Lucy Bland
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Lucy Bland

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Press


"Aiding & Abetting"

"Tight, mannered pop rolled out with just enough of an off-handed touch. I like the languid feel as well as the keen sense of melody... On the whole, this works like a charm." - Jon Worley


"Fuzz.com"

"For their first full-length, Seattle quintet Lucy Bland whips up a gentle dream-pop soufflé. The tasteful ingredients include traditional instrumentation, silvery strings, glitchy sound effects, and Cat Biell’s whispery words. The self-released album results suggest a return to the halcyon days of Lois and Velocity Girl. The soft-spoken singer/guitarist–solo artist Carrie Biell’s twin sister–is joined by Tim Stedman (keyboards), Todd Wallar (guitar, programming), Katie Mosehauer (violin, cello), and Chris Icasiano (drums). As the title indicates, Biell’s lyrics concern nature in all its melancholy moods. At its worst, Down to Sea Level offers the kind of serene, well produced sounds that wouldn’t be out of place in a corporate coffee chain or high-end boutique, book-ended by Norah Jones on one side and Tegan & Sara on the other. Like the tuneful work of those talented women, it’s hard to imagine this delicate disc (a follow-up to Lucy Bland’s First Recital EP) distracting even the most easily irritated customer. On the other hand, these soothing melodies could just as easily comfort and transport a frazzled wage slave after a hard day’s work. Biell reinforces that altruistic impression with affirmative lyrics like, “Sometimes we are weightless/ Sometimes we are fearless.” Two years in the making, Lucy Bland’s long-awaited debut illustrates the notion that one person’s inoffensive soundtrack can just as easily be another’s mood-restoring panacea." - Kathleen Fennessy


"4/5 at ACED Magazine"

“Lucy Bland are go-getters with immense talent. They are following up their debut EP Lucy Bland’s First Recital with Down To Sea Level this month. “It’s been a long journey on the sea…” but it seems as though Bland has their course set and steady.” - Kenya Jones


"7/10 on Music Emissions"

“[Lucy Bland] has talent when it comes to crafting lazy, introspective music ...the entire album molds together perfectly to form a lush and relaxing listening experience.” - Music Emissions


"NPR - Second Stage"

Lucy Bland's debut, full-length release, Down to Sea Level, is a soul-warming balm for the endlessly rainy days of their hometown Seattle, Wash. Delicate, electronic beeps and pops mingle with melodic strings and singer Cat Biell's cozy vocals. It's the sonic equivalent of lazing in a gently swaying hammock, under a cloudless day at the beach... - http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90256296


"PopMatters Review!"

"Seattle’s Lucy Bland soaks up its city’s atmosphere of sea and sky on Down to Sea Level. Cat Biell (vocals, acoustic guitar), Katie Mosehauer (violin, cello), Tim Stedman (keyboards) and Todd Wallar (electronics, guitars) paint the Puget Sound in a watercolor wash of somber strings and rainy refrains. "Blueprints" is the gorgeous centerpiece of this charming album. It’s a cozy afternoon curled up with a cup of tea in a favorite chair by the window, watching the drops cascading down the pane, waiting for the rain to stop. Despite its sometimes cloudy outlook, Down to Sea Level is less a winter storm than a springtime sprinkling; it’s an invigorating, thirst-quenching cloudburst of liquid sunshine."

http://www.popmatters.com/pm/music/shorttakes/ - Rod Modell


"John In the Morning"

"A really really really cool debut EP." - KEXP


"Three Imaginary Girls"

With Cat Biell's whiskey ice cream sweet, smooth, and bracing vocals, her tiny harshly existential bubble observations are cloud-carried by sweet cotton burbles of keyboard mirth and mellow, with perfect blue music also contributed by members of Ubiquitous and Omniverse. Music is rarely this pleasurable, meaningful, and soothing on tracks like "Centuries" and the Suzanne Vega-ish "Streaker." A very charming debut EP.
- Chris Estey


"3 Imaginary Girls Review!"

http://www.threeimaginarygirls.com/recordreview/2008may/downtosealevel

I'm currently reading Bonk by Mary Roach. It's the history of modern sex research, by the author of the wonderful bestseller about death, Stiff. The main thing I'm getting from her new book is that you get a lot of crap for trying to study human sexuality. (Don't take that literally.) Most people suspect you're a pervert, at best.

Lucy Bland is a sexologist, and she has written and edited some fascinating works dealing with the historical documentation of 19th century sex researchers. These were doctors who first studied forms of sexuality considered aberrant and unusual for the time, but accepted as commonplace now.

Lucy Bland is also a band, fronted by Cat Biell, who sings and plays acoustic guitar, though a big part of the band's sound is Todd Wallar's "electronica." The marriage of Biell's mellifluous voice with the playful atmosphere of Wallar's programming creates a beautiful soundtrack to Lucy Bland's themes of sensuality in relationships, whether it be swimming lightly through social waves or complete submersion into the lives of others.

