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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States | INDIE

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Just Add Water: Kadman, Israel Darling, and the Foreign Press at the Velvet Lounge, June 8"

The band Kadman has been kicking around Baltimore for the last couple years in a few different incarnations, usually as a trio with a rhythm section accompanying singer/guitarist David Manchester. But perhaps the most exciting lineup of Kadman to date is its current one, with Manchester being backed only by multi-instrumentalist Dan Cohan, one half of the awesome Baltimore instrumental duo the Water.

The new two-piece Kadman made its Washington debut on Tuesday, a few nights after its first show in Baltimore, and even if it was the smallest lineup of the band yet in terms of head count, its sound is bigger than ever. Cohan brought along much of the gear he uses with the Water, including a drum set, a guitar, looping pedals, and even his own lighting rig. For some songs, he’d play one instrument or the other, but usually he’d play drums for one part of the song, loop it, and then layer rhythm guitar over Manchester’s own playing, often building up to a beautiful squall of sound. But when Cohan focused on drumming, the set was its most exciting, his thunderous beats bringing a swing and grandeur to songs such as “Anything” and “The Mountain Song” that they’d never quite had before.

The band’s latest album, this year’s These Old Bones, was the focus of the set, but toward the end it made time for one new song, and the early favorite “Honeymoon’s End” from 2008’s Sing To Me Slower. - Baltimore City Paper

"Fence Post reviews These Old Bones"

True folk-pop minimalists are of a rare breed these days. Many folks have become perfectly fond of only accepting Nick Drake and a handful of other Drake ripoffs hanging around. My recommendation: let these conformists have a listen to Kadman’s sophomore release These Old Bones. Let thee be regretful and God forgive them for their ignorance when they hear the awesome sounds of this Baltimore-based threesome.

David Manchester (guitar/vocals) and company (Frank Corl on drums, James Bahleda on everything you can imagine) have been noticed throughout the Northeast for their stellar live performances. Their talents prove to be just as effective on record as they are when said talent is dripping from their foreheads onto barroom floors. “Anything” is by far the highlight of These Old Bones. It’s a real shit-kicking tune with some long notes barreled from Manchester’s mouth. But for the die hard enthusiasts, “Bone & Wire” is the song that will set your heart aglow.

Kadman was once a solo project molded directly around David Manchester. Thankfully our man found himself a couple of stellar gentleman to match his talents as a craftsman in the low tempo pop world. These Old Bones is an album you will find yourself listening to no matter what mood you are in. It has the ability to reek havoc amongst the independent world simply by being that damn good. Jealousy is sure to ensue. - Fence Post

"Splice Today interviews Charm City's David Manchester"

I'll just lay it all out up-front: Kadman is no doubt the best band around Baltimore you've never heard. A slowcore project fronted by David Manchester, Kadman sounds, well, like no one else who calls Charm City home—setting themselves far apart from the art rock weirdness of Wham City that tend to dominate these days. These Old Bones, Kadman's second album, out now on the Baltimore's fantastic Beechfields label, is as good an album as any you'll hear this year: alternately noisy alt-rock and dark indie folk (think: Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and Matt Sweeney's Superwolf), all dominated by Manchester's superbly haunting vocals. Manchester and I exchanged some emails the other day, and here's what we came up with:

SPLICE TODAY: Can you tell us how Kadman got started? Originally it was a solo project, right?

DAVID MANCHESTER: Yes. Kadman did start as a solo project. I guess I started playing this particular style of music towards the end of college. I had been in a few bands before this, but Kadman was my first venture into writing and performing my own songs. I had a lot of life changing events going on at that time, and Kadman became a creative and emotional outlet for all of that. It was almost like an audio diary. After playing solo for a few years, I mentioned to my wife that I really wanted to be able to take the music to the next level, but didn't really know how. I had been doing the acoustic singer/songwriter thing at coffee shops and open mics and was getting burned out. I wanted to do more, play clubs, live the rock-star life, to a degree. So, my wife and my brother worked together and organized both of the families to get together and buy me my first (good) electric guitar, the Gretsch I use now. It was amazing. In my head I thought, "well … no excuses, now." That's wh en I put together the first version of the full band, with Matt Smith on drums and my brother Mitch on bass.

