The Herald Beat
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The Herald Beat

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States
Alternative Post-rock

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"The Sound of Confusion album review of Hollow Head"

"'Hollow Head' is the debut album from Texan-born brothers Dylan and Zack Burns (with a little help from some friends) and was written in their home town before they relocated to Austin to work with producer Louie Lino who has previously manned the desk for Nada Surf. A further relocation to Los Angeles took place with the aim of widening their catchment area and becoming part of the city's vibrant and acclaimed music scene. The choosing of the name The Herald Beat for their musical adventures comes from Dylan laying down a story (the herald) and Zack pinning it down with a beat (um, the beat). So it's been a winding road to get where they are now, but it might just have been worth it.

The music they choose for reference and inspiration for their own work is hardly left-field and not particularly surprising; The Herald Beat, like so many others, see the beauty in the traditional influences that have provided the base material for albums by Grizzly Bear, Menomena, Band Of Horses and others, and as such this record gravitates around semi acoustic tracks that are enriched by a fuller production and the addition of restrained strings, brass and backing vocals. Call it Americana if you like, but it sits on the alternative side of the genre, crossing over into indie-rock territory at times. Much of 'Hollow Head' is made from thoughtful and sometimes pained lyrics, such as those found on 'Hopelessly Honest' and this fact may mean that upon first glance people may pass them by.

It's worth sticking around and letting yourself absorb the songs properly though. There are no hit singles here and nor are there meant to be. 'Hollow Head' instead explores emotions, atmospherics and twilight sounds rather than giving you a big pop rush. It strives for beauty and connection to something deeper and at certain points it manages to do just that, with single 'Awakening' being a particularly potent, if mellow, example. As they stand, The Herald Beat will appeal to a niche market; those with the time and dedication to put in to getting to know the album well, and if you're of that ilk then 'Hollow Head' won't let you down. So no instant "wow" factor then, but a slow-burning record of occasional beauty nonetheless." - The Sound of Confusion Blog


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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"[Hollow Head] explores emotions, atmospherics and twilight sounds rather than giving you a big pop rush. It strives for beauty and connection to something deeper and at certain points it manages to do just that, with single ‘Awakening’ being a particularly potent, if mellow, example. As they stand, The Herald Beat will appeal to a niche market; those with the time and dedication to put in to getting to know the album well, and if you’re of that ilk then ‘Hollow Head’ won’t let you down." -The Sound of Confusion

LA-based group The Herald Beat released their first full-length album, Hollow Head, on October 15th, 2012. Hollow Head is available to download free at soundcloud.com/theheraldbeat. Help them continue to make music by purchasing the album for $4.99 instead at cdbaby.com/cd/theheraldbeat.

Louie Lino (Nada Surf, Matt Pond PA, et al.) took the helm as producer of the album and introduced the brothers to guest vocalist Leslie Sisson (The Wooden Birds, American Analog Set, and Broken Social Scene). Hollow Head features a wide array of instrumentation throughout (including cello, trumpet, and hand percussion), resulting in a dynamic sound. Dylan’s guitar parts take subtle influences from classical training to create strong, pervading melodies over Zack’s upbeat, driving percussion that keeps the momentum even through the slow songs. The album follows themes of reflection and introspection.

Hollow Head is available in digital format and will soon be available on vinyl and distributed on CDbaby.com. All artwork is by Graeme Swinton of EVIL Studio, whose client list includes David Bowie, Moby, Depeche Mode, Arctic Monkeys, and the Black Eyed Peas. The brothers grew up listening to and playing the same kind of music, but never played much music together until college when they both went to the University of Colorado and started a few bands. Zack will never forget that when Dylan was 12 years old he used to use Zack’s drum set for archery practice.

In early 2012, the brothers focused on writing music in their hometown of McAllen, TX. When they were ready to make an album, they took their songs up to Austin to work with Louie. This was the beginning of The Herald Beat. The name “The Herald Beat” describes the brothers’ roles: Dylan lays out the story of each song as “the herald,” while Zack provides its foundation, the “beat.” They have now moved to LA and are excited to be a part of its music scene. Make sure to check out their twitter and facebook for more updates.