April 9th, The Reunion is a collection of stories, both personal and from your listeners. Explain to me what exactly you did with getting your audience involved in the writing process of the album.

Eric: It really is more of an observational exercise than anything. We are very close with our friends and fans and try to be in tune with their struggles and successes. When we are moved by a story, we write about it in hopes that others resonate with it as well. As songwriters, we strive to write songs that give justice to the stories being told, whether they are our own or the stories of others. We believe we are storytellers and are inviting our audience to live in the stories that we have been given to tell. Recently we have asked our fans that donated on Kickstarter to give us 5 facts to write a song about their life as a reward. None of these songs show up on this album, but a few of them very well might end up on the next one. It is the commonality of our stories and the hope that is injected into each of them that keeps us pushing on and ignites our desire to write.
Of the stories collected, is there a particular one that stands out to you the most?

Shanna: I love all of our songs on the album, of course. However, the one that is most personal to me is “Fit to Leave.” The song was written from my brother, Stevie, who passed away in a motorcycle accident several years ago. I had always wanted to write a song for him, but every time I tried, it never really came out how I wanted it to. Finally, on this album, we were able to come up with a song for and about him that captures my feelings on his passing. Part of the song is a first person narration from Stevie’s perspective, viewing himself as an unlovable, unworthy person due to his mistakes. The song is in part about unfairly judging people while they are alive and that there is love and hope for all, no matter what their mistakes may be. This album is made up of stories that we hope people will connect with that will bring them hope, peace, and joy. If more struggles come out of listening, that’s okay too. We just want people, including ourselves, to hear the album and let it impact them in some way.

Eric: I am personally invested in each of the songs on this album. Probably the one that resonates the most is “The Reunion”. A few years back, my grandfather was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He called me up and asked me if I would write a song about his life, and I agreed, of course. I worked my tail off trying to write a song that gave justice to his life, but I just couldn’t put something together that did him justice. It wasn’t until his funeral where everyone came together to - The Blue Indian


Bethesda are a 6 piece band hailing from good ole Kent, Ohio. Not surprisingly, the band planted roots at Kent State. Not sure what these kids majored in, but they are obviously committed to a graduate program in driving, roots heavy rock and roll. The band recently shot a fun-loving video for "Go", from their new album The Reunion, which we're happy to be premiering. Here the band line up against some Irish dancers, with anything but traditional results. Have a look.

Read more: Music Video Premiere: Bethesda http://www.baeblemusic.com/musicblog/3-22-2013/Music-Video-Premiere-Bethesda.html#ixzz2OUit1TZj
Live Music, Right Now
- BAEBLE Music


As most musicians know, sometimes the hardest part of being in a band is setting aside your creative differences. But what some see as a conflict, Bethesda sees as a creative discussion.

“We encourage all band members to have input on each song, and we methodically build the song according to the collective vision,” said Eric Ling, rhythm guitar and backing vocals for the band. “Of course, some ideas click a little more than others, but I think what makes what we do original is that what you hear is a product of honest collaboration.”
Artwork for Bethesda's album, "The Reunion".

Artwork for Bethesda’s album, “The Reunion”.

The discussions paid off. After releasing three albums, the band agrees that their upcoming release, The Reunion, embodies the mature sound the band was pining after since the band’s inception. The Kent indie-folk band managed to maintain their love for lyrics on the album, all the while weaving in crafty guitars and ascending vocals that long-time fans are used to.

The band had a busy 2012 playing notable festivals like Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, MidPoint Music Festival and RedGorilla Music Festival at SXSW. Since then, Bethesda has been preparing for the release of The Reunion which they will be hosting a local release party for at Musica in Akron on Saturday, 2 March at 8 p.m. The Reunion will make its national debut Tuesday, 2 April.

When Bethesda began writing songs for the album, Shanna Delaney (lead vocals) said that they started to notice an overall theme of reuniting and uniting with loved ones. It began with the album’s title track, “The Reunion,” then they wrote “Fit to Leave” and “Go.”

“‘Fit to Leave’ was written for my brother, Stevie, who had passed away in a motorcycle accident several years ago,” Delaney said. “I had always wanted to write a song for him, but every time I tried, it never really came out how I wanted it to.”

“This album is made up of stories that we hope people will connect with that will bring them hope, peace, and joy. If more struggles come out of listening, that’s okay too,” she added. “We just want people, including ourselves, to hear the album and let it impact them in some way.”

The band first got together four years ago, and at the time, there was really no plan. Delaney explained how in the beginning, the band just jumped right in and started playing the first thing that came to mind.

“Now, we still allow for people to write their own parts and put their creative twists on them, but when Eric and I bring a song, we generally know what kind of feel we are going for so we communicate that,” she said.

Communication became especially crucial when the band added a new guitarist, Jesse Scaggs, and a violinist, Christopher Black, Ling said.

“The record has taken on new dynamics that perhaps were quite as present before,” Ling added. “With that being said, we are still Bethesda, and our brand of indie-folk with lyrics that have depth and meaning to them, and thoughtfully composed musical soundscapes with Shanna’s soaring/melodic vocals is certainly all over this album.”

Although the new album may sound different with the addition of new members, long-time fans will be happy to know that the band stuck with the same producer. And it wasn’t easy to make this happen. The band explained how Tim Gerak at Mammoth Cave Studio had produced their past three albums. It seemed only fitting to have him produce their national debut album. The only problem? Gerak moved to Denver. So, the band followed him despite having to use all their vacation time from their 9-to-5's just to make it happen.

“We were basically living in the studio for a week. Some of us slept in iso booths while others didn’t sleep at all,” Justin Rife, drums for the band, said. “It was a monumental task to get this recorded in the week that we had.”

And perhaps the most interesting thing of all is that the band used Kickstarter to fund the album.

“It was a really humbling experience seeing the generosity of our friends and fans in supporting our dream,” Ling said.

BethesdaflyerWith many things in the hopper for 2013, including spots at notable local music festivals like Brite Winter Festival in Ohio City and Cellar Door Rendezvous at Beachland Ballroom and Tavern in February and March, respectively, the band hopes to continue creating buzz starting with the release show.

“I’d like to get our new album in the ears of as many people as possible,” Dan Corby, bass for the band, said. “We have something new and unique to offer and if we could gain national attention, I’m sure we’d surprise a lot of people.”

Delaney said the band has also started working with Unleashed Music out of Los Angeles, which will hopefully garner more national attention. Ling added that the band is also working on playing more festivals, weekend and full-week tours in support of the album with the help of their new booking agent at Prater Day Booking. Fans can also expect - Nasty Fancy


A Conversation with Bethesda
by Brit Charek

Back in May, Bethesda was featured by guest blogger Ash Adams as one of the first in our ongoing series of local band profiles, This Band Could Be Your Life. (Check out that post here!) Now they are about to release a new album, which seemed like a perfectly reasonable excuse to sit down with singer Shanna Delaney and guitarist Eric Ling and talk about what's in store for fans with the release of their new album, The Reunion.


All photos taken from the band's Instagram Feed. You too can follow their adventure's by following them @bethesdamoments

What are some of your goals as musicians for the New Year?

Eric: The big goal is always the same: do music for a living. Not for a ton of money, but enough to get by and to do what we love. We have put together a really great team for this album (radio with Team Clermont, management/promotion with Unleashed Music, and booking with Prater Day Booking) in hopes of making this dream a reality. What does this look like? Hopefully playing some really great festivals, weekend and full week tours in support of the album, music videos (two are in the works), radio play, national/local press, and much much more! Outside of all of this, we always make it a point to meet and build relationships with our fans and other artists and to invest in our own local music community. It is all kicked off on March 2nd, 2013 with the Album Release Party at Musica in Akron. It is going to be a great year!


Artwork for the Upcoming Show at Musica March 2nd

What should fans expect from the new album?

Eric: This new album is our most mature album to date, but I guess that goes without saying. We really feel like we have come into our own as songwriters and music composers. We really focused on making this album have the energy of our live shows, and for the emotion of the songs to be palpable. Without getting too nerdy on the sound side of things, fans will notice a pretty big change in our recording. It definitely has more grit and life than anything we have done before. With a new guitarist (Jesse Scaggs) and violinist (Christopher Black), the record has taken on new dynamics that perhaps were quite as present before. With that being said, we are still Bethesda, and our brand of indie-folk with lyrics that have depth and meaning to them, and thoughtfully composed musical soundscapes with soaring/melodic vocals is certainly all over this album. We really just can’t wait to share this with everyone – we are so excited about these songs and this album!

Tell us about the process of making the new album. How was it different than albums you've made in the past?

Eric: Many things were different about this album. First of all, the album was fully funded through fans via Kickstarter. It was a really humbling experience seeing the generosity of our friends and fans in supporting our dream. With that newfound confidence and resolve, we went out to Denver, CO to follow our favorite sound engineer, Tim Gerak of Mammoth Cave Records. On prior recordings, because they were local, we would break up the recording over a series of months. But this time, we practically locked ourselves in a studio for 14+ hour days for 7 straight days. As a result, this records has a lot of continuity and life to it that may have been a bit absent when the experience was a secondary and spread out process. Our two new members also brought completely new elements to the recording table with a more melodic lead guitar and strings, strings and more strings. We tried to take full advantage of that. Finally, we asked Tim Gerak to be our producer. It was our 3rd record and no one knew us better than Tim. Involving him in the creative process for the project really helped us capture the sound we were looking for. And we just brought a confidence and vision to the studio with these songs that was a bit lacking on prior recordings. We are really really happy with the results.

Shanna: “The Reunion” was the first song we wrote for this album. After that, I believe it was “Fit to Leave,” then “Go,” and so on. We started to notice that we unintentionally had written songs that followed the same theme of reuniting/uniting in some way with loved ones. For example, “Fit to Leave” was written for my brother, Stevie, who had passed away in a motorcycle accident several years ago. I had always wanted to write a song for him, but every time I tried, it never really came out how I wanted it to. Finally, on this album, we were able to come up with a song for and about him that captures my feelings on his passing. This album is made up of stories that we hope people will connect with that will bring them hope, peace, and joy. If more struggles come out of listening, that’s okay too. We just want people, including ourselves, to hear the album and let it impact them in some way.

Tell us about some of your favorite memories as Bethesda.

Sha - Akron Empire


2012 was a big year for Bethesda.

The group played Bonnaroo, Midpoint, Red Gorilla Fest at SXSW and performed with Sharon Van Etten at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, all in support of their "Dreamtiger & Other Tails" EP.

The group is hoping to make even more noise in 2013, albeit with a somewhat quieter sound.

"We've always had folk influences but were pulling from all sorts of different genres and throwing things against the wall to see what stuck," vocalist Shanna Delaney said over the phone from her home in Kent. "Eventually we realized that it's what we do better. We have a violinist now, who wrote all his own parts. For a while we did whatever we wanted, but this time we were looking for a more coherent album sound."

Finding that sound has been a circuitous process for the group.

"At first there were a lot of eight-minute songs, lots of Sufjan [Stevens], you could hear some ska and punk. Then it became a more indie-pop sound. Finally on this one, it's coming together more. It's more representative of what we do."

And while they're pleased with where they're at now, Delaney stops short of ruling out future evolutions.

"We try to write what we love. If we evolve into something else, it's just because we're following that." Bethesda will host a local release party for their new album, "The Reunion," at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at Musica in Akron. It will make its national debut Tuesday, April 2.

As personal as the process of making "The Reunion" was, the album is the product of a wider community.

"It's really everyone's album," Delaney said. "We used Kickstarter to help fund it. About 70 donors gave around $8,000."

"It was really cool to see this little community we've built come together to support the album," said guitarist and lyricist Eric Ling.

The band sweetened the pot for top donors, promising to write a song for anyone who gave more than $100.

"They were supposed to just be little jingles," Delaney said. "But they turned into real songs."

"I tried," Ling chimed in. "But I just can't write jingles." - The Cleveland Plain Dealer


We were thrilled to make our first visit to MidPoint Music Festival in Cincinnati last month to be a part of their 11th year. Over 120 bands played on 16 stages throughout the weekend, with headlining sets from Dinosaur JR, Andrew Bird, Grizzly Bear and more. Thanks to everyone involved with the festival and we can’t wait to come back.

By taking one look at the lineup for the recent MidPoint Music Festival, you could easily tell it was one worth making the drive for. You’ve got 100+ bands in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, a city that rarely sleeps and when it does, it’s angry when you wake it up at 6:30am wanting to go to Bob Evans because you need something to soak up the Bourbon Barrel Ale that you drank the night before. Will and I had our Cincinnati festival introduction earlier this year when we drove up to cover the inaugural Bunbury Music Festival, but MidPoint turned out to be an entirely different beast/creature/machine/festival…

On the drive up, Will and I discussed what we were going to have to do in order to see every single band that was playing and quickly came to the conclusion that we didn’t think most of the venues would allow us in if we were wearing rollerblades and so this was technically impossible. I started reading out bands I wanted to see and we begin making our tentative schedule. It should be noted that we started listening to the radio and heard a song by Atlanta-rapper 2-chainz that made us completely lose any faith we had in rap music, and that if Kanye West continues to put his name on songs like “Birthday Song“, bad things might start happening.

MidPoint Music Festival 2012: A RetrospectiveMoving on. For those of you who aren’t well acquainted with MPMF, the festival has become one of the most sought after showcases in the country, and it showed as they celebrated their 11th year. MidPoint 2012 was held the last weekend in September and bands were featured at thirteen venues throughout the Over-the-Rhine district and on three outdoor stages, one of which was conveniently open to the general public. The festival is put on by the same group that curated Bunbury, as well as the city’s popular Fountain Square summer series, and has featured dozens of bands that have graced the covers of Rolling Stone, Spin, NME etc. Just think of it as sixteen mini-parties that make up the best three nights your boring life has ever been a part of. I love camping, I love the outdoors, but there’s far more to be said for a festival that has such an immense degree of variety, so few seventeen year olds walking around asking for molly, and the convenience of not having to listen to “the dubstep party in the woods that we should totally be at” rage on until 6:00am. My point is that the typical MidPoint-er that was met was polite, open-minded, and engaged and supportive of what was going on in their city, and that the festival reflects that mentality. Aside from the girl that kept poking me in the butt for dancing at Stepdad, everyone was pretty cool. If that was you, you should be ashamed of yourself because your attempt to ruin my good time was shabby and ineffective, and it’s Stepdad; there’s plenty of room for you to cross your arms and lament about beer prices or how “you weren’t feeling what Andrew Bird was doing” elsewhere, but not in the front row.

