Manorlady
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Manorlady

Santa Cruz, CA | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF

Santa Cruz, CA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Alternative Shoegaze

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Any regular scanner of Charlottesville music listings already knows that Manorlady—a three-piece whose members claim to hail from the California desert—is one of our hardest working indie rock bands. What may not have been clear, until the release this week of a polished debut LP Home, is that they may be one of the best.

That's what Manorlady sets out to prove on the ambitious, eclectic record, which touches on most shoegazey corners of the indie rock spectrum, from the warbly singalongs of Galaxie 500, to the huge guitars of My Bloody Valentine and brutal electronics of Big Black. (Listen to Home here; Manorlady releases it at the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar on April 23.)

C-VILLE's John Ruscher explores the band's desert origins and current place in Charlottesville's music landscape in tomorrow's C-VILLE: "With Home, Manorlady recaptures the horizon of youth, but the band also maps its own unique peaks and valleys. As the album closes, going away and coming home seem to merge, an acknowledgment that leaving home is the start of creating a new one. For Manorlady that new nest is in Charlottesville, and the band has done a good job of building it so far. As the saying goes, home is where the heart is, and there’s definitely a lot of heart in Home." - C-ville Weekly


Home, the first full-length album from Charlottesville’s Manorlady, feels as much like a culmination as it does a debut. It’s the fleshed-out and polished successor to the band’s initial EP, Home Away, released at the beginning of 2010 after just a few shows around town. Taking that EP’s five songs and adding six additional tracks, Home brings Manorlady’s vision into focus.

That vision draws inspiration from the desert of Eastern California, where the band’s members, husband and wife Aaron and Melissa Bailey and her brother Donald Wooley, grew up. To the northeast of their hometown of Ridgecrest lies Death Valley’s Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the United States. Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48, looms to the northwest.

Such extremes are a far cry from the rolling countryside of the Blue Ridge and Piedmont, and Manorlady’s music seems to search for those absent highs and lows. If the Home Away EP was a sketch of that terrain, Home is an oil painting, over a year in the making, that fills in the rich textures and colors.

The album’s songs bleed into each other, providing a seamless listen from beginning to end, and the band’s influences blend just as naturally. “International Boys Club” and “Red Juice” pair New Order drum machine rhythms with the guitar and vocal atmospherics of the Cocteau Twins. “Trees” and “Delta Waves” resemble the brooding but melodic chimes of groups like Low and Galaxie 500. “Waltz for Couples,” an interlude that resembles a wind-up musical box, sits at the middle of the album, like the calm eye at the center of its swirling storm.

As Home progresses, Manorlady sheds its direct ’80s and ’90s vibe and moves further into its own dynamic explorations. On “Jimmy,” Aaron and Melissa alternate vocal lines about love over Wooley’s warm, shifting synth chords. “Vacation Plans High Desert” begins with the picking of an acoustic guitar before shifting up to a propulsive electronic beat and finally a crescendo that climaxes in a post-rock squall. The eerie “Lost Dogs” follows the same trajectory, gradually building up steam before sizzling and evaporating into “Sungazing,” the album’s final song and the most evocative of Manorlady’s desert roots. “You’re just a girl / who’s just begun / to gaze into the sun,” sings Aaron. “You tried to fly away / You tried to fly / You tried to go, go, go, home, home, home.”

With Home Manorlady recaptures the horizon of youth, but the band also maps its own unique peaks and valleys. As the album closes, going away and coming home seem to merge, an acknowledgment that leaving home is the start of creating a new one. For Manorlady that new nest is in Charlottesville, and the band has done a good job of building it so far. As the saying goes, home is where the heart is, and there’s definitely a lot of heart in Home. - C-ville Weekly


Formed in 2009, Santa Cruz based noisy & melodious shoegaze trio ‘Manorlady’ have been creating and self-releasing some sonically astute soundscapes via a seriously addictive back catalogue that skips nonchalantly through shoegaze, dream pop and alternative rock with relative ease. Now the band have unleashed the latest single and it’s accompanying video from their October 2016 release ‘Barely Not Dead’. The band are made up of Melissa Bailey – bass guitar/vocals, Aaron Bailey – guitar/vocals & Cameron Bailey – drums. The single is called ‘Some Chance Stay Cool’ and you can get your hands on it and the bands back catalogue via hear.manorladyband.com
‘Some Chance Stay Cool’ swirls into the ether on a lusciously addictive, tremulous guitar progression before exploding into a massive wall of reverberating noise, cushioned by throbbing bass frequencies and a metronomic percussive pattern. It’s impressive duel boy/girl vocalisations circumnavigate the entire piece and at times cut though it’s angry wall of sound guitars to bring a kind of serine haze to proceedings. Very impressive indeed!
Recommended! - Primal Music


Discography

No Bitter Ends - LP (2019)

Barely Not Dead - EP (2016)

Ego Oppressor - LP (2012)

Home - LP (2011)

Home Away - EP (2010)

Photos

Bio

Manorlady are a family band, currently living in Santa Cruz, CA. The Spector-esque dual lead vocals by Aaron and Melissa Bailey balance 90's-era guitar-driven shoegaze and post-rock. The band's third LP, 'No Bitter Ends' (April 2019), captures Manorlady's moody, dynamic intensity and features new member Conor Kelly on drums.