The Tiny Tin Hearts
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The Tiny Tin Hearts

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Pop Americana


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"KUT 90.5 Song of The Day November 4, 2010"

We were excited to have the Austin NPR affiliate KUT 90.5 select our song "Small Catastrophe" as the the song of the day for November 4, 2010. The song of the day is featured on the Texas Music Matters webpage and is played on the air on the day selected. - KUT 90.5

"The Tiny Tin Hearts Sound Off"

The Tiny Tin Hearts may have provided our most thorough Sound Off ever, which is fitting for the 8 piece ensemble’s impressively cohesive compositions. Shades of the Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, Neutral Milk Hotel, and even locals like the Noise Revival Orchestra and the Dark Water Hymnal dance flirtatiously throughout the Tiny Tin Hearts’ music, which swells in chamber folk-pop grandiosity, but remains calmly subdued behind Seth Osborne’s subtly winding narratives and quiet, contemplative croon, that at times touches near Ben Folds. The group already caught our attention with their amazing live show, and will be releasing their debut album, Last Flight of the Martyr Aviator, at the end of next month. Last month, the octet won the Austin Chronicle’s Sound Wars to garner a spot on their Hot Sauce Festival lineup this Sunday, August 30, in Waterloo Park, but you can also catch them earlier in the week at Emo’s as they join a solid local lineup of Chief Rival, Peoplefood and Salesman on Thursday, 27.

Photo by Valerie Fremin

Profile: The Tiny Tin Hearts

Year Formed:


Members/Instruments played:

Seth Osborn (piano, banjo, vocals)
Jenni Wieland (French horn, trumpet)
Jim Korioth (cello)
Donald McDaniel (trombone)
Daniel Eversole (violin)
Sean Ziegler (lap steel/electric guitars)
Melanie Martinez (bass)
Jessie Poole (drums/percussion)

Former Bands/Side Projects:

Seth: This Life Electric (Soul/Pop band), Friday Mountain (Bluegrass), Mame (Jam band)
Melanie: The Wild Bunch and the Lisa Hayes Band
Sean: Fighting Brothers McCarthy (Melody Boy), Tom VandenAvond, Woodsboss, Izzy Cox, Mike Taylor, Mike Brown and the Sneakies w/ Garth Hudson, Soda Gardocki, Rev. Ben T and the Well Kept Secrets, Good Time Johnny, solo stuff, film soundtracks, etc.
Jim: Robin Smith
Donald: The Austin Symphonic Band, The Floating Opera Orchestra, Austin Chamber Music Center (Board Member & Treasurer), Former Principal Trombone Irving Symphony Orchestra, lots of freelance recording and various University of North Texas jazz and symphonic ensembles, among many others.
Jessie: Luke Kalloch (The Loblolly Boy/Mountains in the Moon/BearKat).
Jenni: Various guest appearances with Wild Colonials, What Made Milwaukee Famous & State Radio, guest spots recording with Danny Malone, Watch Out For Rockets, Alex Livingstone and Shark (Wild Colonials) to name a few. Projects with the Accidental Arts Ensemble and the Lonesome Heroes, the Austin Civic Wind Ensemble, besides the usual formative school bands through college orchestra. Pop, punk, country, rock and classical.
Daniel: Does research in the lab count? [Daniel is a scientist.] This is my first band, officially. Other than that I’ve played in Gamelan Lila Muni, (Indonesian percussion ensemble) and school orchestras including the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra.


Upcoming Release: Last Flight of the Martyr Aviator, 2009. Produced by George Reiff.