MidPoint Music Festival 2012: A RetrospectiveWe arrived in Cincinnati at about 6:00am on the first day of the festival and managed to get a few hours of sleep at our friend’s house before heading to a place near the Northside Tavern called Melt to eat lunch. They had excellent sandwiches, highlighted with curry ketchup, and very relaxing aesthetic. Lunch was followed by a visit to Shake It Records, one of the coolest and best stocked record stores Will or I had ever been to. Highly suggest stopping in to anyone that has the chance to.

After spending most of the day relaxing with the two people we know there, we made our way down to the Washington Park stage to catch the second half of one of my favorite local bands, Pomegranates. We’ve covered them a good bit for the site and their new record, Heaven, is phenomenal. Nice people make nice music. They’ll actually be in Macon on November 10th, so those of you around the state watch out for that. Pomegranates was followed by a quick trip over to see Chattanooga’s Machines Are People Too before heading back to Washington Park to watch Andrew Bird.

Seeing as it was my first time catching him live, I was eager to see how his records transfer over to the real thing, but I’ll have to say that it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. That’s not to say it was upsetting, as I doubt very few people have ever left one of his sets feeling upset, but it was almost too perfect. He and his band played an incredible set though, highlighting crowd favorites from past records while also throwing in a mix of newer tunes from his upcoming record, Hands of Glory. One of the most interesting aspects of - The Blue Indian


Whiskey Island here in Cleveland, Ohio, was hoppin’ July 21st and 22nd, as it held the annual Burning River Festival. The Burning River Festival takes environmental awareness and turns it into a giant party that is fun for all, but especially those over the age of 21, as beers from The Great Lakes Brewing Company flow from a multitude of kegs throughout the entire weekend. I had a blast and have to say that there is just something about the taste of Christmas Ale on my tongue in July that is like no other. Oh yes, there was Christmas Ale, and plenty of it! It’s practically Christmas in July.

Patrons take in Burning River Festival 2012 (Witwer)
Over 25 bands took to three different stages during the weekend, and the ones that I was able to take in were amazing. Make sure to bring your dancing shoes if you attend the 2013 festival because everyone was moving and grooving in-time. I particularly enjoyed one band that I saw on the main stage called Bethesda. They had amazing energy, great musicianship, and a killer lead singer. I couldn’t help but be reminded of Florence and the Machine as I danced away the night to their music. Here’s a link to their website if you’re looking for some new jams to rock out to, I highly recommend them.

Also, don’t worry if you’re not a dancer or if you like softer tunes, because right around the corner from the main stage was the acoustic stage, where solo guitarists with fantastic folky sounds jammed for a sitting crowd with a lake view that could bring calm even to the most stressed out executive in Cleveland. As far as the music went, the festival covered all the bases, and there was something for everyone so come one, come all.

Aside from the music and beer (yes, I know sometimes we forget that there’s more than music and beer to events…and life) there was the continuous theme of improving our environment. I can’t think of a better cause to help support right on the shore of Lake Erie itself. Proceeds from the festival benefit the Burning River Foundation, which is a local non-profit organization which provides resources for a happy and healthy future for our waterways. Saturday night, former U.S. Senator George Voinovich made an appearance to personally accept the foundation’s inaugural Outstanding Environmental Leadership Award for all the work he’s done to protect the Great Lakes.

Other environmental fun the festival offered was having the major contributors to the festival build boats out of post-consumer recycled materials and race with them down the river. The Corporate Boat Float entries I saw looked great and I was more than impressed with the work that went into them! Here’s to putting the materials that often cause waterway problems to a much better use!

A “Boat Float” awaits launch. (Witwer)
In addition to the boat float, there were a multitude of booths featuring fresh local food, the Ohio Burn unit which put on a fire show, and, my personal favorite, the instrument petting zoo hosted by the Baldwin Wallace University OCMEA. At this booth festival goers could try any instrument they wanted, and there were tons to choose from. I got a mini-lesson in trombone and saxophone and my boyfriend got one for the violin. It was such a fun experience! Though I’ve just mentioned a handful, there were many other vendors and displays to take in. I know I’ll be back next year because I certainly couldn’t fit everything in this time, which is a great problem to have, I suppose. It’s well worth the $10 ticket, I assure you.

Festival goers take a moment to check out the acoustic stage and the scenery. (Witwer)
Burning River Festival is a great way to support a significant cause, dance away the evening to amazing music, and have a few (ok, many) beers in the process. It’s local, it’s the essence of summer, and it’s the perfect reason to get off the couch and take in some gorgeous scenery. Take it all in Ohioans, because these are what the glory days of summer are made of. - altohio


If you are looking for a band that fuses energetic live shows with carefully crafted songs, look no further than Akron's Bethesda. With two EPs and and a full-length record already under their wing, this six-piece is bound for bigger things. Though as vocalist Shanna Delaney admits, the band couldn't have done it without the love and respect of where they call home.

"Northeast Ohio is in the middle of an artistic resurgence as it continues to be filled with appreciative folks that care about culture and invest in their communities," says Delaney. "We are thrilled to be a small part of it each time we take the stage in our local cities. It is truly an electric and unique experience."

When it comes to why she chose to be a musician, Delaney says she is in awe of the way that the music she creates can move people in so many ways.

"One of the things I admire most about being a musician is the humbling honor we are given to connect with people on a deeper level and touch their lives through music," she says. "Through instruments, vocals and words, we can change people's lives in a positive or negative way. We have been given a unique responsibility and opportunity."

While some bands may aim for a sound that has the most potential to be successful to mainstream listeners, Delaney and the rest of the band strive to play music that means something to them personally.

"There's a lot of temptation in the music world to do the most trendy thing and jump on the bandwagon," she says. "We know musicians who are so caught up and concerned with what is new and trendy instead of just playing what they love, and it makes them miserable trying to keep up and fit in."

Over the years, the band has nurtured multiple avenues to discover a sound that represents them to the fullest. As Delaney explains, Bethesda has become stronger with each and every recording.

"As far as sound is concerned, we have had many genre influences, and although we loved what we wrote, we had songs that were all over the place," she says. "I think with each album, the songs have become more and more cohesive."

Stilling buzzing off the success of last year's EP, Dreamtiger and Other Tails, the band is looking forward to recording another full length.

"We believe that this album we are currently working will display the full maturation of our sound. We are really working on dynamics in this album," Delaney says. "We've written songs that range from very lo-fi pensive folk songs to full sound indie-folk-dance songs, all carefully orchestrated to give each instrument its own space."

While ideally bands like Bethesda would love to make this their full-time gig, day jobs are always a big part of the picture. Though their passion for music makes it all feel like something truly special.

"Did I mention we all have careers during the day while doing all of this?" she asks with a laugh. "We're either crazy or really, really love it. Though I think it's the latter." - 101 Distribution


Bethesda

Akron Empire would like to welcome guest blogger Ash Adams, a freelance writer and good friend with Ohio roots currently based in Anchorage, Alaska. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications nationally. To follow Adams' work, visit her blog, Brian & Ash, which she manages with her husband, Brian Adams.

This Band Could Be Your Life: Bethesda

Photo courtesy of Brian Adams

It's really rare for one of your friends' bands to be one that you actually listen to when they're not around. And it's not because you don't love your friends—you do—it's just that you'd rather listen to good music.

This is why it took me almost 2 years to listen to Bethesda's first EP. Because I'm friends with Eric Ling and Shanna Delaney and, quite frankly, a little jaded after listening to a lot of bad music created by good people that I love. So when I finally listened to the band's first full-length album, Love in the Time of Tra La La, I was humbled, I was ashamed, and at the same time, I was squealing with delight.

YES. This was what I'd been waiting for at all of those other shows, listening to all of the failed bands of my friends.

Powerhouse lady vocals, poignant lyrics, melodic guitars, dancy percussion, tambourine, chimes, violin, and Midwestern swagger all intelligently stitched together into joyful, full sound. It was better than good—it was something I wanted to listen to and share with people.

My lack of faith then is embarrassing still. It's not that I didn't know that they were talented—the first time I heard Shanna's voice was in her car on one summer day in Kent, and I was blown away. So, consider this piece my personal apology for not believing in you guys from the get-go, Shanna and Eric. Please understand that I'd just been burned too many times before.

This disclosure is also for you, the reader. I may be friends with Bethesda, but I am still severely unbiased. I had no idea that Bethesda's songs would make it onto nearly every mix I've made during the past 2 years, including the one I made for my first child's birth. In fact, if asked beforehand, I may have bet against them. But I was wrong, so wrong.

And even still, Eric was willing to answer a few questions for me this week so that I could tell their story on this blog.

Bethesda's story starts in the way of many good stories. He meets she and then good things happen. Eric and Shanna, now married, were both attending Kent State, where they met one night through a mutual friend at a local pizza shop, Pete's Arena. “We had one of those moments,” Eric says, “where we knew something significant had just happened. A few “chance” encounters later, Shanna scrawled her number down my arm and the rest is history. I was hers without debate from that time forward.”

Eric was writing lo-fi guitar songs before they met, and Shanna was just coming out of the Kent State musical theatre program, so it was natural that music was a part of their relationship from the very beginning. “It was actually really difficult to begin with,” Eric says. “Shanna was vocally trained, and I was not trained in anything – ever. So there was a natural tension as we stumbled towards coming up with something that we were both excited about. After quite a bit of blood, sweat and tears, we had a handful of lo-fi acoustic-folk songs that we started to perform for our friends and family.”

They started playing these songs together as the Silver Diamond Doves. A couple of years later, Eric says, after attending an Anathallo, Sufjan Stevens show at Calvin College, the duo decided that they wanted to collaborate with other musicians, “to bring even more life to the songs that we had been creating.”

The couple spread the word at Vineyard Community Church, a local arts-focused church that they attended, and soon the couple had found a bassist (Dan Corby), a drummer (Justin Rife), and the band's original guitarist (Jesse Sloan).

“Soon, we had a full band, and we were intoxi - Akron Empire (Ashley Adams)


Bethesda’s music is as intelligent as it is accessible and the band is as musically talented as they are adorable. But don’t let their cute look fool you – this Ohio sextet knows how to hustle. Bonnaroo is their latest appearance following SXSW and even an interview on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame video series in 2012 alone. - Sonicbids


For the third year in a row, the city of Cleveland came alive with creativity of all kinds in the forms of music, arts and many other forms of creative expression as we once again hosted the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest on June 9th and 10th, with a preview date on June 8. Like other conferences that have come before and those that are still around like North By Northeast and South By Southwest, the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest combined many different creative elements together to create a unique experience, all while taking place in Greater Cleveland.

The two-day Weapons of Mass Creation Fest was once again a feast for all of your senses, as the festival created an experience that you were only able to get if you travelled hundreds of miles outside of Cleveland. But now, once a year, people come here to take in this event that brings together professionals from many different industries that all have one thing in common- creation. Three of the main parts of this festival are: Design, Speakers and Performance.

Design: Many different artists brought their ideas as well as their art to display during the weekend. As the artists come from different fields of art and design as well as from different types of companies and organizations, you had the opportunity to view many forms of artistic expression. Studio Ace of Spade, Three Bears Design and Fizz Creative were just some of the studios that will be took part in the show, as well as Go Media, the company that brings the festival together each year. The best part of the Art/Design Show was that it was free!

Speakers: Part of any good conference like this is the ability to check out many different people who come to talk about the main idea that the festival is centered around. With the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest having to do with many different artistic ideas, many different people spoke about different parts of the Arts industry. Sunday featured a standing room only audience in the Reinberger Auditorium with Jennifer Daniel from Bloomberg Businessweek and Jeff Finley from Go Media (the company behind the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest III),some of the other participants scheduled were: Friends of Type, Matt Stevens, Tad Carpenter, Margot Harrington and of course Johnny Cupcakes. (Photograph of Jennifer Daniel from www.WMCFEST.com)

Performance: Like any good conference like this, Weapons of Mass Creation Fest III featured plenty of performers throughout the two-day event. Like last year, this year’s event featured a breakdance competition for B-Boys and B-Girls who are looking to show off their moves.

For the rest of the time that the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest took place there was plenty of music being performed. With an indoor and outdoor stage, one band performed as another band set up. Over twenty-five bands took played during the two days of the festival.
Some of the bands that were worth checking out this year included: Into It, Over It; She Bears; Bethesda; A Great Big Pile of Leaves; and Two Hand Fools. Each of the bands mentioned have a style all their own and helped create a unique sound as they took to the stage and performed some of their music in front of very attentive audiences. While some bands who took part in the festival featured very commercially-approachable sounds that people would find enjoyable and others had more experimental sounds that would leave many scratching their heads if those bands were performing in a more conventional concert setting, the festival setting of Weapons of Mass Creation allowed for bands of any and all styles to perform together and create an ever-changing lineup of music that kept the music part of the event interesting. (Photograph of Bethesda courtesy of the Weapons of Mass Creation Facebook page).

With all that was going on this past weekend in the Greater Cleveland area, it was great to see how many people made their way out to check out the festival. The bands all had decent crowds inside of Saigon P - Rock and Roll Report


Bethesda, "Dreamtiger"

Because not every band from Akron sounds like the Black Keys. Some, in fact, sound like a female-led Decemberists.


- Esquire Magazine


Bethesda: Kent, Ohio
This indie rock group blends meaningful lyrics with folk roots and crafty guitars in a way that makes you feel warmth in your heart. I remember a few years ago when I first came to Kent State, I heard about these guys. Boy have they grown since then. This year has been a fantastic one for the six piece band. After releasing their 2011 EP, Dreamtiger & Other Tails, Bethesda has been slated for thirty plus shows on the Discovery Network as well as fourteen shows on Showtime, MTV, Oxygen, Bravo!, VH1, and E! Not bad for a small-town band. - Nasty Fancy


Folk/Rock band Bethesda received an invitation to play at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival 2012 in Manchester, Tennessee. The festival takes place shortly before the band heads to Denver, Colorado to record their highly anticipated sophomore album. Kent, Ohio – May, 10, 2012 – Bonnaroo, one of the largest and most popular music festivals in the country, has invited Kent natives, Bethesda, to join the festivities this summer on Sunday, June 10th at 8:00 p.m at the The Great Taste Lounge. Other notable acts to play the festival this summer are Radiohead, Ben folds, The Beach Boys, and the new Rock Hall inductees, The Red Hot Chili Peppers. After the festival, the band will be heading to Denver, Colorado to record their second full-length album with their trusted producer and engineer, Tim Gerak, at Mammoth Cave Studios.

