the channel
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the channel

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The best kept secret in music


""These guys manage to blend electro, psychadelica and pure pop so seamlessly, it seems impossible""

Rating: 9/10 You know that great feeling you get when you finally complete a really hard crossword puzzle? I'm talking New York Times Friday crossword puzzle. It feels great, doesn't it? It's that feeling of accomplishment doubled with the (let's face it) feeling of surprise at ourselves for actually being able to do it. It is one of the nicest feelings in the world, and if you've never experienced it, you should really give it a try; you won't find that feeling anywhere else, and I've never found anything to compare it to - until now. I got that same feeling the first time I listened to this, the second full-length record from The Channel. Right from the opening static and keyboards of "Depersonalized," I was completely hooked and there was no letting go. What came after those opening seconds was the stuff of legends. The album starts off light, with light keyboards and a very faint drum beat hiding behind the wall of static, then the beat kicks in and the fuzzy bass follows and we've got magic in our ears. These guys manage to blend electro, psychadelica and pure pop so seamlessly, it seems impossible. It's almost hard to believe my ears, even after repeated listens. It's like listening to the Olivia Tremor Control waste a holiday weekend in their basement with the Beta Band. They even manage to add in a country twinge on the danceable "Inhibition," a lovely Beatlesque ode to "June," and a spot-on cover of the Will Oldham classic "Black." I usually frown upon covers on studio albums, but this one is making me change my stance. For fans of The Flaming Lips, The Elected, of Montreal and the aforementioned outfits, Olivia Tremor Control and The Beta Band, this record will not disappoint. Most of the songs on this record could easily stake their claim in the Song of the Year running, and I wouldn't be surprised if at least one of them winds up in my top 5. So when this Friday rolls around, and you turn to the crossword puzzle in the Times, put this record on. It can only help. Trust me, you need this record.
Reviewer: Stephen Smith -

"The Channel is going to harmonize their way to music heaven."

Reviewer: j sin
*EDITORS PICK* Originally formed by brother Brent and Colby Pennington in the late ‘90’s, The Channel saw its share of break-ups and studio recordings. Recently reformed and revitalized along with help with former members of the Austin, Texas-based band The Arthurs, The Channel progressively seeks to destroy the typical notion of indie pop for a sound somewhere between the Beach Boys and Belle and Sebastian. It’s quite invigorating and certainly fresh—like fresh sushi at the best sushi shop in town—and is going to harmonize their way to music heaven. -

""This might be the start of an new era of bands that exceed what we once thought was untouchable.""

Reviewer: Mike Turner
I know there are many of you out there who just love those years of the Elephant 6 collective from 95-99. I think this band the Channel are in that same group. You can hear the emotion in the vocals like Neutral Milk Hotel, the slick recording of Apples in Stereo, experimentation of Olivia Tremor Control, and the country vibe of the Essex Green. This might be the start of an new era of bands that exceed what we once thought was untouchable. - Bee's Knees Zine

""all good from beginning to end""

Smile for me once pretty baby. Very clever. The first track is an instrumental called “depersonalized” followed by track two called… you guessed it “personalized” with vocals. And let me tell you it was all good from beginning to end. It was one of the most non hybrid, hybrid records I’ve ever heard. Beautiful music. It was pure, perfect, consistent, and simple. (3.7 out of 4) - Crash Zine

""Really quite awesome, simply put.""

Reviewer: Bruce Brodeen - Not Lame Recording Company
A wonderful mix of The Minders, Polyphonic Spree, Granddaddy, The Kinks, lots of Beach Boys melodies and harmonies done Elefant 6 style (but with much better production than almost all those bands), Olivia Tremor Control and The Flaming Lips. Oh yeah.....psychy Beatles, of course. Really quite awesome, simply put. -

""if the Beatles and the Byrds ever got together and made a record""

Reviewer: Kissing the Cat (Zine) - Pixtsx
These Austin kids must be on some good stuff to create such great psychadelic summershine pop. I think this is what it would have sounded like if the Beatles and the Byrds ever got together and made a record. The only complaint I have about this record is the sample they threw in for no reason at the end of Follow You. There is this amazing girl singer who just finished one of the most hazy songs I've ever had the pleasure of hearing, and then it static crackles into some nature documentary speech. Beyond that the record is flawless. - Kissing the Cat Zine

""Highly Recommended!""