Seth: Paul Simon, Neutral Milk Hotel, Joni Mitchell, Erik Satie, Bruce Springsteen, Arcade Fire, Joanna Newsom, Tom Waits, Pat Metheny
Melanie: Old soul and heavy metal
Sean: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Marc Ribot, Blind Willie McTell, Townes Van Zandt, Sneaky Pete, Son House, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Oscar Aleman, Hank Williams, Astor Piazolla, Django Reinhardt, John Hammond, Cindy Cashdollar, Lonnie Johnson, Brian Eno, Paul Westerberg, Bobby Bare Jr, Daniel Johnston, John Fahey, the robed dudes in Sunn O))), Dave Sitek, so many more
Jim: The Rolling Stones, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Sam Cooke, Santana, Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Sly & the Family Stone, SRV, Faces, Phish and my mentor Adolfo Odnoposoff
Donald: Bonerama, Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell and trombonists James Pankow (Chicago), Dave Bargeron (Blood Sweat & Tears), J.J. Johnson and Bill Waltrous
Jessie: Elvis Costello, dad’s old blues/ rock on vinyl, Rick Latham’s Advanced Funk Studies, drum corps, Beethoven, and Ray Hale, the man who taught me to “play different,” MuteMath, Get Up Kids (Something to Write Home About), Third Eye Blind, Neutral Milk Hotel, M. Ward, Death Cab, Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire, The Ataris (End is Forever), Motion City Soundtrack, Menomena, Mew, Coldplay, Mike Marsh, Spoon, Mates of State, Ben Kweller, Bishop Allen, Caedmon’s Call, Ben Harper, David Crowder, Ben Folds, Nickel Creek, Aaron Ivey.
Jenni: Barber, Debussey, Gershwin, Radiohead, Pat Benatar, Arcade Fire, the Monkees, Li’l Cap’n Travis, Beck, Massive Attack, the Flaming Lips. I’ve spent a lot of time playing along to songs on my iPod, wishing I was in the band.
Daniel: Gustav Mahler (favorite composer) and violinist Yehudi Menuhin.

Strangest comment or comparison ever made about your music:

Seth: Someone once said, “The Tiny Tin Hearts took us to their own private Narnia” in a review. I thought that was strange and wonderful.
Also the comment, “Thank you so much Tiny Tim!” was left inexplicably on our MySpace comments once.
Jenni: (I like Seth’s version of this)
Melanie: Who ARE these people and what are they doing together?
Sean: Quentin Tarantino told me how much he liked the way I play the organ. I was playing a lap steel at the time, but he bought me a shitload of beers, so I didn’t mind.
Jessie: Quoting George Reiff: “That has gotta be the strangest song ever written.”

Favorite local bands:

Seth: Deadman, Heybale, anything Glenn Rexach does
Melanie: Glenn Rexach, Will T. Massey, Rob Roeder (music my friends are making)
Sean: James Hand, Ultra Wolf, McLemor Ave., Glover Gill with Tosca, Octopus Project, PPJ, Cindy Cashdollar, so many more.
Jim: Robin Smith, Aly Tadros, Kalu James, Will T. Massey, Infinite Partials, Redd Volkaert, Douglas Jay Boyd, Blues Mafia, Gary Clark Jr.
Donald: Drew Smith and The Lonely Choir, Suzanna Choffel, The Blues Mafia, Jon Dee Graham, Autumn, The Monster Big Band, Kat Edmonson, Just Released
Jessie: Infinite Partials, Suzanna Choffel, Aunt Rubie’s Sweet Jazz Babies, Possessed by Paul James
Jenni: Li’l Cap’n Travis, Danny Malone, Shearwater, Spain Colored Orange, Okkervil River, SO many more.
Daniel: I don’t know the local scene that well.

Favorite local venue:

Seth: Momo’s is kind of our home base and we love it there.
Melanie: The Saxon Pub
Sean: Red’s Scoot Inn
Jim: Continental Club, Antone’s, Victory Grill, Momo’s, Emo’s, Saxon Pub
Donald: Lambert’s, Momo’s
Jessie: Emo’s, Stubb’s Indoors
Jenni: The Parish. I can’t wait to play there.
Daniel: The Mean Eyed Cat

Upcoming shows scheduled:

8/27, Emo’s with Chief Rival, Peoplefood and Salesman. We play after midnight.
8/30, The 19th Annual Hot Sauce Festival in Waterloo Park, noon-12:30 p.m.
9/25, Our CD Release at the Parish with Mother Falcon and Deadman

Shows over the next month that you’re excited to see:

Seth: Mother Falcon, who’s playing with us.
Melanie: Dan Auerbach
Jessie: Well, M. Ward just left. So that leaves…?
Jenni: I’m excited about Mother Falcon and Deadman playing with us at the Parish. I love discovering new local bands to enjoy.

Some of your favorite albums from the past year:

Seth: Dear Science by TV on the Radio, Cow Island Hop by Feufollet, Welcome to Mali by Amadou and Mariam, Disfarmer by Bill Frisell
Melanie: Billy Harvey’s The Everlasting War
Sean: Sunn O))) (Monoliths & Dimensions), Possessed by Paul James (Cold and Blind), Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (Dig Lazarus Dig), Bibio (Ambivalence Avenue), Boris (Smile), Church (#23), TV on the Radio (Dear Science)
Jim: Robert Plant & Allison Kraus
Donald: The Decemberists’ Hazards of Love, St. Vincent’s (Annie Clark) The Actor, Kat Edmonson’s Take It to The Sky, Suzanna Choffel’s Shudders and Rings and Autumn’s Velvet Sky
Jenni: In Rainbows by Radiohead, Dear Science by TV on the Radio, Cuddlebugs by Danny Malone

Ideal band (past or present) to open for on a national tour:

Seth: Arcade Fire would be great, Sufjan Stevens, Joanna Newsom
Melanie: ELO (that would be the past)
Sean: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jim: Maceo Parker
Jessie: Sufjan.
Jenni: Arcade Fire, the Decemberists and Sufjan Stevens. Kind of an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink tour.

