Three piece from outside Boston, formed in 2008. Danny and Noelle are siblings who started making music as preteens and were tour veterans before they were able to buy cigarettes. Recently a line up change occurred and they quickly chose to call upon an...
Three piece from outside Boston, formed in 2008. Danny and Noelle are siblings who started making music as preteens and were tour veterans before they were able to buy cigarettes. Recently a line up change occurred and they quickly chose to call upon an old friend. Mikey is a solid addition to the sibling duo. He generally plays guitar in hardcore bands but gratefully accepted the invite into stoner pop county.
The 9 track album ‘Sleep When We Are Dead’ was recorded in the summer 2009 in a small studio outside of Houston TX over the course of 3 weeks. The songs convey strength and determination. They are heartfelt pop jams with colorful imagery and a keen sense of wonder. The drums are a solid platform laid out to support crunchy guitars, singing solos, catchy melodies and a voice that belts out epic chorus’.
SWWAD CD Review by Hubbub UK Sleep When We Are Dead heralds the arrival of The Organ Beats, a rock n roll/pop/indie hybrid from Boston. With a dynamic mix of powerful melody, crunching guitar riffs and some top notch drumming,...
SWWAD CD Review by Indie Rock Girls Sleep When We Are Dead is the anthem of a new generation. When Johnny Rotten exclaimed, “I wanna be anarchy,” he was expressing the frustration of an entire generation of youth that had been...
SWWAD CD Review by Hubbub UK Sleep When We Are Dead heralds the arrival of The Organ Beats, a rock n roll/pop/indie hybrid from Boston. With a dynamic mix of powerful melody, crunching guitar riffs and some top notch drumming, the 9 tracks are over in no time but the album is a sweet as it is short. The title track highlights musical ability and superb production making it hard to believe this is only a three-piece. The introduction to “No One Can Tell You” makes interesting use of sampled raindrops set to the sound of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” which sets the scene perfectly before a rock ballad consisting of superb vocals and whining guitar solos kick in. This is a great collection of indie power-pop, lamenting insecurity and depression whilst championing love and optimism, all crammed into just over half an hour.
SWWAD CD Review by Indie Rock Girls Sleep When We Are Dead is the anthem of a new generation. When Johnny Rotten exclaimed, “I wanna be anarchy,” he was expressing the frustration of an entire generation of youth that had been abandoned by a government stuck in the past. When Joey Ramone sang “I want to be sedated” in the 1980s, he was capturing the ennui of the remnants of the punk rebellion, who had been marginalized by the Reagan revolution and were looking to tune out from society once again. When Kurt Cobain screamed over and over again “rape me,” he was ironically begging for respite from a world that increasingly demanded public ownership of cultural icons and wanted to use him for his popularity. As Noel Leblanc sings the refrain “sleep when we are dead” from the title track on the new Organ Beats album, she is capturing the current spirit of the youth, which is neither apathetic nor regulated, but determined to make the most of the time they have in the world around them.
Most people will probably remember Noelle as the lead singer/founder of Damone. Damone was formed when Leblanc was still just sixteen years old. She partnered up with some old school hard rockers, who took Leblanc’s songs and married them to a skuzzy rock ‘n roll sound straight out of the late 80s. With the Organ Beats, we see Noelle Leblanc getting back to basics, taking songs that she withheld from the still living Damone, and reformatting them as part of the vital post modern-rock movement of the present. By doing this she has slyly reentered the mainstream of her peer group, not as a newbie trying to catch on with a copycat sound, but as a grizzled veteran of the rock industry updating her sound to match the temperament of her youth.
The Organ Beats actually consist of Ms. Leblanc, her two years older brother, Danny, and a few family friends from their age group thrown in for good measure. The songs that would come to form this album first leaked out into the public eye back in 2007, in demo form, from the then quite skittish Leblanc. She originally made them available to a select few people known to her in physical form, and seemed to tease the world with the idea that this demo could lead to something more. It has taken a few years to see that idea come to fruition, but now here we are with a full-length album professionally produced and mastered.
Her band was picked up piecemeal along the way, seemingly chosen for kinship and cordiality more than aspirational grandeur. Her brother joined first, bringing a larger sound to the project, playing lead guitar and playing it hard. And a rhythm section was eventually recruited, to fill out the anthemic rock format the Leblanc siblings had come to embrace. Whereas the retro Damone had all the hallmarks of a manufactured product- a band, sound, and image cut to fit a target, the Organ Beats are refreshingly spontaneous, with a story of creation as convincing as the music they play.
The arrangements on these songs are surprisingly complex, reflecting a maturity far beyond the age of the participants. The band sets the music for each song to the tone of Noelle’s vocals, layering several sets of guitar textures underneath her vocals as a foundation. In many places the guitar work even takes on the feel of keyboards, which are also present in the form of an organ on the title track. But the album is by no means a production piece, wielding a pedal-to-the medal high energy like a blunt force instrument. The Organ Beats play with a sense of urgency befitting their youthful energy. These songs convey the feeling that you might not get to see the other side if you don’t listen to their message.
