The Romanovs
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The Romanovs

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"...Beggar's Alchemy is so romantic, yet has disturbing lyrical twists - it
makes me think of a beautiful seductress... with a dagger neatly tucked in her garter. I adore the classical influence as well, which gives layer and depth not always found in the music the crosses my desk. Beggar's Alchemy
struck me deeply. Passionate music appropriate for either romantic trysts, or soulful pondering of loves lost..." - BG


Morgan makes brooding, dark yet compelling music.

"The King" is perched between Tori Amos and Nine Inch Nails industrial beats.

"La mer enchante" is a classic-sounding delicate piano ballad.

"White Flag" is a song that uses martial terms to describe a fractured relationship. Morgan fuses her piano playing with strings to great effect.

"Exit Wounds" is bleak yet marvelous song. Morgan's vocals are strong throughout.

"Beggar's Alchemy" is a cut above most debuts and deserves to be heard. - CollectedSounds.com


Morgan is a female singer from Los Angeles who not only sings on her CD, but also is playing cello and piano. Actually there’s not much more instruments to be heard, because the rest is filled up with drums and violins, so no electric guitar. However, still this is a very strong album with superb vocalwork and musically sounding like a mix between KATE BUSH (songwise and the fact it's actually Pop) and WITHIN TEMPTATION (the melodies and vocals). It sounds like a major label release, especially during songs like The king, La mer enchante and White flag it becomes quite sensational with really lovely melodies and perfectly suitable for the European market where they play such music a lot on national radiostations. Morgan surprised me and I do think any fan of female fronted goth will like this too, although the metal guitars are not present, but still XANDRIA, WITHIN TEMPTATION might enjoy this a lot too. More info at: http://www.morgansmusic.net

(Points: 8.3 out of 10) - Strutter Magazine


Let me first tell you the story of how I was introduced to Morgan and the Hidden Hands. I had heard their track "Nice Day" on a compilation entitled "Next Wave" and was blown away by it. I began crazily searching for more of this band's music, contacted the lovely Ms. Morgan and very promptly, ...and the moon was hungry... landed in my hands. I've not ever before so actively hunted down music. To make a long story short, ...and the moon... and I lived happily ever after, well, in a twisted sense, I suppose. Because Morgan's music is not really happy. It is provocative, emotive, powerful, melancholy and dark. It's an orchestra gone mad. The California-based band consists of members who are all classically trained musicians, and this is very evident. Morgan herself was classically trained at a young age, and ...ad the moon... demonstrates her talents on the piano and cello, and very distinctly defines her as a remarkable vocalist. Morgan's voice lies somewhere between strength and vulnerability, but she comfortably sits between these two in a poised and dignified fashion. The music itself is a fusion of classical, electronic and industrial sounds, with the lyrics leaving much room for interpretation. In instances such as "Sonnet," an underlying political statement seems to bubble beneath the surface. I have not heard music like this in a long time. I would not be surprised to hear Morgan and the Hidden Hands' music on soundtracks in the very near future, and am very much looking forward to what's to come for this band.
-Shop Worn Angel - CKUW


To compare Morgan and the Hidden Hands to any existing artist could be considered a form of musical blasphemy. These guys have a dark, lusty, sensual feel that takes the listener on a aurally inspiring journey from electronica to classical and everything in between. Lyrics have a delightful, sultry, unexpected spin, sung with complete confidence, and the music highlights the members’ classical training with perfection. - On-line Zine


If Magenta from the Rocky Horror Picture Show played music it would sound like this. Theatrical, sexual, furious, Classical. Morgan, who self taught herself classical piano starting at the age of four, is basically a solo artist with a very excellent back up band. She has the production team known as ‘the Wizardz of Oz’ behind her that is famous for working with Liz Phair and Avril Lavigne. She also has Paul Wiancko, a classical cello player who’s also worked with Yellowcard, and Randy Cooke, a drummer who’s worked with Kelly Clarkson and other famous pop artists. Based on this one might expect a pop album instead of a classic meets industrial opus but, fear not, the ‘Wizard of Oz’ team did not turn this into another Avril Lavigne by any means.