Though the most obvious strengths are Biell's alternately opaque and revealing lyrics, sung in a relaxed, pleasuring style, and the synthetic flow from Wallar's sonic oscillations and occasional electric guitar, this album also features some deliciously restrained strings from Kate Mosehauer (violin) and Anil Seth (cello), as well as accordion and keyboards and trombone from Tim Stedman. Also along are Katherine Wasberg on bassoon and Andrea Smarmdom on clarinet. Each instrument everyone plays sounds effortlessly appealing within the sound of the songs, but that doesn't mean it is ever boring.

As I blogged originally about this album, this is shiny stuff, and usually music considered in the amorphous genre "lo-fi" is rarely this universally fetching. If like me you wished that Magnetic Fields songs were much more cleanly and better produced, or that some of your favorite basement-techno bands didn't try so hard to sing with that certain carelessness, then Lucy Bland will be very attractive to you. It's the little kisses that seem so sweet: Seth's delicate cello on "Fly Away," the pendant way the stories unravel, the image of "Blueprint" where the narrator "floats around you like pollen." This is a progressive link between the folk-pop minimalism of Suzanne Vega and the poetic archness of Björk, with a sound wholly Lucy Bland's own.

"Valor" may seem a little out of place texturally, but it would be my first pick for a single, and yet it's the depths of the album that you want to plummet into, where Biell sings you down like a reassuring siren, if that makes any mythical sense at all. - Chris Estey


"The Stranger "Band of the Week"!"

Lucy Bland's songs are composed of all the best parts of Seattle. Subtle drum-machine beats, shakers, and quick guitar strums evoke rain on city streets or footsteps on wet sidewalks. Lush strings sound like much prettier car horns. Cat Biell's breathy and feminine croon nods to the whooshes of chilly wind coming up from the waterfront. Even in Lucy Bland's brighter tunes, like "Sea Level," the mood is always slightly melancholy, just like it is in the Northwest. On Wednesday, June 25, they join several local acts, like Throw Me the Statue, Rachel Flotard, and Team Gina, to pay tribute to Liz Phair at the Three Imaginary Girls' Exile in (Imaginary) Girlville cover night.

http://thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=602766&ms - Megan Seling


Discography

Lucy Bland's First Recital - September 2006
Down to Sea Level - March 18 2008
Upcoming Release - Remix EP Summer 2009

Photos

Bio

Hailing from the rain capital of the country, Seattle, Washington, Lucy Bland fuses the dynamic range of indie rock, the experimentation of electronica, and the story telling of folk into this genre-defining sound. Lucy Bland began in 2005 after Todd Wallar (Omniverse) and Tim Stedman decided it was time to take their electronic noodling beyond the basement. After a few interesting auditions they came across an ad placed by singer/songwriter Cat Biell who was seeking a programmer to work with. After a few months cellist Anil Seth was brought in, and a year later “Lucy Bland’s First Recital” was released. The Debut EP landed them on some of Seattle’s top stages opening for artists Tresspassers William, The Fading Collection, Boat and The Transmissionary Six. The EP received regular airplay from Seattle station KEXP. “It was so good I almost feel like speaking would be a disgrace,” Sean Nelson (Harvey Danger) proclaimed during their KEXP in-studio performance.

In 2006 Anil left the band after earning a doctorate in astronomy. After months of searching, violinist Katie Mosehauer joined the band. Shortly thereafter, Lucy Bland recorded and produced their first full-length effort.

In the past year, Lucy Bland released “Down to Sea Level” to critical acclaim, receiving airplay on college stations all across the country as well charting in the CMJ Top 200! The record garnered shiny reviews from NPR, Three Imaginary Girls, Aiding & Abetting, Pop Matters and more. Seattle's independent weekly, The Stranger, featured Lucy Bland as “Band of the Week” in June.

With the help of their newest members, drummer Chris Icasiano and Cellist Tracy Hagen, Lucy Bland have been packing local venues, sharing the stage with Throw Me the Statue (Secretly Canadian), Visqueen (Blue Disguise), Ms. Led (Fish the Cat Records), Grand Hallway (Sideout), Shane Tutmarc & His Traveling Mercies (Inverness) and Carrie Biell. In April 2008, they went on a West Coast tour to support their album release. Recent show Highlights include Noise For the Needy, Decibel Festival and a benefit show for Girl's Rock. Upcoming events feature the Georgetown Music Festival in Seattle and pending shows in Portland and Bend Oregon. Currently Lucy Bland are working on songs for their follow-up album and plan to release a remix EP in Summer 2009.

“Down to Sea Level, is a soul-warming balm for the endlessly rainy days of their hometown Seattle. It's the sonic equivalent of lazing in a gently swaying hammock, under a cloudless day at the beach”...
-- NPR, Second Stage

"Lucy Bland's songs are composed of all the best parts of Seattle."
--The Stranger, Megan Seling

"Each instrument everyone plays sounds effortlessly appealing within the sound of the songs, but that doesn't mean it is ever boring... This is shiny stuff!"
-- Three Imaginary Girls, Chris Estey

"Tight, mannered pop rolled out with just enough of an off-handed touch. I like the languid feel as well as the keen sense of melody... On the whole, this works like a charm."
-- Aiding & Abetting, Jon Worley