Tyranahorse
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Tyranahorse

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You could be forgiven for thinking that Tyranahorse is a straightforward venture for its frontwoman, Prophecy Sun. After all, her 2009 solo disc, Cat Paws, was a sonic experiment of full-throated moanings and white noise that was dedicated to her many feline friends. It was a little weird, to say the least.

But while Tyranahorse’s giddy pop-rock seems a little less off the beaten path, the outfit’s epically titled ghostwolfmotherhawk: prairieunicornlionlioness shares Sun’s sense of the strange.

Opener “Britney Wolf” is about the only track that plays it safe, between its bubblegum melodies and ultra-peppy backbeat. Most moments, however, jazz up standard song structures with surreal sounds.

The hard-rocking anthem “Keep It Together” feels like it should have been plucked from Bruce Springsteen’s ’80s songbook, with the troupe singing a refrain about pounding back pilsners and whiskey shots, but things get out-there mid-song when Sun drops a theremin solo that transports the tune out of a New Jersey dive bar and into a mad scientist’s laboratory. “Margaret” starts off as a tender ballad, with the singer desperately pleading “Why do you want me?”, but the track eventually dissipates into a stunning Middle Eastern drone of kazoos and keyboards.

And then there’s covocalist Darren Fleet’s enigmatic croon. Cuts like “Sunny Religion” find his voice weebling and wobbling like Jello Biafra riding a jackhammer.

It’s these kinds of quirks that ultimately make Tyranahorse’s debut so compelling. While its melodies are more than pleasant enough, the album’s oddities are what’ll keep you coming back for more.

- The Georgia Straight


As both the band name and album title might suggest, Tyranahorse’s debut record is the deformed lovechild of many musical creatures. Though elements of rock and indie folk are perhaps most prominent, it’s the seemingly unscripted ventures into vintage psychedelia and noise that make ghostwolfmotherhawk: prairieunicornlionlioness such a majestic and untamed beast.
At first blush, the Vancouver quintet’s approach to songwriting could seem formulaic: bouncy riffage and chanty sing-a-longs are coupled with a mouthful of indie nomenclature clichés. However, a second listen reveals unexpected pockets of creativity. Like a hyperactive kid who forgot to take her Ritalin, several songs absent-mindedly transform in tone and instrumentation into something quite spectacular. These disorienting synths, dissonant harmonies and impromptu kazoo solos highlight the band’s tongue-in-cheek perspective on the state of indie rock, and are often endearing in their sloppiness.

On the opening cut “Joy Wolf,” frontwoman PrOphecy Sun channels the spirit of Jefferson Airplane with flecks of Cranberries-era angst. With voices warbling with emotion, “Teenage Girl” captures that aching jealousy caused by too many whiskey shots and the unexplained absence of a lover. The album’s standout track “Keep it Together,” best heard in a dark ale-drenched dive, offers an exceptionally satisfying electric organ hook.

For their guts, chops and strange sense of reflexivity, Tyranahorse is truly an exotic species.

- Discorder Magazine


The release party of Tyranahorse’s debut LP, Ghostwolfmotherhawkprairieunicornlionlioness at the Cobalt featured a mostly complementary lineup. Though they were the group of honour this night, the evening had many stars.
First up was a drum-guitar duo Narwhal. Frontman Issam’s guitar was so out of tune it had to be intentional. Strangely enough, it nearly worked as an artistic statement. A guitar can be simple and needn’t be a weapon of virtuosity.

After this mayhem came Red Hot Icicles Burning on Fire, whose gold-glittered grooves and Flea-esque bass lines kept us in their pocket. Many agreed that the venue-provided drum kit sounded deadly. This, combined with the co-vocalist’s synth, had me loving the B-52s all over again.

Then came misbooked misfit Vincent Parker, who prompted in me a need for some fresh air. I’ve seen many things on the stage, but the DJ was one of the most annoying. The rest of the bands were well chosen, though, and members of Tyranahorse could be seen grooving out to the groups from amongst the crowd.

Tyranahorse’s call and response vocals had me thinking yet again of the B-52s, but now crossing flight paths with the Talking Heads. Tunes like “Joy Wolf” and “Teenage Girl” impressed me. Overall, it was just plain fun–it’s been a long time since I’ve heard a kazoo. And then there was the unforgettable theremin that swept the PA’s limits, locking us into the band’s wavelength. Seeing the freaky workings of this instrument, played by PrOphecy Sun– who was tangled in mic cabling– made for good show. They played loud, looked proud and left the crowd demanding an encore. With one band left to go, they didn’t get one.

- Discorder Magazine


There is a new band in Vancouver East side and they play mean music with an attitude. But they are not really a punk band, they go beyond that. Their rhythm is catchy and loud, the guitars are piercing when they have to be, and fuzzy when the song needs it, the drums precise and fast, the keyboards macabre and the vocals of Prophecy Sun are mysterious, eloquent and direct. They use a theremin (originally known as the aetherphone/etherophone, thereminophone or termenvox/thereminvox) which is a lovely sound for any band. Could it be experimental music mixing elements from punk, progressive and electronic music (not the trance kind but the experimental kind)? The thing is they have a lot of influences, from Swedish metal to Cocteau Twins to local artists like Black Mountain and the Pink Mountaintops so their music is a result of all that. I can assure you won’t be bored when you listen to Tyranahorse.

