the Goldest
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the Goldest

Band Alternative Pop


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"The Goldest EP review"

Athenians well know that just because a new band is made up exclusively of people already in other bands doesn't mean it's a "supergroup." It might instead be a fun side project for everyone involved, which is exactly what The Goldest, which consists of five Atlantans who've recruited multiple guests onto their debut EP, seems to be, at least judging by their willingness to give away their music (you can download the whole thing at their MySpace page). It's big for an EP, too, less in span than in sound. The opener, "Already Gold," kicks off with big swathes of twinkle paired with surprisingly thumpy bass and a cymbal crash, then flowers into a kind of chugging, swirly prettiness that achieves a relaxed energy without being too calm. "Party Bus" is a little more rocking and becomes more interesting as it progresses, with big, Beatlesque harmonies that begin to pop in now and again and develop into the kind of yowly Robert Schneider wonderfulness Apples in Stereo has at its best. "FM Gold" sounds just the way it should, with a nice collection of lead male vocals and soft backing female tones, plus a chilled out, guitar-based feel that picks up speed as it moves along. You may have noticed that each song seems to grow and branch as its time elapses, which is a fair characterization and what makes the EP, as a whole, feel like more than its relatively short running time. If it's a side project, it's one benefiting from talent and the willingness of its participants to amuse themselves.

Hillary Brown - Flagpole Magazine

"the Goldest review"

With the extreme amount of music people get exposed to it’s hard to set yourself apart. Record producers want you to believe that they all have the secret, that if you follow their formula, use the equiptment they like and wish really really hard (hearts being pure) that your dreams will come true. The fact is that it isn’t true. First you have to figure out what your idea of success is. Is it getting a major label record deal? Is it being esteemed by blogs like this one? Or is it simply knowing at the end of the day that you made something thats worthhwhile regaurdless of what critics (like me) think?

The Goldest is not a tough listen, it’s really enjoyable and exudes integrity. The production is second to none even if it can be a little sterile. But the songwriting keeps you hanging on with beautiful pop melodies that seem to say “lighten up” as they smile at you. It’s funny that I just got this EP on labor day because it seems a little late as this is an incredibly strong summer evening record. If you want a comparison for The Goldest, at first it may come across as Cardigans but then seems to follow a little closer to Tilly and the Wall with it’s seriously well thought out vocal part harmonies, but you’ll come to the final conclusion I did.

This is what ABBA would write if they were around today.

Seriously think about it. ABBA was a group comprised of a couple other pairings who decided to get together. The song FMGold even seems to elude to the ABBA gold recording which is still one of the best selling albums in the world, and people forget at times that a lot of what ABBA did (aside from the vocal harmonies) was very reflective of their time. Had they gained popularity when the Todaies dominated the radio and Major Label music in general had abandoned any kind of quality standards for pop in general, The Goldest it a pretty good presumption of what would have come out.

It’s an all star cast too. Justin Grey from once famed Atlanta band 3d5spd, Matt Chenoweth of Brain Box, Susannah Wallace of Long Knives, Kevin Wallace from Jupiter Watts, Tracey Clark from Preakness even lends a hand on a track. It’s a hell of a Resume.

I’m startled and amazed that this record isn’t everywhere. BTW You don’t have to buy it. They’re GIVING IT AWAY ON MYSPACE. Unbelievable.

Click here to download all these tracks.

P.S. did you notice they only have 99 friends on myspace? Talk about them now for 10 bagillion indie points. -

"Goldest interview"

NOTE: listed 'The Goldest' EP in Top 15 CD's of 2008.

NOTE: has the Goldest in heavy rotation.

