Phineas and the Lonely Leaves
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Phineas and the Lonely Leaves

White Plains, New York, United States | SELF

White Plains, New York, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Rock




"CD Review: Phineas and the lonely leaves"

If The Kids We Used to Be was a photo, it would be a faded black-and-white Polaroid taken by the obstinately precious indie darling Conor Oberst, caged in a patinaed frame, meticulously stained by the wistful alt-country of Ryan Adams. Such is the province of Hudson Valley-bred Timothy Feeney, who writes the songs, sings, and plays the acoustic guitar. Phineas and the Lonely Leaves are not as lo-fi as Oberst’s Bright Eyes, and in these days of Garage Band-y basement recordings lost on MySpace, it is rare to find such a wonderfully recorded, performed, and produced self-released album. Navigating the chasm between indie folk and adult-album alternative, engineer and producer Adam Rourke and Feeney have great ears and the ability to grasp and follow through on a complete and articulate artistic vision.

Rarer still, in a musicscape of EPs and iTunes singles, this is a true album; rock opera-like, with well-defined themes flowing seamlessly, determined and easy like the Hudson Valley streams surrounding the memories and emotions of the music. Treasures are awaiting, down the road and around the bend. While less specificity might garner broader appeal, summering Upstate New Yorkers will revel in the provincial references. The quaint vocals and subject matter bring a mostly endearing and valued immediacy to the song structures. Anyone who has been a teenager and experienced the newness and excitement of up-late freedoms on hot summer nights, of burgeoning dreams and adolescent innocence lost, and sex, cars, and beer will face-plant into the bliss and ache of nostalgia.
- Chronogram

"Come on August"

Phineas and the lonely leaves are one of my favoritist bands. I’ve been pacing for some time now waiting for them to put out the kids we use to be and it was most definitely worth the wait. I don’t know what it is about these guys but the lyrics kill me every single time a song of theirs comes up. Feeney delivers his lyrics with such passive realism that listening feels like it’s merely deep conversation rather than a one-sided piece of indie art. The band overall are one of those rare collectives where you can tell that each comfortably fits into a whole rather than a group of ego’s shuffling over each other. There’s never a situation where Phineas and the lonely leaves can’t mix easily into the ethos of any decent playlist and that’s worth it’s weight in gold to me. They gave out the album for free on July fourth but in case you missed it or this is your first taste of this phenomenal band they’re still handing out a couple free tracks over on their band page .

I hope the band doesn’t mind but i’m going to put another song up this week from them that’s my personal favorite: When We Were Young . - hey cool kid

"The name of this band is Phineas & the Lonely Leaves"

No, they sound nothing like the Talking Heads, I am just misappropriating a phrase for my own use. You might catch me doing it again. Now on with the post.

Phineas & the Lonely Leaves hail from the Lower Hudson Valley (that’s in New York folks) and it’s a place we’re a little familiar with. In fact, this press shot looks like the quintessential kinda spot you’d find at the edge of the Catskils.

As for the band, Timothy Feeney (we’re guessing that’s Phineas) has been bouncing around the music scene for a while between New York and Boston. This is his latest project and from what little we’ve heard, the time it took to get him here was well spent. The record is called The Kids We Used To Be and that’s the name of the track below too. - Atlantas A-List

"Phineas and the lonely leaves - The Kids We Used To Be"

With a sweet and catchy piano melody, the acoustic/indie rock band Phineas And The Lonely Leaves kicks off their first album since 2007. The band, from Peekskill, NY, is set to release The Kids We Used To Be on Feb. 22. The disc combines acoustic ballads with piano driven melodies to go along with Timothy Feeney’s clear voice and personal lyrics. Each song talks about memories from Feeney, in what is essentially a giant flashback in a smooth, narrative tone. Nearly all of the songs talk about past summers: growing up, jamming out with a few friends, lighting fireworks and getting inebriated.

The first song “The Kids We Used To Be” is about being underage, dropping out of college, getting wasted and just having fun. “Come Back To Peekskill” talks about wanting to reunite with a loved one, with a syncopated piano and addicting chorus. “Next Summer” is a fairly simple track, yet turning point of the album, with some friends sitting around a campfire, gazing up into the stars and realizing they are getting older.