The last year has been a remarkable year for Bethesda. After the release of their EP ,”Dreamtiger and Other Tails,” the band has signed several contracts with MTV, VH1, Showtime and Discovery networks, was the first band featured for the new Rock Hall Sessions by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, filmed and released a music video (“Dreamtiger”) under the direction of Cory Sheldon (Eisley’s “Memories” and “The Valley”), played unofficial showcases on sixth street during the SXSW festival in Austin, TX, and launched a successful fan-funding campaign on Kickstarter to help fund their up-coming release.

Deeply rooted in the traditions of folk storytelling and the high energy of a punk rock show, Bethesda’s enchanting vocals, led by Shanna Delaney, and rousing melodies has made them a band to watch. Blending influences from seemingly unblendable musical genres, Bethesda has been able to paint pictures of human drama, the struggles of life, the beauty of nature, and the few truths they know to be true with poignant lyrics and musical movements that can take you from apathy to exhilaration in an instant. This vibrant combination has aided Bethesda in developing a loyal following. About Bethesda: Bethesda is the husband and wife team of vocalist Shanna Delaney and rhythm guitar player Eric Ling, drummer Justin Rife, bass player Dan Corby, lead guitarist Jesse Scaggs and violinist and keyboardist Christopher Black. Up Coming Local Shows of Note: May 19, 2012 at Musica w/ Paper Route May 30, 2012 at the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern w/ Plants and Animals July 21, 2012 The Burning River Festival in Cleveland August 22, 2012 at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. - Buzzbin Magazine


Northeast Ohio band grows from puppy love
The Northeast Ohio band Bethesda has been spreading its folky Baroque pop throughout the Midwest. The group went to South By Southwest last month, the premiere showcase for unsigned bands, and is preparing to record a new album.
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA



["Dreamtiger and Other Tails," packaged to look like a well-worn childrens book, was released in 2011, and a full-length LP will follow next year.]
"Dreamtiger and Other Tails," packaged to look like a well-worn childrens book, was released in 2011, and a full-length LP will follow next year.

In The Region:
The Northeast Ohio band Bethesda has been spreading its folky Baroque pop throughout the Midwest. The group went to South By Southwest last month, the premiere showcase for unsigned bands, and is preparing to record a new album. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports on how a case of stalking puppy-love led to Kent’s newest musical export.

Northeast Ohio band grows from puppy love

Bethesda began as Shanna Delaney and Eric Ling, with members like bassist Dan Corby starting as awestruck fans.
Shanna Delaney was a Kent State student in the mid-2000s when she noticed a cute boy around campus. Eventually tracking him down for a conversation, she was... subtle.

Eric Ling: “She scrawled her number on my arm.”

Eric Ling and Shanna eventually got married and started putting their musical backgrounds to good use -- Ling is a self-trained guitarist and composer, and Shanna studied musical theater in college.

Shanna: “I’d always been a vocalist, I was always into bluegrass and country growing up. He’d already written some songs and I tried singing some songs and it was mass chaos.”
Eric: “It was difficult to write songs at first but we’ve gotten better at it.”Shanna: “Just like marriage, you learn to give and take.”

Starting in 2008, they were joined by drummer Justin Rife, bassist Dan Corby and newest addition Jesse Scaggs on guitar and banjo, all bent on -- quote – “satisfying their snow-laden angst.”
They picked the band’s name while driving to their first gig. “Bethesda” is the Hebrew word for a healing pool.What’s followed were appearances on the Oxygen and E! networks, a profile at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, shows with the likes of Jessica Lea Mayfield and Frontier Ruckus, 2 EPs, an LP and now, almost four years after forming, the group hit South By Southwest this spring in Austin, Texas.

Eric: “We played a gig with acoustic guitar and violin on the street.”
Shanna: “We decided to set up and see who would hear us. Some guy from NPR saw us and says, ‘Hey, I’m doing this series on South By Southwest in the streets. … Want to come in this alley and tape a show?’ (laughs). So we did and we did a few songs.”
KB: “Usually stories that begin like that end with, ‘And he wasn’t from NPR’.”

Since returning, more good news has come via Kickstarter, a website that collects donations for creative projects. Bethesda raised close to seven thousand dollars for the recording of its next album this summer. Along with videos for many of the songs, the band hopes to release the album on vinyl LP -- a first for Bethesda. - NPR WKSU


Perhaps the smartest move local act Bethesda -- Eric Ling (guitar, vocals), Justin Rife (drums), Shanna Delaney (vocals), Jesse Sloan (guitar) and Dan Corby (bass) -- did last year was hire a press company to support the group's EP release "Dreamtiger & Other Tails."

As a result the indie-folk outfit, which has garnered comparisons to critical darling acts Arcade Fire, Eisley, The Decemberists and Mumford & Sons, had its music played on 200 independent and college radio stations. Also, the band opened for Margot and the Nuclear So & So's, Jessica Lea Mayfield and Azure Ray.

"We've been doing quite a bit, getting out whenever we can, but we still have day jobs," said Pickerington native and 2007 Kent State University graduate Delaney, who is married to Ling.

"Honestly, we've worked really hard. I'm very much the skeptical one of the group. When we get offered things, I'm like what do they want? What's the deal? You have to be very realistic and aware in this business."
In addition to playing a few showcase dates at SXSW Music Festival next week, the sextet is planning to record its new full-length album this summer in Denver.

"Before we were more sort of indie pop before with a folky feel and I'd say this one album still has an indie pop feel but I think it's definitely getting a little folkier," Delaney said. "We're really focusing on dynamics with this album and not all instruments having to play all of the time."

Bethesda is scheduled to play at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Grog Shop, 2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights. Also on the bill are Nights, Goodmorning Valentine, The Tins, Saints, and Poets. Tickets are $8. Call 216-321-5588. - Cleveland Plain Dealer


Bethesda told WMC Fest they love the artwork of Carson Ellis because it's "folky yet fantastical". We couldn't think of a better way to describe their charming blend of indie rock.

1. What artist or band consistently blows you away with their artwork? Eric and I have always been big fans of Carson Ellis. She does most of The Decemberists’ artwork. We love the folky yet fantastical nature of her work. Some of the pen and ink drawings are reminiscent of some of the artwork Dan’s wife, Morgan Mzik, creates at times. (ex. Our 2012 album “Love in a Time of Tra La La.”)

2. What’s your dream collaboration? Shanna: I think we would all choose different people here. It would be my dream to perform with The Decemberists. They have such an energetic presence and a fun live show. Actually, the best live show I have ever seen. Colin Meloy often talks in his interviews about the importance of planning the live show experience.

Eric: I would choose Sufjan Stevens. He is one of the most original and thoughtful artists I have ever encountered.

3. What’s your favorite guilty pleasure song (or band!)? Justin and I (Shanna) both love ’80s music. Just the other day we expressed the desire to start a Pat Benatar cover band.

4. What are your 3 sbow essentials? Shanna’s 3 Show Essentials: Warm tea with honey for my throat, my iPod nano and headphones with vocal warm-up tracks (and some Laura Veirs to calm my nerves), fun dress with tights

Eric’s 3 Tour Essentials: Van loaded with gear, bucket loads of stored up sleep, handful of my best friends with an appetite for adventure

5. What’s your favorite thing about Cleveland and playing in Cleveland? Cleveland is a city whose musical history is full of some of rock’s greatest acts. With the burden and delight of this history, Cleveland is in the middle of an artistic resurgence as the city continues to be filled with appreciative folks that care about culture and invest in their communities! We are thrilled to be a small part of it each time we take the stage in Cleveland! It is truly an electric and unique experience.

Give ‘em a listen:

Follow Bethesda on Twitter, check ‘em out on the web, and keep up with the band on Facebook! They’ll be playing at the Saigon Plaza during the Fest. - Weapons of Mass Creation Fest


Bethesda
Anyone that’s been on 6th Street during SXSW understands that feeling of listening to ten different radio stations at the same time, all of them turned all the way up. Ohio band Bethesda was in the middle of this, competing with a goth metal band on 6th and Red River, a SRV wanna be on the opposite corner, and a raging rock show from the tiny club right behind them. When I spotted them they were packing up their gear in hopes of finding a spot more suited to their folk inspired sound. They were instantly interested when I creepily invited them into an alleyway to shoot some video. We found a quiet spot between dumpsters, recruited a passerby to hold a shotgun mic and shot a couple of videos. They’re a five piece band so it’s tough to get them all on camera, but if you look closely you can see drummer Justin Rife in the background banging on a drum kit made of cardboard boxes and my bike frame as a cymbal.

- NPR KUT Austin


We were asked to film a song on the streets of SXSW.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHMwZosKUUE&feature=my_favorites&list=FLvYPk7aMzfJj1vpJ9iTs3Hw - NPR KUT Austin


Meet the Band: Shanna Delaney (vocals), Eric Ling (acoustic guitar, vocals), Jesse Sloan (electric guitar, banjo, keys), Dan Corby (bass), Justin Rife (drums), and Christopher Black (violin, viola).

By the Slice: A chance meeting between Delaney and Ling at a Kent State pizza place was apparently destiny: They later tied the knot. Even though it sounds like the plot of a lazy Hollywood romantic comedy, their relationship was the catalyst for the formation of Bethesda, whose indie-folk-pop sound was eventually rounded out by the other members over the past couple of years.

Healing Art: Their name comes from a healing pool found in the Bible and in Jewish and Christian traditions. "We wanted to make music with thoughtful lyrics and instrumentation that captures our real-life struggles in an honest way, but that also offers hope," says Delaney. "We loved the imagery of a place where people gathered with their brokenness on full public display in hopes that they could find healing."

Why You Should Hear Them:

Bethesda serve up an uplifting indie aesthetic that recalls the Decemberists, and their intensely meaningful lyrics, carefully crafted arrangements, and multi-textured and multi-layered soundscapes are heightened by Delaney's voice, which is filled with emotion and brightness.

Where You Can Hear Them: wearebethesda.com.

Where You Can See Them:

At the Grog Shop on March 9.

— Alexander Hall - Cleveland Scene Magazine


In my mind there’s truly no better way to be introduced to a band than in an opening slot with no preconceptions. You’ve come expressly to see the headliner, and the opener is just a necessary means on your journey to achieve your musical desire. If they’re bad it can be painful; if they’re good it might at least pass the time. But an unknown opener needs to be be pretty great to completely command your attention, and when they do it comes as a surprise. It’s the unexpectedness that can create a lasting impression and elevate the whole experience: certainly more memorable than being sent a link on Spotify or reading some poor-excuse-for-a writer’s review.

Kent, Ohio-based Bethesda, opening for Kingsley Flood at Lovin’ Cup on Thursday, February 11, had their their guns set to surprise and excite. Starting off their set with their folksiest number of the night, they set up the audience perfectly for what was to come. Announcing: We’re Bethesda, our music may be based in the traditions of folk, but we aren’t going to stop there, and actually we’re not going to stop anywhere. The majority of their music was unpredictable in both style and destination. They didn’t follow the regular verse-chorus-verse song structure, and didn’t give the listener much to latch on to in the way of hooks. In fact, as soon as a riff started to seem familiar, they ripped it from under you and changed direction. Each song was a separate journey with a beginning and end that were two completely different places. Their set was meandering and wonderful and glued together by an arresting frontwoman.

Shanna Delaney was the one constant through it all. Not to dismiss the rest of the band, as each piece was important as the next, but it was Delaney that attracted my attention the most. She has superior vocal range and a stage presence that is mystifying and electric. Aside from her vocal instrument, she also played a tambourine through much of the set. The actual sound from the tambourine didn’t add all that much to the music per se, but how it was played was the key. The energy, it’s highs and lows, could be followed solely from that tambourine. At the close of the set – in a state of pure rock and roll bombast – Delaney dropped to her knees, slamming both the tambourine and her palms wildly on the stage in a move that woke the guitar gods from their slumber. Yes, with a tambourine. Bethesda: surprising to the end. - Tympanogram


There’s a shift going on in music. An undercurrent of bands that are fueled by a passion for what they are doing coupled with a cathartic quality in their writing that embraces the listener and pulls them in. Kent’s Bethesda is no exception.

This band draws you in with the angelic vocals of Shanna Delaney and wraps you in its delicate folk rock instrumentation by fellow band members Eric Ling (guitar/vocals), Jesse Scaggs (banjo/guitar), Chris Black (violin/viola), Dan Corby (bass) and Justin Rife (drums). The result is an uplifting sound that breathes a breath of fresh air into the mundanity of life.

We had the opportunity to meet up with Shanna Delaney and Eric Ling—the couple that fronts the band—prior to their performance at Cleveland’s Brite Winter Fest. Get to know a band that is trying to build a community of musicians who can inspire one another to create together.

Where did the name come from?

Ling: In Jewish-Christian tradition, bethesda is a pool of healing, and we liked the idea. We sing about a lot of hurt, a lot of pain, just reality, life; we try to be really honest in our songs and what we’re experiencing in life. We really liked the idea of just bringing hope to all of that. We write dark songs filled with hopeful melodies. We like the idea of going into a place and making it brighter than it was when we got there.

http://youtu.be/sSWIP5opjqk

What kind of music inspires your sound?

Delaney: That’s a difficult question! When we first started out, Eric was really into Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, that sort of thing, and I was coming from an opera/musical theatre background, and kind of a country and ’80s background, too. We were coming from that. I would say as we grew together and started checking out more music, became adults and kind of grew into our own, we were inspired by bands like Sufjan Stevens, Anathallo. I think that’s where our big band noise comes from, and that’s why we wanted more members. Now, we’re very much influenced by bands like Mumford & Sons, Eisley, The Decemberists… Mates of State was a really big one for us when we were coming together and dating. We’re all over the map.

And you guys are playing SXSW this year?

Delaney: We have two shows down there; we’re doing a Red Gorilla showcase that we’re playing two shows for.

Ling: That’s the dream, to play SXSW. We’re going to be surrounded by all of our favorite bands. A year ago, before Dreamtiger was released, none of this was happening. I feel like we’ve worked really hard, we’ve been really blessed, now we’re going to SXSW and not playing just one show, but playing two shows at SXSW. It’s going to be so fun. We get to go to all of our favorite labels’ parties, too.

