Five Foot Nine
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Five Foot Nine

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
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"Rock 'n' Reel"

Five Foot Nine, a six-piece from Chicago, showcase the songs of frontman Michael Hushel superbly well. Their debut self-titled album, a seamless amalgam of power-pop, pop-folk, and occasional nods to the '80's new wave, comes on like a fusionof early period R.E.M., 10,000 Maniacs (courtesy of the angelic voice of Laura Coleman) and the sparkly pop-rock of an Elvis Costello or Joe Jackson. Add to this the ability to produce the sublime country of pedal-steel-graced "Lana Marie" and the tougher upbeat country-rock of brass-adorned "Sugar," and you've an album of real quality. - U.K. Music magazine


"The Onion"


Chicago band Five Foot Nine shares influences with a few other groups that have a lot of members, notably The New Pornographers and Belle and Sebastian. Take a listen to their new self-titled album–the associations are particularly strong in the interplay between vocalists Michael Hushel and Laura Coleman, who complement the group’s bright indie pop. Fans of Chicago indie rock, take note: drummer Jason Batchko played in Caviar.
- AV Club


"It's Not The Band I Hate, It's Their Fans"

Chicago-based Five Foot Nine is a band that throws a wrench in the huge guy-girl indie pop machine. There has been a massive influx of that style over the last few years and I’m an avid sucker for it almost every time. But Five Foot Nine really stands out from the rest. Lead vocalist Michael Hushel sounds like Cat Stevens on an all-night caffeine fix, which makes for some very cool harmonies with female counterpart Laura Coleman’s vocal contributions. The opening track of their self titled CD is entitled "Back to the Tunnels," and it’s an appealing pop number whse hooky refrain encourages us to “turn on the tunnel vision” in a way that would make Roger McGuinn proud. "O La Moana" has some beautiful harmonies that are set off nicely by some subtle horn playing towards the end of the song. “Where am I?” delves into slightly funkier territory, even reminding me a bit of Jane’s Addiction Another twist comes in the form of "Lana Marie," where the band successfully dives head first into the alt-country end of the pool, complete with steel guitar and cello. Add to that the new-wavey "Jardin du Luxembourg," and you have a band that really does have something to offers to fans of all types of music. - Canadian Music Site


"LostAtSea.net"

Excellent male/female vocal harmonies, moving percussive treatment, and a deep instrumentation lineup - trumpet, trombone, tambourine, synth, cello, sitar, and the conventional rock guitar/bass/drum formation.

It is a collection of songs that anyone - indie rocker to country folk - could find common ties to. High points for new listeners could be found in "Where Am I?" and "I Was In Pictures,"
- National music site


"TheFireNote.com"

The debut album from Chicago’s Five Foot Nine contains revolving guy/girl vocals, infectious tracks and experienced musicianship from some of the windy cities finest.
Each track has a style and spirit of its own that is driven by the superb chemistry of lead singer Michael Hushel and the vocals of Laura Coleman.
… giving the album a uniqueness that is hard to find anywhere else and absolutely worth checking out.
- National Music site


"CanYouSeeTheSunset.com"

Five Foot Nine is a six-piece group with a new self-titled album that is full of charming pop songs that reference everything from the jangly guitars of the Blake Babies to the cool jazz sounds of The Sea and Cake. From the guy/girl harmonies reminiscent of 10,000 Maniacs to the vocal styling and world beat of Peter Gabriel there is something for just about everyone here.
- Chicago music blog


"Noise For Toaster"

A nice, heavy dose of folky-power-pop-rock, brought to you by a lovely debut artist five foot nine. Five Foot Nine works so well because they work so well with each other, showing off a kind of family-ish aspect which comes clear in every track. always willing to try something new -- be it sitar, cowbell, heavy steel, trumpets, synths -- their debut has a little something for everyone. - Nat'l music site


"WithoutSound.com"

5'9" is said to be the average height of adult human males. But I gotta tell ya, Chicago’s Five Foot Nine is hardly average.

On paper they sound kinda like that band you had in college - guy/girl vocals… handclaps… cellos (?!?) - but on their self-titled debut CD they are anything but. This group of veteran musicians combines elements of Wishing Like a Mountain and Thinking Like the Sea-era Poi Dog Pondering with Lulu-like Trip Shakespeare and dashes of Natalie Merchant and Neko Case thrown in to create enjoyable folk-driven pop.
- Music Blog


"Pennyblackmusic.co.uk"

Five Foot Nine are from Chicago; their debut album is full of indie pop songs with a folk tinge. They use a variety of instruments including the sitar to good effect. The dual vocalists work well together with harmonies that showcase one another well.

Five Foot Nine have a variety of styles to draw upon from the poppy REM tinge of 'Back to the Tunnels' to the alt. country sound of 'Sugar' and the funky Europop of 'Jardin du Luxembourg.' I think they have a timeless and universal appeal with which they can't go far wrong, and they aren't trying to sound like the latest in thing.
- U.K. music site


Discography

Five Foot Nine LP

Photos

Bio

Five Foot Nine isn't just the sock-clad height of front man Michael Hushel. It's the deft stickwork of former Caviar (Island records) drummer Jason Batchko. Swaggering bassmanship from Tom (Joy Poppers/The Girls) Szidon. And serious vocals from chanteuse Laura Coleman.
Awash with guy/girl vocals, handclaps, horns, sitar, cellos and steel guitar (Ken Champion of Smog/Jim O'Rourke fame) the buoyant compositions have received radio airplay at over 130 college and AAA stations around the country, and drawn praise from such sources as LostAtSea.net, TheFireNote.com, CanYouSeeTheSunset.com,The Onion, Time Out Chicago as well as the UK'S Pennyblackmusic and Rock 'n Reel Magazine.
Just recently, CMJ New Music Report, the bible of the Indie charts, ran a cool feature on our tune Jardin du Luxembourg! It calls us a band to watch...
In another recent development, the band's alt-country ballad Lana Marie took first place on the CMJ/Paste Magazine site Ourstage.com in the acoustic category, and Michael did a webcam interview, viewable at http://ejblog.ourstage.com/2007/06/08/webcam-spotlight-five-foot-nine/
The full-length debut was produced and abetted by current BonMot and former Webb Brother Neal Ostrovsky at B-Side Audio in Chicago.
Recent shows include Schubas & Martyr's in Chicago, and headlining slots at The Hideout and Abbey Pub (with Dolly Varden.)

Band Members