Gig Seeker Pro


Portland, Oregon, United States

Portland, Oregon, United States
Band Rock Pop


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This bit of carefully crafted lo-fi un-rock, really a ghost of ambient genres past (where did it all start, hmm, Folk Implosion, 1990? The Clean?), will appeal to those who don’t mind some shaggy folkisms remade in arty ambience, ‘animal channeling’ (which seems to pervade”Monkey Play”), and trippy melodies that remind me of Richard Brautigan melding with a “green” version of Shel Silverstein. Or just imagine “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” for a post-indie rock generation. Yes, I mean it. The quietiude of “In Black Crow’s Name” is shuffled aside as the song gets injected with a variety of absurb, weird, helium voices. Meanwhile, “Big Bear Mountain” sounds slightly Latin, slightly Velvet Underground circa 1966 in moments, all very downplayed and ephemeral. The hippie circus “Barn Owl Hearts” is a tinny, woozy pop song wrapped in Portastatic-esque echoes. “Horse Around” is a willowy acoustic ode to getting natural (“I lost my city skin”) underscored with child toy instrumentation and playful clippety-clop beat making that gives way to ‘good vibration’ ghetto blaster soul and distorted disco guitars.

The Asiatic vibe of “Dragonfly Thai” is an interwoven, warped, percussive pastiche: imagine an avant-garde corner shop manned by art school Buddha buskers.
And getting back to the old world, they unveil the frog drenched Salvation Army band hootenanny “Frog King,” which feels smashed between a House of Unusual Sounds and a LSD waltz.
Two songs evoke elephants: the carnivalesque David Lynch soundtrack “Circus Elephants” (beware the people in the radiator!) and “Free Elephants,” which sonically glistens, referencing (perhaps) an elephant’s new- found freedom from battered ticket booths, gawking unnamed spectators, and rat boy carnies.
It’s uplifting, genuine, and likely the most accessible track on the album, a kind of New Age muzak for animal rights.

"A kind of new age music for animal rights,"-Left of the Dial
"Will definitely please the fans of The Flaming Lips or Ween... Masterpieces."-Thisisbookmusic
"Really fun stuff"- Portland Mercury
"Psychedelic folk songs delivered from an honest place...A world that is equally of and for natures predisposition to frolic." Willamette Weekly - Left of the Dial Mag

Portland, Oregon, has long been a driving force in music for decades and usually provides bands not afraid of trying something new. Gratitillium is one such band; the name means "gratitude for animals" and each track pays homage to different types of fauna.
It's the body of work of Nick Caceres, who spent a year-and-a-half recording his work via Garageband and his Macbook. No pre-designed beats or samples, but lots of nature recordings from his time spent in Singapore.
Caceres efforts have resulted in a "sonic safari" with an impressive range of melodies, noise and eclectic, unusual song foundations. It's a creative testament that stands on its own.
If you are desiring something totally different to add to your music collection, this likely will do it for you. - Local Verticle

"Playful, pastoral folk, crafted from varispeed vocals, odd tropical sounds, and a brightly strummed acoustic guitar...Volume 1 is really fun stuff." - Portland Mercury

"A weird, loose collection of psychedelic-folk songs delivered from an honest place... A world that is equally of and for nature’s predisposition to frolic." - Willamette Weekly

"Wow it’s way more packed for Gratitillium. One player’s got his top off, and others have aardvark and monkey head gear on. Ignoring the gimmicks, this band is playing a very varied range of Baltic punk to fast folk-rock. Sometimes there’s a cello, sometimes there’s a sax. Sometimes there’s every instrument at the same time, very loud.. Generally a good pick." -JB - Willamette Weekly

[WILD, WILD LIFE] For such a young dude, Gratitillium’s Nick Caceres sure has nailed the whole songwriting thing. On last year’s Gratitillium Vol. 1, Caceres weaved a set of intricate and pastoral folk songs through his computer that detailed his intense love for the animal kingdom, recording the entire album using the computer’s built-in mic, along with GarageBand. And based on a series of new songs posted to the band’s MySpace, his skills are only getting better, showcasing a louder rock sound that bears traces of Of Montreal’s experimental and funky pop. Rumor has it the next Gratitillium album is going to be called Unicornicopia, which only has me more excited. Let your spirit animal fly, Nick. MICHAEL MANNHEIMER - Willamette Weekly


Vol. 1 (www.tenderlovingempire/gratitillium)
Goat Hills EP (self released)
Band EP (self released)



Gratitillium… gratitude for animals

Portland-based indie collective channels essence of animals into rocking psych-folk carnival safaris

Inspired by the love of fauna, Gratitillium (grat-i-til-lee-um) is the brainchild of frontman Nick Caceres. Hailed in the Portland press as a “renaissance folk maestro,” Caceres’ music derives its inspiration from the spirits of animals and a seamless melding of musical genres.

As exotic as its chosen subject matter, Gratitillum’s music is a convivial sonic testament to the animals with whom we share our planet. Gratitllium’s sound is made up of lush pop melodies, underwater psychedelia, trippy lullabies and primal rhythms. Caceres’ powerfully haunting voice echoes through jungles, forests, mountains, oceans and savannahs. Field recordings of animals swirl in a sea of head-bopping hooks, ephemeral noises driving beats. It’s accessible enough for the Sesame Street set, yet possesses a sophistication that can only come from a solid grasp of song creation.
All accomplished musicians who are no strangers to the eclectic Portland indie scene, Gratitillium’s line-up includes Caceres on vocals, guitar, harmonica; Mark McIntire on upright bass, back-up vocals, Trumpet, electric bass and percussion; Paul Ahrens on drums; and Simon Hannes adding to the mix with clarinet, pedals and otherworldly noises.

In 2009, Gratitillium released “Volume 1” on Tender Loving Empire (, which was composed and recorded entirely by Caceres over a year-and-a-half using only his Mac’s standard built-in microphone and GarageBand. The album includes live recordings of birds from Caceres’ trip to Singapore, as well as his own imitations of animal sounds. Five selected tracks from “Volume 1” are featured on the “Wild Alive Vol. 1.5” bonus EP. Set for release this spring, these featured versions of songs are what can be expected at a live show.

A second full-length album, “Unicornicopia,” is due in March, 2011. The title refers to the experience of entering a utopian land of mythical creatures. As a verb, to “unicornacopiate.” “Unicornicopia” also marks a shift toward a collaborative songwriting approach for Gratitillium.

Gratitillium cites a choice mix of current indie-rock musical influences, which includes Phoenix, Modest Mouse, Beach House, Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend, and The Decemberists. As Tender Loving Empire once put it, Gratitillium is as if “The Shins went on a safari with Animal Collective and their jeep accidentally collided with the Beach Boys jeep, but no one died and they all painted each others’ faces and danced and sang around a fire.”

Performances are invigorating spectacles fueled by plenty of audience participation. Live Gratitillium shows often invoke a carnival atmosphere that may include costumes, face painting, sing-alongs and cheery “spirit animal” channeling sessions unbridling everyone’s inner dance animal. Beautifully crafted songs showcase the musicians’ talents while over-the-top psychedelic ambiance invokes a world where the beasts have taken over and are now running the show.

Pure in purpose, various and sundry in sound, and in an age where cynical irony and chic hipsterism prevails, Gratitillium’s authenticity stands alone as a truly refreshing experience