Austin Sound questions:
What’s your best advice for winning a competition like Sound Wars?

Seth: Be persistent. People didn’t really mind being reminded to vote as much as we thought they might.
Melanie: Have the best song.
Sean: Nag.
Jim: Have friends and family who are willing to be pestered every day for two months. Pester them accordingly.
Donald: Use all your work, clubs, friends and family networks, and use social networking to the max (Facebook, MySpace and Twitter). Keep people excited with daily updates and encouragement. Get everyone to buy into the dream.
Jenni: Be gracious to the other bands and seize the opportunity to gain exposure for your music. It’s a great mixer.
Daniel: Besides beating up the competition….get your friends psyched to register and vote every day.

What can y’all tell us about the debut album, especially in relation to the live shows?

Seth: It’s a great introduction and summation to our sound and what we do. There’s a little bit of everything. Every player has their moment. It’s a nice showcase of the different talent and influences that make up our sound. In live shows, we’re a wall of sound and the music is big and energetic, so parts get lost during performances. The album is great because you can hear every part clearly.
Melanie: There’s nothing else like either. The 2-inch tape recording (of up to six instruments at a time, later layered on with the remainder) adds to the warmth of the recording. Our producer George Reiff added his own touches in the recorded soundscape to accentuate the quirkiness and sweetness of what we do live.
Sean: I won’t spoil it.
Jim: The CD really sounds like we do live. George managed to capture all the instruments and mix them clearly, which is no simple task. All the songs stand alone but Another Gnossienne is intended to lead into Love and Jet Engines. Finally, no musicians were harmed in the making of the CD.
Donald: There is no doubt the studio maximizes the sound, dynamic, balance etc. However, because we recorded as much live with as little overdubbing as possible it is very faithful to our live performances.
Jessie: We captured the warmth and unity of our live ensemble by reproducing a similar environment in the studio. We create a friendly sort of tension that is ultimately swept away in a wall of sound or startling silence. Figuratively or literally, we want you to be in the room with us when you listen. We want you to sit in the middle of our ensemble and hear it for yourself.
Jenni: I really love what Jessie said, especially about inviting people to sit in the middle of us.
Daniel: The album shows, more than anything, how eclectic our sound is. The CD is more subdued than our normal, live sound, but it shows off the variety of our songs and how diverse our musical talent is. It’s a very full sound on the CD and that will be heard at our show at the Parish.

Song Introduction:

The Aviator - This song was inspired by the tragic death of Emilio Carranza, the Mexican aviator who crashed his plane and died in the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey, late one night 52 years-and-one-day before my birthday. One night while I was living in Jersey, my roommate Matt and I drove down to the Carranza Memorial in Tabernacle. I had never heard of Carranza but Matt and I are fans of exploring the weird, obscure pieces of New Jersey history. It was typical for us but this time stuck with me more than others. That night was vivid and amazing for me. In Tabernacle, I passed a little white church with a tiny graveyard filled with very old graves marked with white crosses. Everything white glowed an amazing blue-white in the moonlight and I felt an intense presence of mortality and that sight set the tone for the night. Since then I have felt a strange connection with Carranza and years later this song came out of it, though I layered on a lot of my own personal stuff. I wanted something grand that sounded tragic and joyful at the same time, with lyrics that are both regretful and grateful. It’s just one of a list of songs I’ve written about airplanes and loss.

