Pop artists usually fall into two categories. There are those artists that consistently write and record great pop songs that are gobbled up by the teeming masses and who are often rewarded with money, fame, and the adoration of millions. Then there are...
Pop artists usually fall into two categories. There are those artists that consistently write and record great pop songs that are gobbled up by the teeming masses and who are often rewarded with money, fame, and the adoration of millions. Then there are those artists that just don’t have “it.” No matter how hard they try, they are usually forgotten before their fifteen minutes begin
However, Texas pop sophisticates The Alice Rose don’t fall into either of these categories---and probably never will. Like a handful of artists before them, they inhabit the area just outside mainstream pop, applying their eclectic reverence for music of the past to the classic pop formula and kicking out the kind of complex, yet catchy pop on which Squeeze, Crowded House, and Elvis Costello made their names. The band’s fresh, orchestrated sound and intelligent lyrics have many in the press hailing them as one of the most captivating and accomplished pop acts to come out of the Music Capitol in recent memory
While the similarity to 80’s Britpop acts is apt, the nature of the connection is not so straight forward. Strangely enough, songwriter JoDee Purkeypile has never owned a Squeeze, Elvis Costello, or any 80’s Britpop record. In fact, similarities to early Britpop icons come only from shared influences. The songwriting process begins with Purkeypile’s demos containing his structured ideas, drawing heavily from Bob Dylan, Lightnin’ Hopkins, The 13th Floor Elevators, and The Beatles. The rest of the band, made up of multi-instrumentalists influenced by acts like The Funk Brother’s and the Stax Records backing group Booker T. and the MGs, develops and refines Purkeypile’s ideas into the orchestrated, dreamy, art-pop that has garnered them so many comparisons to those familiar Britpop treasures. What The Alice Rose really has in common with them is a reverence for the music of the past and an ability to create songs that “sound both strangely familiar and utterly new," (National Public Radio)
Their debut full-length, Phonographic Memory, released on November 10th 2006, is a captivating example of this ability. The band kicks out full-on, jumping rock ditties as well as lush, mysterious, and romantic pop compositions. The blending and orchestration of their sound is unmistakably Beatles-esque; you can’t hide from that fact. However, as Pop Culture Press put it, “This band's sonic palette is far more eclectic for mere Fab Four comparisons." In fact, the materials eclecticism has garnered the release comparisons that, while centering on The Beatles and 80’s Britpop icons, stretch out to encompass a host of other bands and genres. Just about every review adds at least one unique addition to what would be a very long RIYL list. One thing they can all agree on is that Phonographic Memory offers an extremely rich, unique collection of pop songs that are as timeless as they are fresh, and definitely worth getting lost in
The Alice Rose was formed by vocalist/guitarist/songwriter JoDee Purkeypile, bassist and vocalist Sean Crooks, and drummer Chris Sensat in Austin, Texas in 2001. Brendan Rogers (keys/ backing vocals), joined the band in the fall of 2005. Guitarist Gregg White joined in the summer of 2008. Riding the wave of critical acclaim for the band's first release, Phonographic Memory, The Alice Rose plans to release their sophomore effort, All Haunt’s Sound, in summer 2008
PRESS REVIEWS "The masters understand that the key to a great pop song lies in the ability to mine that place in the hippocampus where beloved melodies and the bittersweet moments they memorialize commingle. In this regard, The Alice Rose's Phonographic Memory is one of the most apt titles for a pop album in ages. Think about hearing a classic tune by Squeeze for the first time, and it's easy to understand how special this Austin-based band is: Every song on its debut sounds both strangely familiar and utterly new." - National Public Radio "Easily one of Austin's best pop records in recent memory, The Alice Rose's Phonographic Memory, with goose-bump songs by singer/writer JoDee Purkeypile, explores all the possibilities of lush harmonies, strong songwriting, and classic Beatlesque pop moves, though the latter tag may end up to be a bit