While I cetainly have my preferences towards more progressive and experimental music, I still love some good, easily accessible pop music when it’s done right. An Atlanta supergroup called The Goldest, featuring musicians who have been with such illustrious groups as Dropsonic, Jupiter Watts, Long Knives, The Sudden Rays, 3D5spd and Envie to name just a few, recently released their debut EP. It contains 5 upbeat, sugary sweet jams that I have been absolutely loving. Another thing is the album sees a plethora of guest appearances from other ATL superstars, most notably Michelle DuBois (Luigi) and Tracy Clark (The Preakness). In Athens, you often see records featuring dozens of guest appearances from other local musicians, but you don’t see that so much in the Atlanta scene.

Anyways, give it a listen:

The Goldest: Already Gone

The Goldest: FMGold

For your reading pleasure, I did an interview with The Goldest’s Justin Gray, Matthew Chenoweth, and Kevin Wallace via email:

Ohmpark: How did this project come about?

Justin Gray: Matt and I met at The Happenstance, an annual show at the Earl that throws musicians together that have never played before to write and perform 4 songs in the same day. I was already in a band (the Sudden Rays) with Kevin that was making a record at Southern Tracks, and that’s where we met. I had played previously in American Dream w/ Susannah. Lastly, Matt brought his former band mate Wilson on to round things out.

Matthew Chenoweth: Justin and I got paired up a couple of years ago at the Happenstance and it really clicked between us. He’s the perfect bass player in my opinion - solid lines, heavy grooves, musical approach. We ended up in Day Mars Ray together and that was a great way to find out we dug the same kind of music and wanted the same kinds of things from a band. The next step was jamming together on some song fragments we both had, and we left the rehearsal space completely juiced. Next was to land the perfect drummer - we both wanted Kevin (Justin already played with him in The Sudden Rays and I knew him from Jupiter Watts). Kevin sat in and was convinced after one jam session - we wrote a song in that session that eventually got recorded (not released yet). Next time we got together we wrote “We All Want More.” We seemed to click beautifully on the creative tip and almost every time someone started playing it turned into a song. We’d all done the rock trio thing and wanted a bigger sound so we kept writing and brainstorming on how to build what we thought would be the perfect band. Lots of vocals, etc. Next thing I knew Justin had booked us into Southern Tracks to cut ‘Fine’ (another spontaneous writing effort) and when Susannah came in to sing we knew we had another member - even if she was too busy, we’d wait. Didn’t take long. Sus was a full member by the time we recorded ‘Already Gone’ (she’d been on every track anyway). When we booked our first show we knew we needed a little more support in the band which came from Tom (the engineer who’d been recording us) and my friend Wilson (he and I had been in The Lord is My Shotgun together). Both great additions - Tom adding big full guitars and Wilson covering additional guitar parts in the recordings, along with vocals and keyboards. Voila! The Goldest.

JG: So that is the nuts and bolts but what really got us going was our 1st trip to southern tracks to record “fine”. We started recording in the 10am and left at 3am with a finished song—

something about moving so quickly yet being so fully immersed in just one song really got our attention. We knew that we had found a sound that was very, very special and unlike anything any of us had done before. Our sum was truly greater than our parts. That excitement, some good fights, and fumes got us through the next year and now here we are… loving what we’ve done, and optimistic about our future!

Ohmpark: Could you tell me a little bit about how the songwriting process works with the band?

Kevin Wallace: It is thoroughly collaborative. Virtually every part, idea and melody occurs spontaneously in the practice space. Unlike most of the other bands we’ve been in, it is very rare that someone brings in an idea. We begin to play and we hone in on what is working or what we think has the potential to work. We’ve all been in bands a long time and assumed various roles—with The Goldest the idea is to throw countless ideas and melodies against the wall and see which ones stick…and not be sad when the idea that sticks is not yours. The paradox is that with the exception of Susannah who is steady-minded, we are a head-butting bunch who likes to voice our opinions and think we know what is right in every instance—it just works out that the song has a voice too—an honest, unbiased voice. In the end, we all want the same thing, and that’s for the song to be as good as possible. If you listen to the song, it tells you what it wants.