Sound Off:

Jim: Buy a CD or the drummer gets it.
Jessie: For the record, Tiny Tim has nothing to do with it. And no, that’s not a theremin.
Jenni: We started off as a bunch of strangers, so the first year we had a tradition of standing around and staring at each other after practice. We became close so fast. That’s what playing together does. It’s soul to soul. So it was funny to be so awkward with each other outside the practice room.
Daniel: Like with the CD, one of the best qualities of the band is how eclectic it is. That’s what got me when I first checked out the band on MySpace–how diverse and how warm it was. We’ve meshed so well together and enhance each other without trying to outdo each other. There is a cohesive sound on every song we do and I like how well we work together to orchestrate it and not stick with the standard rock sound. We do something novel with each piece and that’s what’s cool. We really fill up the place. If it’s a big venue we really go at it, and if it’s a coffee shop, we are able to turn ourselves down and make it warm. There’s a versatility that’s optimum and it’s something a lot of bands can’t do. -

"An Interview with Seth by Peter Harris"

The Tiny Tin Hearts Take Flight

I first stumbled upon The Tiny Tin Hearts last November. I'd stopped by Momo's late one night for a nightcap and loved the sound that this sprawling orchestra was creating. Since then, they've been getting their live act polished, winning competitions in The Chronicle, and now they are set to release their debut album. Time for Indie Sounds to talk to band leader Seth Osborn.

Photo by Valerie Fremin

Indie Sounds: When and how did The Tiny Tin Hearts get founded, and how did the name come about?

Seth Osborn: I started putting the band together in early 2007 mostly by posting Craigslist ads for musicians. I was looking for string players, horn players, guitar, bass, drums - the works. I had a batch of songs that I could play on either the piano or the banjo and I had this vision for a large ensemble that could create a wide variety of musical textures using acoustic instruments and performance instead of effects or digital sounds.

The name comes from the Hans Christian Anderson story The Steadfast Tin Soldier in which the hero, who is a tin toy soldier, falls in love with a paper ballerina and when she falls into the fireplace, he goes in after her. She burns up in seconds and he eventually melts. Afterwards, all that is left of him is a tiny tin heart. Kester, a good friend of the band and frequent guest singer, knew I wanted to reference that story in some way and he suggested the name, "The Tiny Tin Hearts."

IS: How did the band as it is now take shape?

Seth: The first two members besides me were Donald who plays trombone and Jenni who plays French horn and trumpet. It's amazing to me that either of them stuck around past the first practice - they were either more confident than I was about this project or more desperate!

At the time we practiced in the studio where I taught piano and the three of us would meet each week and play through my songs and try out other musicians. They were both so enthusiastic and positive even though at that time actually creating a full band seemed so distant from where we were. Within a couple of months we added Melanie on bass and Jim on cello.

A few months after that, we found Sean who plays guitar and lap steel and Jessie who plays drums. We started playing gigs at that point. Our first real gig was at Emo's on January 29th, 2008 - almost exactly one full year after Jenni and Donald and I first met up to practice together. A couple of months after that we added Dan who plays violin.

The songs I write are fairly unusual and I have always had a wall-of-sound aesthetic. I wanted a band that could do the wall-of-sound thing that I have kind of been doing since high school but with a lineup that was as unusual as the songs I was writing. I liked the idea of creating a huge sound by layering instruments on more the way an orchestra would. It would also allow individual players to create melodies and counter-melodies within the chords to weave a tapestry of tones.

Through high school and college I had been the leader and songwriter of a band that was a three-piece and performed my songs (and the guitarist's songs as well) as huge monoliths of sound and complex textures using a lot of electronics, sampling and keyboards. I have gradually lost interest in all the digital stuff (only when it comes to my own songs, though) while still going for a big full sound and a variety of textures. So I wanted to put together a band that could do some of the same things that my old band could do but with real instruments. I wanted a range of sounds and timbres to work with so we could pull it all together into something rich and strange and big sounding.

For the most part, I'll write the songs - lyrics, melody, chords and structure - and then we'll all have a great big arranging session to put all of the parts together. This is another really appealing thing about the big lineup: a lot of people with very different ways of looking at music all jump in and create one coherent sound. We get pop tunes that have classical, bluegrass, jazz, folk, rock and country all mixed in. So the songs are unusual and the arrangements are appropriately unusual as well.

IS: Who is who in the current lineup, and what did everyone do before TTTH?

Seth: There is: Dan Eversole on violin; Jim Korioth on cello; Melanie Martinez on bass; Donald McDaniel on trombone; Jessie Poole on drums and percussion; Sean Ziegler on guitar and lap steel; Jenni Wielan on French horn and trumpet. And I play piano and banjo and sing.

As for the history of the individuals ...

Melanie had recently left the Lisa Hayes Band and was working as a serigraph printmaking apprentice at Coronado Studio's Serie Project, pursuing another of her many artistic pursuits.

Jim had taken an 18-year sabbatical from music in order to devote himself to the study and practice of law. Following a career-ending health crisis, he found his way back to music when he joined The Tiny Tin Hearts.

