Woolgather
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Woolgather

Denver, Colorado, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2006 | SELF

Denver, Colorado, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2006
Band Rock Progressive

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"Woolgather"

Woolgather is a new transplant to our state, originally from Austin, Texas, who have quickly dived headfirst into the music scene. Their beguiling blend of progressive, hard, and alternative rock brings to mind System of a Down, Deftones, and Stone Temple Pilots, to name a few. Their sound is very appealing, and the talent of this three-piece is remarkable- you’d swear at least five people are behind an instrument putting this music together.

Very ambient, very rich, and full of musical texture, Woolgather is a soothing listen and puts forth a sound that begs the listener to check out a live show. - Tim Wenger (Colorado Music Buzz)


"'Reality' Doesn't Bite After All"

'Reality' Doesn't Bite After All

10 Nov 2010, 23:07
Just got my advance copy of woolgather bands second CD, titled Programmes ll - The Reality Principle.

Casey and the guys have went with a little different sound on some of the new songs. Don't let that worry you though; the songs simply have more energy, with a clear and recognizable Woolgather sound. It's immediately obvious, the guys have grown musically and spiritually, giving Woolgather a more mature and even more enjoyable sound. The new album will be available to the public on November 30, 2010, so save your dollars and euros Woolgather fans, because this one is essential, a must have CD in any progressive rock, music collection.

Programmes ll contains 7 tracks in total, ranging from 3 minutes to 9 minutes in length. I will be reviewing just a few here, so as not to spoil the whole experience for everyone reading this. Want you to be pleasantly surprised, as I am sure you will be.

The Kite, has a slightly faster rhythm than what we fans are used to on Programmes l, with hauntingly beautiful vocals, thoughtful lyrics and sensational keyboards. Uh-hm, these guys know how to arrange music, with cymbals at the correct spots and something I haven't heard from Woolgather before - accompanying, growling vox, but they have done a superb job with this, keeping it subtle and well placed, heard but not overpowering. Over all, I would rate The Kite a near perfect track, giving it a 9.6 of 10. This one is pre-released as a single. You can hear it in full on My Space, at this link.

The King's Ransom, will take you back somewhat, to that signature Woolgather sound we all know and love, but with a slightly heavier rhythm guitar and some really cool backing vox, in my opinion. This track is another gem out of the jewelry box everyone. I will be playing this one until my hard drive melts! 9.3 of 10.

Pre-Flight Candidacy is an intro to The Kite and an instrumental song on Programmes ll and it's a perfect mood for a perfect album. It leaves me wanting more and already waiting in anticipation for a Fourth CD from Woolgather. This starts with a nice intro, that may remind you ever so slightly, of Ghost Riders In The Sky, by Marty Robbins, covered later, by Johnny Cash and also The Outlaws. However, Pre-Flight smoothly morphs into something very new and unique, with some really clever instrumental work going on, with chimes, walking cymbals, prancing piano and a familiar rhythm and bass. 9.1 of 10.

Over all album rating - 9 of 10. A must have CD!

Woolgather are:
Smooth Operator, Casey Tipton - lead vocals/guitar
Good Vibrations, Eric Stephens - Bass
The Diamond Cutter, Matthew Eads - Drums - Michael E. - Last.fm


"Woolgather's "Pleasure": A Dream Within A Dream"

The vast range of human emotion is enormous and magnificent in its scope. Woolgather have managed to construct a record that captures nearly every aspect of feeling with an unwavering haunting splendor. On their full length debut album “Programmes: Vol. I - The Pleasure Principle,” the Austin, TX quartet has managed to create a stunning blend of dark beauty, artistic exploration, and explosively vulnerable passion. Delicate piano accompanies ghostly guitars, cleverly shifting rhythms, post-rock ambient drifts, and an outstanding vocal performance. Progressive song structures, deeply hypnotic melodies, and strong emotive vocals combine together for the one of the purest “art rock” debuts since Dredg, Shun, Downside, and Wintersleep first dazzled audiences. Delicate acoustics and pianos collide with distorted waves and a lumbering heavy emotional depth that’s as striking as it is menacing. The album contains an expertly crafted contrast between vivid and bleak, with an overall sound that proves focused and mature. If this masterpiece of an album wasn’t enough, it is only the first half of the full picture “Programmes (I & II) - Fons et Origo,” an epic concept album based on Sigmund Freud's work, "Civilization and It's Discontents". The second disc, “Programmes: Vol. II – The Reality Principle” will be released this winter, containing a more experimental and heavier instrumental focus.

