Frogbelly and Symphony
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Frogbelly and Symphony

Sheffield, England, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | INDIE

Sheffield, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Progressive

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Jun
30
Frogbelly and Symphony @ 60 Club St

Sheffield, England, United Kingdom

Sheffield, England, United Kingdom

May
12
Frogbelly and Symphony @ The Rock Shop

Brooklyn, New York, United States

Brooklyn, New York, United States

May
08
Frogbelly and Symphony @ Rocky Sullivan's

New York, United States

New York, United States

Music

Press


With their sound and attitude at times reminiscent of great '90s UK band Tindersticks (whose music was too dark and decadent to make an impression in the US), and at others veering towards some kind of operatic math cabaret, Brooklyn and Sheffield, UK based band Frogbelly and Symphony just released their debut album "Blue Bright Ow Sleep," which was recorded in NYC by legendary producer Martin Bisi. Fronted by NYU-trained violinist & keyboardist Liz Hanley, the record emerged in its final form through a dense touring schedule mostly concentrated in northern Europe. That's where the band will return in a few weeks, in occasion of their April tour of the UK and Ireland. - The Deli USA


What I love about Frogbelly and Symphony is the unimaginable fusion of genres and instruments – so delightfully smooth, you wonder why you questioned combining them. This is a band that combines catchy pop songs with incredible musicianship, throwing in a twist of angst, poetry and politics. With roots stemming not only from Sheffield but all over Europe and the States, their influences span as far as the eye can see and as far back as the mind can remember, emphasised by the words of singer and composer Tom Hanley: “Nowadays we’re blessed with the possibility to take the inspirational tint from centuries of musical and lyrical repertoires.”

Blue Bright Ow Sleep is the band’s first full-length album and brings together an incredible mix of talent. Track by track, they bring fresh surprises, no song echoing another. Opener ‘Mindbender’ begins with soft dreamy vocals, gradually building up before an incredible punk riff and spoken vocal interjection, and finally a beautiful string melody and climax where all three aspects melt together. It sounds out-there, but it’s absolutely seamless. ‘Ride Off into the Sunset and Disappear’ is full of drama.

‘Before I Die’ has an essence of Lou Reed, while ‘Shingle’ is more of a typical Irish folk song. The penultimate track, ‘Organism’, is inspired by a couple of near-death experiences of the band members themselves, giving more depth to an already moving and powerful ballad. As classically trained musicians, Frogbelly have so much to offer - the beautiful string sections peppered over the album are no exception. Returning to Sheffield on 11 April to play at Plug, I urge you to get your tickets and see what all the fuss is about.

Tasha Franek - Now Then Magazine, UK


Unexpected is the word. Bewildering is perhaps another. No, not random phrases bubbling from my overtaxed mind, but the ones that present themselves amidst a froth of consternation while listening to this effort by Frogbelly & Symphony (a truly awful name of ever was one, which makes me think of Paul McCartney and Rupert the Bear).

Leaping unpredictably and seemingly without rhyme or reason between noodly math-tinged indie to chunky rock riffage and theatrical drama conventionally reserved for stage productions. Americana, country, prog and psychedelia aren’t so much blended and cut up and pasted side by side and on top of one another.

The interchanging singers Tom and Liz Hanley flick from being demure, almost twee, to spitting bile in a most schizophrenic fashion. A few bars of folk are dashed on the rocks and swept to sea in a rising tide of strings. Nifty basslines begin to nag and gnaw but no sooner are you in the groove than the groove’s gone, replaced by something entirely different. Lyrically, they’re equally unpredictable.

None of the album’s 10 songs end where they begin, and obvious choruses are abandoned after a single iteration. The Britpop ballad ‘Before I Die’ is by far the most conventional track on the album, and the piano-led contemplation also features a guitar break that comes on like J Mascis. It’s followed, of course, by a discordant stomp in the form of ‘Patch of Blue’ and there are no two ways about it: it’s impossible to pin these guys down. From the quirky indie tune and wordplaying title (‘Cola in Mongolia’) to the towering miniature epic (‘Leya’s Find’) via deft chamber pop (‘Shingle’), ‘ Blue Bright Ow Sleep’ is built upon endless incongruities.