misleading. This band's sonic palette is far more eclectic for mere Fab Four comparisons." - Pop Culture Press "Fans of jangle-pop gurus such as The Posies and Sloan should be suitably enamored with The Alice Rose, a quintet from Austin, TX, that dishes out sharp classic pop a la Squeeze." - Lawrence.com "Austin psychedelic band The Alice Rose are fortified with fiery grit, evidenced by the thick bass intro and pummeling drums of This Night or gentle onslaught of All Over Your Body, two songs from the band's early 2007 debut Phonographic Memory. Elsewhere, singer JoDee Purkeypile’s literate poetry, crafted into song nuggets with a vague British sensibility propels the group light years above the Texas hills." - David Pyndus, Austin360.com "For music fanatics, there are few greater joys than having a band seemingly burst out of nowhere armed with an album's worth of captivating new music, brimming with enthusiasm and vitality, giving the scene a huge jolt of excitement. The Alice Rose, a quintet out of Austin, TX, is just such a band capturing lightning in a bottle, channeling influences like the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and Big Star into a tasty new set of melodic rockers that are catchy without sounding derivative." - Amplifier Magazine "From out of the blue comes a band with the intelligent melodic sensibilities of Squeeze, and a subtle Texas accent. Songs of yearning that transcend the saccharine." - David Brown's Top 10 Picks for 2006 (KUT 90.5 FM) "This is the kind of dream pop I’m into - melancholy vibes, intelligent lyrics with great imagery, and a swirling rock approach. The Alice Rose blends their sounds in a Beatles way, but they can also have some fun and kick out a jumping rock number. (For an example of the latter, check out the live-sounding “All Over Your Body,” with its fun tempo and delivery that just sounds like the band is having a great time.) This is an album of beautiful compositions with an intriguing lead vocal that’s rough-edged on the low notes and heavenly on the high ones. Overall, these songs are radio-ready without sounding like anything else that’s already on the radio. Each track has something that makes it stand out, from the piano work on “Save Me” to the playful and expansive melody on “Lamplight.” We also get great lines that jump out and capture the imagination, like “mid-quip in tongues.” Or “no use the muse my memory descends.” The songs go from mysteriously romantic and sad to more aggressive experimentation. This is a complex and mesmerizing album worth losing yourself in." - Indie-Music.com "Purveyors of fine Pop should be quite overwhelmed with The Alice Rose, an exciting quintet out of Austin, Texas. They have managed to assemble a collection of fresh and bright music with not a trace of filler to be found anywhere. When we say fresh we mean it, The Alice Rose has certainly taken cues from bands like The Beatles, Jellyfish and Squeeze, but they have used these influences to create something original. Phonographic Memory sets the melodic mood from the very start with "Light Up", a guitar-based mid-tempo rocker that mixes Gish-era Smashing Pumpkins with Ed Kowalczyk (Live) sounding vocals. "Ocean" is a smooth Gin Blossoms-meets-Squeeze tune, that's jacked up by a grungy guitar solo backed by ever so tastefully slight harmonies. The album wraps up with the full-on chugging "This Night", a song that could have led off the album much less closed it. It's proof positive that Phonographic Memory is loaded." - Whitsbrain.com "...the band bury the "yeah, yeah, yeahs" on "Stop," the album's best shot at airplay, and roll out complex pop tunes such as "Wisteria" and "Ocean" that challenge listeners to follow the sound wherever it takes them...this is what Squeeze would sound like if a young Syd Barrett were a collaborator." - The Austin American Statesman
"Behind the upbeat harmonies and high-pitching, bittersweet vocals of JoDee Purkeypile bubbles a Beatles lilt and traces of Big Star, impressive arrangements couched in accessible and catchy tunes." - Austin Sound