Donald has spent the last 20 years in accounting as a CPA in both public accounting and industry. He is currently a senior financial consultant for Dell in corporate reporting. His music connection is that he was a music educator for nine years and holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in music education.

Jenni had been playing and recording occasionally with various pop groups and soundtrack composers but had always wanted to find a more permanent band. A performance of Tommy led to her meeting me through mutual musician friends.

Jessie passed up a music scholarship to Tulsa to move to Austin and play music in 2005. In the summer of 2007, he found himself sitting in a dorm room at UT avoiding mindless homework and feeling the frustration of yet-another musical fiasco that had ended much too late. He vowed adamantly before his then-girlfriend that he would join a new band and play a show before year's end! Fate would have it that he instantly stumbled across our tiny ad on Craigslist.

Dan played classical violin for years in youth orchestras around Philadelphia and is now working on his doctorate degree at UT, using lasers to destroy cancer cells.

Sean had been performing with a variety of country and singer/songwriter acts around Austin.

I was in a local band called This Life Electric when I decided that I really wanted to be playing my own music since that was what I moved to Austin to do in the first place. I had a list of songs written and so I left TLE, which sadly broke up about a year later.

IS: You just finished making an album - tell us about making it, and who was involved apart from the band?

Seth: Making Last Flight of the Martyr Aviator was amazing. We recorded at Bruce Robison's studio, Premium Recording Service, which is a fantastic place. The album was produced by George Reiff, who has been an active musician and producer around town for a long time. He has worked with Jakob Dylan, The Dixie Chicks and Ray Wylie Hubbard, to name just a few. He did a beautiful job translating our big complicated and sometimes chaotic sound to recording without losing any of the quirkiness that makes this band cool.

Most of the album was recorded live with the whole band playing as an ensemble as opposed to track-by-track recording. We had to overdub some strings and vocals and a few percussion parts but beyond that you're pretty much just listening to us playing together.

Steve Christensen did a fabulous job engineering the sessions and also ended up doing the final mix for one of the songs, Luke. There was a great team of interns working at the studio while we were there - they were all pleasant and friendly and we still run into them occasionally around town and they remember us, which is flattering! We also had a great group of friends and well-wishers who stopped by the studio to take pictures, bring treats and lend an ear. It was a great overall experience.

TTTH Steve and George
Steve and George. Photo by Melanie.

IS: Another name question: Last Flight of the Martyr Aviator?

Seth: This was inspired by Emilio Carranza, the Mexican pilot who, in 1928, made the third longest non-stop solo flight ever. Shortly afterwards he crashed his plane in the Pine Barrens (we're supposed to call them Pinelands now) of southern New Jersey. I'm a Jersey boy and except for the four years in college I spent living in Philadelphia, I lived in New Jeresy until I was 24 and moved to Austin, so I've always been inspired by the landscapes and people from my home.

After a late night trip with my roommate to the Carranza Memorial outside of Tabernacle, New Jersey, I felt a fascination with Emilio Carranza that has never gone away. It stayed in my head for years and then I wrote the song The Aviator and we named the album after it. It's not really so much about Emilio Carranza - I just used his life as a springboard to inspire the lyrics of a song.

So many of my songs involve some form of transportation and love - the two topics are compelling to me and they came together in the lyrics of that tune as I imagined the thoughts going through someone's head as they realize their plane is crashing and they will never get to see their loved ones again.

Many of the lyrics from the songs on this album are also at least partially inspired by New Jersey - Navesink, for instance, is the river in northeastern Jersey that my grandparents' house is near. Luke was written about returning to New Jersey after a long trip out to the desert and Love and Jet Engines was written about a trip to New Jersey from Austin.

IS: What are the plans to release and distribute the album?

Seth: The album is available at Waterloo Records and will be available on iTunes very soon. It can also be purchased at any of our shows; we will be having a CD release party on September 25th at The Parish. Opening for us will be Mother Falcon, and afterward Deadman will perform.

TTTH Album Cover

IS: How does the live show compare to the record?

Seth: The great thing about the record is that you can really hear every instrument while still getting that big full sound. We're known for playing epic full sounding shows but a lot of instruments get lost in those shows. The strings and the vocals can get buried easily - even the banjo and horns sometimes get lost in the volume of the ensemble. On the record it's all right there for you to hear though. George Reiff really managed to capture our live sound while cleaning things up a lot. We're all thrilled with it and it sounds beautiful.

IS: Do you plan on touring to promote the album?