The strikingly beautiful album rolls in with the gentle build of “Sticks and Stones,” expanding from the piano introduction with layers of wide open guitars, and delicately precise drumming. Casey Tipton’s vocal embrace is powerful and introspective as he asks “how do I build myself back up to Heaven, I could swear I was just there”. The other worldly atmosphere is given a boost from keyboardist Rodrigo Lloreda, responsible for the cloudy ambience. The piano twinkles around in mesmerizing circles of guitar and bass from Tipton and Eric Stephens on the slightly optimistic and uplifting “Wind-Up Bird”. Hazy flourishes of reverb sprawl over the melody while the song tightly builds into a fury of overdriven guitars complementing forceful piano harmonies and the ever soaring dominance of the vocal’s passion and sincerity. The jarring beauty continues with the dark and brooding “Highway Ghosts,” a massive creeping progressive offering that shines with thick layering harmonics and a complex shifting performance from drummer Matthew Eads. The band dives headfirst into the outro, with a crushing groove that eventually spirals out. “Godspeed” serves as the albums first instrumental segue and showcases the band’s knack for dream like atmospherics and quiet to loud dynamic explorations.

Transitioning directly into “P.S. (I Confess),” Woolgather offer a straight forward radio friendly blast of blissful passion and artistic integrity. The song develops into an angst fueled stop-start blitz before mellowing back into the prominent fog of atmospherics and muscular melodic arrangements. “Nightlight” strums up divine acoustic guitars mixed with Tipton’s wondrous vocals prying forward at their most vulnerable. Graceful percussion oozes in slowly, remaining ever so humble, as the band is careful to never crowd their songs. “The Other Half of Me,” has a catchy melody, propelled by the simplistic nature of the guitars, both acoustic and electric. Dark yet stunning texturing of instruments, melodies, and vocals is Woolgather’s greatest strong point, and the band has crafted and envisioned their sound to its full potential. Tipton sings the bittersweet, “Half of me wants to love you, half of me wants to let you down” with a haunting emotion that will become instantly memorable.

With the evocative backdrop of shaky piano rolls and acoustic layering, “Zephyr” delivers another painstakingly sincere vocal melody, with intense lyrics that yearn and plead, without ever coming across as whiny or weak. As the atmosphere dazzles, Tipton laments at “watching fascism spread like a wildfire, I present the American empire”. Reverberating guitars and angular outbursts in the vein of Dredg flutter throughout “Cherry-Bomb Closure,” whipping around in a whirlwind of sonic layering. The bridge finds Woolgather igniting together, with exceptional cymbal work and rhythmic structuring. The warble of the guitars ease into the hum of fading vocals as the song slowly evaporates into the album’s finale “Ashes and Echoes”. Vibrant reverb seeps into your consciousness until the vocals counter with a clean and crisp edge. The ever progressing composition is joined by processed vocals, rusty guitar eruptions, ragged rhythms, and a soothing piano line to come full circle from the albums beginning.

Woolgather have an extraordinarily bright future ahead of them. Their sound is unusually developed for a debut record, and should gain a rabid underground following. “Programmes: Vol. I – The Pleasure Principle” is an album that will expand in your mind with repeat listens, an - Dan Goldin - ExplodingInSound.com


"WOOLGATHER Programmes Vol 1: The Pleasure Principle - GetReadyToRock.com"

While Austin Texas has long been a creative musical hot bed, few bands can have produced such stirring evocative ambient oriented music as this. Woolgather is a truly an independent band who seem beholden to no one other than the contemporary trend towards angst filled vocals and lyrics. And in Casey Tipton they have a passionate vocalist and guitarist whose wail sometimes obscures his meaning but whose commitment alone is capable of stirring both your imagination and soul.

