Hidden In The Sun
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Hidden In The Sun

San Francisco, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

San Francisco, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Rock Americana




"Steve Hochman from NPR's The California Report reviews Seven Seasons"

Hidden in the Sun is, simply put, a rock band — guitar, bass, keyboards and drums with a singer. That’s it! No hyphenates. No techno-garage, no ethno-disco, no funk-jazz-soul-industrial-what-not. It’s refreshingly straightforward. Or so it seems.

As the band’s name suggests, there’s something here that’s hard to discern. Right from the start, with the title song of their debut album, “Seven Seasons,” it’s all just slightly off-kilter, in the best ways. Sean Alexander’s guitar and Clara McAllister’s keyboards almost, but don’t quite, mesh. Bassist Jason Vivrette and drummer Scott Rouse don’t so much riff as flow, the music serpentines through songs stretching five, six or seven minutes, as in “Salt and the Spring” or the electric-piano-anchored “Waiting On the Storm.”

At the center, galvanizing it all, is the striking voice and approach of Lizzie Clapper. But how to describe her? If you can come up with any apt comparisons for her, pass them along. I’ve drawn a blank. Ah, but she sums it up herself, though in a different context, with a particularly poetic line on the song “Smoke Signals.” “You mistook me for smoke,” she sings.

The path that led these five to the secluded cabin, deep in the Mendocino redwoods, where “Seven Seasons” was recorded is circuitous and singular as well. McAllister and Rouse started playing together 15 years ago in Tulsa. A few years later, McAllister moved to Northern California to run a music camp, where she and guitar teacher Alexander were taken with the talents of teen singing student Clapper. And from late-night jams, a band was born, though due to various life and logistics issues it took a while to gel.

“San Francisco Blues,” alluding to where the group settled, taps into the countrified folk-rock that has typified the California sound for generations, Clapper singing a siren call to someone who’s left. Matters of identity and place thread through the lyrics, mostly by Clapper and Alexander — songs about trying to find where you belong, with whom you belong, connecting with something, or failing to do so.

So what connections can we make here? The Band? Jefferson Airplane? Big Brother and the Holding Company? A guitar lick here, an organ line there might bring these names to mind, but they’ll prove fleeting notions, and ultimately off-target.

Even at times when the music is relatively straightforward rock, including much (though not all) of the song “My Magdeline,” something about Hidden in the Sun remains alluringly elusive. Just like smoke. - National Public Radio

"Blurt on the first single "Salt and the Spring""

San Francisco-based band Hidden in the Sun has what they call their “unconventional” first single from the fivesome’s upcoming debut album Seven Seasons, which drops Jan. 20. The seven-minute epic track is all pure mood, dropping the listener into the middle of some beautiful and history-rich “other” world. - Blurt Online

"Nooga on the first single "Salt and the Spring""

There's something to be said for bands who give you more than the requisite three-minute single—not that there's necessarily anything inherently wrong about that. But in the case of San Francisco indie rock quartet Hidden in the Sun, their first single pushes past the six-minute mark and is as evocative as anything you're likely to hear this week. At one point, you might hear scraps of Southern blues while the next minute might showcase a bit of ambient electronics work. Each person helps in the songwriting process, but far from feeling disjointed or overworked from having too many opinions in the studio, their music works as a cohesive amalgamation of their individual and collective influences.
On their debut album, "Seven Seasons," and in particular on lead single "Salt and the Spring," the band creates a sort of alternate America where history feels somewhat nonlinear and is directed by rhythm and texture instead of political policy. Opening with a carnival-esque organ line and some curious percussive elements, the song slowly unfurls through the haunting and magnetic interplay within the band. We casually walk through a gallery of inspirations without ever settling down for any length of time. The song basks in its expansiveness, a colossal fragment of melody and fury that simmers and roars without consequence—it's an opulent and affecting blast of cathartic rock splendor. - Nooga

"Culture Collide on "San Francisco Blues""

Sometimes it's about the simple things, and this new track from Hidden In The Sun knows how to hit hard with few frills. Kicking off with a pared-down piano intro, Lizzie Clapper delivers a quietly devastating tale of loss on "San Francisco Blues," an unlikely tribute to the band's home base. Sprawling out at close to seven minutes, the song gently builds and pulls back, steel guitar adding some Southern twang to the Bay Area band's sound.