Reviewer: Ginger DelaRosa (
This may be the best album of 2004 that you've never heard! Many euphoric moments akin to the grandiose moments from Soft Bulletin (The Flaming Lips) or the Sophtware Slump (Grandaddy). The lead vocal and songwriting duties are passed around quite a bit and that keeps a fresh feeling to the album. There is also a slight country tinge to several songs and an unprecendented amount of harmonizing, recalling the glory days of the Byrds. It is easy to get swept away in those huge harmonies and it is rarity to see them done so well these days. A nice Will Oldham cover finishes the album off just fine! For fans of the Polyphonic Spree, Olivia Tremor Control, The Byrds, The Beach Boys and the bands mentioned earlier! Highly Recommended! -

""extremely charming""

The Channel starts with a base of lo-fi sensibilities then adds some modern jingles and sound bytes. With polished vocals and guitar layers to output a rather extremely charming little disc. “Personalized” scratches the need for a Neutral Milk Hotel or Belle and Sebastien song I don’t know by heart. Throw in some Beatle’s harmonies and piano ballads, and you have the Channel pegged. This seems more like it’d be a better vinyl release; since the artwork is commendable and coincides with the 60’s music tense almost eerily.




Tones Are Falling (2004)
- Reached #120 on CMJ top 200
- Added on 135+ college radio stations in USA and Canada

Personalized (2004) Released 11/16/2004
- #6 most added on CMJ, debuted at #119 on CMJ top 200
- Added on 170+ college radio stations in USA and Canada


Feeling a bit camera shy


‘The Channel’ began as a project of brothers Brent and Colby Pennington in the late 90’s when they formed a band with a few of their friends as a means of passing the time. After a short tenure the group disbanded and the brothers pursued other projects. Colby continued writing and recording music on his own under the pseudonym, ‘Driftin’ Luke and his many Personalities’, and began collaborating with his good friend Joey Vaughan in various bands such as ‘The Mighty Hebrews’ and ‘Ol’ Pioneers’. These outings yielded many recordings that circulated mainly amongst friends and family. While Colby kept busy with his various projects, Brent began playing in an Austin, TX band called ‘The Arthurs.’ After a few homemade recordings and one minor studio effort, ‘The Arthurs’ traveled to Portland, OR to record their debut LP, “Walking in the Sunlight”, with Martyn Leaper of ‘The Minders’. Two west coast tours ensued, but when one member relocated to New York, ‘The Arthurs’ became history. It was at this time that Colby and Brent decided to resurrect ‘The Channel’ with two of Brent’s bandmates from ‘The Arthurs’, Andy McAllister and Jamie Reaves.

In 2001, ‘The Channel’ recorded their first full length album entitled “Tones are Falling”. After the band released a homemade version of the record in 2002, they signed to C-Side Records which officially released a remixed and remastered version in 2003. The album reached #120 on the CMJ 200 chart in early 2004 while the band played shows around town to support its release. During this time, Colby and Brent’s sister, Heather, was added to the group. ‘The Channel’ continued to perform around their home state, opening for acts such as ‘Of Montreal’ and ‘The Minders’, and playing weekly shows at the Austin Hostel, but much of there time was being devoted to recording a new album.

‘The Channel’ has now finished their second LP, entitled “Personalized” with all five members sharing the songwriting and production duties. Full of swirling harmonies and euphoric crescendos, the recording consists of nine original songs and a Will Oldham cover. The album was mastered by Jeff Saltzman (Stephen Malkmus, Robert Pollard, Death Cab for Cutie, The Minders) at Superdigital in Portland, OR. ‘The Channel’ has certainly hit their stride, accomplishing something few bands do so early in their career, which is to transcend their influences and create something unique and intriguing. This record marks a definite leap forward for the band in sound, texture and structure, and is sure to please old fans as well as make a whole lot of new ones.