And if this is Art Rock, then Titpton's vocals are the perfect foil for some intricate music featuring the inspired keyboard parts of Rodrigo Lloreda. Both Tipton and Lloreda are conjoined by a succession of haunting piano lines and imposing ambient sounds. It's hard to see who leads who because although the vocals are obviously up front, the differing tones, moods and shifting time signatures are all interdependent.

In many ways each track becomes a deeper layer of a rich cake full of contrasting musical ideas punctuated by fleeting but weighty melodies and some anguished expression in the shape of soaring vocal lines and deliberate phrasing. At times, as on the keyboard led, early Pink Floyd influenced 'Highway Ghost' the band sound very Proggy, but as with most of the material they continue their restless exploration via Tipton's vocals which being an anthemic quality to the song. In fact Casey is never too far removed from the kind of emotional pull that colours much of Michael Stipe's singing, right down to the way he rolls his r's; But Woolgather are more of a multi dimensional outfit rather than mere copyists and have the ability to take a stirring melody and lead it into an unlikely grunge like scream.

They open with the impressive 'Sticks & Stones', which is the audio equivalent of slowly evolving changes of colours. They pursue one direction and then think nothing of a quantum leap toward a climactic finish as on 'Wind-Up Bird'. The latter is a lovely piece that juxtaposes Casey's fragile vocal countenance with an unexpected vocal sweeps over some imposing piano lines.

'Godspeed' is a subtle instrumental break and a beautiful reminder of the layered sound that underpins Tipton's angst throughout. And there's plenty of angst on the following 'P.S. (I Confess)' with the lyrics that are as intense as their delivery; 'Like a bullet with nothing to lose, but grace and mystery, when did love ever become so cruel, never used to seem so terrible'. The arrangement makes good use of an acoustic guitar and processed keyboards and rock solid drums. Beautifully conceived and magnificently sung this is one of a number of highlights from an album that offers more rewards with every repeat plays.

The evocative moods and carefully blended soundscapes are predicated on the deft use of dynamics and textured sounds. On the epic 'Cherry-Bomb Closure' Tipton's voice is just the right side of mournful as a mix of buzz guitar, rich piano lines, crashing drums and layered sound make for a for a bombastic end-piece. Casey's guitar line cleverly mirrors his own vocals as if to underline the meaning of the words. He works his way through a compelling dark narrative; 'I'll find light in the darkest of sight, even if I can't say that your mine, they'll never take us alive, dear, you say forever is a temporary torch we carry, but when we're speeding on every kiss you blow my way, salt and gasoline, I'm going out with a bang my dear.' This is an epic song that could easily be placed in a movie and it's a defining moment in a passionate album.

'Programmes: Vol.1' - The Pleasure Principle' combines elements of Prog Rock, a sprinkle of REM, some intricate layered keyboards, a rock solid rhythm section, an intuitive production and features a totally convincing emotive vocalist. This is a groundbreaking album made by a band that has that rare ability to conjure up something meaningful in a post psychedelic landscape populated by songs of real passion, angst and love. It's an outstanding album that many will surely revisit again and again.

*****

Review by Pete Feenstra - Pete Feenstra


"WOOLGATHER Programmes Vol 1: The Pleasure Principle - GetReadyToRock.com"

While Austin Texas has long been a creative musical hot bed, few bands can have produced such stirring evocative ambient oriented music as this. Woolgather is a truly an independent band who seem beholden to no one other than the contemporary trend towards angst filled vocals and lyrics. And in Casey Tipton they have a passionate vocalist and guitarist whose wail sometimes obscures his meaning but whose commitment alone is capable of stirring both your imagination and soul.

