Golden Ball
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Golden Ball


Band Rock Avant-garde


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Portland (ME) Phoenix"

Philadelphia's Golden Ball take Here Come the Warm Jets and Taking Tiger Mountain as their Eno reference points, producing a modern lo-fi psychedelia that's two parts Eno ("Bread & Puppet" and "Siren") and one part Max Tundra ("The Luxury of Pause"). These and other songs off their CD The Luxury of Pause show that underneath the spacey keyboards, fuzz guitars, and Bowie-esque vocals, thery're great pop songwriters as well.
- Portland (ME) Phoenix

"Philadelphia Weekly"

"By the time you get through the six-minute opening song of Golden Ball's debut The Luxury of Pause, you've already heard more range than most bands display in a career. Coming off like early Elf Power commandeered by Brians Eno and Wilson, the ambitious Philly troupe spins swirling technicolor fantasias ideal for late-night bong-fueled headphone listening. Foaming guitar distortion mingles with persistent keys, offhanded harmonies, sleepy tambourine, interplanetary samples and effects, inventive percussion and oh-so-airy vocals. You'll hear something new every time, and every time the whole quirky grab-bag will hold together better until, against all odds, it actually starts making sense."
- Doug Wallen

"Philadelphia City Paper"

"The Fishtown sextet conjures up a homespun blend of Krautrock, psychedelic folk and Eno-esque glam that would make for a cerebral ceremonial march." - A.D. Amorosi


"I thought to myself, they better freakin’ live up to that rad album title. Well they did with their artsy folk rock album that skirts avant garde’s borders to tightrope the line between art rock and indie pop. Just to imagine that there could be six people united to forge and craft songs such as these in one neighborhood in Philadelphia. . ." - J-Sin


Few bands play together like a family. And when I say family, I'm not only talking about instrumental dexterity but also a peculiar harmonic and melodious unison. Some names that come to mind are Sly and the Family Stone, It's a Beautiful Day, The Incredible String Band, Rotary Connection, Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band and more recently the Arcade Fire and Philadelphia's The Golden Ball.

The Antique Barking Swirls of Dawn (Honeymoon Music) has done to freak folk what Bob Dylan's Bringing it All Back Home did to folk. The Golden Ball give folk a gentle but swift kick in the ass. With an electrified array of sonic innards they intertwine with pastoral monographs similar to Belle & Sebastian or a rickety fuzz evocative of early Jefferson Airplane. Singer David Chadwick leads the call and response harmonies like a kooky court jester from an undiscovered Lewis Carroll novel.

An oddball melody and gypsy space pop add vigor to "Signature Abstract," also enlivened by a twinkling campfire chorus and enough of timeless cowbell to make Christopher Walken proud. "Stowaway Discovery" is a gusty whirl of saccharine reverb while the lysergic carousel dub of "Mermaid in Marmalade" sees Chadwick's voice carried from a state of enlightenment to an old town crier's bellow.

The Antique Barking Swirls of Dawn is a delightful treat for those looking to expand their mind in a Zen state that is peppy and refreshing. - Chris Pacifico


Oh hell, it was bound to happen sooner or later. If you keep writing about CDs long enough, you eventually come across one or two that you simply can't write a normal review of. Such is the case for me with this mind-boggling sophomore platter by Philadelphia's Golden Ball. This thing is dizzyingly original, organically freakadelic, and woven with the finest aesthetic fibers. It sounds like nothing you've ever heard before—and a bunch of other things you might've heard before.

Here's some random things to know about the disc, in lieu of that "normal" review that I just can't come up with right now:

1. David and Gillian Chadwick spearheaded this band a few years ago. They both sing, play guitar, and cast spells (the phrase "substantial witchfactor" appears on the press release listing Gillian's contributions).

2. Bass/synth player/percussionist Norman Fetter is a former krautrock DJ.

3. Two of the instruments credited on the truly stunning song "Stowaway Discovery" are "rummelpots" and a "can of change." Meaning you're hearing little sounds you've never heard before.

4. The well-named "Signature Abstract" contains the representative lyrics, "Dance for what on earth we came for/ Bursting free/ Scented curiosity/ Blooming ripe in the light." That'll do for a symbolic summary.

5. "Goosebump Safari" is one of the best song titles I've ever heard, even though I experienced more actual goosebumps in the spellbinding final tune "Everlasting Abandon."

6. Any number of lyrical phrases pondered while you read the sleeve will give you insight into the artistry at work here, i.e., "Reach deeply into sweet dark fictions," "Burning brightly in delightful ease," and "Unabashed dream day of epic trance."

7. All five members of the band (the others being Sarah Jacoby and Julius Masri) are credited with playing percussion. Somehow, I think that says a lot.

8. Golden Ball won the Philadelphia City Paper 2005 Choice award for "Best Weird Band." I'm inclined to give them that same commendation right now.

9. There's some pure hippie idealism buried in this record, but somehow it manages to not sound retro, unless you regard concepts like love, freespiritedness, and vivid imagination as retro.

10. This album is pretty, and complex, and pretty complex. But it's simply wonderful. Oh, and the press release is justifiably inspired, also, with descriptive lines like "giggling existential finger puppets" and "they play them (i.e., the songs) in collaged arrangements that spin around like mobiles..."