The upcoming album will be called Ghostwolfmotherhawkprairieunicornlionlioness. You might have a new favourite band when you listen to Tennage girl or The Zombie Waltz which sounds more like a sick, demented blues that transforms into psychedelic madness. Margaret is closer to a dance You Say Party with a Theremin. Joy Wolf seems to be the single, Lets Keep it together is a whiskey song. I can’t wait to see them live and check the energy they have on stage.

Darren Fleet – vocals, guitar. Brent Glasgow Brown – drums, percussion. Max Stockholder – keys, leads, and shredding. PrOphecy Sun – vocals, theremin, harmonica, kazoo. Jaro Welz – bass, claps.

- Vanmusic


CiTR’s SHiNDiG 2011 competition came to a stunning conclusion before a packed house at the Railway Club. Each of the three acts put up a good fight, but there was to be only one true victor.

Starting the night off was one-man band From Birch to Yew (a.k.a. Norika Yue). The gifted 18-year-old charmed the crowd with his earnest brand of acoustic folk and candid between-song banter. He even dedicated the song “The Girls I’ve Never Had” to “relations” he had with a girl five years his senior.

From Birch to Yew was accomplished in his own right but did little to prepare the audience for the sonic assault of Tyranahorse. Lead by Prophecy Sun, this eclectic five-piece defied easy classification, blending together punk rock energy and purpose with new wave inflections. Sun’s performance was especially stunning, her rough delivery reminiscent of both Karen O and John Lydon (especially on “Keep it Together”). The nimble bass work of Jaro Welz also deserves recognition, as his proficiency on the fretboard pummelled the crowd into submission, particularly on the thundering “Zombie Waltz.” Tyranahorse were without a doubt the band to beat.

Tyranahorse appeared to be the clear winners by the time the judges began their deliberations, so there was some genuine shock expressed when Sleuth were proclaimed the winners. All three of these acts performed to their strengths, but Tyranahorse seemed to have more to offer than any other band that night. Second place isn’t too bad though.

- Discorder Magazine


Tyranahorse is a band to watch. Their first album climbed the charts at college radio stations around the country and the USA. They also nailed the second place of the CiTR Shindig competition. Tyranahorse is a five-piece indie rock band based out of East Vancouver. Their music is inspired by the diverse backgrounds of their members, whose music fore’s include noise, grunge, classical, pop, old country, hip hop, rock, and early hardcore.

The resulting ensemble is a unique genre bending mash with mainstream hooks and melodic undertones. Musical instruments in their quiver include: theremin, kazoo, synth, guitar, bass, shakers, vocal loops, piano, and harmonica. Their sound has been described as the B-52’s meets Jello Biafra and Janis Joplin at a dinner party with the Pixies.

- Vanmusic


Discography

Vanmusic, Vancouver, Canada. Top 10 Vancouver Indie Bands of 2011.
#35, Netherlands, Holland. Top Alternative Tracks of 2011.
#92, CFBX, Kamloops, Canada. Top Albums of 2011.

LP: ghostwolfmotherhawk: prairieunicornlionlioness, 2011.
EP: garbage bears, Summer 2012.

College Radio Tracks:
"Joy Wolf"
"Teenage girl"
"Keep it together"
"Zombie Waltz"

International Radio Charts:
#15, Dec 12, 2011. Ann Arbour, Michigan, USA.

National !earshot Radio Charts:
#14, Dec 27, 2011.
!earshot Radio Charts:
#6, CKXU, Jan 29, 2012.
#2, CFBX, Dec 27, 2011.
#7, CFBX, Dec 13, 2011.
#29, CFBX, Dec 6, 2011.
#27, CJAM, Nov 1, 2011.
#5, CFRU, Oct 25, 2011.
#13, CJSW, Oct 18, 2011.
#15, CJSF, Aug 16, 2011.

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Bio

Tyranahorse is a five-piece indie rock band based out of East Vancouver. Their music is inspired by the diverse backgrounds of their members, whose music fore’s include noise, grunge, classical, pop, old country, hip hop, rock, and early hardcore.

The resulting ensemble is a unique genre bending mash with mainstream hooks and melodic undertones. Musical instruments in their quiver include: theremin, kazoo, synth, guitar, bass, shakers, vocal loops, piano, and harmonica. Their sound has been described as the B-52’s meets Jello Biafra and Janis Joplin at a dinner party with the Pixies.

Tyranahorse’s 2011 debut full-length independent release, ghostwolfmotherhawk: prairieunicornlionlioness, received excellent reviews in Vancouver’s Discorder Magazine and The Georgia Straight. “The hard-rocking anthem “Keep it Together” feels like it should have been plucked from Bruce Springsteen’s ’80s songbook, with the troupe singing a refrain about pounding back Pilsners’ and whiskey shots,” said The Georgia Straight. “But things get out-there mid-song when Sun drops a theremin solo that transports the tune out of a New Jersey dive bar and into a mad scientist’s laboratory.”

In addition to positive reviews, the song Britney Wolf from their 2009 bootleg EP was featured on CiTR’s 2009 Pop Alliance Compilation. All members of Tyranahorse are involved in numerous creative projects. Notable side acts include co-vocalist and theremin phenomena, Prophecy Sun, who was voted ‘Best New Musical Acts 2009' by The Georgia Straight; and drummer Brent Glasgow-Brown, who has played with recording punk/hardcore recording artists In Stride and Vacant State.