And if this is Art Rock, then Titpton's vocals are the perfect foil for some intricate music featuring the inspired keyboard parts of Rodrigo Lloreda. Both Tipton and Lloreda are conjoined by a succession of haunting piano lines and imposing ambient sounds. It's hard to see who leads who because although the vocals are obviously up front, the differing tones, moods and shifting time signatures are all interdependent.

In many ways each track becomes a deeper layer of a rich cake full of contrasting musical ideas punctuated by fleeting but weighty melodies and some anguished expression in the shape of soaring vocal lines and deliberate phrasing. At times, as on the keyboard led, early Pink Floyd influenced 'Highway Ghost' the band sound very Proggy, but as with most of the material they continue their restless exploration via Tipton's vocals which being an anthemic quality to the song. In fact Casey is never too far removed from the kind of emotional pull that colours much of Michael Stipe's singing, right down to the way he rolls his r's; But Woolgather are more of a multi dimensional outfit rather than mere copyists and have the ability to take a stirring melody and lead it into an unlikely grunge like scream.

They open with the impressive 'Sticks & Stones', which is the audio equivalent of slowly evolving changes of colours. They pursue one direction and then think nothing of a quantum leap toward a climactic finish as on 'Wind-Up Bird'. The latter is a lovely piece that juxtaposes Casey's fragile vocal countenance with an unexpected vocal sweeps over some imposing piano lines.

'Godspeed' is a subtle instrumental break and a beautiful reminder of the layered sound that underpins Tipton's angst throughout. And there's plenty of angst on the following 'P.S. (I Confess)' with the lyrics that are as intense as their delivery; 'Like a bullet with nothing to lose, but grace and mystery, when did love ever become so cruel, never used to seem so terrible'. The arrangement makes good use of an acoustic guitar and processed keyboards and rock solid drums. Beautifully conceived and magnificently sung this is one of a number of highlights from an album that offers more rewards with every repeat plays.

The evocative moods and carefully blended soundscapes are predicated on the deft use of dynamics and textured sounds. On the epic 'Cherry-Bomb Closure' Tipton's voice is just the right side of mournful as a mix of buzz guitar, rich piano lines, crashing drums and layered sound make for a for a bombastic end-piece. Casey's guitar line cleverly mirrors his own vocals as if to underline the meaning of the words. He works his way through a compelling dark narrative; 'I'll find light in the darkest of sight, even if I can't say that your mine, they'll never take us alive, dear, you say forever is a temporary torch we carry, but when we're speeding on every kiss you blow my way, salt and gasoline, I'm going out with a bang my dear.' This is an epic song that could easily be placed in a movie and it's a defining moment in a passionate album.

'Programmes: Vol.1' - The Pleasure Principle' combines elements of Prog Rock, a sprinkle of REM, some intricate layered keyboards, a rock solid rhythm section, an intuitive production and features a totally convincing emotive vocalist. This is a groundbreaking album made by a band that has that rare ability to conjure up something meaningful in a post psychedelic landscape populated by songs of real passion, angst and love. It's an outstanding album that many will surely revisit again and again.

*****

Review by Pete Feenstra - Pete Feenstra


"Concreteweb.be Review of "Programmes: Vol. I - The Pleasure Principle""

Band : Woolgather
Album title : Programmes Vol.1: The Pleasure Principle
Label : /
Distributor : CDBaby.com – TSM/SLW Promotion
Release date : 2009
Release : CD

No idea when this Austin (TX) based American Prog Pop-Rock trio (comprised of singer/ guitarist Casey Tipton, bassist Eric Stephens, and drummer Matt Eads) came into existence, but it must be a relatively recent event, as on their MySpace page they were calling out for people to join their street team only in February of 2009. Yet, they díd release the 3-track EP Dischantement in 2007, containing already the song “Kite” (later to be used on The Pleasure Principle), so it’s safe to asume that the guys were already thinking of their future body of work back then.