Morgan’s latest full length album ‘…and the Moon was Hungry…’ is a mix of Nine Inch Nails, Sioux and the Banshees, Marlena Dietrich , Peggy Lee, Franz Liszt and Tori Amos. The opening track has a distinct Nine Inch Nails feel musically with a slow, churning industrial beat, and minimalist grand piano. Morgan’s voice kicks in with a very beautiful, classical feel similar to the ladies of the ever growing black/goth metal movement with bands like Nightwish, Leave’s Eyes, etc. This contrast immediately sucks the listener because it is unexpected and makes one curious to know where the rest of the album it is headed. The rest of the album makes twists and turns all while delving deeper into the evil and sweet dichotomy that is Morgan. Each track has a very different feel but they all stick with the classic meets industrial theme, like Track 2 ‘La Mer Enchante’, which starts with an operatic intro in French and then transitions into an almost poppy ballad with an Enya and Sarah Brightman feel to it. One particularly intriguing track is ‘Nice day’ which starts with a simple harpsichord worthy of Lestat himself and then swings into what can best be described as catchy ballroom music mixed with Sioux and the Banshees.

The lyrics, which are not always the first thing focused on in a CD review, deserve some contemplation here. One finds themselves egger to read along with the lyrics while listening to this album because they are very eloquent and descriptive but they don’t always stick to a perfect rhyme and meter. This makes them stand out more against music and at times it feels like Morgan is passionately reading a story to you, like in track 5 ‘Kiss is in the Chemical’ where she sings: “You take my hand /You wanna lead me to the porch again /I’m sorry dear but this time /I must insist /That we set sail from here .” Morgan’s passionate, sweet sounding, story telling lures the listener into a false sense of security like a vampire stalking a victim, and then pounces on them when they really begin to listen. Hearing her voice you expect the mythical, epic lyrics of a female black metal vocalist, but Morgan’s lyrics are hardly about faerie's and mountains. Morgan is uncensored, unabashed and not afraid to touch such controversial topics as abortion, murder, jealousy, and rejection and then ironically mask them with her sweet delivery.

Like in the song ‘Exit Wounds for example: “And if you leave me /An envy will come to swallow /‘Til murderous /I would rape you of your lover” is sung epically, operatically, and sweetly. One set of lyrics that were really disturbing were in ‘Sonnet’ where Morgan mournfully sings: “To the baby growing inside of me /Oh your doctor daddy /Will take care of you /In the alley”. Obviously all of Morgan’s lyrics express pain and rage but also humor and irony. She presents commentary on violence and anger while also struggling with them herself. If any, some might have a hard time specifically with the lyrics of ‘Sonnet’ (as did this writer), but try to think of it as a tribute to all the women faced with tough choices who have very little reliable places to turn and the bitter rage this would cause.

Overall, ‘…and the Moon was Hungry…’ is a recommended listen for any metal fan that likes to expand their horizons mentally and musically. The music and singing is excellently executed, interesting, and innovative. The lyrics are completely disturbing but sometimes people need a wake up call so this won’t necessarily be considered a negative, especially by the metal community.
-Colette Claire - Colette Claire


Let's imagine for a monent that a child of music was born through immaculent conception through the likes of Blondie and Nine Inch Nails. The fruit of that union would be a young girl armed to the teeth with rock and pop gothic vocals that would make the likes of Christa Paffgen shudder like a lost child and that child's name would be Morgan.
Having began her musical expressions at the tender age of 4, with her first introduction to the piano, Morgan was poised at a very young age to become an excellent song writer and performer. Her latest release, And The Moon Was Hungry, is an excellent example of what one can achieve with hard work and honest passion. It's dark and mysterious music.
- Adam Tibbot


