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Opensouls

Bio

Since their musical journey began in 2001, Opensouls have been busy winning over music lovers with their fresh, infectious energy. Infused with elements of soul and old-school RnB, the band’s unique sound is due to a collaborative effort from its seven talented members, each bringing their own personality, flair and musical taste to the mix.

The core members comprise vocalists Tyra Hammond and Bjorn Peterson, and a live band with Jeremy Toy (guitar) Julien Dyne (drums), Chip Matthews (bass), Isaac Aesili (trumpet) and Harlin Davey (MPC).

Jeremy and Julien are the original architects of Opensouls. Both had been members of live Hip-Hop group 5th Floor, but after it dissolved they decided it was time to start something new. And, after a careful hunt to find the right people to carry on the sound they were looking to create, Opensouls was born.

Standing In The Rain is Opensouls’ terrifically accomplished sophomore album and well and truly solidifies their standing as a top-shelf New Zealand soul band. It follows their critically acclaimed 2006 debut album Kaleidoscope, which impressed reviewers and fans alike. Kaleidoscope was nominated for the Best Urban/Hip-Hop album at the 2006 New Zealand Music Awards and the single What Do You Do? claimed the best Hip-Hop song at the 2006 BNet awards. Both records were released through Opensouls’ own label From The Crate Records.

Standing In The Rain is a concept album, made with the intent to reflect the sound and feeling of a musical era; late-50s, early-60s British and American RnB. Inspiration was drawn from traditional songwriters such as Lennon and McCartney, Smokey Robinson, Holland/Dozier/Holland and Van Morrison. Consequently, the album has an unmistakable vintage quality, reminiscent of Motown in its heyday. The song lyrics, about falling in and out of love, lend a more contemporary feel with Hammond’s honeyed voice crooning effortlessly above an irresistibly hip-shaking, swinging beat. Tracks such as Love Turns Wild and Leave The Light On are deliciously languid and conjure up images of smoky speakeasies and bourbon-supping old-timers teasing tunes from pianos. Others, such as Blind To See and Dollars, are pure rambunctious modern pop-rock infused with 60s style RnB.

Opensouls’ aim was to create an album that involved the entire band performing one hundred percent of the time. Unlike Kaleidoscope, which featured drum programming and computer sequencing, Standing In The Rain was tracked entirely live by the band’s rhythm section.

The album was recorded at Jeremy's Spare Room studio at his home in the Auckland suburb of Westmere. The band knew they didn't want a polished, expensive studio sound, rather they were after a raw, gritty quality. After studying how the old soul records were made, they resolved to use basic recording gear pushing it to its full potential.

Bruce Lynch, who in the past has worked with Kate Bush, Cat Stevens, Dave Dobbyn, Herbs and Anika Moa, arranged the strings for many of the songs on the record. His experience was vital in helping shape Standing In The Rain and he provided invaluable advice and direction to the band during the making of the record.

Legendary LA producer Dave Cooley, who has worked with the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Silversun Pickups, Smash Mouth, J Dilla, and Stones Throw, mixed Standing In The Rain and has to date, mastered all Opensouls’ material released. Jeremy and Julien traveled to LA to work with Cooley. In keeping with the band’s vision for a blend of old and new sounds, the record was mixed using a combination of old vintage analog equipment with new digital equipment.

With their dynamic and spirited performances, Opensouls are fast winning a reputation as one of Aotearoa’s best live acts. Lighting up the stage with their irrepressible energy, they are crowd pleasers at music festivals and gigs around the country, and in Australia. Bringing soul to the music scene, this powerful collective of talented musicians are setting the bar for world-class New Zealand music.

Band Members:
Bjorn Peterson (vocals)
Tyra Hammond (vocals)
Jeremy Toy (guitar)
Julien Dyne (drums)
Chip Matthews (bass)
Isaac Aesili (trumpet)
Harlin Davey (MPC)
Cameron Allen

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Location

  • Auckland

Best Chart Placings



Comments (Newest First)

Shade
muzic.net.nz Admin

Joined: 17/07/02
Posts: 5860
Location: Manawatu
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New Album for Opensouls
Posted: Mon Aug 3, 2009 3:33 pm
OPENSOULS RETURN WITH NEW ALBUM ‘STANDING IN THE RAIN’ OUT MONDAY 17 AUGUST

The wait is over. OPENSOULS’ terrifically accomplished sophomore album Standing in the Rain is out Monday 17 August, well and truly solidifying their standing as a top-shelf New Zealand soul band.

Since their musical journey began in 2001, OPENSOULS have been busy winning over music lovers with their fresh, melodic energy. Infused with elements of soul and old-school R'n'B, the band’s unique sound is due to a collaborative effort from its seven talented members (vocalists Tyra Hammond and Bjorn Peterson; live band consisting of band originators Jeremy Toy – guitar and Julien Dyne – drums; plus Chip Matthews - bass, Isaac Aesili – trumpet, and Harlin Davey - MPC), each bringing their own personality, flair and musical taste to the mix.

Standing in the Rain is a concept album, made with the intent to reflect the sound and feeling of a musical era; late-50s, early-60s British and American R'n'B. Inspiration was drawn from traditional songwriters such as Lennon and McCartney, Smokey Robinson, Holland / Dozier / Holland, and Van Morrison. Consequently, the album has an unmistakable vintage quality, reminiscent of Motown in its heyday. The song lyrics, about falling in and out of love, lend a more contemporary feel with Hammond’s honeyed voice crooning effortlessly above an irresistibly hip-shaking, swinging beat.

First single ‘Hold You Close’ has taken both commercial and alternative radio by storm recently with its classic Motown vibe and infectious groove. Second single and title track ‘Standing In the Rain’ is a beautiful album highlight primed and ready to follow as it heads out to radio this week. These two singles will only whet the appetite of many an OPENSOULS fan however, so those who are keen to be amongst the first to preview the full album can head to OPENSOULS’ myspace site www.myspace.com/opensoulsspace the week before release to enjoy a taste of Standing In The Rain before purchasing the album the following week!

Standing In The Rain follows OPENSOULS’ critically acclaimed 2006 debut album Kaleidoscope, which impressed reviewers and fans alike. Kaleidoscope was nominated for the Best Urban/Hip Hop album at the 2006 New Zealand Music Awards and the single ‘What Do You Do?’ claimed the best hip-hop song at the 2006 BNet awards. Both records were released through OPENSOULS’ own label From The Crate Records.

With their dynamic and spirited performances, OPENSOULS are also fast winning a reputation as one of Aotearoa’s best live acts, and highly anticipated album release tour dates for New Zealand will be announced shortly. Bringing soul to the music scene, this powerful collective of talented musicians are setting the bar for world-class New Zealand music, and their new album Standing In The Rain certainly raises that bar to the next level.
 

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