Seth: Touring is not really in the works right now unfortunately. The size of the band makes it difficult and we have a lot of financial stuff to take care of with this first album before we can really think about the expense of touring. Perhaps after the second album. We have been playing some shows outside of town, though, in Dallas, San Antonio and Kingsland and they've all gone really well. I hope we can do some more performances in other cities before long because it's a great experience.

IS: Are you looking to get the album picked up by a label, or seeking other representation?

Seth: We aren't currently looking for a label right now though I guess if the right offer came along we'd consider it. So far, we've been running the business ourselves (we have two accountants and a lawyer in the band) and it's been going pretty well. We will hopefully be looking for a manager before long who can take over some of the promotions from us but right now we have several members that are very active in scheduling gigs and promoting the music so we do pretty well.

IS: Which major act would you love to open for?

Seth: We have such a list! I'd love to open for Paul Simon, Sufjan Stevens or Arcade Fire. I know some of the other folks have The Decemberists, Maceo Parker, ELO and Nick Cave on their lists.

IS: What's next for TTTH?

Seth: We're working to generate enough music for a second album while being right in the middle of the release of this first one. I guess the idea is to create another album next spring and try to release it around this time next year. Then maybe we can think about a tour in the summer of 2011. It seems a long way off but we have a lot to do before then!

[Editor's note: I do still like TTTH, even though they beat out the lovely and talented Sarah Sharp in the Soundwars competition. Don't do it again, guys.] - Harris Radio's Indie Sounds Podcast

"Music Monday Pick with Seth Osborn"

Music Monday Pick: Seth Osborn of the Tiny Tin Hearts
By Patrick Caldwell, Monday, June 21, 2010

Welcome to Music Monday Picks, where once a week we talk to an Austin musician and find out what’s been burning up their CD player, turntable or iPod lately. Looking for a good musical recommendation? Take some advice from someone in the local music trenches who knows their stuff. Recommendations can be local, national or international, new or old. They only need to fit two criteria: 1) the musician in question needs to have just discovered them, and 2) it has to be fantastic.

This week: We grab a quick e-mail pick from Seth Osborn, vocalist and piano and banjo player for the Tiny Tin Hearts, the sweeping eight-piece rock collective that won the Austin Chronicle’s first Sound Wars battle of the bands and released its debut seven-song EP last year. The octet bring their classical-influenced majesty to the Parish Saturday, June 26, on a bill that also includes Salesman and Doug Burr. Doors open at 8 p.m., and the show is $10.

Seth Osborn recommends: “Treats,” the debut album from Brooklyn noise pop duo Sleigh Bells, which has received accolades from Pitchfork, Paste magazine, the Chicago Tribune and others.

Seth Osborn says: “The newest band that I’ve discovered and have been enjoying pretty well is Sleigh Bells and their album ‘Treats’ — it’s like fuzzy distorted chaotic dance-y pop music. It’s definitely a passing phase of Brooklyn hipsterdom and pretty silly but a lot of fun to listen to.” - Austin American-Statesman

"EP of the year 2007"

EP of the Year: The Tiny Tin Hearts Demo 2007 -

"At its heart, a Rock Beat Sept 21 2009"

In early 2007, a series of vague online ads appeared under the "musicians" section on Craigslist. One requested a rhythm section. Another, horns. None of the people who responded to the ads — a diverse group of musicians, each with different levels of experience — knew much more about the project. Cellist Jim Korioth had recently picked up his instrument for the first time in 18 years after successful surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome. Trombone player Donald McDaniel had played around town a bit, but the bulk of his experience came from directing a middle-school band in the Dallas area years earlier.

The ads were posted by Seth Osborn, the most typical Austin musician of the bunch, if such a thing exists. Osborn, 29, was living in New Jersey in 2004. He had been playing industrial music and wanted to change course. Influenced by his love for classical music, he began with an idea of a large band with an unconventional instrumentation. "I don't have a problem with lots of effect and sequencers in general, but I really wanted it to be musicians playing all the music," he says. "If I could bring a real piano on stage I would."

After an unsuccessful attempt to form that band in New Jersey, Osborn moved to Austin in November 2004. A few musicians came and went, and Osborn finally settled on a lineup of eight, drawn mostly from Craigslist, that would become the Tiny Tin Hearts, including Korioth and McDaniel as well as bassist Melanie Martinez, French horn player Jenni Wieland, guitarist Sean Ziegler, violinist Daniel Eversole and drummer Jessie Poole. Osborn plays banjo and keys.