For all the rock energy permeating the album, most of the songs are actually love songs, and the Organ Beats can be caught indulging in nostalgia at several points on the album, like when Noelle reminisces about “Christmas lights in summertime” on Chilly Breeze of May, or when we hear a music box playing in the intro to No One Can Tell You. Some of the songs even start to take on a more pop-punkish Avril Lavigne feel, such as Happy Birthday/Come On Home, although they certainly convey more authenticity than the little Canadian spunky Brewster.
Sleep When We Are Dead is clearly the centerpiece of the album, and a wise choice for the first video off the record. The song balances the subtler moments of simple guitar work with the anthemic crescendos of a band trying to fill the caverns of the rock and roll void. It captures the highs and the lows of the band’s sound, and the beautiful way in which they are interwoven, with Noelle’s voice gluing everything together.
I know that this album officially came out at the end of 2009, and the new year is just beginning, but I’m already declaring this one of the best records of the year. Let’s hope that they throw some support behind this project and start touring for it.
Interview with The Organ Beats by Deli Magazine New England Six years ago the The Organ Beats had not been conceived, Damone hadn’t yet broken out or broken up, and the LeBlanc kids were still in high school (or supposed to be). However, it was way back then that the majority of the songs for their kick ass debut album Sleep When We Are Dead were born.
In the day’s since, Organ Beats’ muse, Noelle LeBlanc has been in and out of a whirlwind, seeing quick success fronting local breakout band Damone, signing deals with major labels, partying with TMZ types and touring overseas. And then, right as the door was opened and the red carpet began to roll out in front of her...she turned away from the bright lights, gave it the finger and walked away.
Crazy right? Maybe. Maybe not.
So, here’s what happened when I sat with Danny LeBlanc (Drums), Mike Colocouris (Bass) and Noelle (Guitars/Vocals) in their rehearsal space at New Alliance Productions (which may be the coolest place in on earth by the way) in Cambridge last week. A few tall boys, a few smokes and few up-close and personal performances made for easy conversation with a few genuinely cool people.
Deli: To get this out of the way and in the past, what was the story with you leaving Damone?
NL: Damone was a job but it became a chore. We had a lot of differences. I was young and naive and eventually had a breakdown because I felt unappreciated. I reached a crossroad and it was very clear what direction I had to go in.
I spent a summer in Vermont and it was life changing. I realized my heart was still in the music but I wanted to be in charge a little bit. I haven't talked to the guys in Damone but I wish them well. I doubt they wish anything but death upon me because I left at a bad time on a bad note. I'm a lot happier working with people that share a mutual respect. Damone was a great time and I learned a lot but it couldn't have lasted much longer anyways. Unless we all got our heads out of our asses.
Deli: So, you’re finally playing your own music, how does it feel to have it out of your system and playing it after all that time?
NL: At this stage I just had a shit load of songs, from like 6 years ago and I just wanted to blow my load, and this was my load to blow. It’s awesome. While we’d be into whatever project we were doing, but I’ve wanted to do this music for a long time and now I want to keep writing, I don’t want to stop writing or recording. If we’re not on the road then I should be in here playing and writing. Like on future records...I want to collaborate with lots of people, I just want to make music.
Deli: Any of the songs getting a strong reaction from the crowd or you that you enjoy playing most from the album?
NL: I really like playing Brand Me a Fool, because it’s more spacey and I get to lay off and focus on guitar a little bit more. [As opposed to our other songs] You may appreciate it more stoned then drunk, people want to see our AC/DC side when they’re drunk but stoned people might enjoy this one more.
Deli: There’s been some changes to the line-up since I first saw you play at the Cantab, what’s the deal with Rebal leaving?
DL: So basically after about two years of playing with us, Rebal decided that it was time to explore other opportunities in music...and life. It was a personal decision, she just didn’t feel that this is where she wanted to be at this point in time but we had a great time with her and she contributed a ton to the band, not to mention she did an amazing job on the record. It kind of came as a shock at first when she let us know but it's understandable and we respect her decision and wish her the best moving forward.
Deli: So what’s Mikey Colorouis all about?
DL: We got really lucky when we found Mikey. he's a great guy and brings a ton of positive energy to the band both on stage and off. He's a solid player and brings a lot to the table. We used to play in metal/hardcore bands back in high school so we go back pretty far. He's always been an amazing musician and we are really pumped that he's in The Organ Beats.
Deli: So I’ve seen you a few times now, what would you say about The Organ Beats to people that haven’t?