I’m not in the habit of sitting on the fence, and I appreciate that a music reviewer’s job involves the formation and expression of opinions (objective or otherwise). But I really can’t be certain if this is a work of genius or if there’s simply too much going on to work. - Whisperin and Hollerin, Ireland


Years ago I had a good friend who always told me that he loved music to be off the beaten path.

The stranger the better he always said.

Many of the bands he enjoyed...I couldn't enjoy at all, not because they were too strange, but because they didn't feel like music. Many bands who try to stray away from the well worn methods sound more like a musical abstract than a song.

I find it very hard to get behind that sort of thing. FORESHADOWING.

Today, we're looking at a band, collective, artist hive, colony, something. I don't know what they are besides Frogbelly and Symphony.

Some of them are from Brooklyn, NY and some of them are from Sheffield, UK. Blue Bright Ow Sleep is their debut album.

They also seem a little on the insane side.


I like to envision music as a painting. Heavy chords are oil paints and strings are small little lines. Vocals add color. The solos add passion to the piece.

To consider this record as a painting....well, it would be more of a drawing done by an inmate in a mental institution.

Inside the asylum, a single sheet of paper has been lushly drawn to create vast shapes and hues, but those pictures have naught to do with each other.

Upon seeing the label folk/noise/progressive...I nearly threw the CD aside, but it's a physical copy and I, if nothing else, listen to every physical CD I receive. I'm very thankful I made that rule for myself.

If I were to simply describe the music to the reader, I feel that they would all think me insane or a liar as well.

For all of my protestations of bands mixing genres and playing all of them, no one has ever come as close to making that statement 100% true as Frogbelly and Symphony.

This album ranges from soft feminine vocal pleas, crazy masculine laments, arena rock power chords, fuzzed out blues solos, King Diamondesque wails, symphonic strings, and all of the lucidity of Pepper by the Butthole Surfers.

Lyrically speaking, this album is confusing and I think it would take me about seven years to properly unpack these lines.

If you've said that music is too boring, derivative, or anything along those lines, here you go. This album is 100% unique to my ears.

Release: 3/24/15
Genre: God only knows.
Label: Labelship UK
Facebook Link - Glacially Musical, USA


This is such an unusual and original set. It’s also brilliant. The mix of sounds here is the kind of thing I’ve seldom heard. While I have laid out the basic premise of each piece, you really have to hear this to fully appreciate it. If you like your music adventurous, I highly recommend this.

Minderbinder
This is pretty crazy stuff. It comes in with a trippy kind of sound, but gradually works out to harder rocking stuff. It keeps shifting and changing. I love the section with vocals delivered almost like stream-of-consciousness. The fact that the lyrics mention “Captain Kirk” is a bonus in my book. Some of this is almost metal. Others land in symphonic progressive rock territory. It’s ever changing and adventurous. That’s for sure. It’s also quite cool.


Invite to Eternity
Although this is brighter and definitely not as heavy, it reminds me a bit of Giant Squid. There is kind of a dreamy, psychedelic rock vibe here. We also get some classic progressive rock in the mix. It’s energetic, melodic and quite strong.

Ride off into the Sunset and Disappear
This is strange. There are some female vocals that are operatic. The lyrics earn a parental advisory. The music has a real world music bent to it. The male vocals that are lyrical are nearly spoken. It gets more into rocking, psychedelic territory later and has an almost lounge lizard vibe at times. Some parts make me think of The Doors. Other parts have a real Spanish element. Odd as this is, it is also compelling.

Before I Die
The psychedelic rock styled opening section here really does remind of the Doors. Eventually this works out to something that seems tied to 1980s rock. Overall, this is one of the most mainstream things here. It still has an edge of strangeness, though. Also, this has a real trippy, psychedelic weirdness jam at the end. It’s not one of my favorites, really.