Track Listing: The King, La Mer Enchanté, Nice Day, White Flag, Kiss Is In the Chemical, Four Things, China Shop, Exit Wounds, Olden Times, I Shot the Monster, Sonnet.
Reviewing Morgan’s debut CD was a genuine pleasure. This is because I like NIN, Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, and Jill Tracy, all of whom sound like they influence Morgan, and indeed, in interviews she mentions some of these artists as influences. The production is very clean and the compositions are full-bodied. Nice to hear real effort being put into a debut release.
No stranger to the world of music, Morgan has worked/performed with the likes of Liz Phair, Ana Lenchantin (Eels), and Veruca Salt. Ok, so enough of that. She clearly knows her way around a cello and a piano. Some artists claim to be classically trained. Morgan actually melds classical with very modern, electronic/industrial even, type composing. The result is a little surprising but works very well because she sticks to a solid piano and strings base and builds from there. There is no, what the heck was that, present in this release, just decent solid songs in both conception and execution.
The CD takes you through many genres essences although is overall the same timber. Some songs, like “La Mer Enchanté” sound downright operatic, while “Kiss Is In The Chemical” is very gypsy cabaret. Each song is distinct, no remixes of the same song disguised by different titles. Morgan’s vocal treatment is different for each song, creating a unique mood for each one. The lyrics are cohesive and coherent. Very introspective. Again, not unlike Sarah McLachlan or Natalie Merchant would write.
“I Shot the Monster” sounds like it might be a live recording. If it’s any indication of her live performances, sign me up! She exudes energy and attitude and would be a joy to see live. She clearly sounds like she can keep the quality together in both the studio and live arenas. When you get to the last song, “Sonnet” keep it playing. There are some musical tidbits at the end including a French song that aren’t mentioned on the CD cover.
There is no reason why Morgan shouldn’t be very popular in our scene, especially among the ladies. Frank did sense the NIN influence and listened to the entire thing. But the surpirse might be that she could also enjoy mainstream success and rightly would deserve it. This one is a total keeper. - McCutchen


Take your Blonde Redhead and mash it with Nine Inch Nails melancholy and industrial grit. Morgan would be left standing arming herself to the teeth with pop gothic vocals that makes Amy Lee seem like a silly child. With some dark wave influences firmly under her belt, Morgan traverses through spatial atmospheres and dark soundscapes. Having learned piano at the tender age of 4 via the Suzuki method—ear training and little theory study—Morgan was poised at a young age to become a great songwriter. A tour with Veruca Salt and this album will help her accomplish the notoriety she deserves. - J. Sin


Discography

Beggar's Alchemy - EP
....and the moon was hungry...-LP

Photos

Bio

Thieves and the green fairy! Smoky torch singers and trapeze artists! Too much champagne, torn silk stockings and the never-ending lull of the backstage… As a band, The Romanovs indulge in the idea that performance is still magical, full of spectacle, lush, over the top and requires one to entertain an audience completely. Each player is a product of the classical world, all having been trained in their respective instruments from a very tender age (piano, cello, violin and opera). As such, the music they create reflects the large symphonic sounds and delicate melodies of classical music but also shows their appreciation for the rock music they all feed on.

Not a stranger to the gypsy lifestyle, each performer has traveled across the globe to perform with accomplished artists. As a group they have opened for bands such as Rasputina and Paris Loves L.A., and have toured with Veruca Salt. Wes has supported Justin Timberlake, played the Grammys, soloed with national orchestras and serenaded the dedication of the Heifitz studio. Morgan sang on international trailers for such films as “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, “Pride and Prejudice” and “Lady in the Water”, the newest Clay Aiken album, and has recently returned from Wales where she collaborated with the French electronic band M83 (album to be released in January 2008). Ana has played with Arthur Lee and LOVE, The Eels, Trent Reznor, Queens of the Stone Age, A Perfect Circle, Gnarls Barkley, ZWAN, Kidney Thieves, Brian Wilson and Sparkle Horse to name a few and Dan is the founder of Music ‘N Me, a school dedicated to music education for small children.

The band has been impossible to pigeonhole in terms of style, but lauded as one to watch and listen. A recent attendee to a performance summed them up dramatically, albeit perfectly: “Taking pride in an overtly expressive style, they're intoxication at its finest. It's a rendering of delicate compositions, paramount extravaganza and dramatics slit straight from a stage of master musicians. They are, at their best, sound manipulation, gigantic crescendos, and…humor. Watching this menagerie was exhilarating, and the question of breaking isn't 'how', but rather an immediate 'when'.”

In the meantime, The Romanovs are set to release their newest effort “…and the moon was hungry…” in Japan in the fall of 2007. They continue to conquer the well-known stages of Los Angeles and pursue their musical agenda with antics that have begun to ensure their rise as the next indie catch of the day.