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"YORK ready to 'shine like a star""

By JESSICA A. BOTELHO
Managing Editor, Limelight Magazine

With a few new members added to the mix, the North Attleboro-based band, YORK, just celebrated their CD release party at The Ruins at the Colosseum in Providence on June 3. After putting together their first full-length album, “Box Full Of Memories,” they said their group is as solid and fresh as ever.

“The new members have made everything feel more complete and whole,” said Emily Rickard, who plays keyboard and shares vocal duties with bassist Dan Pawlowsli. “Before, we were going through any musician we could grab to call ourselves a full band. Musically, our compositions have been evolving constantly. In one of the songs, ‘Shine,’ we have a pretty intense solo that I would have never guessed to be in a YORK song.”

Pawlowski agreed, saying they have “evolved a lot musically.” He also said their live shows are much stronger, as they added a second guitarist and incorporated a new drummer.

“Mike Taub, our guitarist, and Erick Cifuentes, our drummer, bring a lot of energy to our live performances, something I would say we were slightly lacking,” he said.

John Shay, the original guitarist, said each member impacts every song “immensely” when writing.

“There are a lot of different emotions that come with the task and everyone tends to put their own into the songs we decide to track,” said Shay. “If we were to break it down, usually [Rickard] and [Pawlowski] mainly influence melody and structure; [Taub] and [Cifuentes] tend to influence a lot when it comes to the composition of music; and I influence the lyrical content.”

To record the album, YORK hooked up with producer/engineer David Adam Monroe of Time Bomb Studios based in Somerville, Mass. Monroe heard their music on MySpace and contacted the band. He let them know he was interested in working with them.

“We looked into him and we thought that he seemed pretty legit,” Pawlowski said. “It turns out that he was. [He] is one of the reasons YORK sounds the way it does today. He showed us a different way to take on the writing process and helps us get the best out of every song when we record.”

Shay said teaming up with Monroe was the best decision the band has made in their three-year career. He thinks of Monroe as a father figure, but also a friend and mentor.

“He tells us when our lyrics are just there to fill space, when a certain section of a song just doesn’t sit well in the song, and tells us when to shut up or get out of the room when we’re going delirious in the studio,” said Shay. “He is always giving us advice and direction. It is always the best times of our lives when we head into the studio with [him.]”

Now that the album is complete, they said they are relieved and feel accomplished.

“This was, in my opinion, the main bridge we had to cross to start pushing us and getting the sound of YORK to peoples’ ears,” said Pawlowski. “Yet, this is just the start to where we want to be with our music.”

Rickard also said it’s odd not going to the studio anymore, as they visited Time Bomb Studios three months straight when they were recording. But, overall she is excited about their new material.

“It took two years, but it seems like we just finished it all so quickly,” she said. “The songs we recorded are perfect for where we are in our lives. For me, it showcases what people can expect from us [and] what we’re growing into because it has songs that we recorded two years ago and songs we recorded two months ago.”

While Rickard and Pawlowski typically both provide vocals for all songs, their album includes two tracks they sing on their own. These songs are “Shine” and “Digging My Own Grave.”

“We wanted to have two songs on the CD that were different from the others,” Pawlowsli said. “This also lets us show that there isn’t one main singer in this band. [Rickard] and I both take on the same goals.”

In May, the band co-hosted The Cheap Seats, a weekly two-hour radio show on COOL 102 in Hyannis, Mass., with Cat Wilson. The show features local bands and artists as co-hosts. Wilson encourages them to share their personal stories and they suggest music for her to broadcast.

“It was awesome being on the radio with Cat,” Cifuentes said. “She seemed really supportive and my Spanish-speaking skills actual came into use to promote for a Cinco-de-Mayo celebration.”

Taub agreed and said since it was their radio debut, “it was a bit nerve-racking at first, but ended up being a lot of fun. Cat seems to love our sound and she genuinely believes we can make big things happen and it feels good to know there are supporters like her out there.”

In addition to having their music played on COOL 102, two of the album’s singles, “Let Me In,” and “Reservoir,” have recently received airplay on several FM stations, including WHJY, WBRU, and Pixy 103. The band hopes to sign with a booking agency in the near future and start extensive touring.