Patch of Blue
Imagine Camper Van Beethoven merging with Giant Squid. You’ll be close to a lot of this song. That said, there’s a real blues rock kind of section that’s quite classy. This cut gets quite heavy and crazed at times. At points it reminds me a bit of King Crimson, too – especially the crazy bit of weirdness late.

Cola in Mongolia
Old time jazz and more blend together on this fun, bouncy number. It’s more mainstream than a lot of the stuff here, but still decidedly left of center.

Leyla's Find
This is more of a straight-line cut, too. In some ways it makes me think of Jefferson Airplane a bit. That said, there is an alternative rock element here, along with some strangeness. It also has a heavier section that again makes me think of Giant Squid.

Shingle
A very creative cut, a lot of the vocals here are spoken. It has a freeform vibe at times. Yet, it’s a real progression. It’s hard edged and a bit odd, but it’s also one of the more compelling and effective pieces. The classical strings add a lot to the tune.

Organism
This starts with a poetry reading over symphonic sounds. It grows out to trippy sounds from there. It has a jazz meets alternative rock vibe in a lot of ways. Yet, it’s psychedelic, too.

Hazyland
Hard rocking and energized, there is a real 80s rock vibe to this in a lot of ways. I’m reminded of The B-52s a bit, but if that sound were merged with a harder edge and some modern prog. This works through a number of changes and is quite dynamic. - Music Street Journal USA


Frogbelly & Symphony has released their debut album, Blue Bright Ow Sleep.

Just looking at the albums artwork you get a surreal image of the band, and some of the song titles are cleverly worded, while the music is both intriguing and fascinating.

This song relates to a character in the book and later term Catch 22, (Milo) Minderbinder. There are many different tempos, styles and colours to this opening song of espionage and conspiracy.

A pleasant request that one day you'll have difficulty in not accepting in this more rocky track, Invite to Eternity.

Getting evermore into psychedelic territory in Ride Off into the Sunset and Disappear, that even has some Middle Eastern musical scales being played amongst some ethereal wailing, while some spacey sounds swirl around.

When you hear what people want to do before the end of life, you get all of these crazy death defying bucket lists, however in Before I Die, you get a very down to earth request of having at least one child, and a wife, and the acceptance of failing and never achieving one's dream. This song will relate the most to people, than those about unrealistic wants and desired bucket lists!

This song Patch of Blue, is the build-up in the album of fusing the rhythmic guitar driven rock, and some of the folk, punky, and experimental leanings of Frogbelly & Symphony.

The music begins in the background and quite distant, which gives the impression of a far fetched place in this funny lyrical song, Cola in Mongolia.

The build-up to Leyla's Find is very tantalising to the senses, and you can't wait for that eclipse of sound, to spark to that climax, which does come very loudly!

Getting folky with the violin and the bass guitar pushing this seafaring track Shingle, all aboard and forward as the song is sung in a very sailor of the seas style.

Beginning with poetry starts Organism, where the music waves like the pleasurably senses this song deals with.

Hazyland is a blast of power rock, punk and what is their trademark sound from Frogbelly & Symphony. This song doesn't have wastelands, but plenty of sun and smoke! - Clown Magazine UK


Ohhh, they’re strange. Strange in a gloriously quirky, curious, hypnotic, mildly disturbing, ethereal and ultimately mind-expanding kind of way.

Coming together just last year, Frogbelly and Symphony is a melding of traditional folk and modern noise influences, filtered through consummate musicians with classical training who like to dabble in experimentation. There’s violinist and keyboardist Liz Hanley, who studied at NYU and frequently performs in traditional folk ensembles. Benn Trott studied jazz and classical guitar in the U.K., and is involved in the traditional folk music scene there. He blends traditional playing with jazz improvisations and rock influences. Ray Rizzo, their drummer, was co-founder of Louisville’s Motherlodge Festival. He’s drummed with artists such as Ben Folds and Bonnie “Prince” Billy. Bassist Tom Hanley, who also handles composition and production for the group, collaborates with engineers and studios in Sheffield, UK and Brooklyn, NY. Philip Schewe, on guitar, keyboards and drums, provides additional tour support.