NL: It’s like simple music, solid drums, loud guitars, a few synthesizers here and there, big choruses, catchy shit and power chords....it’s hard to compare it. I like Weezer...in fact we all like Weezer plus a little bit of Kings of Leon, My Morning Jacket and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs...kinda.
Deli: Why “The Organ Beats”? Anything to it or just a name?
NL: The Organ Beats came from my little electric organ that had all of those beats like samba, you know. Although it’s kind of a double entendre, you see Satan was hosting a Halloween show we played and he said, “The Organ Beats, I know what that means.” and started a jerking motion on stage, so...
DL: Actually a triple entendre as some people have actually asked if we’re named after the actual vegetable.
NL: Oh yeah, and then there’s the organs inside you that beat.
Deli: So it’s a quadruple entendre? Anyway...
So, Danny what’s the transition been like from hardcore/metal bands into a more hard rock/pop friendly style ?
DL: With this music a lot of my influences are coming out in my playing and it’s kind of It’s cool to be able to play beats that I’ve always loved from different kinds of music.
NL: Danny’s drumming makes it clear that this music is definitely not pussy rock. This could be arena rock because of Danny’s drums. I mean, I like some of the pussy rock, but you know, what are you gonna do.
Deli: Speaking of ‘arena rock’ what are your plans for The Organ Beats? You’ve toured extensively with Damone and Danny was a tour manager on that tour, what’s the plan?
NL: My goal is to hook up with a band and go on tour. I kinda had a lot of shit handed to me before and now I have to do it all myself, but I want to tour big time. We’re ready to go, all we need is someone to say, “hey, come on tour!”
Deli: What kind of shit did you have handed to you?
NL: Well, I don’t know how effective major labels are anymore, but indie labels are doing really well. They’re being smart about shit. I mean it’s hard enough for me to book shows out of state, and it’s such a waste of time for me. I can’t book a full tour myself.
Deli: Speaking of having shit handed to you, do you have a musical family that you got the talent from?
NL: I think we’re pretty much the first generation, although we do have an Opera singing cousin.
DL: There’s some on the Canadian side of the family.
MC: Wait! You guys are part Canadian? I fucking love Canadians. I’m a huge fan of Canadians. I would trade my soul for yours if you’re really Canadian, they’re the most humble people in the world man.
After getting to know them, I think they’d truly rather sleep when they die. Playing’s not a choice for them, it seems more of a survival tactic. I’m jealous be around people who love what they’re doing that much. When they just can’t fucking help themselves, can’t imagine doing anything else...well that’s them and frankly, I think they’re suited for it.
Noelle’s voice is nothing short of ethereal, plain and simple. If it weren’t for Danny and Mike’s (and Rebal’s) ability to harness the energy and intensity of their hardcore roots and filter that through their new pop filter with ease, another voice may get lost. Highlights from the record include Chilly Breeze of May, Happy Birthday/Come on Home, title track Sleep When We are Dead and the previously mentioned Brand Me a Fool.
So, was it a mistake for her to walk away? Well I can’t speak for the guys in Damone, I’ve never been in meetings with executives from major labels and I’ve never lived on the road for months on end. So maybe I shouldn’t really comment...but one thing sticks out for me among all of it and I think maybe Noelle says it best in the song, "Chily Breeze of May":
It’s like the first time I’ve seen through these eyes of mine
Well, we’re glad you finally decided to look.
SWWAD CD review by Metro Spirit AUGUSTA, GA - Boston three-piece the Organ Beats rock out with a blend of pop hooks and indie rock intensity that creates for a very fresh sound on their album "Sleep When We Are Dead.
Rising from the ashes of the band Damone, the Organ Beats employ the musical talents of a sibling duo plus a long time friend to create their nostalgic indie power-pop sound. Taking a page right out of guitar-rock history, the Organ Beats use everything that came before them and piece it together into a straight forward fist pumping anthemic sound that could easily have come from another decade. But this is not an insult at all. Instead, it endears the listener that much more to the eclecticism of the Organ Beats. The female vocals channel the pop of Bananarama, the intelligence and art of the Breeders, and the tortured feeling of Evanescence. The wild guitar work and insistent drumming also heralds back to a mix of New Wave pop-rock, angsty, current hardcore, and alternative brashness. In the end, the Organ Beats cannot be compared to any other band because they are doing something wholly inventive and their own, throwing the playbook out the window.
Sleep When We Are Dead" begins with “The Chilly Breeze of May,” introducing some very catchy beats complementing Kim Deal-ish sweet female vocals. This is a great song to open the record, immediately putting the Organ Beats in a class of their own, with an ultra catchy Fallout Boy-style chorus. The emo comparisons are there, but this band is a million miles above the current rock clones.
“The Movie” starts out with a familiar lion roaring and then rips right into a cathartic dark anthemic rock song with a notorious backbeat. Very awesome and melancholy. Instant teenage classic.