MC: Yeah, anyone can start playing, and the rest jump in and squirm around until parts are born. I think the music starts to take shape first, but inevitably Kev, Sus or I will hear a vocal line and drop it right on top of the jam. I’d say 99% of the music is spontaneously conceived. We recorded all these sessions in the room and could listen back so we didn’t forget, but it really only takes between 1-3 rehearsals to nail down a song from beginning to end. In the studio we take a few liberties and sometimes come up with another hook. For instance Kev’s vocals at the end of Already Gone were written at the studio (actually, a lot of the vocals are written at the studio and the place holder vocal either gets expanded or replaced). The opening guitar (glockenspiel) line in that song was written at the studio also. Seemed like something needed to be there.

Ohmpark: What are your favourite things about the Atlanta scene, what do think sets it apart or what are its strengths?

KW: My favorite 5 things about the Atlanta scene, in no particular order are:

1 The Earl 2 The Happenstance (aka rock lotto— 3 Brandon Cox/ Deerhunter/ Atlas Sound (in 16 years of playing in the Atl scene, I have never been in such awe of a local musician. His taste is simply impeccable and writing completely special—he’s making music as good as any in the world right now—yes, the world!) 4 The camaraderie amongst fellow musicians/ music lovers in the scene—it really is a supportive musical city 5 That I have met so many great friends, not to mention my wife, from being a part of it.

I do not know very much about scenes in other musical cities; so, it’s hard to say if and why ATL is different.

MC: I really dig the scene around here. It’s great to hit the EARL, for instance, and see friends in other bands and get to hang out. It was particularly cool for us because we could call up these friends and have them come lay down a track at the studio for us. Folks like Michelle Dubois, James Hall, Jonathan Lloyd, Tracy Clark. We’ve known them all for a while and since there’s a camaraderie there we could ask them to come add something to our songs.

Ohmpark: What does The Goldest have planned now after the release of this EP?

MC: We actually recorded 13 songs, and put out the first 5 to get things started. We plan another release at the beginning of the year. It’d be great to pick up shows, try to see how the songs would fare for TV or Movies. We’re really more interested right now in making sure it’s out there - the other stuff is pie-in-the-sky. It can’t happen without fans - they won’t happen until we’re playing and getting music into their hands. Things have been coming together really well without a lot of over-working, and that seems like the best approach for right now.

Ohmpark: What are your thoughts on the state of music and the music industry?

KW: The state of music—that’s a tough one to answer. If we are talking about popular music, the state of music sucks balls and has for a good 15 years sans Radiohead—to the extent they are popular music. I suppose Coldplay is semi bright spot even if they sound like a mostly dumbed down version of Radiohead. As far as indie rock is concerned, I am not nearly as cynical. While it’s somewhat rare that I am blown away, there is a wealth of really great music out there. At times, it’s overwhelming just trying to find time to listen to it all. What makes listening to it all even harder is that I have re-fallen in love with classic rock and I find myself listening to Neil Young, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Zeppelin, The Kinks, The Clash. The Who and Pink Floyd a lot more these days.

Regarding the music industry, I hope this is the beginning of the end of it. Radiohead’s release of In Rainbows was brilliant. It showed that labels, at least for bands that have a following, are no longer, or minimally, necessary (hopefully, this will eventually spread to all musicians). Most importantly, it returned power to the artist—where it should always be. This sounds cliché and perhaps even pretentious, but I’m fine with that. The alternative is having Ashley Simpson, Brooke Hogan, The Jonas Brothers, Blink 182, Nickelback, Daughtry and a whole lot of other bullshit being pushed by a bunch of non-artist, businessman who have learned how to package non-talent and sell it at the expense of talent—that all of that might be changing is the best possible news for music.

