Miracle Parade
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Miracle Parade

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States
Band Americana Alternative

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"FOREST FIRES | HARK! ...AND OTHER LOST TRANSMISSIONS (Album Review)"

Forest Fires' eerie debut could be a worthy follow-up to Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I'm not kidding...and I'm the writer, you aren't.

Forest Fires is Chris Pappas, frontman of local favorites The Everyday Visuals. It's not a huge departure, but on Hark, Pappas has crafted a dark, more focused vision. The appropriately titled opener, "Lost At Sea," is a lonely country waltz with longing slide guitars. The ethereally creepy "New Medicine" features Pappas lamenting "too much conversation."

The highlight is the menacing stomp of "Sweet Tooth," with its heartbreaking yet uplifting chorus. The roomy production especially suits the message of "Fooling Everbody, All of the Time": "All the songs you love were only kidding / Don't you know that rock & roll is fixed?"

Hark sounds like the product of a creaky haunted house just before the ghosts completely take over. - Weekly Dig


"Forest Fires: Show Preview (Armory Cafe: 04.29.2010)"

The music of Christopher Pappas’ Forest Fires feels like the unpredictable yet comforting waves of a melancholic sea crashing against the shore. Methodical drums, tambourines, and layered guitars and organs act as a backdrop to the tragic love songs, hopeful highs, and enchanting sirens of Forest Fires’ almost hymn-like odes to the world.
Earlier this month Forest Fires released Hark! …and Other Lost Transmissions. One of several standout tracks is “Sweet Tooth”, a song reminiscent of the experience of briskly walking through familiar streets and noticing all their details for the first time. Stream it below with a few others, and download the album at your own price from their Band Camp site. Elastic yet consistently moving upwards, Forest Fires’ music is created with heartfelt passion and unmistakable personality.
Catch Forest Fires with Raysmith (featuring Christopher’s father) and Jesse Gallagher (of Apollo Sunshine) during the fifth week of their Armory residency this Thursday. Tickets are only $7. - Foundwaves Blog


"Forest Fires play “Sad Bastard Music” with A Lot of Heart"

Smokey the Bear may have engrained in your head not to promote the spread of Forest Fires, but we here at TeaParty think a bit differently. Christopher Pappas, the man we’ve come to know and love as the lead singer of the Everyday Visuals, is embarking on a series of solo projects, with his attention mostly focused on his new folk-inspired outfit Forest Fires. While it is a more laid back, reverby sound than the poppy hooks of the Everyday Visuals, Pappas produces a big sound on Hark! …And Other Lost Transmissions, Forest Fires’ first studio release (download). The album has already received critical acclaim from The Phoenix and Performer among other established sources.

Forest Fires will be one of many artists performing at the Hub of the Universe Boston’s preview weekend for next year’s “Cultural Pop-Up Festival.” The show will take place Sunday May 9th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel as part of a special “I Heart Mom” Mother’s Day brunch that also features Barrence Whitfield with Ollabelle, Annie & the Beekeepers, a vintage MBTA art exhibit and free admission for anyone with a “Mom” tattoo. If you love your mother, if you love brunch (it’s included with ticket purchase!), if you love music, or if you just love spending time in hotels, come check out Forest Fires at the Hyatt Regency on May 9th.

I was able to catch up with Pappas to find out a bit more about Forest Fires and what exactly we can expect from his upcoming shows.

–Perry Eaton

Hey there Chris, so tell me, in a live setting, who plays what in Forest Fires?

It’s been a rotating cast as of late. Basically I have this pool of amazing musicians that I just send out an email blast to, and whomever can do it– I’m super excited. But I can tell you more specifically; Joe Seiders (The Everyday Visuals), Kyle Fredrickson (The Everyday Visuals), Billy Beard (Session Americana), Zach Hickman (Josh Ritter), Erik Wormwood (Mean Creek), and Eliot Hunt (CircleCircleStar) have all been helping me out.

Where and when did the idea for Forest Fires start? What inspired the side-project?