They played on the East Coast and throughout Europe early in 2013, and released their debut EP, the EYE (Labelship, UK). They just toured the East Coast and Midwest, after performing in Finland and Estonia. Not surprisingly, judging from their eclectic and sometimes wild sound (not to mention their curious name), Frogbelly and Symphony usually put on a theatrical live performance. Their shows are said to often involve the audience in improvised pieces. They also perform shows with all acoustic instruments in intimate environments to pay homage to their folk roots.

There are also literary influences that weave their way into the music. Some author’s works that have left their mark include Rumi’s Ache and Confusion, John Clare’s An Invite, To Eternity and Langston Hughes’ Vari-Colored Songs. Explains Tom Hanley, “Nowadays we’re blessed with the possibility to take the inspirational tint from centuries of musical and lyrical repertoires. You may describe our work as a subjective look on an inexhaustible miracle.”

Last summer, they recorded their forthcoming debut full-length album with esteemed producer Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Swans, Dresden Dolls, Bill Laswell) at his legendary B.C. Studio in Brooklyn. It’s due out on Labelship Records at the end of the year. - Boston Survival Guide USA


If only one word could be used to describe the newest Frogbelly and Symphony release “Blue Bright Ow Sleep,” it would be “trippy.”
The sound of “Blue Bright Ow Sleep” is an interesting fusion of ‘70s psychedelic rock and modern-day indie rock. Listeners may feel as if they've been given hallucinogens after listening to the progressive folk rock album, in a good way.
The opening track, “Minderbender,” leaves an excellent impression on listeners with frontwoman Liz Hanley’s resonant vocals complemented by heavy riffs and a groovy beat. There couldn’t be a more perfect opening for the record.
Listeners are introduced to the male vocalist and bassist Tom Hanley in the second song, “Invite to Eternity,” but his voice doesn’t get to shine until “Ride off into the Sunset and Disappear.” His vocal style is reminiscent of that of Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons, which folk rock fans are sure to adore.
Every song is completely different from the last and yet each flows flawlessly into the next. While the more dissonant noise tracks are less appealing than the experimental folk songs, one can definitely appreciate the effort put into each individual track to make the album flow smoothly.
“Patch of Blue” is an excellent example of the fluent transitions heard on this album. Before becoming familiar with the track list, listeners will likely find themselves checking the screen of their music players just to know if the song has actually changed from the previous track, “Before I Die.”
“Cola in Mongolia” is one of the dissonant tracks that should be skipped, but the next song, “Leyla’s Find,” is a fantastic redeemer following it. The lyrics and the beat are nice, but what makes this song so fabulously catchy is the prominence of Tom Hanley’s bass skills. The riff is simple, but it also grabs listeners’ attention and hooks them.
“Shingle” is another track that adds to the “trippy” aspect of the album. The song addresses the impermanence of everything in the world and concludes, “In the end all you see is the spire of the church.” This thought-provoking song is highlighted by the fast-paced violin solos complemented by the moderately slow guitar chords.
“Organism” is perhaps the record’s only flaw. Liz Hanley’s introductory narrative piques your interest and draws you into a trance, only to shatter it when she starts singing. Her vocals are excellent on the rest of the album, but the notes for this song were just not made for her range and tone. Flat keys are not your cup of tea, Hanley. This track can expect to be skipped often.
“Hazyland” ends the album on an upbeat note with a fast-paced beat and interesting harmonies between the two vocalists. After such an epic introduction, though, the simple conclusion is a little disappointing.
The album as a whole, however, is still a great listen for anyone looking for the next folk-rock fix. The psychological journey taken on this captivating album is sure to win the hearts of psychedelic lovers everywhere. - New Mexico Daily Lobo, USA


Frogbelly and Symphony est un groupe se déclarant urbain, réunissant de par l'origine de ses membres la "vieille Europe" (Sheffield) et la jungle citadine de Brooklyn. Ses influences se situent du côté de la scène post-punk avec une touche noisy, le tout étant néanmoins porté par des racines folks (voir leur site internet pour plus de détails !). De cet improbable mélange est né un premier EP paru en 2013, avant que le groupe ne publie en 2015 son premier album intitulé "Blue Bright Ow Sleep".