So, dear listeners, is that enough to interest you in this amazing record? 'Cause no ordinary review of Swirls of Dawn will suffice. It's certainly one of the most refreshing, imaginative, formula-defying platters I've heard in years, worth every minute spent deciphering its fantasmagorical sonic mosaic. A - Kevin Renick


Golden Ball
The Antique Barking Swirls of Dawn
[Honeymoon Music; 2007]
Rating: 6.7 - Adam Moerder

"Philadelphia Weekly"

Espers owned '06, but this year belongs to Fishtown's other freaks. Golden Ball, the chameleonic “weird beat” ensemble founded by husband and wife Gillian and David Chadwick, just followed up 2005's visionary The Luxury of Pause with The Antique Barking Swirls of Dawn. Again released via bassist Norman Fetter's Honeymoon Music, the album dishes out incandescent psych jams that are too jittery to be called dreamy. “Goosebump Safari” spikes Stereolab with the Mamas & the Papas, whereas opener “Oxen Free” follows an ice cream truck's chimes with instant proof of the band's vivid range. Ambitious though it is, Dawn feels more grounded than Pause, and all the better for it. - Doug Wallen


Golden Ball are not a band. Golden Ball are an urban tribe, a wayward social construct that’s up front about what the rock life really is: A new family construct, with a whole new set of dysfunction to match. When we first heard about these guys, this freaked us right the fuck out. We didn’t know what was going on: Are they Christians? Is Golden Ball into some Manson shit? Just LOOK at those early promo photos. We had to know: So we did something we never do. We started hanging out with them. It turned out, they were some of the smartest people we’d ever met. We are now proud to say we’re tight bros with Golden Ball. But they do live in a compound, so you never know: Vampires? Scientologists? Anything’s possible. And it’s a pretty life-affirming thing when you realize that their music reflects all of this. The Golden Ball sound is deeply weird, psyche-rock as told to Gary Numan and all the other people who you think are on drugs but in fact are not, which makes them that much scarier. This is their new album, The Antique Barking Swirls Of Dawn, and it’s their first real record as a band. (Their first, Luxury Of Pause, was largely self-produced by David and Gillian Chadwick, the band’s frontpersons.) Antique starts off with a recording of the Mister Softee truck, and heads straight underground from there. It’s deliciously bad-trippy, Dionysian and sometimes even prog. These people are not hippies. These people will cut you. - Joey Sweeney


Velveteen gypsy gothlings from Philly follow in the footsteps of a rag doll dance... Dark rock with overt new wave and subtle lysergic underpinnings is the statement made on "Signature Abstract," running through the forest at night alongside Siouxsie, R.E.M., the first Xiu Xiu album, and Big Country (no, really), coalescing into something not unlike the sultry eyeliner bands of the Paisley Underground and.. well, Los Angeles circa 1989. - Doug Mosurak


CD - The Antique Barking Swirls of Dawn - 2007
7" - "Signature Abstract" b/w "Blank" - 2006
CD - The Luxury of Pause - 2005

radio (that we know of): WPRB (all releases have charted top 10 here); WFMU; WXPN; WQHS; WKDU

CD streaming on and



So say you’re writing a bio for Golden Ball. You could start by describing the lyrical intensity of singer David Chadwick, how his songs flow out as if ripped directly from the depths of our subconscious minds. You could pant over the hot lead guitar action and substantial witchfactor of Gillian Chadwick (Ex Reverie, Woodwose), the brooding monster bass of Norman Fetter (Niagara Falls), the sartorial grace of synth mistress Sarah Jacoby and the madman frenzy of drum lord Julius Masri. You could tell how the group’s truly awesome live performances offer spellbinding displays of dynamic tension and whimsy, and that Golden Ball is a band everyone should go out of their way to see play.

However, this kind of bio-speak, while entirely accurate, doesn’t really even begin to describe this group at the epicenter of Fishtown, Philadelphia’s independent music scene. And outside of catching one of their mind-bending performances (“peep the mondo bizarro antics… if you dare” ( and giving a good mind-scrubbing of a headphone listen to their records there is really no proper way to encapsulate this group, least not in the confines of a bio.

Golden Ball began with 2005’s The Luxury of Pause, an album of home recordings David had made as a means of learning to make a record while pursuing the musical ideas that had been welling up for many years. Using the innovative studio approaches of Brian Eno and Brian Wilson as touchstones, he fashioned a lo-fi version of the epic headphone odyssey. Songs like “Il Giganté” and “Secret Id Entity” simply overflow with ideas, while others like “Rices Mill” display an innate sense for sophisticated pop song craftsmanship.

The record, along with a series of galvanizing performances at The Khyber in Philadelphia, garnered Golden Ball the 2005 Philadelphia City Paper CHOICE award for “Best Weird Band,” as well as spots on Philadelphia Weekly’s “Class of 2005” and Philadelphia City Paper’s “Philly’s Best CD’s of 2005” lists. From the start, the group’s performances have drawn raves from local press:

"One of Fishtown's hottest musical properties. . . Quite possibly the prettiest Philly indie rock band of all time. . . embracing the lush arrangements of chamber pop and offsetting them with Velvet Underground-like detachment." (Christopher Fritz, Delaware Online)

“At first, you're captivated by Golden Ball's look: . . . But it's the music that you'll come back to, where colorful synths, guitars and percussion slink up to nervy vocals." (Michael Pelusi, Philadelphia City Paper)

These successes have led to headlining performances at the Popped! Philly Music Festival and Thrilladelphia Music Festival, as well as supporting performances for such diverse acts as Deerhunter, Grizzly Bear, Spinto Band and Tussle.

The release of The Antique Barking Swirls of Dawn has seen the continuation of this success, as the CD, like The Luxury of Pause, has charted in the top 10 at WPRB. And with an April tour and first flush of national press, Golden Ball is now emerging onto the national stage.

So now here’s the part where you have to see a show to really get it. Hope you do.