“We want to do all that we can to make our passion possible,” said Cifuentes. “We all know that this is what we are. I’m a drummer, not a waiter.”

Shay said they want “to find a way where we can support our dream and ourselves while enjoying the experience with our best friends.”

For Rickard and Taub, they can’t wait to return to the studio.

“I think we’re already eager to record another album,” Rickard said.

Taub agreed and said, “writing and playing music is addicting, so I think I speak for all of YORK when I say we can’t wait to get back into the studio. A lot of music nowadays is played and recorded just for the sake of being played and recorded. It lacks the unique feel that every band should have. I feel that YORK is bringing back something that’s been lost for years.”

For more information about YORK, visit their newly designed website at www.thisisyorkmusic.com. - Limelight Magazine


"Musical bracketology"

By Chris Conti

Round One of the 2011 WBRU Rock Hunt semi-finals is in the books, following a runaway victory in Newport and a narrow escape at the Spot Underground last weekend. Six more locally-culled artists will have at it this weekend, vying for the final two spots in the final four, which will take place at the Met on April 8.

Of the 90-plus bands that entered the competition, 12 were chosen as semi-finalists and four were dismissed last weekend. Brother-sister duo Shawn and Tracy Garrity scorched the field with a searing half-hour set that had everyone up on their feet. Franklin, MA lads the Keeping were dapper enough and definitely (and oddly enough) took top honors from most supporters in attendance at the Newport Grand ballroom, but neither the piano-pop quintet nor the rap-funk-rock troupe Haze could compete with VulGarrity's brand of groove-metal. By the end of the night the other two bands were either watching in awe or dancing along (not surprisingly, we three judges had VulGarrity all the way).

The following evening the Spot Underground was shoulder-to-shoulder prior to the 9 pm start, and local newcomers Sienna (former Rock Hunt entrants the Intel plus new lead vocalist Viana Newton) rocked harder than anticipated from the start, though Newton's dramatic stage entrance nearly resulted in her catching a clothesline from her guitarist. Last One Out was a poppy blend of smiling mugs and catchy hooks; "Life Shark" and "Glue" could easily become 'BRU staples. The PC grads were energetic and won over their share of the room. Bad Bromance finished the night, and word is Last One Out just barely squeaked it out (I had Sienna by one point) in one of the more closely-contested Rock Hunt semis in years.

VulGarrity and Last One Out await this weekend's contenders, with three acts slated for Firehouse 13 on Friday and the final three semi-finalists at the Ruins on Saturday. Here's a glimpse at what's in store, in order of appearance:

YORK + THE DEATH OF PARIS + AMIL BYLECKIE BAND | Friday, March 25 @ 9 pm | Firehouse 13, 41 Central Street, Providence | 18+ | $5 | 401.270.1801

YORK (reverbnation.com/thisisyorkmusic): North Attleboro is in the building! York kicks off a night of relative newcomers, led by dual vocalists Dan Pawlowski and Emily Rickard. Their first single has been getting some airplay locally. As noted by one 'BRU staffer, the band is "two parts Paramore and one part the Academy Is . . ."

THE DEATH OF PARIS (thedeathofparis.com): Pulsing alt-rock (deemed "hard pop" on their site) with big choruses led by Nathan Harrop, who teamed with the band in late 2009. The Death of Paris have already played to packed crowds with friends Sleep City and Kodiak Attack.

AMIL BYLECKIE BAND (iamamil.com): Elctro-synth-dancefloor madness (as if the pic didn't give it away). With cuts like "Delirious" and "Gneiss," Byleckie could easily come up with a W. A pair of Byleckie Band EPs are available at his site, and it sounds as if he means business this weekend — even with that shirt.

LEMON LIME TENNIS SHOES + HERRA TERRA + FIGHTING THE INFLUENCE | Saturday, March 26 @ 9 pm |The Ruins at the Colosseum, 180 Pine Street, Providence | 18+ | $5 | 401.274.2240

LEMON LIME TENNIS SHOES (lemonlimetennisshoes.com): Veteran ska-rockers hailing from Warwick, they've played countless shows since their 2003 inception. I checked in with lead singer/guitarist Matt Kelley:

"We've switched from a ska-based sound to more of a pop-rock-ska sound — still the same fun stuff, just a little more distortion," he said. "The songs are more polished and catchy while staying true to our ska roots.