ST: I know you've changed the line-up a few times, how long has the current configuration of Kadman been around?

DM: The current configuration came together in two stages. James joined the band in September of '08, and Frank joined in, when was that … February of '09. So, it's still a relatively young group.

ST: Has the songwriting process changed much since you got started? How do you approach it these days?

DM: It has and it hasn't. I am not the kind of musician that can just sit down and write a song. A lot of times, songs come to me from my just fiddling around on the guitar in front of TV or while sitting in the backyard. I'll figure out a progression or two and then just build on it. Lyrically, this may sound odd, but a lot of times the song dictates the subject matter. Once I get the chord progressions and changes down, I'll ad lib. Sometimes it works, sometimes it is absolutely horrible what comes out of my mouth. Recently, though, I've been trying to put more thoughts into the lyrics and the subject matter of the songs. I've been trying to move from having all of the songs be about internal issues to looking at the outside world. Politics, current events, things that are more global, though I like to think that even the songs about personal issues and events can have a universal appeal, or can at least be interpreted to fit into the listener's own experiences.

ST: Can you tell us about this latest album, These Old Bones? How'd it come together?

DM: Wow … good question. I'd like to say organically, but that just sounds so trite. The songs on the album came in bits and spurts throughout the year after Sing To Me Slower was released. A couple of the songs like, "Portraits," "Lullaby," and "An Army Rises" were songs that were put together with the old lineup of the band. The other songs on the album pretty much trace my life over the next year. Once the bulk of the songs were put together, we contacted Mat and Mobtown Studios to start the recording process, which, took a little over 4 months. We really took our time with this album. We used three or four different snare drums, 5 different guitar amps, three different guitars, stand up bass, electric bass, a vast array of pedals. Some songs we had 7 tracks of guitar feedback alone. We really wanted to figure out what worked best for each song to really help it come to life. It was great that the whole band was so invested, as well as Mat at the studio.

I'm really proud of these songs.

ST: Who would you consider to be your biggest influences?

DM: Hmm … that could be a very long list. I try to listen to so many different bands and genres it's hard to figure out what the direct influences are. When I first started playing guitar I was really influenced by old blues musicians like Lightning Hopkins, Hounddog Taylor, John Lee Hooker. Take that and combine it with Alan Sparhawk from Low and Retribution Gospel Choir, Mark Kozelek from Sun Kil Moon and Red House Painters, My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth and I guess that gives you the music of Kadman.

ST: You seem pretty at odds with a lot of the music that's being made in Baltimore these days. Is there any part of the local scene, any bands, that you're really drawn to?

DM: Haha.. yeah. We seem to stick out a bit which is good, and bad. It's hard to classify us into a genre and it's hard to find bands we're similar enough with to put a good bill together. Of other local bands though, I'd have to say I absolutely love The Water. Amazing music, awesome guys. Monarch, er … I mean Wye Oak is another one. They give us little folks hope, too.

ST: What's next?

DM: Right now we're spending a lot of time trying to get the word out on the album, and we're working with some other bands, locally and regionally, to get a few mini-tours together in the summer and fall. We did a mini-tour of the mid-west a few months ago and it was a blast. I am really hoping to take the band from a local to a more regional, or even national arena. Then, just keep working on new songs and see where the music takes us. - Splice Today

"Minimalista, tragica e lenta."

"...Drawn with heavy black shades, Kadman's music paints a picture of landscapes that have been frozen in time, where the only things that move are dead leaves carried away by the wind. Epic. Myspace record of the week..."

Read the rest of the review at http://www.indieforbunnies.com/2008/08/07/kadman-sing-to-me-slower/ - Indie For Bunnies (Italian Website)

"Kadman: Sing To Me Slower cathartically rain all over my parade"

Far from "just another indie record", Kadman's upcoming release, Sing To Me Slower (Slo.Bor Records), is patient, melancholic, and slightly subdued. Self-defining their sound as "sadcore", Kadman are bolstered by the powerful, resonant vocals of principal songwriter David Manchester, joined by his brother Mitchell on bass and anchored by the gloomy keyboards of Matthew Smith. The emotion is solidified by slow tempos and minor chords throughout.

