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Jacksonville, Florida, United States | INDIE

Jacksonville, Florida, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Pop


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Lauren Chase and Alissa Leonard provide the engaging songwriting and lovely voices of Manatella, which seems influenced by the same forces that generated Mazzy Star, the Nethers, and the Owls, all favorites of mine. I am in love with these folk-influenced guitars, the lightness of "Apocalyptic Owl" and the somber mood of "Cherry Red." I must have more. –Speed of Dark

Manatella (the mild cigar from Benson & Hedges) are a folk psych band from Florida not a cancer inducing after dinner treat for rotund business men. Influenced by early American folk, sixties psychedelia and by such groups as The Band , Wilco and The Mountain Goats, their new album, 'Fashionable Neighbourhood' has been described as like sharing a cold glass of beer with your best friends. Although they have been compared to the likes of The Softies, 10,000 Maniacs and Mazzy Star, the distinctive voices and styles of Lauren Chase and Alissa Leonard turn Manatella's lo-fi lullabys into resonant, optimistic psych folk anthems. They may be a group of girls but this ain't no 'girl group' there are no polkadots, bubblegum or melodrama, just rhapsodic, yearning paeans of dischordant grace and beauty that could bring a tear of joy to a statue.

:Manatella - Apocalyptic Owl: I fell in love with this song during a part of yesterday in which I was laying on my couch watching some heavy rainfall. Now, I know that's a little cliché, but the same thing would have happened to you given how it's impossible to not get lost in Lauren Chase and Alissa Leonard's soft vocals and low-fi mix of various folk-enthused sounds. Fashionable Neighborhood is out now. –Sideone Trackone

"It's a rare that I find a lo-fi album particularly appealing, but I do like their voices and the arrangements". -BC Goodie Bag

Fashionable Red
Every Saturday I have to do some chores. Of course I have to do some shopping and there's always something to do in my apartment. The rest of the Saturday is pretty quiet. I read the thick Saturday issue of the newspaper and some magazines. And I also try to find some time to search the internet for some bands I can review in the blog the following week. Sometimes I find enough nice music on Saturday to last me for a week of posts, but this doesn't happen always. Today I found three interesting bands and maybe Manatella is the most interesting.
Lauren Chase and Alissa Leonard are originally from Florida and they have played in several bands togehter. They still do, Lauren in the band Bayonet and Alissa in Affair D'Coeur and solo as Kalissa. After they moved to Chicago in 2004 they formed Manatella with drummer Shelley Uehara. "Crack is the New Black" is the title from their debut EP which they recorded that same year and it was a local success. Now they have finished their first and self-released full-length "Fashionable Neighborhood" and at the moment they're touring their home state Florida with drummer Chris Pettit. Manatella makes pretty pop music with a full sounds and without the bubblegum, like they say themselves. You can hear it yourself when you download "Apocalyptic Owl" and "Cherry Red". –

- Peeps


Crack is the New Black EP-2005
Fashionable Neighborhood-2007



Manatella’s first full-length album, Fashionable Neighborhood, was recorded by producer Jeff Panall (Palliard) in Chicago, Illinois. A little softer than their previous release, Fashionable Neighborhood, feels like “sharing a cold glass of beer” with your closest friends. Although they have been compared to the likes of the Breeders and Mazzy Star, Manatella manages to make lo-fi sound full and upbeat.
Influenced by early American folk, the 60’s psychedelic era and by such groups as the Band, Wilco and the Mountain Goats Lauren Chase and Alissa Leonard began playing together with bassist Nell Roland and drummer Mark Hubbard (Julius Airwave, Sickroom Records). They formed Isabella Parole in Jacksonville, Florida in 2000, self- released Mutha America and toured the East Coast in support of it. Soon after, Chase, Leonard and Roland moved to Tallahassee, Florida to attend Florida State University and adopted musicians Caleb Selman, Johnny Pemberton and Nick Underwood (Plastic Mastery, Magic Marker).
In 2004, Chase and Leonard relocated to Chicago, Illinois and were introduced to drummer Shelly Uehara through fellow Chicago musician Mark Janka (Lesser Birds of Paradise, Tight Ship) and formed Manatella. The power trio consisted of pungent beats, catchy melodies and lead bass. In 2004 they recorded EP Crack is the New Black, also with producer Jeff Panall in Chicago. Crack proved to be a local favorite full of rich lyrics and energetic drumming resulting in gigs at Chicago clubs such as The Abbey Pub, Open End Gallery and The Empty Bottle.
Manatella returned to Jacksonville, Florida and currently consists of Alissa Leonard, Chris Pettit, Nate Terrill and Ryan Turk (Lovecraft). They are working on their second full-length album at ALR Warehosue studios in Jacksonville and The Glow Studio in Athens, Georgia.