What advice would you give other bands that want to be able to play something like SXSW one day?

Delaney: Work hard. We work so hard. I think you have to be talented, but the other part of it is that you have to work for it. So many people don’t want to work for it. We’re workaholics. I mean, we get up at 5 in the morning, we work all day as teachers, and then we come home, and all we can think about is Bethesda. We’ll spend all night working on Bethesda, from 3:30 to when we have to go to bed at like 9. It doesn’t even feel like work because you want to be doing it.

Ling: If you really love what you’re doing and believe in what you’re doing, just work hard at it and have integrity. Don’t just slack off or get discouraged because other people don’t believe in it. Work hard and believe in it. Surround yourself with people that care about you and support you.

Let’s talk about this new album. You guys are doing a Kickstarter campaign to fund it, and you’re at around 90%.

Ling: We’re really excited! I guess as a band, you’re always excited about the next album. I feel like our new songs are a step in a new direction that we’re super proud of. This will be our second full-length album. We’re really excited about having a second full-length since we feel like we’ve really matured as a band.

Delaney: The first song we wrote for that album was “Reunion,” and it has a folk feel. Eric wrote it about his grandpa. His grandpa asked him to write a song right before he passed away, and he never got to before he passed, so it came to him one day, and Eric wrote that. The very next song after that is about my brother, who passed away when I was in college in a motorcycle accident, and I’ve been wanting to write this song since I could remember. I think there was a song in me for him, and I just couldn’t write it. We’re thinking about calling the album The Reunion; there seems to be a theme of a reunion, just reuniting and experiencing that feeling that comes with a reunion and coming together.

Ling: Some of the songs we’ve written so far are some of the most amazing songs that we’ve written, and performing them live has been a blast. We are also ridiculously humbled by the amount of money people have donated.

Delaney: We - The Vinyl District


Rock Hall Sessions: Bethesda
Added Feb 20, 2012, Under: Multimedia, Written by Buzzbin Staff

Local band Bethesda sits down with the Rock -N- Roll Hall of Fame to talk about their music and what they like about the Hall of Fame. - Buzzbin Magazine


For its third edition this past Saturday, the Brite Winter Festival moved a few blocks — from its former riverside location in the Flats to Ohio City. Festivalgoers huddled around three bonfires in a parking lot at Bridge and West 26th, while bands played from 5-10 p.m. on the outdoor stage there. Hundreds of hardy Clevelanders braved the cold to listen to Tom Evanchuck & the Old Money, Lighthouse & the Whaler, Bad Veins, Black Taxi, and Bethesda shiver as they played. Bethesda vocalist Shanna Delaney brightened the dreary day not only with her sparkling vocals but with her bright red coat and yellow gloves. Given the bitter cold, many music lovers appreciated the eight nearby businesses that also featured music — indoors. The festival also featured games, art, and food trucks. — Anastasia Pantsios - Cleveland Scene Magazine


Although Bethesda is an Ohio-bred band whose homespun tales and sounds are grounded in the folk tradition, the members' ecletic musical backgrounds, creative energy and flair for the dramatic ensure that they're never beholden to the trappings of one particular style. Instead, the group's core of musicians – violinist Christopher Black, bassist Dan Corby, vocalist Shanna Delaney, guitarist/vocalist Eric Ling, drummer Justin Rife and guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Jesse Sloan – have cultivated a refreshingly vibrant sound that has made them a band to watch. Their music has been slated to appear in programming on Showtime, MTV, Oxygen, VH1 and E!; they've shared the stage with such noted indie acts as Azure Ray and fellow Ohio native, Jessica Lea Mayfield, and exposure on more than 200 independent and college radio stations nationwide has given them serious buzz.

Delaney hails from Circleville, Ohio, while Ling grew up in nearby Bellefontaine. Sloan originally came from Florida, Rife from Tallmadge, Ohio, Corby from Chardon, Ohio, and Black was most recently living in Connecticut. The members brought divergent tastes, with Rife coming from a background playing in punk bands and Delaney having found her voice in musical theater. Ling was a student of the lo-fi acoustic school, emulating artists such as Elliott Smith and Conor Oberst. "I had a horrible voice and so did they, so I thought that was what it was all about – singing with the crackling voice and writing really thick lyrics," says Ling. "Then I met Shanna, and she had an amazing voice, and had vocal training, and listened to a little bit of folk and bluegrass growing up, and did musical theater – so [we were at] polar opposite sides of the world. The first couple times we tried to write, it was a big fight." The name Bethesda came at the suggestion of Sloan's father – a reference to the "healing" pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem.

The band's debut long player, 2010's Love in a Time of Tra La La was the sound of Bethesda trying to reconcile their genre-spanning influences. "Our first record was very much a blend of all of our influences coming together – I wouldn't say fighting, because there was a blend there, but I think now we've really learned how to write together," says Rife. Tim Gerak, who'd made a name for himself playing with group The Six Parts Seven, handled production duties for Tra La La at his Akron recording studio, and the band tapped him to oversee the 2011 follow-up EP, Dreamtiger & Other Tails. Ling still oversaw the majority of the songs, penning lyrics that were adapted and reworked with Delaney's input, but the entire band came together in the process creating an inevitably tighter dynamic. That would serve as the framework for nearly all the EP's tracks. The first album was finished in less than a month, while the EP – despite half the number of tracks – took nearly two.

Dreamtiger introduced the string support of Estee Beasley (a role now handled by violinist Christopher Black), adding to an already rounded sound. Although most the EP's tracks clock in at more than four minutes, there are enough hooks and engaging lyricism to keep the mix on a speedy course. The dreamlike imagery is echoed in the cover art (designed by Corby's wife Morgan; pictured above), which resembles a children's storybook. "Even though it's a genre of music we really couldn't put our finger on, that's great, because this is something original we are creating together," says Ling. "[Dreamtiger] marks a new direction for us – sort of a magical, folk, indie-pop thing that's happening that I think is really our sound."

Each member of the band agrees they prefer the live setting over the studio, the chance to engage with audiences and best harness the energy of their recordings. "The live experience is what I love," says Delaney. "I think that's because that's what I grew up doing – musical theater, opera – the stage, live performing."

As the band prepares to record the follow-up to Dreamtiger, they sat down with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to talk about how they came together, their influences, feeling an intimate, emotional connection with artists' lyric sheets in the Museum, and the major impact of the Women Who Rock exhibit.

Video Interview by going to link - Rock & Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


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- Tinderbox Music


Radio Interview:
http://www.fearlessradio.com/index.php/component/k2/item/2429-bethesda.html - Fearless Radio


If you need any proof that indie music is quickly becoming mainstream, look no further than Arcade Fire. The band first burst onto the scene in 2004 with their debut album Funeral, which garnered much critical acclaim and is now regarded by many as one of the best albums of the last decade. 2007's Neon Bible continued the band’s success by debuting at Number 2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The band then cemented their status in the public’s consciousness by winning last year’s prestigious GRAMMY Award for Album Of The Year with their third album, The Suburbs. Arcade Fire stand out from the plethora of other indie rock bands through their use of baroque influences and varied instrumentation; using anything from violins to accordions to xylophones and many more. Their music can best be described as “anthemic,” and their headlining slots at huge festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo this year have proved that their music is intended for the masses. Luckily, OurStage’s own Bethesda share Arcade Fire’s penchant for making stadium ready indie rock.

OurStage's Bethesda

Arcade Fire















Like Arcade Fire, Bethesda is great at creating slow-building songs that lead to epic conclusions. Their song “Dreamtiger” is a perfect example of this formula, and it bears some resemblance to Arcade Fire’s song “Haiti.” Both songs begin with strummed acoustic guitar chords, but add a variety of instruments as the songs progress. While “Dreamtiger” picks up momentum pretty quickly, the song takes a drastic change about halfway through. Here, all of the instruments drop out except for the acoustic guitar and vocals. Other instruments like violin and electric guitar are soon added to create texture, followed by the entrance of a snare drum, which creates a march-like rhythm that gradually gets faster and faster. This eventually leads into the bold ending, with the repeatedly sung refrain “we are free” backed by pounding, rhythmic drums and guitars. Words can’t fully do this song justice; you really need to listen to it yourself. “Oh, How We Crane Our Throats!” is another Bethesda song with some similarities to Arcade Fire. This song also begins slowly, this time with acoustic guitar, banjo and vocals. Violin is soon added to the mix to double the vocal harmonies. However, this slow section only lasts for a short period of time, as the song quickly picks up tempo. Driven by a pounding bass drum beat and hand claps, the song sounds like it could be played at a hoedown.



However, Bethesda’s sound differs from Arcade Fire thanks to their female lead singer. While Arcade Fire occasionally uses female vocals, the majority of the singing duties are handled by lead singer Win Butler. In Bethesda, Shanna Delaney’s unique voice is a crucial component of the band’s sound. Her high pitched soprano is a one of a kind voice that is immediately recognizable. Bethesda also creates their unique sound through their use of elements of power pop and synth pop. “A Song for the Peasant Farmer” is an upbeat song that uses a catchy synthesizer melody and driving guitar chords to create a fun song that will instantly have you bobbing your head. In the end, Bethesda’s greatest strength lies in their ability to meld a bizarre variety of instruments and influences into a cohesive whole. - OurStage Magazine


Featured on front page of website - Sonicbids


Bethesda to Brighten Up Old Dog, Jan. 6th.
Bethesda

By Zac Clark Link to Bethesda website

A simple message in a big bundle of happiness, Bethesda comes to town January 6th with the goal of making Kalamazoo all warm and fuzzy inside—so much so that my beard is becoming jealous with the coming days.

The six-piece band, made up of vocalist Shanna Delaney; her husband, auxiliary-vocalist and acoustic guitar player, Eric Ling; drummer Justin Rice; bass player Dane Korby; guitarist Jesse Sloan; and violinist Christopher Black; are playing the Old Dog Tavern for an all ages shows Friday, January 6th. The group, trekking out from their base of operations in Kent, Ohio, was recommended that they stop and perform here by local artists.

"Gun Lake and Joe Hertler tout the Kalamazoo Music scene," Delaney explained, "and we were looking for a place to play before our show at Reggie's." Bethesda is to be featured in a live interview on Fearless Radio the day after their show in Kalamazoo, followed by a performance at Reggie's Music Joint in Chicago the same night.

A band of simple pleasures, but eclectic taste, Bethesda has a light and nimble sound that still provides an ample amount volume. The group has gathered band members from all walks of musical life to create a sound akin to a tambourine—bouncy and weightless, but still raucous when shook. To create what Ling calls "music about real life and real struggles and the things that bring us hope" the band borrows influence from a plethora of artists and genres. While vocalists Eric Ling and Shanna Delaney are fans of bands such as Mumford and Sons and Feist, artists that Ling feels have "a lot more range and melody" to their music and Delaney acutely describes as "folksy," drummer Justin Rice listens to everything from Fleetwood Mac, The Clash, Operation Ivy, and Rancid. "We come from different musical backgrounds, influences and tastes. I gear up with punk rock, metal, ska--a lot of a noises, playing fast and full," drummer (and resident fire breather) Rice said. Now he is influenced by Motown. Violinist Christopher Black emulates the fiddling of the Dublin rock-music band The Frames for his work with Bethesda, and Dane Korby enjoys the bubbly bass riffs of the French band Phoenix every now and then. Guitarist Jesse Sloan listens to 90's emo/indie rock.

This boiling pot approach doesn't mull the taste of the band's sound either, as most of their lyrics comes across clearly and the instrumentality isn't lost amidst a cacophony noise. "When we come together to write a song we bring a fresh perspective-- and a different perspective. There is a lot of freedom to express and write your own stuff. We really believe we are providing something original," said Ling. On a whole the band aims to bring a message of healing with their music. "We are a band that brings healing and joy to places of darkness," Ling said. This can be understood by taking a brief, scholarly, look at the band's name—Bethesda. As Ling explained it, derived from "a tale of Jewish and Christian tradition about a pool of healing" located in Biblical Jerusalem .

As a band they acknowledge the influence as one that "is definitely that Christian faith" but don't classify themselves as a Christian band. One should expect lofty lyrics rather than beat-you-over-the-head symbolism here, as their songs focus on tropes of hope and love rather than the faith of Christianity itself. Black says, as for the show on January 6th goes, that the band is looking "to have a lot of fun, bring a lot of energy, and have a great time in the city. We have to show how much energy--how much love--we put into what we do."

Oh, and Justin might breathe fire. No big deal or anything.
- Kalamazoo Music Scene (Zac Clark)


Bethesda released a modern Christmas hymn "If this is Christmas" on Sunday, December 18, one week before the Christian holy holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Shanna Delaney and Eric Ling crafted the beautiful baroque-style serenade and recorded it with Dan Corby in one day, stating on the band's Bandcamp page, "This is our gift to you."




Delaney's endearing vocals are reminiscent of Karen Carpenter crooning the classic "Merry Christmas, Darling," composed by Richard Carpenter with lyrics by Frank Pooler. Much like the song that earned The Carpenters a Billboard No. 1 holiday hit in 1970, Bethesda's Yuletide carol has the potential to make its history in the hearts of families celebrating this special time of year.


Lyrics to "If this is Christmas" are available on Bethesda's Bandcamp page.

- The Rhythm Report


Straight outta Akron, this female-fronted quintet unleashes a five-song, 22-minute EP that deftly demonstrates why Bethesda has garnered such high acclaim in its home state. Dreamtiger‘s opening track, “A Song for the Peasant Farmer”, displays vocalist Shanna Delaney’s unique phrasing and the unique interplay between her and her bandmates, guitarists Eric Ling and Jesse Sloan, bassist Dan Corby, drummer Justin Rife. “Oh, How We Crane Our Throats!” is as whimsical and memorable as its title, while “Homage” may be the prettiest track here. Curiously, the band seems at its strongest when focusing on mellower material, though “Upon This Rock” and the closing “Dreamtiger” are hardly disappointing. - PopMatters (Jedd Beaudoin)


It's a balmy Tuesday evening, and Bethesda vocalist Shanna Delaney is out of cell phone range and without access to the Internet. She's in a remote expanse of Ohio country, miles outside Columbus, and her only means of immediate communication is a landline. It seems fitting for the voice of an Ohio-bred band whose homespun narratives are grounded in the folk tradition, a shared faith and a curiosity that enriches the typical trappings of such musical – and Biblical –convictions.