Not everyone involved was convinced the mix would work. "At the point I got there," Martinez says, "it was banjo, piano, French horn, trombone and cello, and I had never been in a band with any of those instruments, so I was a little dubious."

It did work, and they began playing around town, often cramming themselves onto small stages in coffee shops and bars. Audiences grew, and t they were ranked one of the top five best new bands at the Austin Music Awards in March. Their first release, "Last Flight of the Martyr Aviator," is available this week, and they'll celebrate with a show Friday at the Parish.

The band's sound, which on a superficial level can be categorized as a marriage of classical and rock, is hard to pin down. Part of the music's appeal is rooted in the band's method of composing from the bottom up, instead of adding strings and horns after the fact, an arrangement that might inspire the indie kid who can't bear to part with his viola. "It's rare to find somebody that really wants to have a French horn as part of the band all the time," Wieland says, "Seth was outside the box."

The integration of instruments is obvious on "Last Flight of the Martyr Aviator," which plays like a sort of suite, with Osborn's more conventional pop songs punctuated by two "gnossiennes" — instrumental, Slavic-style waltzes developed for the piano by 19th-century French composer Erik Satie. "Whenever I throw on a Satie album, I have to get up and start songwriting," Osborn says. "It's so immensely inspiring."

That is not to say that the band is defined by its classical roots. A proggy sensibility informs the music as well, especially on "The Aviator," which begins with a quiet piano and an atonal cello that give way to horns and guitar as the listener is ushered through to the climactic conclusion.

Lyrically, Osborn's songs are sprawling, existential affairs that manage to avoid cliche. "Luke," another of the album's highlights, tells the story of two friends trying to relate to one another, spiritually and otherwise. On one level, Osborn says, the song represents his struggle between impractical, artistic tendencies and a more pragmatic desire to be part of everyday life.

The pragmatic side seems to have held its own so far; Osborn has a strong handle on the band's direction. The group continues to build a fan base and has played well-attended gigs outside Austin. - Austin American Statesman

"Label Alert April 08"

["T]he Hearts display both a startling maturity and a healthy dose of light-hearted humility. While they take the business of songwriting seriously they handle themselves with a warm sense of humor."

" . . . you will discover songs of surprising emotional depth and sprawling beauty."

- Soundcheck Magazine

"Tiny Tin Hearts (Momo’s - Jan. 12, ‘09)"

"...a sound that captured the beautiful antiquity of music at its very roots and topped it off with a modern ballad that epitomizes the influences of our generation"

"With a hook on every chorus and flutter of the heart at every crescendo, catching them live is absolutely necessary at this point."

"... reminiscent of Neutral Milk Hotel and the Shins"

by Samm Newton here:


"Texas Music Matters on KUT"

"indie pop that's vibrant and seemingly effortless"

"Highly recommended, kids."

-- Laurie Gallardo, Texas Music Matters 01/21/09

full text at:

"There's something irresistible about an 8 piece band like the Tiny Tin Hearts..."

"pop with finesse..."

-- Gallardo, Austin Music Minute



"In Dee Mail Special Edition, Vol. IV: Tiny Tin Hearts, Flotation Walls, Twilight Revival, Oryan, Sidewalk Driver and Rolf Lislevand"

The fourth installment of In Dee Mail Special Year-End edition spills over into the new year with 2009 songs from noteworthy artists and bands (who sent their music to us in dee mail and unsolicited).

There will be more of these songs featured in this series alone over the next few weeks, in addition to dozens and dozens of the best new 2010 songs off recent and upcoming releases.

First up is a band that sent in two tracks that have been on regular re-play in the past two months. Austin is a hard place for a band to break through nowadays due to the saturation of musicians who have flooded this southern music mecca during the past few years.

But the latest release from the band Tiny Tin Hearts is quite good. Sure the band doesn't exactly have a 'cool' name, but dorkiness has become an asset for other bands, why not these guys? Tiny Tin Hearts deliver flourishing, sprawling pop rock embellished by trombones, violins, cellos and French horns.

The eclectic band actually came together as a result of ads placed on Craigslist by band leader Seth Osborn; his previous attempts to form a band in New Jersey did not pan out. Tiny Tin Hearts, now numbering eight members, definitely have a sound that is worth checking out, and they have started to build a following. Last March, they were selected as one of the top five best new bands at the Austin Music Awards.

"In Dee Mail Special Edition, Vol. IV"

The fourth installment of In Dee Mail Special Year-End edition spills over into the new year with 2009 songs from noteworthy artists and bands (who sent their music to us in dee mail and unsolicited).