Et dès l'ouverture, 'Minderbinder' nous confirme les ambitions de Frogbelly and Symphony : une frénésie post-punk emmenée par la voix caractéristique de Liz Hanley nous entraîne dans une sarabande rythmée durant deux minutes à laquelle se mêle le violon joué par la belle. Un intermède plus calme laisse ensuite la cavalcade reprendre de plus belle. Cette recette sera reprise sur 'Hazylan, plage clôturant la galette, avec cette fois un pur solo de guitare néo-progressive en guise de cerise sur le gâteau.

Mais l'esthétique prônée par le groupe ne se limite pas à ces seules influences. La couleur des ambiances présentes sur les autres titres invite au psychédélisme ('Ride Off into the Sunset and Disappear'), mais aussi à des expérimentations cacophoniques dans un pur esprit grunge/noise (le pachydermique 'Patch of Blue'), ou encore à un exercice de style noisy sur la base d'un gimmick râpeux de guitare ('Leyla's Find'). Le côté folk est également présent par le biais de 'Shingle', qui évoque les Pogues (avec un chanteur à jeun !), mais aussi de la superbe ballade 'Before I Die' qui, à l'image d'un Red Jasper, envoûte par la voix chaude et profonde de son interprète.
Et comme ce groupe semble ne fixer aucune limite à son inspiration, 'Organism' nous emmène sur les traces de Björk : voix féminine mutine, accompagnement symphonique électrifié par un groupe montant en puissance au fil des mesures, le résultat est bluffant, venant confirmer un éclectisme revendiqué et assumé.

Déroutant au premier abord, "Blue Bright Ow Sleep" s'impose comme une véritable réussite, combinant avec succès un grand nombre de styles musicaux dont l'assemblage pourrait a priori sembler quelque peu foutraque. Les écoutes successives de ce premier album permettront de se rendre compte de l'existence d'une vraie cohérence à l'ensemble dont la variété lui octroie une véritable pérennité.



Plus d'informations sur https://www.facebook.com/frogbellyandsymphony - Music Waves, France


Divisi tra due continenti i Frogbelly and Symphony si uniscono in un unico e particolare nucleo musicale caratterizzato da avant-garde folk e psichedelia vintage...

Anche se divisi materialmente e fisicamente dall’oceano Atlantico, la cosa non ha impedito ai Frogbelly and Symphony di produrre musica come fossero una normalissima band. Situati tra Brooklyn e Sheffield, i membri del gruppo hanno dato vita ad un singolare sodalizio musicale che, in modo piuttosto personale, vorrebbe rileggere psichedelia, punk rock e tradizione folk. I Frogbelly and Symphony lavorano al fine di rendere la propria musica inclassificabile e, in un certo senso, ci riescono, tra nenie e filastrocche freak (Patch of Blue) e ballate dal sapore antico (Shingle). Notevole l’introduzione di Minderbinder e la chiusura d’effetto con Hazyland, che da sole basterebbero per entrare in simbiosi con un universo partorito dal pronk dei Cardiacs e allevato dalla psichedelia statunitense. Questo per spiegare a cosa può assomigliare la musica del gruppo, che rispetta la regola di pescare influenze da entrambe le culture musicali anglofone. Le voci di Liz e Tom Hanley sono a volte sgraziate e a volte in accordo, per aggiungere più pathos e teatralità alle composizioni che pongono l’accento su una certa propensione per il cantautorato intellettuale tra Syd Barret e Lou Reed (Ride off into the Sunset and Disappear, Before I Die) bagnato nell’acido lisergico dei Jefferson Airplane (Invite to Eternity, Leyla’s Find). In dei momenti questa voglia di singolarità sfugge un po’ di mano alla band, come su Cola in Mongolia, diventando quasi troppo scanzonata per il solo gusto di esserlo. Su Blue Bright Ow Sleep ci sono comunque molti spunti interessanti, anche se non sempre i suoi aspetti obliqui e trasversali sono coerenti con la direzione di un album che con qualche accorgimento in più avrebbe potuto brillare con maggior intensità.

