Hanzelle
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Hanzelle

Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Pop Electro

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"Augurs of Innocence Dec. 3rd 2009"

Most bands build a wall. It’s a barrier of affectation, image, persona, usually to protect fragile egos behind even flimsier talent and creativity.

There is a quiet confidence surrounding Hanzelle. On a basic level it stems from faith in their training as musicians and comfort as a collaborative. Even more than that, the courage to create rather than reproduce is what will brand Hanzelle as sincere representatives of the dark unexplored corners of musical possibility.

At some point during our conversation, each member commented on the privilege of performing and participating in the creative process, which they graciously extend to the audience.

“We are like an audience of the audience,” quipped Jeremi Morris, adding, “it’s a group effort, them and us. I watch their reactions, and that’s where I like to keep it . . . fun.”

Who is concerned with fun anymore?

Fun is typically only associated with commodities, things that can be bought and sold, the stuff they make commercials about. Hanzelle’s brand of fun is more concerned with sincerity and playful innocence.

Through the lush arrangements and fuzz of this year’s effort, Bio-Electric Flower Pot, you could catch a thread being spun out of the wooly mess of electro gizmo goodness. It’s not a thread that’s being knotted to another rope, but rather a refinement of the same fiber. The new compositions still employ the various talents and unconventional trappings of the band, but they focus more into a pop sensibility. The lyrics are accessible hooks without sacrificing atmosphere.

So, to clinch a victory in the Blue Rooster’s recent Battle of the Bands, on unfamiliar turf, in front of a crowd that might be less than receptive, you invite your friends, buy them beer, and do what you do best on stage: have fun, play fantastic music, and tell the truth; it worked. Out of 32 local bands, talent and innocent fun won.

My distinct impression upon meeting Jeremi, Steven, Dustin, Peter and Casey, was that I was with a group of people who know how to communicate. They have the strength and talent to do it without pretension, the absence of ego to collaborate, and the generosity to invite the listener to join them. Essential to their concept of creativity and fun is that we participate. Who are we to deny the completion of their masterpiece, and how could you say no anyway?

Listening to Hanzelle, I get the sense of a community that has discovered the secret to “infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour;” they rise to meet each measure of brilliant pop music, but rather than hold onto it or take a rest, they pass it on to us. - The Pulse


"Bio-Electric Flower Pot Review April 30 2009"

by Charles McClain

I came to Hanzelle’s record Bio Electric Flower Pot with no expectation, foreknowledge or exposition. Somehow my set of default receptors was still not able to decode what I heard. It’s refreshing to find local music that can be challenging and thoughtful, even demanding.

The approach to the arrangements tends toward the completion of a whole, rather than maximizing the effect of component parts. The first four tracks seem to form a perfect unit. Complex rhythm punctuates pulsing electro-whatsits, point and counterpoint, until it’s unclear which is producing the dominant tone.

Alternatively, warm fuzzies coat staccato guitar and cello.

All this must sound a little airy. There’s a lot going on. Like any good performer, they never really let you see exactly how it’s done. This is the kind of record about which Elvis Costello quipped, “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” However, since this is the task at hand, I endeavor to persevere.

When driving down the highway, sometimes you just drive into a wall of rain. In this case, “Spirit Glass,” a wall of unchecked rhythm and whispy vocals, is underpinned with a developing theme of choppy strings. I would almost rather watch the swirling water rush over the windshield, crash, and die than turn on the wipers.

The second half eases back in with similarly lush arrangements and secret, undiscovered corners of creativity. “Fallout Heart,” lifts the veil a bit allowing us inside with simple melodies executed by Rhodes and voice. A slide guitar line drifts back and forth lulling us into the latter songs of the album. “Quit Yer Job” pitter-patters on tiny acoustic instruments lapping at your ears as if the tide were coming in, tickling toes and shifting the sand underneath them.

Bio Electric Flower Pot is Dusk at Cubist Castle for the post-rock set. It’s Metal Machine Music for people who thought they couldn’t listen to Metal Machine Music.

Hanzelle has made the best local record I’ve heard so far in ’09.
- The Pulse


"Hanzelle Review Sept. 21st 2012"

Un Bearable ;) - Bearly Ramblin


"Hanzelle Review Aug. 11th 2011"


Hanzelle, The 5 Spot, Tonight In Nashville….

August 11, 2011 by No Country

Tonight in Nashville….

It’s Thursday…. and, we always call that “mini Friday”. It’s the night that you can go out with less hassles with lines, parking, super partiers, and let’s face it… you can usually afford to go into work a little tired on Friday. So, what are you going to do on your Thursday night in Nashville? How about Hanzelle at The 5 Spot in East Nashville?

Hanzelle is a Nashville (well, Murfreesboro) 5-piece that has a distinct ethereal electro-chamber-pop sound. Casey Kaufman’s sweet, breathy vocals flutter above the fuzzy orchestra. The cello and upright bass (something I love in music) require patience for some ears, but both produce such a full sound that, if performed correctly, create an unforgettable harmonized ambiance. While, the drums punctuate the playful synths to carry the listener up and down the musical roller coaster.

Music is such a subjective thing to write about and recommend. Sometimes, I find it impossible to explain how music makes me feel (no, not because I force myself to write about music everyday), but it just strums some chord in my emotional subconscious. Well, if that makes sense to anyone, I guess I feel my strings being thumped when listening to Hanzelle. So, why don’t you get out to see Hanzelle tonight at The 5 Spot? You’ll also get to know opening acts Sky Hi and Great Barrier Reefs when they get things started at 9pm.

