Castle Lights
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Castle Lights

Houston, Texas, United States

Houston, Texas, United States
Band Rock Pop

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"To Fight or Not to Fight"

"You know those songs, don’t you?

You do.

The ones that you leave on repeat and let flow over you. The ones that match perfectly to your staring out your window on a grey, overcast and wet day. The ones that are so very simple, yet cut through the very soul of you like a knife." - Get Your Melancholy On


"Keep Waiting || Castle Lights"

It takes a serious gift to make such longing sound so serene. Peace in the midst of angst isn’t something many can tap into. These fellas make it sound effortless. Bravo. - Music is my First Language


"Kings of A&R Picks"

Check out the track Saint Era by indie alternative act Castle Lights.
The band has upcoming performances in Texas including an October 17th date at Scout Bar in Houston.
Contact: kent@magnoliared.com - Kings of A&R


"Castle Lights (formerly LightParade)"

This is one of those moments that, as a music journalist, I’ve been personally waiting on for a long time.

I’ve known the guys in Castle Lights (formerly LightParade) on a personal level for a while now, and have been a fan of various incarnations of bands that they’ve been in (Leeland and The Blinding, among others). So, when I found out that Aaron Eaves and Jeremiah Wood (a founding member of Leeland) were working together on this project, I knew that it would be something that would blow up in a big way for them.

And, in this line of thought, I’m not alone:

Everyone needs to follow Castle Lights. They’re going to be huge! – Stephen Christian, Anberlin
Vocalist Tyler Susaras enlivens you with images of space and the fantastic, deftly drawing parallels to the realm of everyday experience. Soaring choruses collide with multifaceted harmonies in songs that are both driving and iridescent, with melodies that are memorable in their pop spirit. As guitarists, Wood and Susuras each bring a distinctive energy to their songs, playing off of one another in a way that, when coupled with the hard-hitting percussion by Grady Saxman and Aaron Eaves’s heavy basslines, pushes each song into new terrain of velocity and tone. Personally, I’ve found there to be a very European glimmer to the tracks I’ve heard. You can tell they are fans of stadium bands like Coldplay, Muse, and U2, but have kept the sound from being overly pretentious.

Recently, the guys have gotten the opportunity to co-write with some major players in the industry. Knowing (and hearing) the pedigree of songwriting and arrangement this band has, along with help from guys like Joshua Moore (Caedmon’s Call/Derek Webb), and Stephen Christian (Anberlin), it’s going to be one of those albums that gets talked about before it ever gets on the store shelves.

In the near future, you can catch Castle Lights at the legendary South By Southwest music week, in a showcase hosted by Connect The Dots (www.ctheds.com) on March 18th, and then they’ll be taking the stage with a recent favorite of mine, Barcelona, in Denton, TX at Andy’s on March 20th.

To finish, I’ll leave you with two singles that, until today, have been previously unreleased. You heard it here first, folks.



- New Indie Bands -


"Castle Lights (formerly LightParade) Video Shoot at Serial Box"

Today, I had the opportunity to spend some time on the set of Castle Lights first performance video, shot by up-and-coming indie production company, SerialBox.

First off, if you’ve heard the first two singles from Castle Lights, you know that they’re a driving, very Brit-rock influenced band. The setup today was a very different, acoustic-based performance. The band pulled out two new songs for the set, and finished off with one of the first singles, Paint The Stars. The version played today is a completely different animal from what has been released, but is in no way any less interesting as a song. The guys almost effortlessly translated their original ideas to fit into the folkier mold.

The location for the shoot was the bottom floor of an old warehouse-turned-lofts building in the downtown area of Houston. Lots of exposed brick, structural steel, and wood really set the tone and mood for the stripped-down performance. Ryan Booth and his team at SerialBox have essentially transformed a empty room into a soundstage ready for shooting music videos. If you’re a band in Houston, look them up for your next video. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

I hope that we’ll see this video out pretty soon. The setting of the band playing a few tunes for a few friends is one that always makes for good footage, and something that people can easily watch and feel like they were really there. It’s another way for indie bands to reach out and engage an audience that they not have reached out to yet. - New Indie Bands


"Castle Lights - Red Tree Studio"

?Having been a recording artist, Rocks Off can tell you that we would rather peel potatoes than go into a recording studio. What you see as the acme of artistic self-expression is often painstakingly and painfully taken apart bit by bit, criticized, critiqued and sometimes cut altogether. Hopefully, the end result is a masterpiece in musical form, but sometimes it's not. Regardless, the recording process is a gauntlet. But our opinion has changed and softened a great deal since we went to visit Jeffery Armstreet at Red Tree in The Woodlands. We were in no good mood by the time we arrived, having driven through the heat with a lackluster air-conditioning system, broken CD player and Mapquest instructions that made us wish we'd hired a Sherpa rather than trusted the Internet. As almost all Houston studios seem to be, Red Tree is nestled in a nondescript little building, and we made our way inside to a set-up that had all the quiet resonance and order of a small church. The walls were soft earth colors, and the low lighting was punctuated by the warm glow of power indicators. Rocks Off had actually been to the studio several years ago, after Armstreet was touched by our review of his band Evangeline's album We're Alright Down Here and invited us down. The studio's other two owners are Harold Rubens and Kyle Hutton. Rubens is one of the finest sound engineers in the country, and is currently out on tour with Robby Seay Band. Hutton is the founder of Real Life Real Music, one of the coolest things going on in Texas music at the moment.