Lorenzo Barbagli - Open Spinning, Italy


Frogbelly & Symphony nennt sich ein in Brooklyn (USA) und Sheffield (UK) beheimatetes Quartett. Mit einem Wort beschrieben, passt das Adjektiv “interessant” ziemlich gut auf das Debütalbum “Blue Bright Ow Sleep” der Truppe – allerdings nicht im negativen Sinne.

Schon der erste der 10 Songs, “Minderbinder”, ist eine sehr gewagte Mischung: Angefangen mit sphärisch angehauchtem Gesang folgt dann fast so etwas wie eine Metal-Gitarre, wiederum direkt gefolgt von frechem Gesang mit Indie-Attitüde, die dann durch irische Folk Töne abgelöst werden. Im Anschluss folgt eine Art Sprechgesang bevor zum Schluss noch mehrstimmiger – nicht ganz harmonischer, aber sicherlich so gewollter – Gesang folgt. Und das war nur der erste Song. Ähnlich geht es aber weiter – ein stetiger Wechsel irgendwo zwischen Folk, Indie und Pop-Tönen.

Ziemlich verrückte und irgendwie aufregende Scheibe. Aber alles andere als alltäglich und deshalb irgendwie cool. Vor allem die Gatefold Vinyl LP sollte Mann und Frau sich mal ansehen und hören. - True Trash, Germany


Der Kleine Muck war eine meiner Lieblingsgeschichten. Auf MusiCassette. Nicht wegen der Geschichte sondern wegen der Stimme des Erzählers. Da konnte man drin versinken und jeder Satz ergab eine eigene Vision.
Hans Paetsch heißt der Mann mit der tollen Stimme.

Worauf ich hinauswill:

FROGBELLY & SYMPHONY

erzählen in jedem einzelnen Song eine eigene Geschichte. Kein belanglos dahinplätscherndes Aneinanderreihen von mehr oder minder einfallsloses Liedern, hier werden noch richtige Songs zu bilderreich ausgeschmückten musikalischen Abenteuern, denen man sich nur schwer entziehen kann.

Die Gedanken stoppen ihre Wanderung, man fühlt sich genötigt und bedrängt seine Aufmerksamkeit auf die schlingernden Klänge, deren Ursprung man nicht genau verorten kann, zu lenken, auf dieses Kaleidoskop voller Sounds, wehmütiger Streichinstrumente und wandernden Gitarrensoli. Chaotisierende Wechselbäder, die einem Schauer wohliger Wärme und heranschleichender Gänsehaut zaubern.

Ein intensives Hörerlebnis, mal sanft ziehend, dann wieder fest zupackend.
Zwischen Rockoper und, so schließt sich der Kreis, Märchenonkel mit Einschmeichelfaktor.

Die Songs des neuen Albums der Band, deren Mitglieder aus Brooklyn, New York und Sheffield stammen, entstanden während ausgedehnter Touraktivitäten zwischen 2012 und 2014 in Europa, England und Amerika.

Produziert hat
Blue Bright Ow Sleep
Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Swans, Dresden Dolls), der immer genügend Freiräume für Ausflüge in experimentelle Gefilde gelassen hat, die Stücke aber zu einem breitflächigen und überaus intensiven Gesamtergebnis zusammengefügt hat.

Shingle.
Schwebend zwischen folklore und Seefahrerromantik, mit Fernweh angereichert, mit Inchtobokatables-eskem Tomatenfischambiente und gehißtem And Also The Trees-Segel geht die Fahrt voran, schlingernd zwar, stets aber geradeaus und bewegend wie die verspielten Rhythmen und instrumentalen Ausbrüche.