The good people over at We Own This Town included a Hanzelle track, “BODY ROCK” in their newest mixtape of Nashville artists which you can download for free. I’ve included a player below so you can listen to the 2011 self-titled EP - No Country for New Nashville


"Nashville Scene "Body Rock" Review Aug. 18th 2011"

When Hanzelle dropped their self-titled EP on Bandcamp earlier this year, some members of the local rock press were falling all over themselves to compare them to every ethereal indie band du jour. The words “This sounds kinda like Beach House” must have haunted the ’Boro electro-chamber rock quintet, because their recent single sounds absolutely nothing like Beach House (and I mean that in the best possible way). “Body Rock” sounds like a long-forgotten collaboration between Afrika Bambaataa and one of Prince's protégés (let's say Wendy & Lisa), a vocoder-laden new wave funk jam that would feel at home in any ’80s dance-party mixtape. It remains to be seen if “Body Rock” is the band's new direction or just a one-off goof, but I don't think anyone would complain if it was the former.
— Lance Conzett - Nashville Scene


"Indie artist Spotlight #1 Aug 6th 2011"

Hanzelle is an electrochamber post-pop band from the Nashville, TN area.I first listened to their latest single (July 2011) BODY ROCK/GHOST and found it to be rather enjoyable. It’s less chamber and more electro. It’s as if Kraftwerk decided to be a rock band.

At first, I had an image of this band in my head comparing them to the likes of Fischerspooner and Yelle. Then I listened to GHOST and their previous work the Hanzelle EP, and decided that they were much different.

I slowly started to understand what the group meant when they said “electrochamber post-pop”.

Some musicians combine different styles of music, and it’s relatively simple to articulate what they’ve done. However, if the group is really talented, you won’t even notice what styles they have put together. I feel that this is the case with Hanzelle. They say post-pop, electro, rock, classical, and chamber but it all just blends together in such a way that you don’t even care to pick it apart. You just sit there and go along with it.

I found myself rocking out, dancing, and then chilling out without even realizing I had switched. That doesn’t happen very often.

It helps that the male and female singers are actually good. I find both comforting and they work well with the musical arrangements.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Hanzelle live before and it was just as groovy as their recorded materials. If they are ever in your area, be sure to see them. They are worth checking out!

- Mystic Sounds


"Hanzelle Review Aug. 20th 2012"

Hanzelle is described as electro-chamber rock, which I think is only halfway correct. For some parts of certain songs, the listener is trapped inside an electronic chamber built with a floor, walls and a ceiling made of synthesizers, and the synths project at you from all audible directions. But other parts suggest an outer space atmosphere, with an infinite amount of room to float around and explore. Calculated, electronic dance grooves are commonplace, but Hanzelle’s Casey Kaufman projects high-pitched, distant, cry-for-help vocals that sound as though they are venturing into another galaxy. If the Mars rover Curiousity needed a soundtrack, Hanzelle’s music might be a candidate.
- No Country for New Nashville


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Hanzelle is a Post-Modern quintet whose current sound is something like Afrika Bambaataa having lunch with Stereolab, discussing the likeliness of Herbie Hancock's rhythm section having a baby with Radiohead's 21st-century etherealness; hosted by Cocteau Twins and special guests, The Flaming Lips.:)

Hanzelle's captivating and charismatic live show has recently won them opening spots for Washed Out, Future Islands, Gardens & Villa, Tristen, Forget Cassettes, and a trip to THE Ryman Auditorium as Brandon Jazz's backing band, opening for the B52's. Handling the stage with precision, Hanzelle is dedicated to playing all the parts that encompass their hybridized music. Alongside hefty musicianship and an interactive stage dialog, this live show provides Hanzelle with a booster-seat to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Collecting in 2008, Hanzelle formed to cure a common itch to produce music. The founding members, Jeremi Morris and Casey Kaufman, put together 2009's Bio-Electric Flower Pot, whose "lush arrangements and secret, undiscovered corners of creativity" turned on some well-received attention (http://boropulse.com/2009/04/cd-review-hanzelle-bio-electric-flower-pot/).

Moving forward, Hanzelle became a quintet, adding Steven Palassis (guitar), Peter Wallace (upright,synths), and Dustin McCormick (drums,electronics). The newly formed quintet released a 7-song self-titled EP in 2010. This self-release kept momentum with the press, namely having several song's featured on Nashville's popular music blog, We Own This Town; and the song "I'm Sorry" on their Best of 2010 podcast (http://weownthistown.net/?p=4769).

In the next year, Hanzelle reverted back to some of the more electronic sounds heard on Bio-Electric Flower Pot, putting aside the acoustic instruments featured on the previous EP(upright bass, cello). The collection of sounds, namely synths and electronic drums, led to three singles released in late 2011 and early 2012, giving the band even more momentum. The songs, "I Know," described as "a heady, dark bit of pop that utilizes all your favorite moody synth-pop conventions," and "Body Rock, "a long-forgotten collaboration between Afrika Bambaataa and one of Prince's protégés (let's say Wendy & Lisa)" were featured on Nashville's esteemed music blog The Cream (http://www.nashvillescene.com/).

Hanzelle is currently working on their DEBUT full-length set to be released on vinyl/digital download in early 2013.