The group's core of musicians – bassist Dan Corby, guitarist/vocalist Eric Ling, drummer Justin Rife and lead guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Jesse Sloan – met at a now-defunct Vineyard Community Church (part of a Christian network of organizations and houses of worship) that became an Anonymous Relief Mission (ARM) center. It was there that the quintet discovered a mutual appreciation for music, first performing worship standards once per month, though not as Bethesda. "Looking back, it's kind of a blur, how did it all come together?" says Delaney, the gregarious, self-deprecating and titian-haired front woman of the band.

Delaney hails from Circleville, Ohio, while Ling grew up in nearby Bellefontaine. Sloan originally came from Florida, Rife from Texas, and Corby from Chardon. They've been playing music together for three years, first as Silver Diamond Doves, the short-lived duo of Delaney and Ling. Bethesda came later – on the fly, the nom de plume a paternal suggestion.

"We were going to our first real show, and thought 'we don't have a name,'" says Delaney. After much deliberation, Sloan piped up that his father had suggested Bethesda. "It means the pool of healing. We want our music to have a healing quality to it for people, to bring joy and healing into their lives, so we were Bethesda." The songs flowed with similar ease.

"When we first came together, songs came out of us in just a matter of minutes," says Delaney. "I think it's also because Eric had been writing them for so long, so he would have lyrics, and we would all jump in, come up with our own thing. It's always been part of our band to let whatever is going to happen just happen.

"I know you hear this a lot, but you don't want to be labeled as one genre… but we really didn't have a genre," says Delaney. Ling's tastes gravitated toward Bright Eyes and Elliott Smith; Sloan embraced rap and math rock; Rife had played in a ska-punk band; Delaney was coming from a musical theater background and pop rock. "When I first got into indie music, Mates of State were a big [influence]; I like a lot of the female-led [bands] such as Feist and Eisley," says Delaney. "We all really like the Decemberists, Cloud Cult, Arcade Fire - of course." Despite common ground, the first album represented a band trying to bridge myriad styles.

"We were all coming from different places," says Delaney. "Our first album very much sounds like that." The band's debut long player, 2010's Love in a Time of Tra La La is the sound of Bethesda growing: the songs are distinct but without cohesion, the performances scattered, the songwriting loose if unrefined. "If it wasn't eight minutes, it wasn't a Bethesda song," jokes Delaney. "Vocally, for me, it was so different, because I was coming from the musical theater thing and country – I grew up on bluegrass – so I'm trying to figure out how to get my vocals to fit this way I'd never sung like before."

The band were also united by academics. Delaney studied musical theater as an undergrad, while Ling studied business. The former teaches ninth grade English, in addition to public speaking and a women's studies course at Lake High School in Uniontown, Ohio; the latter is a seventh grade ancient history teacher at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy. "I do a Tuesday tune," says Delaney of her high school gig. "[The students] don't like any of my music, but I try." All the band members are currently pursuing graduate degrees at Kent State University.

Tim Gerak, who'd made a name for himself playing with The Six Parts Seven group, handled production duties for Tra La La at his Akron recording studio, and the band tapped him to oversee the follow up EP, Dreamtiger & Other Tails. Ling still oversaw the majority of the songs, penning lyrics that were adapted and reworked with Delaney's input. That would serve as the framework for nearly all the EP's tracks.

Whereas the previous effort hinted at a starry-eyed dynamic capable of evocative story telling and complementary, compelling arrangements, Dreamtiger skirted suggestion and delivered on the potential. "Of course, when Love in the Time of Tra La La was done, we loved it," says Delaney. "But it was our first time recording with [Gerak], figuring everything out, trying to take it seriously." The first album was finished in less than a month, the EP – despite half the number of tracks – took nearly two.

Gerak knew exactly how to capture the band's best during the second session. The ba - OhioAuthority Magazine


As amazing as it seems, we have reached the end of 2011. Now is the time to make our lists for the best releases from the last year. For me, this year’s list will be a little different than the previous years that I have created a list. This year’s list will have three parts:

Part One: Each year, there are those releases that catch your ear while taking hold and never letting go. The first 5 selections of this year’s list will make up the best 2011 albums that I wrote about throughout the year. These albums are the ones that found their way to my CD player and have yet to be put away because of how times I’ve gone back to listen to them.


Part Two: The second part of the list will include 5 additional releases. These particular selections will include explanations for their inclusion when they are mentioned.

Part Three: The third part of the list for this year will include the five best songs I have heard in 2011. These particular songs helped make 2011 what it was for me, musically.

PART ONE:

The 2011 “Best Of” List

1 Little Tybee Humorous to Bees I love the Humorous to Bees release. The five people that make up Little Tybee combine to create one very strong release. The creativity in the writing and the playing of the members are what make this CD one of my favorite CDs for the year.
2 Mother Mother Eureka The Eureka release from Mother Mother is a personal favorite from 2011 because I just stumbled across it. And once I had the chance to hear the release, I have not been able to take it out of my CD player. I really wish there were more releases that were as well-written and strong from beginning to end as this release.
3 Bethesda Dreamtiger and Other Tails The first of two EPs from 2011 that made the list, Dreamtiger and Other Tails from Bethesda is probably the most unusual and creative release I had the chance to hear this year. From the strangely beautiful voice of Shanna Delaney to the unusual instruments included in the music of the band, there are many reasons to check out Bethesda and their 2011 release Dreamtiger and Other Tails.
4 Son of the Sun Almost Not There The second of two EPs to make their way onto my Best Of list for this year is Almost Not There from Son of the Sun. The six songs that make up this release work well to create one strong, though short, release. The variety in the songs is one of the reasons why I include this CD in this list. Son of the Sun offers up some of the best indie rock this year with their Almost Not There CD. This is one CD I wish was longer than it is.
5 Stacie Collins Sometimes Ya Gotta Sometimes Ya Gotta from Stacie Collins is the one CD on my 2011 Best Of list that is NOT from 2011. But since the album was released very late last year, I am including it in my list for this year as I was not able to review it until early this year. The Blues-based rock that Stacie Collins creates is very fun to listen to. And the fact that Collins recorded this release with The Scorchers makes this release all that much stronger.

PART TWO:
Five Additional Releases for Your Consideration
1 True Nature You Shouldn’t Have to Shout So Loud

The reason You Shouldn’t Have to Shout So Loud by True Nature appears in this category is because of two reasons: One, the release came out in 2010, not 2011. And two, the band already appeared in my “Best Of” list once. But since the band’s other release of Feels like Centuries was basically half an album and included in the “Best Of” list for 2009, and You Shouldn’t Have to Shout So Loud was the unofficial second half of that album, I felt I had to give the same honor to both the first and second parts of the release.
2 Ellery This Isn’t Over Yet This selection is another album released in 2010. And while the sound of the band is not quite as energetic as the selections in the main list, the music from Tasha and Justin Golden is beautiful and powerful. Each song written by Ellery is a song that needs to be heard. This Isn’t Over Yet is one of those releases that has many songs that could become hits if only given the chance.
3 Gods of Indie Guitar 2011 This release really deserves to be in the “Best Of” list for this year. But since there are already five selections in the Top 5 part of the list, I put this release in the second half to give more promotion to this very enjoyable release that features many talented acts.


4 Nexcyx Queen The Queen EP by Nexcyx is very good, but it really didn’t fit into The Rock And Roll Report, which is why it never appeared on the website. But I really think people should know about this release, which is why it appears here. Nexcyx is a band from Barbados that creates music that incorporates R&B, Rock and some island elements into their music, creating a style that today’s music fans should find very accessible. One of the best tracks of the year belongs to the band’s song “Bass”. That song alone makes the Queen EP one of the best releases from 2011.

5 Modern Ameri - Rock and Roll Report (as seen on Rock Stars Galore)


Bethesda released a modern Christmas hymn "If this is Christmas" on Sunday, December 18, one week before the Christian holy holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Shanna Delaney and Eric Ling crafted the beautiful baroque-style serenade and recorded it with Dan Corby in one day, stating on the band's Bandcamp page, "This is our gift to you."




Delaney's endearing vocals are reminiscent of Karen Carpenter crooning the classic "Merry Christmas, Darling," composed by Richard Carpenter with lyrics by Frank Pooler. Much like the song that earned The Carpenters a Billboard No. 1 holiday hit in 1970, Bethesda's Yuletide carol has the potential to make its history in the hearts of families celebrating this special time of year.


Lyrics to "If this is Christmas" are available on Bethesda's Bandcamp page.

- The Rhythm Report


"We’ve compiled an overview of the best holiday music out this year..."

http://www.thewildhoneypie.com/carpark-records-she-him-emmy-the-great-and-tim-wheeler-holidays-top-releases/#more-26437 - The Wild Honey Pie


“When an artist or group combines 2 or more styles of music together, they are taking a chance on whether people will like the sound or not. Bethesda is one of the lucky few bands who have successfully done that. With their upbeat Indie Rock and Folk Music combo, Bethesda has achieved nationwide status where they have reached “Top 5 Add” status. It’s no wonder on why they have the following that they do!” - Outside the Dial


Let’s be honest, the indie market has been over crowded for sometime now. It seems like almost every day a new band pops up in that particular market and nine times out of ten they sound similar if not identical to at least four or five bands out there doing the same exact thing. Because of this it seems the indie market is narrowed down, as far as judging bands, based on how they deliver their sound, no matter how familiar. Bethesda isn’t a band that I’m going to champion as the next best thing but they at least manage to impress as a unit and manage not to waste much of their foot in the door opportunity.

Lead singer Shanna Delaney reminds me a bit of Zoë Deschenal’s work with She & Him, mixing in a slight rockabilly twang in her vocals and an impressive high register operatic delivery at times. The fact that she is a fantastic singer, for the most part, elevates the brilliance of the bands efforts in the lyrical department. Inside of the CD case you’ll find a removable booklet, small as it may be, which has lyrics for all of the EP’s songs. Flipping through the five pages of lyrics is like flipping through a book of tales. The bands folk edge is accurately defined by their use of lyrics as a narrative for the every day human. Topics covered here are mostly about life in general, through my perspective, from the hard knock truths about life being hard but making the most of it, looking back on those hard times and allowing their faded memory to bring sweetness to the rewards of the now, and when all else fails being able to live within the perfection of our own dreams and fantasies. All of the tracks rate very highly as far as sound, it is an excellently produced album, but the final title track just didn't sit well with me.

The album is a mish mash of what I take as influences from The Sussex Wit to Mumford and Sons to She & Him and more. The 22 minute EP manages to create individualism between the five tracks while somehow tying them all together to weave some sort of tale, again, from my perspective. Fortunately enough the band does have their 2009 self titled EP available for free from their website as well as the entire album available for streaming at Bandcamp. It’s a real opportunity to see weather or not the band makes your cut. For me, I think I’ll be listening to this CD for awhile. Its got enough strength to continue on in my collection. As always final judgment is yours. Enjoy.
- Shakefire


Dreamtiger & Other Tails is the latest offering from indie-folk quintet Bethesda, the Kent / Akron OH. band’s EP is rich mix of sound textures bound together by the soaring opera-esque vocals of Shanna Delaney, combine this with thoughtful engaging lyrics and you have an intriguing set of songs that marks them down as one to watch and should set you down the path of checking out their other releases the 2008 self-titled EP and the 2010 debut full-length Love in a Time of Tra La La - here’s the links and their excellent video for Dreamtiger. - The Beat Surrender


The Greater Cleveland, OH band Bethesda is known for their blending of sounds and styles in their music. Part folk, part indie, part pop, Bethesda takes these genres and blends them together to create a sound that is modern, retro, artsy, and altogether beautiful all at once.

The band’s sound is made possible with the help of the members of the group.
Together, they are: Shanna Delaney on vocals and bells, Eric Ling on rhythm
guitar, vocals, bells, horns and keys, Jesse Sloan on lead guitar, vocals, bells and keys, Justin Rife on drums and percussion, Dan Corby on bass, and Estee Beasley on violin. The unusual instruments of bells, horns and violin used by the band help create a sound that is very unique and creative. And then, there are Shanna Delaney’s vocals: She has a voice that sounds like it came from a time gone by. Her voice could easily remind you of female vocalists who would have recorded with bands and band leaders back in the Big Band era. The clear quality of Delaney’s voice really helps enforce the power of the lyrics to the band’s songs. Together with Delaney’s voice, the band’s sound is definitely like nothing you’ve come across before.

Since the band came together, they have released three CDs, including their newest one, 2011’s Dreamtiger & Other Tails. Dreamtiger & Other Tails from Bethesda begins with the track “A Song for the Peasant Farmer”. The first track off of the EP is a classic Indie rock song that features Delaney as the lead singer of the track. The use of the bells by Sloan on the song really gives the song a sound that is part rock and orchestral.

The song “Oh, How We Crane Our Throats” is one of the songs on the newest
release from Bethesda that proves that the band’s sound is much more than just
indie rock. Take an indie feel to the music; add some banjo and violin and you
get a song that has a very Americana approach. But the foot-stomping beat created by the band on the song is a lot harder than your average Americana tune.

With the song “Homage,” the band slows the pace down quite a bit. “Homage” is a folk-flavored song that features a minimal amount of musical instruments that include guitar, bass and violin. With a overall sound that might have you thinking of the refrain from “Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm” from Crash Test Dummies, the slow-paced song is like a beautiful letter to those who made you You. Shanna sings the lyrics to this rather beautifully and really make you feel the emotion of the words.

After taking a few minutes to perform a very beautiful song, the band once again picks up the pace. While “Homage” is a tune that has a very simply sound and approach to the music, “Upon This Rock” on the Dreamtiger & Other Tails release from Bethesda has a harder sound and once again finds the band in an indie frame of mind. Along with Delaney’s vocals, the song also features the vocals of lead guitarist Eric Sloan as he sings his part as a duet with Delaney. The trumpet playing of rhythm guitarist Eric Ling also gives the song a very indie feel.

Dreamtiger & Other Tails comes to a close with the song that helps give the release its name. “Dreamtiger” is probably the strongest song on the album and could easily be thought of as the song that truly allows the listener to hear the talent of all musicians involved. The rock music created by the band, the violin playing of Estee Beasley and the beautiful vocals of Shanna Delaney combine on this song to create the best track on this release.