MC: It’s pretty wild right now. All the traditional models - get a label deal, tour your ass off - don’t necessarily lead to success any more. Seems like the new model emerging is a grass-roots thing, from the bottom up, not the top down. Create a base for yourself and it will expand organically. A lot of what used to be supplied by labels can done on your own (thank you computers) and add the internet and you’ve got distribution. I don’t know, but I have a feeling this is a more lasting way to reach people who like music, and in particular, our music. I’m sure there’s a point where bigger machines are necessary, but so much can be done before that - and it give us a whole lot more control over our music and careers.

JG: Most bands I admire seem to operate outside the industry or at least the conventional confines of the industry. Many online sources for music are driven by independence with a simplistic view of promoting good music. This type of environment is very encouraging to a band like ours. I’m not sure I would have been exposed to bands like Arcade Fire or Broken Social Scene without the internet. To think that the viral version of the “do it yourself” ethic can gratify a band in a way that was once reserved for major label status, and ultimately leave this type of music in the hands of true music supporters and creators is really exciting. An obvious attribute to this model is when larger media like Rolling Stone or Spin have glossy features on a band like Of Montreal, or car companies license a song from Band of Horses. This exposure seems to bolster the viability of independent music, and aside from true validation who wouldn’t mind making a little dough doing what you love. In short I’m encouraged by the state of music and the music industry.

The Happenstance they are referring to is a pretty cool idea that I have yet to get to experience where they take people from various Atlanta bands and mix them up with others. The new combos then work together and write songs in the the span of a day to perform later that night in a show. Apparently at least one talented band owes it their existence. The next The Happenstance date actually just got announced to go down at The Earl December 13th, so you musicians and fans alike should check that out.

The Goldest’s EP can be downloaded for free from their myspace, so you probably want to do that: -

"Album Review"

The Goldest are an Atlanta band on the rise whose bubbly, Beatlesque (yes I stooped to using that adjective!) power-pop is displayed to full effect on their delightful self-titled debut EP. There’s not a weak track among them, but Susannah Wallace’s sprightly vocals on the kinetic disc opener “Already Gone” help set a catchy standard that the remaining four songs are hard-pressed to match. Guests include James Hall, Tracey Clark and K.C. Reeves, who’s still my friend even though she got engaged to someone else.

Here’s the link: - Stomp & Stammer

"Evil Sponge review"

The Goldest are Atlanta band consisting of various folks who've been around the local music scene for any number of years. I've seen them a few times in concert, and have consistently enjoyed their sunny happy Indie pop music. Earlier this year, they self-released a five song EP, which contains some of their earliest recordings. Not surprisingly, the early genesis of the EP suffers slightly from the fact that, in the time from recording to now, the band has tightened up and expanded these songs. Nevertheless, The Goldest remains an nice overview of the band's sound to date.

The EP opens with Already Gone, a tinkling tune which begins with an interplay between chiming keys and effected guitars before the dueling vocals of guitarist Matt Chenoweth and keyboardist Susannah Wallace come in, and bounce off each other. From there, the song becomes more insistent over the chorus as the drumbeat picks up and the layers of instrumental effects intensify, evoking a wall of sound which is concentrated in the upper registers. Already Gone is a happy upbeat little tune that builds throughout, concluding with a wave of vocals that leaves me pleased at the very end.

From there, the band moves on to Party Bus, which takes a more rock approach to the music. It begins with a sharp guitar bounce, over which Chenoweth vocalizes in a slightly lower pitch than on Already Gone. This tune is driven less by the keyboards and more by the bass and drum, which syncopate nicely with the vocal line and guitar. This pattern gives the song a slightly funky edge, especially once the harmonies pull together during the ostensible chorus. Towards the middle, this song slows down as the funky effects turn up and the harmonies become a bit more intense as the song works its way towards a conclusion.

FMGold is a slow song which emphasizes the harmonies by adding an underlying horn section. It has a gentleness to it, which brings to mind some of the better parts of late 60s/early 70s California style pop. Yet, despite the breezy vocals, the basic music still has a rather modern Indie feel, from the strummed guitars through the keys to the afore-mentioned horn section. This is strengthened by the melodic change which occurs towards the end of the song, as the rhythm picks up and the guitars and bass begin to jangle their way out.