Perhaps the CD doesn’t seem to have the best rhymes and lyrics, but there are a few songs that are enjoyable, like “The Bros. Of Summer” and “Dead Right” If you are looking for some harmonious acoustics and piano melodies then you will enjoy it. But, on the whole, the disc does seem to lack some variety and depth. - The Aquarian

"3 Bands to Notice: Parlours, Post Adolescence, Phineas and the Lonely Leaves"

Phineas and the Lonely Leaves: An indie-folk band from NY, their sophomore album The Kids We Used to Be is packed with lovely keys, guitars, and warm vocals made for lazy sun-soaked days and spur-of-the-moment road trips. Some outstanding picks: "Dead Right" and "Next Summer", along with the title track (both parts). - Three Imaginary Girls

"Phineas and the lonely leaves make indie folk goodness"

When I was a teenager, I was obsessed with making mix tapes (weren’t we all?). My best friend had one that her parents had made. The A side was titled Irretrievable Youth. It was full of fun, upbeat songs, like "Bitchin’ Camaro" by The Dead Milkmen, basically songs about living life to the fullest and reveling in youth. The B side was titled Irrevocable Adulthood. And it had songs with a decidedly more wistful air, but also with more mature topics. I think one of them was “Makin’ Love Out Of Nothing At All” by Air Supply. I got the idea of the tape, but I don’t think I fully understood it until now, as I listen to The Kids We Used To Be by East coast indie folk/rock band Phineas And The Lonely Leaves.

The Lonely Leaves’ second album captures the paradox of growing up beautifully. You want to get past being a kid when you’re young. You want to go back to being a kid when you’re old. You feel like you can’t win either way. The Kids We Used To Be, with Timothy Feeney’s breathy, Bright Eyes-ish vocals and the band’s creative arrangements is full of songs that transport you back in time. Feeney wrote the record about his experience growing up in the Lower Hudson Valley of New York. The title track sets the tone of the record, with emotional vocals longing for the good old days. The refrain of “We have to remember these days” made me recall memories I hadn’t thought of in years. The good ones, like when I used to spend entire weeks with my best friend growing up, riding bikes and playing silly games.

“Come Back to Peekskill” also stands out. The entire band sings together to a chorus of handclaps, making it sound like it’s being sung around a campfire.

Phineas And The Lonely Leaves have written a highly lyrical record, meaning that it’s absolutely necessary to pay attention to what Feeney sings. One of the most beautiful lyrics in the record, one that made me rewind and listen again, comes from the song “Next Summer”:

‘It was that last night, sitting around the fire.

Staring up at the stars above, some of us were still in love just waiting on that last dawn to say how can I live without you, before you actually have to.

Before you ever knew it was possible.’

Wow. I love that. So much. Phineas and the Lonely Leaves have truly captured that irretrievable youth/irrevocable adulthood paradox in this record. It’s great. It sparks so much nostalgia while confirming that we can still remember the kids we used to be. We’re not gone, just older.

Phineas And The Lonely Leaves are currently touring on the East Coast, mainly in New York. The next time you can see them is February 24 at Birdsall House in Peekskill, NY. If you're near, go see them. I bet they're amazing live.

"Phineas and the lonely leaves - The Kids We Used To Be"

The oldest you ever feel is when you're still relatively young, around the mid-to-late 20s when the adult world comes crashing in. Serious jobs, serious relationships, rent, debt, taxes, aging parents, responsibilities: it all looms up in the years just after college. It's the kind of thing that can tinge even the most quotidian adolescent experiences with the golden glow of nostalgia. Driving around aimlessly, nursing cokes in grubby diners, setting off fireworks at the beach...ah yes, the kids we used to be.

Kids We Used to Be, the second album from upstate New Yorkers Phineas and the Lonely Leaves, captures this bittersweet phase with exceptional grace. In nine songs (and one reprise), songwriter Tim Feeney frames elliptical tales of adjusted expectations with unsentimental country rock melodies. His vibrato-tinged twang balances between hope and discouragement. The upsweep of possibilities lifts "Next Summer" into a swirl of guitar-jangling euphoria, yet by the next track, "Museum of the Gone", the narrowness of the old bedroom's twin bed, the classic rock mirror of a deceased uncle suggest walls that are closing in, hopes that are being deferred.