Forest Fires was really born out of this collection of songs that I felt didn’t fit the Visuals’ sound. I hadn’t really even made a solo record before, or recorded on my own other than demo-ing for the Visuals records. So I started thinking, “Why not?” I put some tracks down–and really started getting excited about the way it was going. I enlisted my friend and fabulous producer Aaron Benson (Thick as Thieves) to help me out with tracking and mixing some tunes and before I knew it, I had a record.

In what ways has the songwriting and overall sound been different for Forest Fires than with the Everyday Visuals? Do you attract a similar crowd with both projects or do many people who are fans of one project not recognize that you are associated with the other band?

Actually the overlap has been surprisingly small. I find that the Visuals, for better or for worse, are a pop band. Not pop in the sense of mainstream pop–but more Shins, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, indie-pop. Whereas Forest Fires is what a friend of mine, Mary Beth, would call “Sad bastard music.” It’s very dark and mellow, even in the production. Just to be clear by the way, because I know she’d want me to be; She loves sad bastard music–it certainly wasn’t a slight against all the sad music out there. It’s strange though, because I do write all the songs in the Visuals too. I think just the people I play with, and the way we work in that band lends itself to a different esthetic. I would say The Visuals, even though I am the songwriter in that band, is a ‘collective sound.’ Forest Fires would be a purely me sound. If I were to make a record by myself, it would sound like this. And so it does.

Who are some bands or artists that have inspired Forest Fires’ sound?

Well growing up I listened to a lot of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, America, The Byrds, Simon and Garkfunkel–which certainly have their place on the record and in my songwriting sound. But current favorites and inspirations would definitely be Sun Kil Moon, David Bazan/Pedro the Lion. Those two song writers are such an inspiration. Also, it can’t go wthout mentioning that I think R.E.M. is one of my favorite bands ever–so they must be in there somewhere.

Are there any other gigs this summer that you’re particularly psyched for?

I’m really excited to open for Jose Gonzalez’s new band Junip at Great Scott on June 2nd. He’s great, and that is going to be a lot of fun. I really love playing Great Scott, and Carl (the talent booker) is such a great guy.

If fans come out to the Hub show on May 9th, what can they expect?

A lot of heart.

Anything else that Forest Fires fans should be aware of in the near future?

This summer I am moving to Los Angeles to record a follow up EP with Pierre De Reeder from Rilo Kiley. He played some bass on Hark! and took a liking to the music so he offered to produce the record in his studio in L.A. That EP should be ready to go come fall. Also, on May 19th at the Middle East downstairs I am conducting a full orchestra. They will be playing 3 pieces I wrote for orchestra. It’s going to be pretty epic, or a complete disaster. Or both–an epic disaster. Ha. - TEAPARTYBOSTON (Not affiliated with the Political Movement)


Discography

Hark! ...and Other Lost Transmissions (April 2010)
EP (TBA)

Photos

Bio

-It should be noted that Miracle Parade was until recently known as "Forest Fires". Please keep that in mind while reading reviews and such.-

"Brilliance ... Heartbreakingly beautiful ... Miracle Parade's eerie debut could be a worthy follow-up to Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot." - The Weekly Dig

It’s hard to write a bio for an artist like Miracle Parade.

While, admittedly, the art of the ‘artist’s bio’ is a fairly boorish one, it is also impossible to escape the fact that the ‘bio-writing process’, as it were, is the process of summation. We take all the bits of snap shots, hints, and sound bites, average them together and pull out this story – a narrative of the artist that, while try as we might to the contrary, never gives you the full picture.

Perhaps that is why it is ultimately frustrating to write a bio about Miracle Parade (the mokiner for Singer/Songwriter Christopher Pappas); for his music lives in these creeks and cracks of subtly. His songs, steeped in low-fi acoustics and rustic ambience, find home in between the snap shots that one can pull together to create the bigger picture. A recent Los Angles transplant, he is currently finishing an EP with producer Pierre De Reeder (Rilo Kiley, Jenny and Johnny, M Ward, Death Cab For Cutie) and plans to be the final straw that actually shakes Los Angeles into the ocean.

+ NICE WORDS
“…hushed lyrics, stark contrasts and unpredictable melodies and arrangements.” – North East Performer

“The gorgeous “Lost at Sea” is like a long-lost out-take from Sweetheart of the Rodeo.” – The Boston Phoenix