At any rate, the trio (which may well have been a quartet to comprise a pianist/ keyboardist) has been very prolific at writing and recording their material, because in mid-August they announced the release of a two-disc album entitled Programmes (I & II) – Fons Et Origo. With a concept based on Sigmund Freud’s work Civilization And Its Discontents, these two discs would be releases as separate entities (or “programs”) titled The Pleasure Principle and The Reality Principle, the first of which was released digitally through CDBaby.com on September 15th, 2009. The second would follow in early 2010, and is announced to contain a more experimental and heavier instrumental focus.

Meanwhile, we’re to give our judgement on the fiirst “program”, and I must admit it comes out quite gloriously, even after several listening sessions. With a focus on acoustics (guitar & piano, with occasional soft keyboard/ organ additions), the sparce electrified passages serve to stress on Man’s darker wants (remember what the album’s about?) with vocals also being more forceful, but retaining their clean quality. In 9 songs (and one short instrumental) the band goes through several of Man’s emotions in a time period of almost 51 ½ minutes, and as happens sometimes with Man’s emotions, has some of the tracks flowing into each other quite seemlessly. Seen the emphasis on acoustics, the overall mood of The Pleasure Principle is to be considered as Pop Rock with a Progressive touch rather than as a Post-Rock thing with Progressive elements. Convince yourself of that assessment by listening to the couple of tracks the band posted at myspace.com/woolgather. If, after listening to what you’ll find there, you find you’re hungry for more Woolgather material, keep in mind that for the moment it is available only through CDBaby, iTunes and Amazon (for links, check the blogs on the band’s MySpace page)

92/100

Tony.
http://concreteweb.be/ - Concreteweb.be


"Concreteweb.be Review of "Programmes: Vol. I - The Pleasure Principle""

Band : Woolgather
Album title : Programmes Vol.1: The Pleasure Principle
Label : /
Distributor : CDBaby.com – TSM/SLW Promotion
Release date : 2009
Release : CD

No idea when this Austin (TX) based American Prog Pop-Rock trio (comprised of singer/ guitarist Casey Tipton, bassist Eric Stephens, and drummer Matt Eads) came into existence, but it must be a relatively recent event, as on their MySpace page they were calling out for people to join their street team only in February of 2009. Yet, they díd release the 3-track EP Dischantement in 2007, containing already the song “Kite” (later to be used on The Pleasure Principle), so it’s safe to asume that the guys were already thinking of their future body of work back then.

At any rate, the trio (which may well have been a quartet to comprise a pianist/ keyboardist) has been very prolific at writing and recording their material, because in mid-August they announced the release of a two-disc album entitled Programmes (I & II) – Fons Et Origo. With a concept based on Sigmund Freud’s work Civilization And Its Discontents, these two discs would be releases as separate entities (or “programs”) titled The Pleasure Principle and The Reality Principle, the first of which was released digitally through CDBaby.com on September 15th, 2009. The second would follow in early 2010, and is announced to contain a more experimental and heavier instrumental focus.

Meanwhile, we’re to give our judgement on the fiirst “program”, and I must admit it comes out quite gloriously, even after several listening sessions. With a focus on acoustics (guitar & piano, with occasional soft keyboard/ organ additions), the sparce electrified passages serve to stress on Man’s darker wants (remember what the album’s about?) with vocals also being more forceful, but retaining their clean quality. In 9 songs (and one short instrumental) the band goes through several of Man’s emotions in a time period of almost 51 ½ minutes, and as happens sometimes with Man’s emotions, has some of the tracks flowing into each other quite seemlessly. Seen the emphasis on acoustics, the overall mood of The Pleasure Principle is to be considered as Pop Rock with a Progressive touch rather than as a Post-Rock thing with Progressive elements. Convince yourself of that assessment by listening to the couple of tracks the band posted at myspace.com/woolgather. If, after listening to what you’ll find there, you find you’re hungry for more Woolgather material, keep in mind that for the moment it is available only through CDBaby, iTunes and Amazon (for links, check the blogs on the band’s MySpace page)

