((sounder))
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((sounder))

Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas, United States
Band Alternative New Age

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"The Music of ((sounder))"

NPR.org, May 19, 2008 - The music of ((Sounder)) is filled with resignation and uncertainty. Life may be good, but it's likely to go bad... and get worse before it gets worser. No one has the answers or knows where to find them. The world and everything in it will eventually end. The band scores these themes with appropriately gloomy, experimental noise-rock. But they complicate the mix by throwing in some jangly, uptempo sing-alongs, all of which makes their latest CD, Good Things Come and Go Like Bad Things an intriguing listen.

"I guess like most, I fluctuate from the feeling that there is great promise for all of us," says ((Sounder)) frontman Mike Aho. "But there is just so much negligence and pain in the world, it's hard to stay optimistic all the time." Aho says he actually used to have a darker outlook, "but my two year-old daughter is certainly re-teaching me the beauty of all that is around us."

Aho writes and records as ((Sounder)) in Costa Mesa, Calif., with percussionist Steve Stratton. The two met through skateboarding and made their first recordings in 2005 with a cassette recorder they set up under a mini (skateboarding) ramp. They released their debut a year later, There Is Another Sun Clouded Over With Meticulous Care.

Aho was living in Austin, TX when he wrote "Those Days Were Good Days (as Days Sometimes Are)." "I was really broke at the time and pretty down on a lot of things," he says. "It's just kind of a stream of consciousness text about a lot things I was going through and thinking about at that time in my life. Love, religion, the end of the world... it's kind of all over the place, but hopefully touches on a lot of things that we all feel."

Aho is also a visual artist and is producing a series of videos for the latest ((Sounder)) CD. Two are out already on the band's Web site and three more are in the works. Aho has also produced videos for other artists like Bonnie "Prince" Billy. - NPR


"((sounder))"

Every once in a while I'll hear an album that pushes all of my music-fetish buttons, and this is one of them. The whole album has that great murky production value that so many of my favorite records share. At times it's hard to tell whether or not the vocals were recorded in a studio or in someone's garage, and the instruments bleed together when there's more than a couple in a given song. The album features some great piano and acoustic guitar work, as well as some fuzzy distorted guitar and weird synth sounds that really color the mix. Some tracks lean toward folk, while others rely on the classic loud/quiet/loud indie rock formula. Even the cover art is great: a painting of what appears to be a bird wearing a turtleneck sweater against a wooden background praying to a star. One of my favorite moments comes in "Things Are Gonna Get Worse," which includes the word "worser." Rap artists get away with chopping up English, so why not? Keep up the gooder works! - LA Record


"((sounder)) 'Good Things'"

Mike Aho is known for his videos and artwork but the visual arts aren't his only pursuit, as his duo with drummer Steve Stratton Sounder has shown. For the band's second album they create an attractive blend of everything from noisy murk to sweet singalongs -- sometimes in the same song, as opening track "Good Things" readily shows -- and in steering away from any easy categorization come up with a listen that's much more interesting that so many efforts-by-rote in the world of early 21st century indie rock as broadly defined. The easy going roughness of compositions like "Daily I Will Calculate The Distance" and "If We All Collide in the Sun" among others help to signal that there's a new generation reinterpreting the late eighties/early nineties heyday of 'indie' rock as such, in the same way that acts like No Age and Times New Viking are, both catchy and scraggly and definitely not interested in pop-punch sheen. Aho's singing is a perfect summary of the band in ways on these tracks -- distanced from the mike and in the mix but not inaudible, yearning but not strained and often quite affecting. The sense of equivocation and not wanting to fully settle into a style or sound even gets hinted at in the songtitles -- "Those Days Were Good (As Days Sometimes Are)" and "Things Are Going To Get Worse (Before They Get Worser)" are two of the better uses of parentheses around -- while the inclusion of everything from soft keyboard lines and muffled spoken word ("La Guerra Sobre La Mesa") to Tom Waits-like cabaret sea shanteys keeps a listener involved throughout. - MTV.COM


Discography

‘There is Another Sun Clouded Over with
Meticulous Care’
cd, full length
volcom entertainment 2006

‘Good Things Come and Go Like Bad Things’
cd, full length
volcom entertainment 2009

‘Stop That Dreaming’
cd, ep
Celebrate Magic Hands 2009

‘If We Don’t Get Better’
cd, ep
Celebrate Magic Hands 2011

‘We’ll Turn The Coffins Into Gardens’
7”, vinyl
mt indadale records 2011

Photos

Bio

((SOUNDER)) is the music of Mike Aho, who splits his time as a visual artist, musician and video director. The current line-up features Jesse Lee and Tom Hoff (American Analog Set) and Travis Cooper. Aho has released 2 LP's (Volcom Entertainment), 2 EP's (self released) and a 7" double single (Mt. Inadale) as ((sounder)) since 2007. All recordings have been produced by long-time friend/producer Matt Wignall (Cold War Kids, Mando Diao). ((SOUNDER)) has played in support of Mates of State, Olivia Tremor Control, Wooden Birds and many more between Austin and Los Angeles.

Stand-out press includes and a cover/feature in Paper Magazine, interview on NPR, rave reviews from LA Record and Vice Magazine, and a live television performance on Fuel TV's Daily Habit.

2009's 'Good Things Come and Go Like Bad Things' garnered attention with it's Director's Collaboration Project, in which Aho collaborated with 6 visual artists to direct a series of music videos to compliment the release. The series has received over 150,000 views online.

Aho is currently beginning work on the 3rd full-length record, due out in summer of 2012. He lives and works in Austin Texas.

SEE VIDEOS AT SOUNDERSOUNDER.COM