Hotline
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Hotline

Raleigh, NC | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Raleigh, NC | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Rock Neo Soul

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Nov
18
Hotline @ Local 506

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

Nov
11
Hotline @ Ziggy's by the Sea

Wilmington, North Carolina, United States

Wilmington, North Carolina, United States

Oct
22
Hotline @ Tir Na Nog

Raleigh, North Carolina, United States

Raleigh, North Carolina, United States

Music

Press


"Record Review: Hotline's Kisses to the Sky"

It took four years for Raleigh's Oulipo to arrive at last with its first full-length release, the new Kisses to the Sky. The wait proves worthwhile, as it's allowed the group to define itself and focus its once-amorphous abstraction for these eight numbers.

Early Oulipo EPs—2011's That Is What I Said (And I Dove Into The Water) and 2012's Primitive Ways—focused on sound more than song. A bit like a looser version of Animal Collective or The Dodos, they shoehorned acute chorus lines above skittering and repeating beats, working with rhythms and layers to build impressive textures. Yes, they occasionally mixed in a danceable beat, but those early numbers most often felt like laboratory experiments. The brains roamed in search of a heart.

Kisses to the Sky remedies this with a love of '80s soul and pop. Opener "Nite Legs" pulses with synthesizers and a groove that's thick but agile, the bass pounding deep beneath it all. Singer Ryan Trauley stretches his lines and digs in at the end of his phrases, delivering maybe the most substantial melody in Oulipo's catalogue. Only half a song into Kisses to the Sky, you wonder if this is a new band entirely.

But then Oulipo gets wild again: Two-thirds of the way through "Nite Legs," a curiously backward falsetto loop routes the listener immediately into a second chorus, skipping the second verse altogether.

This interplay between Oulipo's experimental tastes and approachable appreciation powers Kisses to the Sky. Between the choruses of "Blue Flames," where an industrial beat comes smeared with guitar reverb, Oulipo spiral into madness again. Rhythms switch and shift, phasing in and out and building tension ahead of the next outburst. "Dolphins" layers cascading electronics and persistent guitar, the band lingering patiently as Trauley does his best Springsteen. But the teased climax never comes, the song fading through a guitar solo that ascends melodramatically into one bent note.

During closer "Kisses to the Sky," Oulipo fully embrace joy and accessibility. Saxophone wails and finger snaps embellish dramatic vocals, echoing through a cavernous space. It feels like a giant exhalation.

Like the album itself, the song is the sound of a band finding confidence by finding definition and—as evidenced by the sincere shouts of a silly line like "kisses to the sky"—indulging pleasure, guilt-free. - Independent Weekly


"Oulipo Announces New Album "Kisses to the Sky""

It's hard to recall a band that's been as interesting to watch as Oulipo. From the first listen of Primitive Ways it was pretty clear that the band had potential to tap into a truly unique and compelling musical niche. It's been nearly three years since the release of Primitive Ways and it's clear that the band has made monumental growth since then, just take a peek into the work they've shared with the public to prove it.

Back in September of 2014 the band released a music video for "Shine On You Crazy Bastard," a track that showcased a new-found sense of restraint and maturity in their songwriting. With a compelling and sparse use of sampling, sprawling instrumentation and soaring melodies, Oulipo re-appeared as a potential powerhouse. Now the band's announced details of their upcoming full-length Kisses To The Sky, and while the release date is still forthcoming, they have shared a brand new track from the album, "Dolphins."

Kisses To The Sky was recorded over the course of a year at Bit Heart Studios in Greensboro and mixed by the iconic producer Mitch Easter at the Fidelitorium (R.E.M., Pavement) in Kersnersville. Recently Easter has been behind some of the state's finest releases from artists like Mandolin Orange and Lilac Shadows, but he's also responsible for mastering upcoming releases from folks like See Gulls and Birds of Avalon. Needless to say all you have to do is sit back with a pair of headphones to fall in love with "Dolphins."

Vocalist Ryan Trauley's voice subtly slides into a slowly building groove, wistfully gliding atop a steady rhythm. Though the verse carries along downtempo, "Dolphins" erupts into a triumphant chorus that finds Trauley's glossy falsetto unraveling into a soulful croon, making for a gorgeous musical moment. "Dolphins" alone is far more refined than any of Oulipo's previous releases, it's a rich and encompassing track that's built upon tightly packed, yet intricately layered pieces. Trauley's vocals elicit strong emotions from both their lyrical content and their melodic tendencies. And the interplay between Trauley's vocal patterns and the entrancing, yet grooving instrumentation is mesmerizing. The chorus reaches its peak with a passionate croon, and as Trauley soulfully sings out "I wouldn't dance with another," you find yourself ripped away from the moment you're in and become focused intently on these heartfelt sentiments turned into vibrant and robust pop music. Tracks like "Dolphins" and "Shine On You Crazy Bastard" provide a brief glimpse at the brilliance we have left to see from Kisses to the Sky, but you can check out the tracklist for now and just imagine how great this release is going to be. - The Bottom String


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

In speaking on the making of Blue, Joni Mitchell once remarked “I felt like a cellophane wrapper on a pack of cigarettes. I felt like I had absolutely no secrets from the world”. The music of Raleigh’s Hotline aspires for a similar directness and vulnerability. After the dissolution of his previous band, songwriter Ryan Trauley and three long-time collaborators formed Hotline with the intention of making a “soul” record. What followed was a period of uninhibited creative growth. On their forthcoming full-length and in the live context, Hotline channel the American lineage of soul, pop, and singer-songwriter into intimate, but expansive groove poems.


Band Members