The title track is the standout here, building anticipation in a high piano cadence, then kicking into high gear with a strumming, giddily unsettled beat. Kids who left for college come drifting back, defeated. Girlfriends slip away, out towards the wider world. Potential fades. Reality sets in, but Feeney, for one, isn't giving up without a fight. There's a fierceness to the drum-kicking refrain, "We have to remember this place/We have to remember these days," as if we'd caught him in the midst of an argument about how long he's going to hang around his dead-end home town.

All this makes The Kids We Used To Be sound like kind of a downer, but in fact, it blares positive feelings like the boom box in the back seat in one of the songs. In "Bros. of Summer," old buddies crack a few to celebrate a reunion, remembering girls at malls and VFW Halls and "the gas stations and parking lots and diners where we grew up." The mood is as happy as it is wistful. "When you're in town, let's knock it down tonight," sings Feeney against fist-pumping bursts of guitar and drums. The Kids We Used to Be is a memoriam for lost youth, a rallying cry for one last night of debauchery, and a damned impressive album. It makes you wonder what Feeney might be capable of when he finally decides to grow up. - Blurt Magazine

"Phineas and the lonely leaves - The Kids We Used To Be"

This type of band is very familiar to me. The piano - the lyrics about youth - the singer with the voice that’s imploring, desperate, disconnected, and amused all at once. That’s not to say that Phineas and The Lonely Leaves don’t have something unique to offer. They do. The tracks on The Kids We Used to Be are tight, well done, and nicely mixed; the music doesn’t overpower the singer nor vice versa. But they also have songs about common shared experiences, like hanging out in parking lots as kids or feeling lonely when all your friends have left town.

Phineas and The Lonely Leaves will be returning to their native state of New York to play some smaller towns after having joined in the South by Southwest madness. They may be New York based, but they sound more Californian in their causal approach to music. The songs on their second album (the first being Love What Lies in 2007) are layered, with an acoustic guitar over a piano over drums over bass and the occasional keyboard or MacBook slotted in. Lead singer Timothy Feeney sounds very nostalgic with his voice reminiscent of Conor Deasy of The Thrills or Ryan Adams. He’s so earnest in his concern for the subject of the song.

The songs are a little out of place to listen to during the cold season, but once summer hits, I think the easy-going tracks with lyrics like “And I wanted to tell you something, I always wanna tell you now and then. But I get claustrophobic when I think about the walls closing in,” might make more sense, with all those leftover spring fever feelings. There’s something delicate about this album – it asks to be left on the background while you slowly fall asleep in a hammock with your new sweetheart. So you may want to have it on hand for when the warm weather hits. - The Red Alert


The Stay Crazy ep (2006)
Love What Lies (2007)
The Kids We Used To Be (2010)



Phineas and the Lonely Leaves

Phineas and the Lonely Leaves is a band based in Peekskill, NY. Their latest CD "The Kids We Used To Be" will be released in February 2011 and captures the essence of growing up and being young in the Lower Hudson Valley of New York. With a driving rock force coupled with a americana Indie folk swing, Phineas and the Lonely Leaves has started to light up audiences and the music scene in and around New York.

Timothy Feeney heads up the group with lead vocals and guitar. Feeney also writes all the songs for Phineas and the Lonely Leaves. After recording their debut album Love What Lies, which was mostly recorded with studio musicians, Feeney went looking for some full time band members for live shows. He first went to long time friend and classmate Tim Cavanagh, who joined the group in 2008 on bass. Cavanagh quickly brought in college friend John Pye on drums. The trio worked well together, playing gigs all throughout 2008. When Feeney started writing songs for what would become The Kids We Used To Be in late 2008, he soon realized he was going to need to fill out the band for the deep, rich and full sound he envisioned. In early 2009 the trio reached out to a piano/keyboard player Paul Slater and a few months later found lead guitarist Michael Spinelli. The five members meshed together musically better than Feeney could have hoped and in the fall of 2009 they began recording "The Kids We Used To Be" in Waltham, Mass., just outside of Boston.

Engineer and producer Adam Rourke had the challenge of bringing in the raw and often wild LIVE performing group into the studio to lay down the tracks. With expert skills, sharp attention to detail, and hours of patience, Rourke was able to give The Kids We Used To Be the strong and tight yet musically playful sound that all had hoped to achieve.

Currently gigging in NYC and throughout Westchester, Phineas and the Lonely Leaves is a band you do not want to miss. New drummer Larry Ohlmann has filled in for John Pye who left the band shortly after the release of The Kids We Used To Be. The CD is currently available for sale on iTunes, and on the bands website