Leaving behind depression, “Time to Go” jumps right back in to a pop hook-laden rock song with some seriously mean guitar work. Joan Jett fans beware, the Organ Beats are giving all female-fronted rockers a run for their money.
While there isn’t a bad song on this album, some notable tracks include the title song, “Never Gonna Make it Out of Here Alive” and “Happy Birthday.”
Sleep When We Are Dead" is an intense trip down memory lane, culminating in one of the most rocking pieces of nine song mayhem to come out in a long time. This record is truly amazing for what it accomplishes, as an amalgamation of the best parts of rock ‘n’ roll, turning the music scene on its ear. But aside from the sheer craftiness of this album, the Organ Beats simply rock out, leaving a trail of critics amused and wondering where this three-piece came from. The answer is simple: They are the new face of rock ‘n’ roll.
BY DINO LULL
Come On Home/Happy Birthday [MP3] by Sing Your Song in the Shower Boston’s own The Organ Beats (featuring Noelle LeBlanc of Damone) self-released Sleep When We Are Dead last October, an album full of polished and sincere pop jams that deserves more attention than what it’s been getting. To prove that, take a listen to “Come On Home/Happy Birthday” below and see for yourself.
Being from Boston, the band also has quite a few shows lined up in the area. To be exact, they’ll be playing five Boston-area shows in the next few months, the details of which can be seen after the jump.
RED HOT: The Organ Beats by Ryan's Smashing Life The Organ Beats are a scorching-hot, 3-piece band playing Boston these days, but word is catching on really fast and I anticipate that many of your readers will be hearing about them very soon.
Formed in 2008, The Organ Beats are fronted by the wild, likable Noelle LeBlanc (formerly of Boston rock band Damone). Noelle and drummer Danny LeBlanc are siblings who started making music as preteens and were international tour veterans before they were able to buy cigarettes. Joined in the project by friend Mikey C. on bass, the chemistry for this exciting new track is evident. The 9 track album Sleep When We Are Dead was recorded in the summer 2009 in their friends' small studio outside of Houston TX over the course of 3 weeks.
Trust us when we tell you this is one band to watch in 2010. You can thank me later.
Live Show Review by Foundwaves
The Organ Beats: Live Video and Show Preview (TT The Bear’s: 02.26.2010)
Artist Feature, Live Video, MP3 streaming — By Ava on February 5, 2010 at 9:31 am
[The Organ Beats]
The Appreciation Post, The Organ Beats, The Bynars, and Art Decade
Friday at TT The Bear’s (Add to your Google Calendar)
Boston rockers The Organ Beats are full of contradictions. Vocalist/guitarist Noelle Leblanc’s petit frame hides booming vocals that demand her audience’s full attention, and the band’s layered sound and energetic aura would suggest they are more than a trio. Fiery both live and on record, the band is youthful yet experienced, playful yet intensely focused.
The “experienced” part of the equation might have something to do with the fact that siblings Noelle and drummer Danny have been playing together since youth, and fronted and managed international pop-rock sensation Damone as teenagers. The Organ Beats’ music, however, stems from an artistic awakening that Noelle experienced while living tucked away in the woods of Vermont. Add to the mix Mikey’s gritty rhythms on bass, and you get a catchy power-pop sound influenced by rock greats Foo Fighters and Guns N’ Roses, but with throaty, tenacious female vocals.
With the recent release of a 9-track album, Sleep When We Are Dead, and a string of performances in the upcoming weeks, The Organ Beats are proving themselves as a band to watch closely in 2010. When it comes to playing live, being tour veterans has definitely not left the band members jaded – they have already played several high-energy Boston shows this year, complete with wild hair, witty jokes, and an engaging stage presence regardless of the size of the crowd.
Live Show Review by Playground Boston Organ Beats was up next, the new project from former Damone frontwoman Noelle LeBlanc. The vision of this beautiful, talented young woman pounding on a 1980 Les Paul Custom tuned to drop D captivated my attention for pretty much the entire show. I normally don’t believe in love at first sight, but love at first sound is exactly what happened in this case. To date I’ve rarely heard a singer that had such spot on vocals live, and in such a small setting. There was no searching for notes, they were just there. The vocals took on a Juliana Hatfield meets Paramore feel, with this huge rock undertone that even had some elements of Hum. What kind of gal is she? Well she snot rocketed across the stage before moving right into what I thought was their best song of the night, ‘Never Gonna Make It Out Of Here Alive’. It was an epic song and by far the biggest crowd pleaser of the set. The Organ Beats’ set featured perfectly timed drums, powerful and dirty bass, and crunchy guitar – laced with beautiful heart-stopping vocals. An incredible effect, to say the least. Nearing the end of the set, they covered AC/DC’s ‘Shake A Leg’ and absolutely tore the house down.