"We do it purely for the love of the music," Kelley responded when I asked if LLTS is out for fun or blood. "Do what you love and dance while you do it!"

HERRA TERRA (herraterra.com): Fresh off a trip to SXSW, the quartet (with ties to PVD, Worcester, and Boston) released their acclaimed debut Quiet Geist last year, and a booming, electro-fied track like "Ejection Seats" just may seal the deal on Saturday. Herra Terra was a semi-finalist in last year's Rock Hunt.

FIGHTING THE INFLUENCE (fightingtheinfluence.com): The Fall River entry describes their approach: "Ambient alt-rock sound infused with the synth hooks of mainstream pop." They don't want to be referred to as a "Christian band," but the quartet clearly is down with JC (check the Statement of Faith section on the site). A seven-track eponymous EP will be followed by their debut full-length, Come Alive, scheduled for next month. - Providence Phoenix


"YORK gears up for gig at Hard Rock Café"

By Jessica A. Botelho
Managing Editor, Limelight Magazine

Hailing from North Attleboro, Mass., pop-rock band, YORK, is gearing up for their show at the Hard Rock Café in Boston. They will be taking the stage at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 14th, at the prestigious, state-of-the art live music venue.

“It’s very exciting, especially hearing that a lot of local bands don’t get to play there,” said guitarist Mikey Taub. “To be presented with the opportunity is a feeling I can’t describe.”

He said he hopes people will take advantage of their party bus, which will transport them and their fans to the venue. It will depart from Macy’s at the Emerald Square Mall in Attleboro at 6:15 p.m.

“We will get to hang with fans before and after the show, which is really cool,” Taub said. “It’s a 21-plus event, so people will be drinking. It’s also a Celtics game night, so there will be traffic and potentially snow. This way, everyone will be safe.”

Keyboard player and vocalist Emily Rickard also thinks the bus is a great idea. She said it will save people the worry of finding a parking spot in Boston. Rickard shares vocals with bassist Dan Pawlowski and believes having two voices in the band, one female and the other male, creates a “good flow” in their music.

“A lot of our songs are based on love, friendship, and romance, so I think it helps tell a story better with a male and female vocalist,” she said. “Personally, hearing one person’s voice kind of gets annoying after a while. Switching it up gives people a break from one voice and it gives the other singer a chance to get their voice out there.”

Pawlowski agreed and said he has noticed a lot of bands are now breaking out on the music scene with multiple singers, often of the opposite sex. YORK works at balancing the vocal parts between the two of them.

“It’s kind of hard sometimes to both sing the same song equally, but it always works out,” Pawlowski said.

Guitarist John Shay said they “try to bring a nineties feel” to their songs. As is the case with most bands, they compose most of their music acoustically.

“One person usually writes the lyrics and starts us off,” Shay said. “Then, we’ll come up with a melody, verse, and chorus. We make sure the whole band is involved.”

Taub described them as a “band based on melodies.” He believes this helps draws crowds to their shows.

“When somebody hears a pretty melody that’s catchy, they stick around and they want to hear more,” said Taub. “Our originality is important to us.”

YORK often gets compared to Paramore, which they said they don’t agree with. Rickard thinks it’s only because Paramore vocalist, Hayley Williams, is one of the most popular female singers right now.

“When someone hears a female vocalist they automatically think of Paramore and I don’t think that’s okay,” Rickard said. “It’s a totally different style of music than ours.”

YORK solely performs their own material. They chose to focus on doing their own music as opposed to what other artists have already have done.

“We want to be the band that people want to cover,” Pawlowski said. “It’s rewarding to show our songs to people and see them become part of it.”

Their first single, “Let Me In,” has been getting radio airplay on 94.1 WHJY’s Soundcheck, hosted by Jim Stearns. It’s also being played on 95.5 WBRU.

“It’s a big step for us,” Pickard said. “We’ve never been on a radio station before.”

While some members didn’t hear their song being played on either station, Taub was fortunate to tune into 95.5 at the right time. He said hearing “Let Me In,” on air was “unbelievable.”