The fourth song on the EP, Fine is perhaps my favorite on the record. It definitely has a jangle pop type sound with the arpeggioed guitars and simple, straight forward rhythms. All of this goes to emphasize the vocal harmonies that raise up through the chorus, as each singer precisely hits their respective notes without effects marring the sound. Like every other song by The Goldest, this tune too makes a change towards the end, as the melody adds several layers of "oohs" highlighting a bridge under which drummer Kevin Wallace sings an alternate vocal riff. Still, the band comes backs together at the end with another round of the chorus as it concludes. Fine is an exceedingly precise tune whose inherent happiness carries it throughout.

The Goldest ends with We All Want More, a tune that manages to combine the slight funk and effects of Party Bus with a chorus that is more melodic and key heavy (like perhaps Already Gone). It's not a rehash of the other songs, but rather a grafting that works to show yet another aspect of the band's music. Here, again, the recording sounds good, as the precision of the instruments and the various vocal lines comes across clearly despite the range of sounds. Likewise, We All Want More acts as an upbeat conclusion to the EP, suggesting that listeners should in fact want more from the band.

For an EP done towards the beginning of The Goldest's formation, this self-titled EP shows off a band that clearly has a lot of ideas and can already see a path towards portraying them musically. Each of the songs relates to the other musically, so that you can begin to hear elements that become characteristic of their sound. Since this EP was released, the band has also added additional material to their repertoire, and one can hope that future releases come across as well as this one. -


the Goldest: 8/25/08
Recorded at Southern Tracks

More Gold than Gold: 3/09 (in final production)
Recorded at Southern Tracks

Heavy rotation: heavy

podcasts on:

Filmed segment for 'We Fun' indie movie about the Atlanta music scene.



We recorded 14 songs @ Southern Tracks - played out first show in late July with the release of our EP - the Goldest. Everything has been amazing - movie segment requests, prime slots with major touring artists. These songs are so good people can't stop listening to the music, or get the hooks out of their heads.

as people...
friendship is second only to money. and they've spent plenty, and made little, in bands like Dropsonic, Jupiter Watts, The Sudden Rays, 3D5spd, Brain Box, Crab Daddy, American Dream, Long Knives, Ruvolo, Teen Wheat, Envie, The Black Kites, Trampoline, Shamgod, Day Mars Ray, Soft Collision, and more.

as a band...
they think they stand on firm musical ground. but they lucked into being filmed for We Fun because the filmakers wanted to shoot Southern Tracks recording studio and the band happened to be there that day. In addition to the cutting room floor, the filmakers offered to ignore a licensing deal as well. they've played some high-profile shows, but they only move thier CD's because they give them away free. the band's MySpace page is remarkably average and offers nothing to shout about. It's also been noticed they can be somewhat 'ripe' when they haven't showered.

gigs with...
Margo and the Nuclear So & Sos (Epic records)
Audrye Sessions (Black Seal records)
Wild Sweet Orange (Canvasback Music)
What Made Milwaukee Famous (Barsuk records)
Cassavetes (Headphone Treats records)
Warm in the Wake (labels label records)
Cadillac Jones (AFT records)
the party...

is a spontaneous, collective effort. songs can go from 1st note to 1st mix in under 8 hrs. the band think's it's important to have as much creative collaboration as possible. the recordings tout guest performances by James Hall (on trumpet! no less), Michelle Dubois (Luigi and Ultrababyfat), Tracy Clark (the Preakness), Clay Fowler (Jupiter Watts), John Seasle (Tag Team and the EARL), horns from Cadillac Jones and Gold Sparkle Band, and Scott Wilbanks of Third Day on keys. guests have added tremendous vocals, beautiful horns, stark flutes, and schizophrenic sax solos. It only gets better.