While Dreamtiger & Other Tails from Greater Cleveland’s Bethesda is only five songs long, this is the type of release where you get so many different sides of a band that you really wish the album was longer. - The Rock and Roll Report


We've said it before but we'll say it again (and again and again and again). We rarely review EPs around here because of the hassle involved in playing the damn things--so much physical work involved (pant, pant, pant, whine, whine, whine...) just to hear a handful of songs. So if you see an EP reviewed here you know it's something that really stands out. The folks in Bethesda are obviously off and running with their career. Though the band has only been around a short time their music is already being played on over 200 radio stations around the country and they're slated to appear in a multitude of cable shows. Not hard to see why the music is being instantly embraced. The five songs on Dreamtiger & Other Tails are fresh and feature some truly great crystal clear female vocals. The band is comprised of Shanna Delaney (vocals, percussion), Eric Ling (guitar, vocals), Jesse Sloan (guitar, vocals, keyboards, banjo), Dan Corby (bass), and Justin Rife (drums, percussion). Exceptional sleeve design and artwork on this one. You can expect to see and hear a lot about this band in the very near future... - Babysue Magazine


Upon first setting eyes on Bethesda’s packaging for their new EP, Dreamtiger & Other Tails, you know that this is going to be a playful collection of songs. The EP with its illustrated booklet are fitting first impressions for Dreamtiger‘s storybook concept. And, despite the jaunty tunes, like a lot of good children’s tales, Bethesda’s tracks aren’t about unicorns, rainbows and fairies, but they’re a bit on the darker side. And, although every song on the album are musically and lyrically delightful, “Dreamtiger” stands out because it’s the track that best showcases lead vocalist, Shanna Delaney’s voice. But, it’s the melancholy melody, cello and harmony in the troubled “Homage” I’m drawn to the most. - Common Folk Music


http://en.calameo.com/read/000466640d81d74aa9b7d - Vents Magazine


Ohio band Bethesda is heading to New York City and are set to play Lulu’s this Friday night with Field Mouse. Driven by female vocals, acoustic guitar, and steady percussion, Bethesda’s latest EP, Dreamtiger & Other Tails, is a well-crafted, summertime beauty... - The Wild Honey Pie


Weapons of Mass Creation Pre-Fest Mixer Wrap-Up

Today is the first day of the two-day festival known as the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest. The festival will be taking place in and around the West 58th and Detroit Ave area. To recap: The Weapons of Mass Creation Fest has three parts: The Art/Design Show, which is currently taking place at Wall Eye Gallery at 5304 Detroit Ave; the Speakers category, which features people in the Design Industry describing what is currently happening and what will happen in the Design Industry in the near future with speeches taking place at The Reinberger Auditorium at 5209 Detroit; and the Bands category with around 20 bands taking part in the two days of events, with the concerts taking place at The Happy Dog at 5801 Detroit Ave. To help kick off the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest, a Pre-Fest Mixer took place last night at The Happy Dog. The Pre-Fest Mixer featured four acts that gave just a small indication of what type of music could be expected for the two days of celebration throughout the weekend. The first act to grace the stage at The Happy Dog for the Pre-Fest Mixer was Humble Home. Humble Home was recently featured in the Scene Magazine as Band of the Week. If the performance by the band at The Mixer is anything to go by, This is one band in the area that needs to be seen by many more people. The half-hour show was great, as Humble Home performed their indie-rock music that can be found on their current release entitled "To Doubt". Hearing the band in concert and then experiencing the CD, it is easy to see why this band is one to keep your eyes and ears out for. Gregory and the Hawk was the second act for the night. Gregory and the Hawk is otherwise known as Meredith Godreau, a New York-based singer-songwriter. For the Pre-Fest Mixer last night, Godreau took the stage at The Happy Dog as a solo act, which was sort of disappointing; not because of Godreau's performance, but because most of the performance was lost on the people in the back of the venue. For those who could enjoy the music that came from Godreau's Gregory and the Hawk releases, there was much to enjoy. Probably the most interesting act of the night was the third act, Bethesda. The Cleveland-based band is another act that needs to find a very large following in the Greater Cleveland area. Most of the music played during Bethesda's waaaaaay too short set came from their new release entitled "Dreamtiger and Other Tails". The band's musical makeup includes a violinist, a trumpet player, a vibe player, banjo player, as well as the usual guitar, bass, keys and drums. The unusual combination of musical instruments and singer Shanna Delaney's vocals that seem to have come from a different time make for a truly special sound. If you see this band is performing in the Cleveland area, check them out as you won't be disappointed. The last act of last night's Pre-Fest Mixer for the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest was David Dondero. Dondero played the longest set of the night as he played for about an hour. Dondero, like Godreau, played solo. The strange thing about the set from Dondero is that he said almost nothing throughout the hour-long set of music, though he was definitely able to fill the hour with no trouble. The set contained a variety of moods, going from rock to folk music; some of the songs were stories, while others were politically-charged. The Pre-Fest Mixer for the 2011 Weapons of Mass Creation Fest was a nice success, as many people came to check out the music. Today, the 2011 Weapons of Mass Creation Fest begins and will continue tomorrow, as well. If you would like to experience what you missed last night, check out the website for the fest at www.wmcfest.com and discover all you can do over these two days.

- Cleveland Free Press


CURRENTLY ON RADIO SPRING/SUMMER 2011

BULLSRADIO Tampa FL
CFMU Hamilton ON
CHMR St.Johns NF
CSCR Scarborough ON
KALA Davenport IA
KAMP Tucson AZ
KANM College Station TX
KAOS Olympia WA
KBBI Homer AK
KBSU Boise ID
KCSS Turlock CA
KDNK Carbondale CO
KDUP Portland OR
KEOL La Grande OR
KEUL Girdwood AK
KFAI Minneapolis MN
KGAR Lemoore CA
KHNS Haines AK
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KKSM San Marcos CA
KMNR Rolla MO
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KMUD Redway CA
KNDS Fargo ND
KPUR Forest Grove OR
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KRZA Alamosa CO
KSJD Mancos CO
KSPU Seattle WA
KSYM San Antonio TX
KTCV Kennewick WA
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KURA Ouray CO
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KWCW Walla Walla WA
KWLC Decorah IA
KWTS Canyon TX
KXUL Monroe LA
KXZY Forest City IA
OHIO.FM New Albany OH
OSPREY Jacksonville FL
RIDDLE Prescott AZ
WARC Meadville PA
WBOR Brunswick ME
WBWC Berea OH
WCCX Waukesha WI
WCNI New London CT
WCRD Muncie IN
WCVF Fredonia NY
WCVM Morrisville NY
WCWP Brookville NY
WDUB Granville OH
WDWN Auburn NY
WERU East Orland ME
WFDU Teaneck NJ
WGMU Fairfax VA
WHCL Clinton NY
WHUS Storrs CT
WIDR Kalamazoo MI
WIIT Chicago IL
WITR Rochester NY
WIUX Bloomington IN
WKKL West Barnstable MA
WKPS University Park PA
WKWZ Syosset NY
WLCA Godfrey IL
WLTL La Grange IL
WLUR Lexington VA
WLVR Bethlehem PA
WMCN St.Paul MN
WMEB Orono ME
WMHB Waterville ME
WMHC South Hadley MA
WMHD Terre Haute IN
WMPG Portland ME
WMVL Purchase NY
WMXM Lake Forest IL
WNHU West Haven CT
WORT Madison WI
WPMD Norwalk CA
WPTS Pittsburgh PA
WRBC Lewiston ME
WRDP Chicago IL
WRFW River Falls WI
WRKC Wilkes-Barre PA
WRNC Ashland WI
WRPI Troy NY
WRRC Lawrenceville NJ
WRSE Elmhurst IL
WRST Oshkosh WI
WRUR Rochester NY
WSAJ Grove City PA
WSIA Staten Island NY
WSIN New Haven CT
WSUP Platteville WI
WVMM Grantham PA
WVUD Newark DE
WVUR Valparaiso IN
WVYC York PA
WXAC Reading PA
WXJM Harrisonburg VA
XTSR Towson MD - Tinderbox Music


http://fox8-akron.cityvoter.com/winners/akron-canton-hot-list/4793/arts-and-entertainment/local-bands - Fox 8 News


Bethesda is not the kind of band that garners an easy label. Hailing from Kent (in spite of the name), the recording artists embody a sound unlike other artists in the Northeast Ohio music scene. Their latest EP, “Dreamtiger & Other Tails,” is a refreshing aural experience in an otherwise lackluster year of releases thus far. Led by vocalist Shanna Delaney, Bethesda’s release takes on a sound akin to Zooey Deschanel’s She and Him, then runs with it in an entirely different musical direction. A robust and often powerful array of instrumentations comes blossoming from the speakers.

The EP kicks off with the intriguing “A Song for the Peasant Farmer,” but the clear standout is the closer “Dreamtiger,” which launches with the sounds of an organ and then pumps straight into the uplifting vocal strengths of Delaney and the talent around her. An honest look at life in general, Bethesda’s “Dreamtiger & Other Tails” is a welcome addition to the frequently overlooked folk-rock scene and a stellar look at what’s to come from this promising local group.

Hear Bethesda’s quirky indie stylings and roaring vocals at the “Dreamtigers & Other Tails” release party on May 7, held at Musica. Craig Ramsey and The Speedbumps open; tickets are $10 in advance. Doors open at 7. - Buzzbin Magazine


Bethesda does it again with a new EP, adding to their collection of whimsical tunes. "Dreamtiger & Other Tails" takes the form of a storybook — musically and lyrically. The booklet that comes with the EP is reminiscent of a children’s fairy tale book, hand drawings and all.

Similar to the folklore in children’s stories, Bethesda’s songs have a darker tone. Despite the happy beat and soaring vocals, the lyrics tell stories of a troubled family, lies and uncertainty.

This EP is a slight branch from Bethesda’s last album, “Love in a Time of Tra La La.” But Shanna Delaney’s vocals are familiar enough to recognize the songs are definitely Bethesda-made. Only one song has an obvious chorus while the others take the form of a narrative.

Here’s a small taste of each track from “Dreamtiger & Other Tails,” but make sure to purchase it to get the full effect.

A Song for the Peasant Farmer: This song has a fun beat with poetic lyrics and speaks of what the death of a king will do for those who are less fortunate.
“Separate us from what breaks us. Bind us to what made us.”

Oh, How We Crane Our Throats: This is a cute song that opens with a slow banjo playing in the background that sounds like music from the swamps of Louisiana. The song picks up as the meat of the story begins that makes the listener subconsciously bob his or her head.
“Why do I lay here in this old skin? Sinking deep, surrounding me, are you with me?”

Homage: The lyrics to this one are sad but brave. A mother is crying, a father speaks harshly, a brother forgets and a sister remembers. The melody flows and sways. The harmony rounds the sound out and cello adds a wonderful undertone to the whole tale.
“The rising beasts, the gnashing teeth, yet still we stand.”

Upon This Rock: The vocals open the song right away and are bouncy and happy. The lyrics are more positive than the other tracks and talk of trusting in undying love.
“When the waters rise, what we’ve built won’t wash away.”

Dreamtiger: The title track shows off Delaney’s talent. The track is upbeat until the end where her voice takes the listener to another world. Her voice soars and the harmony fits perfectly. The final few minutes of the song sound almost like a march and speak of belief and freedom.
“Break down these walls! Now we can see the ocean speaks. We believe. We believe we are free.” - The Daily Kent Stater


Dream Big
Bethesda find their voice on a new EP
by Jeff Niesel | May 04, 2011
locals-1.jpg

Eric Ling and Shanna Delaney met as Kent State students seven years ago. Though she was a singer into old-time country music and musical theater, and he was all about Bright Eyes and Elliott Smith, they started an indie-rock band and eventually got married. By 2009 their band, Bethesda, released its debut EP; last year they completed their first album and opened for some of their favorite groups, including Azure Ray. "Eric used to put their songs on CD for me when we were dating," says Delaney.

Now Bethesda are planning a video for "Dreamtiger," the lilting Neko Case-like title track from their brand-new EP. Then they'll tour the East Coast before returning to Cleveland for the Weapons of Mass Creation arts and indie-rock festival next month.

"We've changed so much from our first EP," says Delaney. "We had some folk songs and some pop-punk songs. You could hear we were trying to find our sound. This one is a solid five tunes. We're starting to grow and come into our own."

Bethesda play a CD-release show at 8 p.m. Saturday at Musica in Akron. Speedbumps and the Afternoon Naps' Craig Ramsey open. Tickets are $10, available at akronmusica.com. - Cleveland Scene


It says a lot that this show has me determined to split time between it and the highly-anticipated-by-yours-truly Wet Darlings CD release party at Skully's this Friday. Ohio Music Swap Meet is a new series at Kobo, and local bands Way Yes and Moon High are on the inaugural bill alongside Indiana band husband&wife and Bethesda (pictured) from Kent.

That last one has me particularly pumped. Seeing a band composed of alumni of my alma mater (Kent State) in a town where Buckeyes rule with an iron nut warms my heart, but their baroque sound and dreamy lyrics could make anyone swoon. Also pumped are the indie band's singer Shanna Delaney and guitarist Eric Ling.

"We both grew up in the Columbus area," Delaney said, "so it's nice to do a show at home."
- Columbus Alive Magazine - Jackie Mantey


As the title and cover art of Bethesda's Dreamtiger & Other Tails not-so subtly suggests, the Ohio band's latest EP (official release is May 7) is a lively foray into the ethereal. The varied instrumentation and delightfully curious orchestration are bound by a talent for colorful narrative that speaks of scattered ashes, farmer's hands, river banks, cattail whips, Mother, hearts, empty halls and handwritten letters, dreamers and lovers. The result is an engaging 20-plus minutes of storytelling, pensive lullabies for adults.

Vocalist Shanna Delaney carries each tune with a commanding presence that often sings more to Broadway than Beachland Ballroom – fitting as her performance tends to steal the show. Her dulcet tones are dynamic, leading – not adapting to – the music swirling around her. While comparisons to the twee drawl of Zooey Deschanel or Jenny Lewis are not without merit, her delivery has more in common with sometimes sultry, usually enigmatic, rarely imitative authenticity of Gillian Welch and Neko Case. The undeniably talented band – guitarist/vocalist Eric Ling; lead guitarist, vocalist, key man Jesse Sloan; bassist Dan Corby and drummer Justin Rife – find a musical cohesion and confidence that allows for studied experimentation. The whole package emanates with seemingly effortless aplomb, further lulling listeners into a contemplative submission.