“Unlike other songs I write which are often fictionalized histories or emotional tall tales, ‘San Francisco Blues’ is purely autobiographical,” Clapper describes. “Though it is one of the earliest songs we performed together as a band, the emotion of it still speaks very strongly to me. It’s about reaching out to someone who isn’t reaching back.”

Clapper is one of Hidden In The Sun's five rotating songwriters, all of whom bring something different to the table. Previous single "Salt And The Spring" saw the whole team coming together for a more synth-laden, richly textured sound. Their upcoming debut LP Seven Seasons, out January 20 will see Scott Rouse, Clapper, Jason Vivrette, Ciara McAllister, and Sean Alexander (pictured left to right) swapping songwriting duties for a unique collective aesthetic that the band describes as a blend of rock, blues, folk, and funk. - Culture Collide


"Seven Seasons"


To be released on January 20th, 2015.  



The deep traditions of American roots music contrast with styles ranging from the Blues to Ambient Electronic in the unique music of Hidden in the Sun.  Featuring musicians Lizzie Clapper (Vocals), Sean Alexander (Guitar), Ciara McAllister (Keys), Scott Rouse (Drums) and Jason Vivrette (Bass), the San Francisco-based band will release its full-length debut album Seven Seasons on January 20th, 2015.

Recorded deep in the Redwood forests of Mendocino, California, Seven Seasons shows off the transcendent results that can come from true, egoless collaboration.  For a band with five songwriters, each with a multitude of influences, cooperative creation could be a challenge. But, Hidden in the Sun isn’t just any band.  They’ve got this.

As McAllister states, “Yes, it can be tricky to maneuver, but it’s awesome to be able to bounce ideas off of so many talented folks.” Clapper agrees saying, “There is such a tremendous amount of open-mindedness and respect for one another.”

The bond heard between the musicians on this song, and on all of Seven Seasons, goes back some fifteen years.  Rouse and McAllister met in Tulsa, Oklahoma in their early 20s.  At the time, Rouse was taking a break from a burgeoning drumming career that started in his teens to focus on being a DJ, spinning Drum & Bass and Electronic music at large clubs and festivals.  His life-long passion for the drums was still calling, though. 

Ciara invited me to play drums in her band,” he remembers.  “We developed a musical bond, and over time, we developed the roots that led us to form Hidden in the Sun.”

McAllister agrees, specifically alluding to the many years that she and Rouse have been playing together.

“I’ve been playing with Hidden in the Sun for as long as I can remember,” she jokes. Speaking about band’s deeper connections, McAllister explains, “It feels like I’ve known this group forever, musically speaking. It amazes me how each of us brings a different musical style, yet we speak the same musical language. We are a heavy group of folks, musicians to the core.”

Clapper’s personal story confirms this.  Music turned from causal to serious for her when, at 16-years-old, she received a handed down custom Martin guitar from her Aunt.

“I started listening to Bob Dylan and was mesmerized.  “I was drawn to his poise,” she remembers. “He made me realize that vocalists should be unique and powerful and, above all, honest.”  

“We started playing together very casually,” Clapper says of the initial rehearsals with Rouse and McAllister that took place after the students went to sleep at the performing arts camp where they were all instructors. “The more we played, the more we realized the bond that we shared as musicians was extremely powerful.”

Enter Alexander who learned the Blues after being mentored by various ace guitar players that he idolized in Southern California.

“I really enjoyed playing blues,” he says, beginning to explain of the change of heart that led to his role in Hidden in the Sun, “but my passion was always in creating original rock music.”

While Hidden in the Sun had already played out with a variety of bass players, the band members were still looking for “the bond.”  When Vivrette and Alexander found each other again after meeting a decade earlier through a mutual friend, the current Hidden in the Sun finally became a reality.

A good thing, as when it came time to make Seven Seasons, the band decided on a setting that would certainly test the camaraderie of less tolerant people.

“We recorded our album in a cabin in the middle of the Redwoods,” Clapper explains. “We isolated ourselves for two weeks and only spent time with each other, our producer, and the occasional grocery store clerk!”

On the final product, Hidden in the Sun brings back vintage sounds, and blends them with a diverse collection of new and provocative forms of instrumentation, songwriting, and production. The bond they shared during the sessions, and continue to share with one another as people and musicians, can be heard in every moment of Seven Seasons

Band Members