Since we met, Armstreet has sent a steady stream of stellar albums to us. Two artists who recorded at Red Tree in 2009, James Caronna and Tim Qualls, are nominated for nine Houston Press Music Awards between them. Making our way through the halls, we finally found Armstreet in the main control booth surrounded by members of Castle Lights. Formerly Light Parade, Castle Lights was one of the few Houston bands sensible enough to change their name to avoid cease-and-desist letters prior to a release. The atmosphere was charged with a kind of easygoing confidence as Jeremiah Wood (right) laid down a stellar guitar line while the others looked on approvingly. No one seemed to mind our presence, and we sat cross-legged on the floor remembering how wonderful it was to be part of the creative process - at least when it was going well. The music was a fantastic departure from the excellent, but slightly repetitious, singer-songwriter albums that seem to be Red Tree's specialty. This was much more along the lines of Arcade Fire, or maybe Muse. It was also very, very good.

"What did you think?" asked Armstreet.

"Who's the singer?" we asked. Armstreet pointed over to Tyler Susuras, who was sitting barefoot on the couch behind us.

"I'm thinking seriously of killing you and eating you in order to possess your voice," we told Susuras seriously. He looked disturbed, but pleased. The band took a break, and Armstreet asked if we'd take a ride with him. He had something he wanted to show us.

Less than a mile away from Red Tree lies the home base of Armstreet's label, Magnolia Red. Rather than the cozy, bungalow nature of Red Tree, Magnolia Red's office looks like a major indie-label headquarters right out of a movie. The ceilings are light and airy, while bright colors, glass, and chrome garnish the space.
Rocks Off was greeted enthusiastically by one of Armstreet's business partners, Katie Rentfro. (Kent Coley, the husband of one of our favorite acts Shellee Coley, is also part owner of the enterprise.) Armstreet led us upstairs to a rehearsal space. It was, we realized, the only rehearsal space we had ever seen with natural lighting from a large window, and the effect was absolutely hypnotic.

Magnolia Red is, in our opinion, something so rare and wonderful it might as well be a unicorn. It's a label, of sorts, but also a production, management and publishing company. When last Rocks Off and Armstreet talked, his focus had appeared to be on simply running a studio. Now, it was a lot more.Sprawled in comfy armchairs, we asked Armstreet what this new set-up was all about. "We avoid the L word because we don't want to scare off any potential labels who may want to partner with our artists," he said, "but I guess technically we are kind of a label, because we often partner on the master side, Also like in the movies, Armstreet is actually developing artists. His artist roster currently includes Castle Lights, Mason Lankford & the Folk Family Revival, Shellee Coley. He gets a band with a good sound, deconstructs the songwriting, builds it back up, has them play all over town, shops their music around for licensing - the works. In short, here is a local entrepreneur with a coterie of like-minded and talented partners who is doing things the way they haven't really been done since... well, since we've been in the music scene at any rate.

The rehearsal space alone is a testament - Houston Press


Discography

Paint the Stars :: 11/12/2010
Paint the Stars Remix :: 5/2/2011
Saint Era Remix :: 5/2/2011
Not Alone Single :: 7/1/2012
Keep Waiting Single :: 11/1/2012

Photos

Bio

Bridging the gap between expansive, layered Brit-pop and the precision of modern radio pop are Houston, Texas’ new indie stalwarts, Castle Lights. Jeremiah Wood began Castle Lights as a solo endeavor at the end of 2007, after leaving his previous band Leeland. His plans changed after a chance meeting with Tyler Susuras during a studio session. Wood quickly recognized Susuras’ talent, and the two began honing their sound. Aaron Eaves, a veteran bassist from Texas, joined to add a calming, low-end force to the band. With the full line-up solidified, Castle Lights is quickly gaining recognition for their carefully crafted pop songs with a European flair. Lyrically, Castle Lights enlivens the listener with images of space and the fantastic, deftly drawing parallels to the realm of everyday experience. Wood and Susuras each bring a distinctive energy to their songs, playing off of one another in a way that, when coupled with the hard-hitting percussion and bass, pushes each song into a new terrain of velocity and tone. Soaring choruses collide with multifaceted harmonies in songs that are both driving and iridescent, with melodies that are memorable in their pop spirit. Castle Lights first EP entitled “Paint the Stars” was released in November, 2010. The guys have entered the studio and are in the process of recording new material.

Quotes about Castle Lights:

“Talent, songs, and the ability to communicate them, are the foundation for great bands. These guys have all of those things.”
-Nathan Barlowe (Lead vocals in The Honeymoon Thrillers & Luna Halo)

“Castle Lights – They are unique yet familiar sounding. When I first heard them, I fell in love with their sound and the epicness of the songs. Great songs, 2 great voices that are like ying and yang. I never get tired of hearing them.”
-Micah Wilshire (Mix engineer for Ross Copperman, Toby Lightman & Local H)

“Everyone needs to follow them. They’re going to be huge!”
-Stephen Christian (Lead vocals in Anberlin)