"A Song for the Peasant Farmer" launches the EP with a playful punchiness. The guitars have a shimmering, angular lilt that has much in common with the creative vibrations of The National. Delaney's vocals bubble and subdue, guiding a snare-driven drill march in the final minute, tensely building to a crescendo that never arrives, though it doesn't seem anti-climatic, but rather restrained.

"Oh! How We Crane our Throats" plays up the decidedly folk stylings of the band, as loose banjo and fiddle flutter behind Delaney's buoyant effusing: Mother said / what's lost can always be found. The track quickly evolves, as Delaney's idiosyncratic delivery follows a shuffling clap-along sing-song that rolls with string flourishes, plucky banjo, tinging bells and percussive splashes.

The cheery disposition takes a backseat on "Homage," a haunting, crawling, harmony laden number with ringing, repetitive acoustic picking, emotive cello, and lyrics: dear mother, don't cry / your love is strong / it carries me / all dressed up in white / dark memories flee / once trapped, now free.

Indie proclivities guide "Upon This Rock," as speedy high-hat work gives way to heartier cymbal bashing exercises; stop-start clean guitar transitions into a familiar uptempo strum, and male-female dueling vocals compete for attention.

"Dreamtiger" closes the EP with among the album's most wide-eyed imagery: 'Cause I know behind your dead eyes / there lives a dreamscape of nights /with stars that pulse in the skies / and take me under / take us under / in the light, in the light / stars erupt a thousand times. The song sings of the youthful naivety associated with hope, love and longing, and the inescapable realities of life. It's about uncovering meaning in the sublime. Two minutes in, Delaney takes center stage, the spotlight, briefly unaccompanied before being backed with more minimalist strings. It's soaring, repeating "we believe" and "we are free." It's a fitting finale to an all-to-short offering from a young band with many more stories to tell. - Ohio Authority Magazine


Very close to the capital of the United States, Maryland, is a town called Bethesda, which gives its name to training before us, a sextet based in northeast Ohio, which only have information, as we only know that an EP released in 2008, followed by an album early last year 2010, called "Love In A Time Of Tra La La".

This is a very interesting album, which has gone unnoticed but for the media, so its spread has been quite weak, which comes back to show how easy it is to support individual artists of dubious quality and leave out bands that has nothing to envy to those who have greater media impact.

The fact is that, because of our commitment to reverse this situation, we think we should show our support for groups like this, almost without means to support them, and with only the illusion and good work, we demonstrate that it is possible enjoy great music while remaining outside of what we consider major consuming industries.

If we focus on the music they make, we could say that this is a melodic indie-pop with folk overtones in which especially the voice of singer Shanna, a versatile voice and great personality that is presented at its best on "Puzzles", a great song that would justify the acquisition of the disc. However, this is not the only issue to be taken into consideration, because the whole album shows a band of high quality, delicious melodies and brilliant vocal harmonies, delightful songs that make your listening a delight.

- Lito Music (Madrid, Spain)


As the childhood rhyme goes, first comes love, then comes marriage — Bethesda is the proverbial baby in the baby carriage.

While Shanna Delaney and Eric Ling were at Kent State k-i-s-s-i-n-g, they started the band Silver Diamond Doves. The duo started attending Vineyard Community Church together, where a little over three years ago they met the three guys who would fill out their group.

One by one, Dan Corby, Jesse Sloan and Justin Rife joined Delaney and Ling on their musical endeavor. Corby and Sloan both currently attend Kent State as a visual communication design major and a pre-nursing major, respectively, and Rife left Kent State in 2009.

After Corby, Sloan and Rife completed the ensemble, they started having those “ah” moments, Ling said. The moments where they all just knew it was right.

But they didn’t have a new name.

Even as they were driving to their first show, they still hadn’t settled on what they would call themselves. Second Star to the Left was up in the air, but when Sloan’s dad called with a suggestion, they had another “ah” moment.

Bethesda is a city in Maryland, but that’s not the namesake of the band. Bethesda in Jewish tradition is a healing pool, and that, more than a city or a “Peter Pan” reference ever could, encompasses the messages in Bethesda’s songs.

“We talk a lot about struggles and difficult times,” said Ling, who graduated from Kent State with a degree in integrated social studies and is currently working toward his master’s in evaluation and measurement.

Their songs tend to be a little lengthier because they have to tell the stories through their lyrics.

“I think we always try to focus on the story or the emotion,” Rife said.

Bethesda just finished recording its newest EP, “Dreamtiger and Other Tails,” which they hope to release in May, and they said there’s only one song less than five minutes on that album.

“We’re a lyric-centered band,” Delaney said. “We couldn’t cut lyrics because it’s part of a story.” And Ling added, “It’s hard to write a three-minute story.”

Every member of Bethesda came from different musical backgrounds, so any one of the band’s songs might have a hint of a different style.

“People have often had a hard time defining (our music),” said Delaney, who graduated from Kent State with a degree in integrated language arts and is currently working on a master’s in literature.

There’s a healing quality to Bethesda’s songs, no matter what the influences are on any given track. The power behind Delaney’s lead vocals, both in sound and emotion, demonstrate her background in musical theater, but her dreamy tone carries the stories in the lyrics.

The overall product ends up being a little bit indie, a little bit pop and a little bit folk. Estee Beasley plays violin for the band, adding that unmistakable string sound.

Corby called Bethesda’s music “baroque pop” because every part the band writes for a song is orchestrated. Every piece of the song has meaning.

“We just write music, and however it comes out, it comes out,” Rife said.

Delaney said the most important part is if the band loves the song. If they love it, it’s a Bethesda song. They aren’t defined by one genre, rather a mixture of their favorite parts of a multitude of genres.

“(The songs) all seem to flow together,” Rife said. “It doesn’t seem like you’re listening to different artists.”

Ling and Sloan write the songs, but each member writes the part for his own instrument. Ling said it helps them come up with something unique each time and helps to eliminate redundancy.

“It changes the roles we play,” Sloan said because the person who is playing a specific instrument depends on who wrote the song.

During the their Silver Diamond Doves days, Ling and Delaney had a hard time writing music because Ling wasn’t used to writing songs for her voice.

“When we first started writing songs, it was miserable,” Ling said.

Now they’ve got things figured out, and the music is part of their marriage.

Bethesda has only been together for three years, but in that time the band has racked up some big accomplishments.

Ling used to put Azure Ray songs on love CDs for Delaney. Now they can say they opened for one of the same bands that brought them together. Delaney said she has always admired Eisley. Yeah, Bethesda has opened from them, too.

“You see how quickly things did work,” Delaney said.

“You only get one shot at this music thing, and we really feel confident with what we have,” Ling said.

First comes love, but in this case it’s not solely love between two people. It’s love for the group and love for the cause and love for the music being created. It’s love in the songs they write and the stories they tell.

There’s love in the circumstance because they know chances like these don’t always come around.

“Deep down in my heart, I feel like this is what God has for us,” Delaney said. “We’ve all been given this passion for a reas - The Daily Kent Stater


Kent, Ohio’s Bethesda rekindles an ethereal yet upbeat sound that incorporates warm theatrical indie folk elements.

When listening to Bethesda, a calmer side of the 80's British indie/working class sounds of The Band of Holy Joy come to mind with an advant folk element in the vein of acts such as Ash In Pensacola. Setting influences aside, Bethesda carves out their own creative code when it comes to layering folk elements over a strong indie ethic foundation. Bethesda released their latest LP Love In Time of Tra La La in January of 2010. Some tracks that come to mind include the rural folk tones of “Burn These Ships,” while “Puzzles” puts Bethesda’s classic Brit-pop shine on intrigueing display. Bethesda can easily fit on a bill with acts ranging from The Vaselines to Langhorne Slim.

The night continued with the glazed/glassy post-shoegaze guitar sounds of The Pomegranates from Cincinnati, along with Youngstown favs Sewing Machine War and Signature Event. The Event was a production of Wild Kindness, an indie touring and booking company put together by local musicians David Pokrivniak and David Knowlden - Youngstown Rock


We Metro area folks are quite familiar with Bethesda. Well, at least as it pertains to that certain part of the Maryland burbs with the heaps of fancy houses and miles of winding roads and, perhaps best of all, a killer bowling alley. It just so happens that now there’s another Bethesda to make yourself acquainted with, and I promise this one’s even better.

Hailing from Ohio, and born out of “snow laden” frustration, Bethesda the band makes music that is full of gentle lulls and folksy familiarity. One could very easily call them homespun, salt of the earth, and down home, but there’s more to them that that. There’s the sound of sunshiney days captured in summer and remembered during long, cruel mid-winter nights, the glow that warms you as your breath comes fast and white against those stark, starry skies.

Something about Shanna Delaney’s voice is earthily ethereal, as warm and rich as the day is long. And really, I never thought anyone would ever be able to make lines from “Row Row Row Your Boat” sound good, but hot damn, Bethesda proved me wrong. “The Boat Waltz” is entrancing, and more than a little mystical. Of course, I kinda sorta feel that way about the band in general. - Les Enfants Terribles


Kent, Ohio’s Bethesda write pop songs based in a blended combination of folk, mathy rhythms, orchestral flourishes (hand claps, bells, horns, violins, etc), and indie rock. It’s the kind of description you hear at a bar from a friend who just found a new favorite band, but can’t describe them. As the naysayer of friend’s passionate opinions for years let me say I completely understand their pain now. Bethesda really is all of those things, and the equal measures of each element of their songs is important to their sound. The heart of what keeps one thing from taking too much control over is the pop center of the songs. Obviously talented musicians, Bethesda show off by creating songs that are devoid of erroneous fluff while being stuffed with different genre quirks. Imagine a 80’s movie montage of She & Him, The Smiths, The Descemberists, The Anniversary and Good Old War playing kick ball. They’re kind of like that.
http://www.the1stfive.com/news/say-hello-to-bethesda/ - The 1st Five, John-Michael


To compare Bethesda to anyone else would be unfair on both parties but in order to talk about them to those who have yet to hear them we are left with little option. Bethesda have an original take on a well developed indie line up – female and male lead vocals harmonies over guitars bass and drums. Little flecks of influence can be heard; but it is a reference, a doffed cap, a salute rather than a direct copy of any other artist. And the band have a wide range of tastes – Fairground Attraction sprang to mind, Prefab Sprout, REM. And the common denominator in all these bands – the quality of the songs.

Bethesda – Love in a Time of Tra La La is a collection of ten well crafted songs beautifully played and presented. From the catchy Burn These Ships through the driving Puzzles, the reflective The Otherwise Unremarkable Case of… - these three opening songs set the listener up for a journey glimpsing the lives of this talented band. And there are some wonderful surprises in store – such as the use of glockenspiel and trumpet on The Prime Directive. I have yet to see them live – but my suspicion is that they are even better in that setting.
Chris Cozens. 2010.
- Chris Cozens


“There’s a weird sense of Americana shot through Bethesda’s music – eerie in its own way when contrasted with Coffin Rider. Leaving out the banjo and other various trappings one might associate with the genre, the band tosses in some tropes more associated with current sub-terra rock groups, fey and otherwise. Fronted by the able-voiced Shanna Delaney, it’s sometimes easy to forget that there’s a band performing behind her. Understanding each player’s abilities, Bethesda works out a musical fence-sitting act between straight pop and more serious art musics.
- The Independent (Cleveland, Ohio)


Meticulously recorded by Six Parts Seven's Tim Gerak at his Mammoth Cave Studios, this pensive Kent-based band's debut takes its musical cues from Rilo Kiley. That's not a bad thing. With its trickling acoustic guitars and soft horns, "The Boat Waltz" is a quiet number that sounds like a short fairy tale. So do tender tunes like "Apocalypse" and "My Body." The brisk "The Prime Directive" features intricate call-and-response vocals, highlighting the band's true strength: The group has several good singers.

— Jeff Niesel - Cleveland Scene


Bethesda is the latest addition to the Unsigned Band club. This Ohio based six piece band released their debut album, "Love In The Time of Tra La La", this January. I'm excited when I listen to this indie folk/rock band and how they write lyrics for a purpose. They have a desire to get a message across. A lot of bands try to hard to accomplish this while Bethesda are writing intelligent, straightforward lyrics. I'm reminded a little of The Sundays when I listen to these guys. Shanna and Eric are teachers by day, so let's hope now it's summer that we'll see a few concerts from the band. Keep an eye out, especially if you're in the Ohio area.

I'm trying something different with these guys. Instead of doing an interview with them, I asked the band to do a song by song bio of the album. I'm so glad I did. I think it has added a lot to the album. I'm seeing some songs a lot differently now. I added some of the songs onto the post so you can check them out while reading the snippets on the songs.

- Indie Today


When Marco Castro recommends a band to me, I pay attention. The married couple have strayed from their folk roots and find themselves embracing an earnest, down to earth brand of indie pop. -RG - Tuned Up


Eric and Shanna stopped by to tell us about their new project, By Light We Loom. You can hear a little bit of what they sound like, except for all of the new fangled toys they’ve added to the experience. - NEO ROCKS


http://www.podcastchart.com/podcasts/cleveland-scene-podcast-no-sleep-in-the-cle/episodes/009-emily-hornack-brite-winter-founder - Cleveland Scene Magazine


http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/6/0/a/60a6fe1b9a8642bd/BPI_Episode_5-1.mp3?c_id=8299113&expiration=1425057483&hwt=5b38303eac6cd3c8d3980533e4ae0ca5

Radio Show - The Bull Program


This week I had the pleasure of speaking with Shanna Delaney and Eric Ling, the wife-husband duo behind the indie-pop band, By Light We Loom. I actually came across the band a few years ago at Brite Winter festival. For those of you that are unfamiliar, Brite Winter is Cleveland’s very own outdoor music and arts festival held in the cold of winter. As Clevelanders – we often see tumultuous winters – but Brite Winter is one of the great things that help us embrace that cold. And if you drink enough, chances are you won’t even feel the chill. By any means, I came upon By Light We Loom in the main square of Ohio City and was quickly drawn into their electric performance. Opening up the show, the duo started with their lead single “The Ignition,” a soulful, foot-thumping pop track built upon a steady guitar and a sparkling xylophone. The chorus in itself is very anthemic, and is probably the band’s most notable single. In it, Delaney sings “Point it towards the sky, everyone who sees it true is the ignition – to push the mission. Launch us towards the night – everyone is revelation. Oh, revelation!”

When I first heard their set, I was moved by their ability to capture my heart and mind. In many ways, their music glimmers in your ears. Through a dynamic combination of soft rock and pop synthetics, By Light We Loom’s music radiates life, sentiment and imagination. At times it can even make you feel like you’re soaring through the clouds.
Listen to by light we loom's first ep, 'the ignition.'
By Light We Loom’s first release: ‘The Ignition.’