Kabarettgleich in Organism, erzählend, entführend.

Hazyland rockt die Party und rollt alles noch einmal neu auf, quer und crazy, ein wenig durchgeknallt aber durchwegs sympathisch.

Die auch als Video veröffentlichte Auskopplung Before I Die hat das Zeug zum All-Time-Liebling, so ergreifend die tiefgehende Melodie versehen mit traurig-schaurig schönen Lyrics.

Nicht unbedingt für jede Minute und alle Stimmungen geeignet, wenn man sich aber auf

FROGBELLY & SYMPHONY

einlässt wird das Hören zum Erlebnis und ist absolut großartig.

Ein Album für Alle, die das Träumen nicht vergessen haben. - Guthoerenistwichtig, Austria


Photos

Bio

Frogbelly and Symphony is an international band, splitting its time between Sheffield, UK, and Brooklyn, NY. Members Liz and Tom Hanley, Ben Trott, and Ray Rizzo come from a wide variety of musical backgrounds, bringing in a world of influences to their expressively executed experimental tunes. The influence of traditional folk music and poetry is evident, but the prog and post-punk vibes can't be ignored either.

 Their first full length album 'Blue Bright Ow Sleep' (Labelship UK 2015) received numerous reviews from independent music press outlets and blogs. Over 50 CMJ-reporting radio stations have added the album to their playlists. The opening track ‘Minderbinder’ debuted on BBC 6music's Tom Robinson Show on April 25th, 2015. 

In April 2016 the band releases new video / single PATCH OF BLUE accompanied by a US tour.

With an experimental approach to production values, the band has been collaborating with Brooklyn producer Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Swans, Dresden Dolls, Bill Laswell, Afrika Bambaata etc.....).  Progressing from a post-punk, noise and cabaret noir direction on their first EP, "The EYE" (Labelship 2013), Frogbelly and Symphony subsequently evolved the cross-genre concept of "Blue Bright Ow Sleep". Liz and Tom Hanley, Ben Trott and Ray Rizzo appropriate, adapt and recreate music using aspects of their individual backgrounds and repertoires. The heritage of Rock and Roll, the folk traditions of Ireland, Britain and America as well as literature and poetry have all left their imprint.

Liz Hanley, raised in an Irish family in Boston Massachusetts learned her traditional Irish and American folk repertoire from her father and grandfather. She studied classical violin at NYU and has been a Brooklyn resident for over 10 years. She's an active contributor to the traditional music scene in NYC and has worked and toured with Brooklyn rock band Emanuel & The Fear and Irish musician/folklorist Mick Moloney. Besides her main instrument the violin, she is also the lead vocalist and keyboardist in Frogbelly and Symphony.

Tom Hanley, singer, composer and bassist of the group grew up in Hamburg, Germany with his Polish immigrant father and then moved to the UK. Asserting himself into escaping prejudiced and conflicted circumstances, he first started playing bass in punk bands, then branched out in into experimental music, composing, producing and visual art. Liz and Tom got married in 2013 and they are now pendular between Sheffield UK and Brooklyn NY.

Guitarist Ben Trott sprang from a family deeply rooted in the English folk tradition. He studied classical and jazz guitar in Doncaster, UK and has been a member of several UK-based folk ensembles. Besides Frogbelly and Symphony, Ben has lately been touring with Irish-English folk musician Tim Edey and The Albion Band.

Ray Rizzo grew up in Louisville, KY, played in the bands King Kong, M (David Pajo), Days Of The New, and Dawn Landes and The Hounds. He lives in Brooklyn where he composes and produces music and live shows and plays drums. He has recorded or played with Bob Weir, Glen Hansard, Sam Amidon, Yo Yo Ma, Julia Stone and Trixie Whitley. He is also plays in the bands Mesiko and Corporal (with Michael Shannon). In 2009 he founded the Motherlodge Live Arts Exchange. 

Band Members