92/100

Tony.
http://concreteweb.be/ - Concreteweb.be


"Powerplay Magazine Album Review"

Oh boy, this is an odd one. Post rock, art rock, progressive rock, call it what you will: Woolgather are here to see how far they can push the boundaries of their musicianship, and this first part of a two-release set gives those boundaries a good hard shove in the name of experimentation.
Piano, ambient sounds and otherworldly guitars move in and out of the rock structure and progressive interludes, making the album sound like a dream. Mind you, that could be read as 'incoherent, and you can hardly remember it once it's finished', too. It all depends on whether this sort of experimental (or indulgent, if you wish) music floats your boat.
Me? Not really, but I will happily report that it is a great effort, which has been gathering the band a fair few fans since its original release. Standout tracks for me are "Highway Ghosts" and "The Other Half Of Me", but it does work better as a whole piece rather than individual songs. Where they go next is anyone's guess.

6/10 Powerpoints

Andrew Hawnt - Powerplay Magazine (U.K.)


"Powerplay Magazine Album Review"

Oh boy, this is an odd one. Post rock, art rock, progressive rock, call it what you will: Woolgather are here to see how far they can push the boundaries of their musicianship, and this first part of a two-release set gives those boundaries a good hard shove in the name of experimentation.
Piano, ambient sounds and otherworldly guitars move in and out of the rock structure and progressive interludes, making the album sound like a dream. Mind you, that could be read as 'incoherent, and you can hardly remember it once it's finished', too. It all depends on whether this sort of experimental (or indulgent, if you wish) music floats your boat.
Me? Not really, but I will happily report that it is a great effort, which has been gathering the band a fair few fans since its original release. Standout tracks for me are "Highway Ghosts" and "The Other Half Of Me", but it does work better as a whole piece rather than individual songs. Where they go next is anyone's guess.

6/10 Powerpoints

Andrew Hawnt - Powerplay Magazine (U.K.)


Discography

- 2007: Woolgather releases the "Disenchantment EP".
-2009: Woolgather releases debut full-length, independently produced record, "Programmes, Vol. I - The Pleasure Principle".
- 2011: Woolgather releases their second full-length, "Programmes, Vol II - The Reality Principle".

- Now (2015/2016): Woolgather is working with producer Lance Bendiksen (The Fray, Sarah McLachlan) on music for an upcoming release.

Photos

Bio

Woolgather's history has been somewhat of a mystery since the release of this Austin-born progressive/ambient rock trio's first EP and two full-length records in 2009 and 2011 (find both albums on Apple Music or Spotify), which gained some momentum in the international underground music scene after using some creative promotional methods to push the music to the public's ears. The songwriting was surprisingly mature for a debut, self-produced record, with one review stating: "progressive song structures, deeply hypnotic melodies, and strong emotive vocals combine together for the one of the purest 'art rock' debuts since Dredg, Shun, Downside, and Wintersleep first dazzled audiences" (Dan Goldin, ExplodingInSound.com). 

After an unexpected departure from Texas in 2012, and years of songwriting and reflecting, Woolgather frontman/creator Casey Tipton has recreated and rebuilt the divided elements of the band, of whom have undergone, and continue to undergo, a musical transformation and evolution process with their resurfacing in 2015  -- not on the famous stages of Austin, Texas, but in the Rocky Mountain State of Colorado. The new chapter of this intriguing "art-rock" trio promises new and exciting plans for the future, having recently began working with Emmy award-winning composer and producer, Lance Bendiksen (The Fray, "How To Save A Life") on new music for 2015 and beyond.

Best stated by Pete Fenestra of GetReadyToRock.com, "... few bands can have produced such stirring evocative ambient oriented music as this. Woolgather is a truly an independent band who seem beholden to no one... whose commitment alone is capable of stirring both your imagination and soul."

Band Members