In mid-2015, the band released their first EP, The Ignition. Its release received outstanding recognition and even generated local radio play. The band’s music also landed within the top 100 for college radio. With the motivation to release another record, the band came out with another EP early 2016 titled Caught in the Tide. Caught in the Tide proved to be a major, critical success. WORDKRAPHT got it right when they said “Caught in the Tide is the perfect way to start off the new year on a high note and we can guarantee that you’ll be dancing your way through every note.” And dancing you will. With bigger pop hooks, charismatic guitars and driving rhythms, Caught in the Tide demonstrates an artistic evolution that many bands are unable to capture, and so quickly.

Check out my full interview with By Light We Loom below.
Tell me a little bit about yourselves. How did you meet? When you’re not performing or creating music, how do you spend your time?

Both Shanna and Eric met when they were in college – at a pizza shop, in fact – at Kent State University. Since attaining their undergraduate and graduate degrees, the two work full-time as teachers. “I love teaching,” said Shanna. She works in the Hartville area and teaches a number of courses, including College Composition, British Literature, Women’s Studies and Public Speaking. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Ling works in Cuyahoga County teaching business, economics and entrepreneurship. “I never thought I would be teaching these subjects because I was actually a history major in college,” he said.

As far as the start of their music career, Eric shared a personal story from his honeymoon with Shanna. “We were in a swimming pool in Mexico and it was about a month before Shanna started her first teaching job. She swam over to me and she had tears in eyes and said ‘I have to do something with music.’ “I had always done a ton in music,” said Shanna. “I spent most of my time in musical theatre during high school and college but I didn’t love the lifestyle and all I could wonder now was ‘how is music going to fit into the picture now?” Shortly after their honeymoon, the couple returned and started a six-piece, folk-rock band called Bethesda.
Shanna and eric were part of a six-piece rock band called bethesda.
Both Shanna and Eric were in a six-piece folk-rock band called Bethesda for almost a decade.

Make no mistake, Bethesda was hugely successful. The group made music and played shows for nearly a decade. One year, Bethesda went on a huge summer tour, playing at least forty shows, including Bonnaroo and SXSW (South by Southwest). Overall, the band was playing around a hundred shows a year, and all of them were very energized. “Shanna used to play the tambourine and would dance all over the stage.” I had bruises all over my legs from the tambourine. I was a super hardcore tambourine player” joked Shanna. But in the last year for Bethesda, things started falling apart. “A lot of life stuff started happening. One of our guitarists had to leave and then another guitarist was having a baby. We also had a lot of trouble training replacement guitarists because many of them would flake out.” While trying to overcome an uphill battle, both Shanna and Eric decided it was time for Bethesda to come to an end, and soon they closed a very big chapter of their lives.

The fight to have a music career, however, was not over. After taking a small amount of time off, the two returned to working on a new project with just themselves. In a difficult transition period, the duo began experimenting with a new beast: electronic music. With hours of software to learn and challenges with composition and instrumentation, the two definitely struggled. “We once spent forty-two hours one week just revamping songs. We almost quit like twelve times” joked Eric. With a lot of trial and error, however, both Shanna and Eric pulled through. “Eventually we got a lot more used to it and each song got better. The two also shared with me their appreciation for being a small band. “After coming from a six-piece band, there are little to no compromises when it comes to music. We really get to create and play what we love,” said Eric.
What inspired the name of your band, By Light We Loom?

I was really shocked to learn the band name was actually inspired by the ancient Greek poem, The Odyssey. The storyline of the poem focuses on the King of Ithaca – Odysseus – and his time in Trojan War. After the war ends, it takes Odysseus ten years to return to his wife, Penelope. Believing her husband died in combat, Penelope is forced to find another suitor to take her hand in marriage. To help avoid this situation, Penelope says she’ll pick a new husband when she finishes making a funeral shroud for her now passed father-in-law. To stall time, Penelope weaves and unravels the funeral shroud, taking three years to complete it in hopes that Odysseus will return and heal her broken, devastated heart. “It’s not my favorite poem but I was teaching it in class,” said Shanna, “and then it just came to me.”

“By Light We Loom stems from this idea of looming – or weaving – together these broken pieces of what we were into something more beautiful. In fact, to loom means to be made majestic by the light,” said Shanna. As I talked further with Shanna and Eric, I soon realized how fitting the name was, especially considering Bethesda’s breakup and some of the things that were happening in their personal lives.
Who inspired you musically growing up? Who inspires and influences your music now?
Conor oberst was a major influence for eric growing up.
Eric named Conor Oberst as one of his biggest influences as a teen.

For Eric, it started in his teenage years with Conor Oberst and the band Bright Eyes. “I heard him on the radio and it was nothing I had ever heard before. It was emotional and it was exactly what I needed in my life at that time.” From there, Eric familiarized himself with Elliot Smith, Pedro the Lion and countless others. “The songs of these artists have meaning behind them, depth, honesty and are very lyrically driven. I think this is what motivated me to write songs. I wanted to create something that people could connect with.” For Shanna, she grew up on bluegrass music but quickly got into songs by powerhouse female pop artists in the 1980s. “I take my cue from a lot of those performers, because like them, I have a big voice. In high school and college, musical theatre influenced me too.” As far as current sounds of interest, The Decemberists; Death Cab for Cutie; Arcade Fire; and The Postal Service were some other band names mentioned.
What is your creative process like when you write songs?

First, Eric will start with the melody. “You need a big vocal hook to make these songs edible, especially in the indie-pop world. I’m always recording and singing into my phone wherever I find inspiration. Then I’ll sit down and listen and then try to do something with it. Then I’ll get the guitar out and put some chords to it. Next are the lyrics.” When Eric write songs, it is clear he draws inspiration from his music influences; that idea of being transparent, raw and honest is what drives him creatively. From there, Eric will take the song to Shanna where they will work it together to perfect it. “Shanna is brutally honest,” says Eric, “which is helpful to the writing process.” After recording and some more back and forth, the song usually comes to fruition.
Can you explain the message and inspiration behind The Ignition EP? And can you speak a little bit more about your very first single, “The Ignition?”

“We really try to write what we’re going through in the moment. The Ignition is very much about dreams being crushed and then trying to recover from that and still pursue the thing you love even though the thing you love has demolished you. The Ignition took a lot of different forms. The title track, “The Ignition” refers back to my relationship with my father, which had a lot to do with those hopes and dreams being crushed and the process of recovering from that.” Eric also went on to share about “Mason Jars,” the last song on the EP. “It’s about me being a kid and catching fireflies in jars with my brothers. That time was so magical, but then as you grow up, you realize how mundane life is. You realize how that magic gets ripped away. That then gives rise to question, ‘how do we move forward from here?’” You can watch the official music video for “Mason Jars” below.

What motivated the follow-up EP, Caught in the Tide? In comparison with The Ignition, it is much more upbeat. Was that intentional?
Listen to 'caught in the tide' by light we loom.
By Light We Loom’s second release, ‘Caught in the Tide.’

For Caught in the Tide, the two wanted a lot more instrumentation and dancing involved. “I think you can see how comfortable I was becoming with composing electronic music. I really got into it,” said Eric. “We were going big to explore the outside edges of the medium we were using.” Whereas The Ignition was more serious, Caught in the Tide is playful. But Shanna and Eric also talked about the irony in their music. It might sound happy to your average listener, but the stories are not. For example, “The Scientist” on Caught in the Tide is about a spiritualist who committed suicide in hopes that he could communicate from the other side. “We once had a fan come up to us after a show who was just crying and couldn’t stop,” said Shanna. “There’s something about the music that makes you cry but makes you feel healed.” During the interview Eric tagged on to Shanna’s comment saying, “We’re not sugar-coating anything. Life is tough but we’re all searching for meaning and we’re all hanging out for hope. That’s what we’re trying to convey: hope.”
What song of yours is your favorite?

For Shanna, her favorite song is “Rise,” a brand new track set to be released later this year on the band’s third album. That’s right! By Light We Loom is working on a brand new album set to be released in 2017. “It’s a pretty big step up for us,” said Eric. “I want to do Shanna’s voice justice when I write, and “Rise” does that.” Shanna shared that the track gives her heart jitters. For Eric, “The Scientist” off the Caught in the Tide EP is his favorite. “I love the story behind it and performing that song is fun. There’s so much energy with it and the crowd loves to dance.” Interestingly enough, Shanna added that there’s actually the sound of a ghost in the song, which adds a whole other layer to the mix. PSA: If you can find it in the song, let me know.
If you could open for one particular band or artist, who would it be and why?

For Eric, he wishes for them to open for the band Belle and Sebastian. He’d also love to hang out with them backstage. For Shanna, she wishes they could open for the Decemberists. “They’re my all time favorite band.”
Where is one place you’d love to perform?

“Back to Bonnaroo,” they both said. “The people who go to Bonnaroo are big music fans and very receptive. When we performed there, we would get this big roar from the crowd and people would mouth the lyrics. You wouldn’t think that’d happen, but it was really cool.” Eric joked that while at Bonnaroo, Bethesda ate dinner next to the Beach Boys, and all the Beach Boys hated him. “He was taking selfies with them in the background,” said Shanna, but how could you not? It’s the Beach Boys! “I think the coolest part was when The Shins were playing on the stage next to us,” said Shanna.
Have you had any weird fan encounters?

Eric shared, “There was a guy that took pictures of us, and Photoshopped himself in wearing an alien mask. He would say he was at a show, but we had no idea who the guy was. It was funny at first, but then it started to get super creepy as he shared more photos. Also, some guy asked us to put our fingers in his bullet hole scars.” Just hearing it makes my skin crawl.
Do you ever get nervous when you perform?

The two get nervous at every single show, but it’s more about concern for their performance. “There’s a lot of things that can go wrong with technology,” said Eric. For Shanna, she gets nervous about the response from fans. “People feel like they can say a lot more to us because we’re a smaller now. I’m glad we’re approachable, but some people can really criticize you, give backhanded compliments or think you’re amateurs.” For Eric, he says it has been tough because the duo is more vulnerable now than ever, but they understand it is part of the process and things like this are bound to happen.
Finish this sentence: In 2017, By Light We Loom will…
By light we loom is on track to release new music in 2017.
Look out 2017! By Light We Loom has plans to release new music.

Write, record and release a new album. “We released two EPs to get out music as quickly as possible, but this time we’d like to do a small full-length album with eight songs,” says Shanna. They also have a couple projects on the horizon, including a collaboration with another artist. I’m definitely excited to see what could come of this as well as their new album!
Do you have any hidden talents?

Besides Shanna’s tambourine skills, she can dance really well. She also loves to change their bed sheets and snuggle with their cat (Atlas) and dog (Juno). Eric can juggle and can make a mean grilled cheese. “He’s a fantastic sandwich maker,” says Shanna.
For any of our readers or new listeners, what would be one key thing you’d like them to know about your band? Why should they listen to By Light We Loom?

“I want them to know that everything we do is intentional. Every note that we pick is intentional. It’s steeped in meaning and symbolism because we care deeply about what we do. We work very hard at our craft. People should listen to our music because what we’re singing about and trying to communicate is a message of hope. 2016 was a dark year in many ways. Just in our circle, there have been many people diagnosed with cancer or suicides that have happened. It’s clear to us that people are in need of a lot of hope right now, and I want them to know that there’s something out there for them to connect to and that we can provide them some relief. They should know things will be okay. And if they come to one of our shows, they’re definitely going to dance.”
Closing Thoughts

It’s very clear to me that the stars are the limit for By Light We Loom. After interviewing the band, and hearing a side of them I never anticipated, I’ve gained a deepened appreciation for the music they make. Their story is incredibly unique and moving, and the creative power that they harness into each song is absolutely breathtaking. What they’ve produced isn’t just music, it’s a movement; it’s a drive to deliver and share a meaningful, inspiring message of hope. As you listen, perhaps you may feel the same tears of happiness that many – myself included – have experienced. By any means, that spark of hope transcends their entire discography and I couldn’t agree more with them that this is what our world desperately needs.

As for 2017, I am confident that it will be a huge year for By Light We Loom, especially with the release of new music. They are set to play a private show for Baldwin Wallace University students later this week and then they will return to the Brite Winter stage for a public performance this February. For Shanna and Eric, they are two of the most talented, friendly people I have ever met and it’s very clear that as they continue to stay true to themselves, the best is yet to come.

Check out my Spotify playlist below for By Light We Loom. After you take a listen, please support these wonderful artists by purchasing their music on their website!

By: Logan Foster - Applaud Squad


Most played local band on The Summit #4 - 91.3 The Summit Radio


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

"By Light We Loom is a husband-wife indie-pop duo from Cleveland that writes beautiful, mysterious pop tunes drenched in atmospheric guitars and soaring vocals...(their) mysterious brand of mother-earth-pop is bound to earn itself legions of followers." - Aputumpu

As a husband and wife team, By Light We Loom spent the better part of a decade leading the indie-folk band Bethesda as it toured the Midwest, highlighted by stops at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Bonnaroo, CMJ, Bunbury, and MidPoint Music Fests as well as sharing the stage with talented bands, such as Mates of State, Sharon Van Etten, First Aid Kit, and more.

Following the end of Bethesda, Shanna (vocals & loops) and Eric (guitars & vocals) found that their appetite for making and sharing music was far from satisfied. Armed with the power of loop technology and the excitement of a new challenge, they went to work crafting a wholly new and unique sound that engages the listener and beckons you to sing along.

Even in its short duration (founded in August 2014), BLWL has lined up a notable touring schedule highlighted by stops at festivals, such as MidPoint Music Fest, Brite Winter Fest, and Burning River Fest, and has opened for notable indie acts, including The Mountain Goats, Twin Forks, The Kin, Kopecky, Matt Pond PA, Telekinesis, Say Hi, The Mynabirds, Radiation City, Deep Sea Diver, Telekinesis, Car Seat Headrest, Lucy Dacus, and more.

Excited about the new direction, BLWL immediately entered the studio and came out with their debut single, "The Ignition," followed by the release of their debut EP, "The Ignition," in May 2015, which received outstanding reviews and received local radio play. BLWL's 2nd EP, "Caught in the Tide," released in 2016, has received tremendous reviews and recently received national airplay on college radio stations, charting in the top 100 on the college radio charts.  

Band Members