“I heard us for the first time on 95.5 last week and it was the most exciting feeling,” Taub said. “We were played at a regular time right after Nirvana. We hope people say, ‘hey, what’s this new music? I’ve never heard this before.’ I think it’s fantastic that we are reaching out to more people.”

This spring, they will be releasing their first full-length album since they have all been in the band. For the past year, they have been writing and recording new material.

“We have two new songs that we are going to bring to the studio in early February,” Pawlowski said. “They are a lot different from our other songs. There are going to be songs that me and (Rickard) will be singing on our own. These are the best of all of our songs because we really show our capabilities in them.”

For now, the band is excited about the opportunities coming their way, and they are confident their gig at the Hard Rock Café will be a success.

“We’re hoping for a big turn out,” Shay said. “We just want to have a good show.”

For tickets, contact any band member at thisisyorkmusic@gmail.com or their management at jkbbooking@gmail.com. Tickets will also be available at the door.

- Limelight Magazine


Discography

CDs:

"Box Full of Memories" (Released June 3, 2011)

Singles:

"Let Me In"
Airplay on 94.1 FM WHJY, 95.5 FM WBRU, 101.9 FM (a.k.a. COOL 102)

"Reservoir"
Airplay on 95.5 WBRU, 101.9 FM (a.k.a. COOL 102), 102.9 FM (a.k.a. Pixy 103)

"Sparks"
Airplay on 101.9 FM (a.k.a. COOL 102)

Photos

Bio

YORK is an alternative, pop rock band that was formed in North Attleboro, Mass., in June 2009 by vocalist and bassist Dan Pawlowski and rhythm guitarist John Shay. They recorded their first three-song demo with producer/engineer David Adam Monroe of Time Bomb Studios. YORK left the studio with the emotional effort of the song “Are We Built (This Love)” and Emily Rickard as a guest vocalist and keyboard player. After seeing the fans’ reaction to the new song, Rickard was added permanently to the band as a second lead vocalist. As the summer of 2009 came to an end, they finished recording the track “When You’re Gone” with multi-platinum engineer Earl Cohen, who has engineered tracks for artists such as Pink, Lady Gaga, and Will Smith. In-between recordings, YORK played shows for the Boston-based indie label Red Blue Records that consists of bands such as Phone Calls From Home and Ice Nine Kills.

After playing some acoustic-only shows as a three-piece act from the end of 2009 until the beginning of 2010, Pawlowski, Shay and Rickard decided it was time to make another change to the group’s lineup. In January 2010, Rickard met Mike Taub while working at a local Papa Gino’s. Taub had been playing guitar for years and had been waiting for a band to play in. After Taub joined the group, the band was finally able to move forward in the direction they wanted, even though they were still without a permanent drummer.

With the addition of Taub, YORK headed into the studio once again with Monroe to record two more songs, the fiery “Let Me In” and the reflective “Box Full of Memories.” While the band never sounded better, they knew they were missing one important piece to the puzzle, a drummer. After recording three more songs for their debut CD with a studio drummer, they stumbled upon Erick Cifuentes, an extremely talented drummer who knew someone who used to have ties to the band. Learning the songs quickly, the members of YORK were so impressed by his skills and commitment that they decided to make him a permanent member.

With the current configuration intact, YORK finished recording their debut CD, entitled “Box Full of Memories,” that was released on June 3, 2011, with a CD release party at the Ruins at the Colossuem in Providence, RI. The single “Let Me In” has received airplay on several popular FM radio stations, including 94.1 WHJY, 95.5 WBRU and Pixy 103 FM on Cape Cod, while "Reservoir" and “Sparks” has been played on Cool 102's "The Cheap Seats.”

In February 2011, YORK was selected as one of 12 semi-finalists in the prestigious 95.5 WBRU Rock Hunt. They also won “Live Act of the Year” in Limelight Magazine’s annual readers’ poll. Meanwhile, YORK continues to build a loyal following by playing various venues in New England. Among the most notable are a headlining performance at the Hard Rock Café in Boston, Mass., on Jan. 14, 2011, and The Met in Providence, R.I. on Dec. 8, 2010.