"Among the highlights: "Light Up" is an atmospheric rocker with a graceful melody; "Save Me" has a Lennonesque feel, almost as if "Hey Bulldog" was slowed down a notch or two; "Lamplight" is oustanding power pop; "Ocean" has an anthemic Coldplay-like sound; "All Over Your Body" is absolutely Beatlesque; and "West" falls into the Jon Brion/Michael Penn camp." - Absolute Powerpop "Fantastic CD! Great songs with a marvelous voice that reminds me very much of Scott Sax in his Wanderlust period; at other times the sound leans towards what might have been the evolution of Cotton Mather had they not separated...extremely good CD, one of the best of the year." - Pop Madrid "Great new discovery out of Austin, Texas! The plate is set from Song #1, "Light Up", a song that forced the hitting of the repeat button three straight times before moving on out of necessity to get the rest of the album. Thankfully, it continued to deliver the same helping of pop goods. Check out "Save Me`, check them all out. There`s not a duff track here...Extremely Highly Recommended" - Not Lame "In concert, lead vocalist JoDee Purkeypile croons like a young Elvis Costello (albeit without the snarl or chip on his shoulder), while whimsical piano melodies add blissful psych-pop touches to the band's tunes. And while early Costello albums are an influence, better touchstones for the Alice Rose's lush power-pop are the Shins, the Beach Boys and especially the beloved cult act Jellyfish." - Riverfront Times, St. Louis "Vocalist JoDee Purkeypile has a bit of the John Lennon vibe in his vocal style..."Light Up" does an excellent job capturing real emotion - JoDee's voice blends well with the suitably jangly elecric guitars...The first moments of "Save Me" are reminiscent of late-period Beatles, but the song will also be enjoyed by fans of jangle-pop artists The Posies or Canadian rockers Sloan. - Hit Session "Delicious melodic guitar pop out of Austin, Texas. Led by a talented singer/songwriter by the name of JoDee Purkeypile, the Central Texan quintet eschews any overt stylistic alliance (outside of an obvious fondness for 80s British pop) and simply fills up a cookie sheet’s worth of wonderful songs on Phonographic Memory. “Save Me,” “Light Up” and “Saints” fulfill the daily requirement for near-perfect pop, while “All Over Your Body” and “This Night” stretch out with hip-wiggling rhythms and textural feedback. Good songwriting, good performances, strong production—nothing but good stuff here." - High Bias "The power-pop ballads produced by the Alice Rose represent the dripping beads of wax from forgotten flames and moonlit candles, the romanticized effects of time and distance on one's Phonographic Memory. Led by the sincere and seductive cull of singer and guitarist JoDee Purkeypile's sweet falsetto, "Light Up" rekindles the carpe diem conceit of John Donne's "The Sun Rising" as he begs his mistress to "elude daybreak and wait to take fist to fate." - The Austin Chronicle "Phonographic Memory is a Whitman's Sampler of breezy power-pop with a lush undercurrent of experimentation, both musically and lyrically." - The Buzz "If you like '60s-era pop rock with lush melodies, cool chord changes and vocal harmonies, you'll love The Alice Rose. The Austin quintet fronted by singer, songwriter and guitarist JoDee Purkeypile claims influences ranging from the Beatles to 13th Floor Elevators, and that's a good range, judging by songs "All Over Your Body" and "Slumberella."" - The San Antonio Express-News "The Alice Rose takes the melodies of modern rock's shoe gazing movement and resets them in a more infectious up-tempo structure. At times the group's sound recalls the sincerity of the classic 1970s rock, rather than the emo-angst of modern pop." - Relix - The Magazine for Music AWARDS AND HONORS:* Named one of 8 bands to watch in 2008 by Austin Monthl * Named one of 8 bands to watch in 2008 by KUT 90.5 F * "West", a track off the 2006 release, Phonographic Memory, was featured as NPR's Song of the Day on November 27th, 200
HAS PERFORMED WITH:Britt Daniel of Spoon, Maria Taylor, The Watson Twins, Grand Ole Party
National Public Radio Review by National Public Radio The masters understand that the key to a great pop song lies in the ability to mine that place in the hippocampus where beloved melodies and the bittersweet moments they memorialize commingle. In...
National Public Radio Review by National Public Radio The masters understand that the key to a great pop song lies in the ability to mine that place in the hippocampus where beloved melodies and the bittersweet moments they memorialize commingle. In this regard, The Alice Rose's Phonographic Memory is one of the most apt titles for a pop album in ages. Think about hearing a classic tune by Squeeze for the first time, and it's easy to understand how special this Austin-based band is: Every song on its debut sounds both strangely familiar and utterly new.