There will be more of these songs featured in this series alone over the next few weeks, in addition to dozens and dozens of the best new 2010 songs off recent and upcoming releases.

First up is a band that sent in two tracks that have been on regular re-play in the past two months. Austin is a hard place for a band to break through nowadays due to the saturation of musicians who have flooded this southern music mecca during the past few years.

But the latest release from the band Tiny Tin Hearts is quite good. Sure the band doesn't exactly have a 'cool' name, but dorkiness has become an asset for other bands, why not these guys? Tiny Tin Hearts deliver flourishing, sprawling pop rock embellished by trombones, violins, cellos and French horns.

The eclectic band actually came together as a result of ads placed on Craigslist by band leader Seth Osborn; his previous attempts to form a band in New Jersey did not pan out. Tiny Tin Hearts, now numbering eight members, definitely have a sound that is worth checking out, and they have started to build a following. Last March, they were selected as one of the top five best new bands at the Austin Music Awards.
- Indie Rock Cafe

"The Tiny Tin Hearts"

Combining the sounds of trombone, french horn, trumpet, cello, banjo and piano, the classical and folk group creates anything but tiny sounds and timid music. Seth Osborn, creator of the octet claims Paul Simon, The Beatles and Arcade Fire as influences. - Austin Monthly Magazine Nov 2008

"Happy Hour listing April 08"

The Tiny Tin Hearts are just a lucky commercial away from being an indie breakthrough. -

"CD Review in Austin Monthly Magazine - November 2009"

Austin Monthly Magazine - November 2009 Page 48
Straight From The Studio

Review By - Ward Lowe

"Combining traditinal rock sounds with strings and horns, The Tiny Tin Hearts distill sounds from various instruments into a coherent voice. On its debut, Last Flight of The Martyr Aviator, the eight-piece band takes what should be a wall of noise and turns it into pop, bluegrass, rock and even classical music. Try the waltz of "Gnossienne No. 2," the Ben Folds-like "Small Catastrophe," and the strangely captivating chord repetition of "Love and Jet Engines."

Rating - 4 dots (on a scale of 5 with 5 the highest) - Austin Monthly Magazine

"CD Review - Last flight of The Martyr Aviator by Stephanie Tyler"

When listening to the album “Last Flight of the Martyr Aviator” by the Tiny Tin Hearts, the lyrics and music captivates the imagination and soul.

The Tiny Tin Hearts is a local band from Austin, made up of eight musicians playing instruments such as the classical guitar, French horn, violin and cello.

At first, the strange combinations of beats, sounds, and vocals can be too much to handle, but if you keep listening, the odd-sounding mixture brings listeners in.

The reason the music captivates the audience’s attention could be the enchanting voice of the vocalist. Every song tells a very detailed story, painting a nostalgic picture for people to relate to.

For example, in the song entitled “Love and Jet Engines,” the music puts the listener in a trance, focusing on every word of the song as the story unfolds.

Similar to other artists, the Tiny Tin Hearts incorporate instrumental intercourses in between songs. The instrumentals are very inspiring to hear, once again putting audiences in dream-like trances while trying to figure out the tale behind the lyrics.

In many of the songs, the band uses off-key notes and exaggerated sounds (crashing bottles and screeching pianos) to throw off the listener and stray away from the flow of music.

All in all, the sound of the music would be best described as “folk-artsy” with a hint of pop and classical themes.

This album should be given to a person who enjoys different sounds and does not always follow the crowd.
- The Foghorn - Del Mar College


"The Last Flight of the Martyr Aviator," released in Sept. 2009, can be heard in its entirety at



Winners of The Austin Chronicle's first-ever Sound Wars and named one of Austin's Top 5 Best New Bands of 2009, this 8-piece ensemble from Austin, TX, features banjo, French Horn, cello, violin, trombone, piano, lap steel and electric guitars, bass and drums, crossing all genres from Americana to Pop, Rock, Folk and Classical.

Their debut release, a 7-song EP, was produced by George Reiff and released in Sept. 2009.

Influences include: Pat Metheny, Paul Simon, Woodie Guthrie, Bill Frisell, Ali Farka Toure, Bruce Springsteen, Sufjan Stevens, Charlie Haden, Joanna Newsom, Debussy, Paul Motian, Tom Waits, Arcade Fire, Terry Riley, Neutral Milk Hotel, Pete Seeger, Fela Kuti, Ry Cooder, Tony Trischka, Danny Schmidt, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Exploding Star Orchestra, Elton John