Epic songs like the near-8 minute "Diesel" and the beautiful tragedy of "Honeymoon's End" are the rule rather than the exception, Manchester's belting with spirited emotion no greater than on "Red Lights" and unapologetic and about as apoplectic as the album gets on the forceful "This is me, take it or leave it" chorus of "Raise The Curtain". The reverb drench of "New Year's Day" is juxtaposed by the beefy guitar rip of "Sorry", and Kadman manages to pack their minimalist sound with all the heart it could possibly sustain without breaking the delicate framework their music is founded upon.

Kadman will celebrate the release of Sing To Me Slower at the Metro Gallery on Friday, March 14. It's not often that a person's voice can move a spirit to catharsis the way David Manchester's does on this record. Fans of shoegaze, Iron & Wine, or Elliot Smith would do well to pay attention. Your soul has never trembled the way it will when you reach the 6:00 mark of "Honeymoon's End".

- Barrett King - SENBaltimore.com

"Mobtown Studios reviews Kadman: Sing To Me Slower"

I used to pretty much write off all artists dubbed “Singer/Songwriters�. It was so overplayed in the late 90s. With Elliott Smith and the look-a-likes. Granted, Smith knew how to craft a song and he clearly had something to say, it just didn’t speak to me.

I imagine Baltimore’s Kadman gets a bit of the “Singer/Songwriter� label as it appears to be David Manchester, the frontman, who writes all the songs. But Kadman is more than just a voice and guitar. Track 2 (Diesel) starts with backwards guitars and verbed-out 10 and 2 (like a clock) panned toms. Then there is some seriously gorgeous reverb and nasty guitar tones which contrasts with the dry-as-a-desert vocals (Wake Up). It works. And works well.

This record sounds like it could have been recorded in someone’s living room. The first track (Blue Walls) has some mad hiss and 60hz hum at the start, but in this case it works for me. Is it the guitar? Whatever it is, it feels real. The way music should be recorded. And stellar job on the bass on this track, played by David’s brother Mitch. It’s nice sometimes when melody comes from the bass.

Lazy Sunday afternoon recovery music. Minimalist shoegaze sleepytime music. It’s vulnerable. It’s not safe. I’m looking forward to giving this record some serious play in the fall. This record works for me. It speaks to me. - MobtownStudios.com


Kadman - Live at the Ottobar - Released June 2007

Sing to Me Slower - 60 minute LP released on Slo.Bor Media - 3/18/09

These Old Bones - 60 minute LP released on The Beechfield's Music Label 3/20/2010



“…patient, melencholic, and slightly subdued.”

KADMAN is the ongoing audio project by songwriter/musician David Manchester. Armed with the influences of contemporary artists such as Iron & Wine, Mark Kozelek, Nick Drake and Elliot Smith, David performed solo & acoustic for over seven years. In late 2006, David recieved a new electric guitar as a gift from his family and used that as the impetous to push the Kadman project out of the Singer/Songwriter category into something more complete. Later that year, David compiled his first team of band members, consisting of good friend Matt Smith on drums, and his brother, Mitch, on bass. The three worked together and incorporated the stylings of Low, Red House Painters, Codine, and other minimalist, slo-core acts to create the music of Sing To Me Slower, the projects first official release, and their freshman release on the Slo.Bor Music Label. The band made a name for themselves in the Baltimore music scene, and played shows everywhere from DC to Brooklyn.

Shortly after the release of Sing To Me Slower, the project shifted gears, and KADMAN version 2 was assembled. On bass was multi-instrumentalist James Bahleda, and on percussion was Frank Corl, a drumming legend among many bands in the Baltimore music scene. Kadman shifted direction, incorporating some blues and rock overtones to create the sophomore release, These Old Bones. The songs were more dynamic, personal, and introspective, but also had a more aggressive tone to them.

Currently, David continues to push and experiment with the Kadman project. He is currently working with Baltimore multi-instrumentalist, Dan Cohan, one half of the amazing instrumental band, The Water. The two are re-orchestrating and pushing the boundaries of the existing Kadman music catalog as well as starting work on new songs.