When you’re a band coming from a musical hotbed like Austin, TX, you have to be compelling to cut through the clutter. For TINNAROSE, creative sparks exploded from celebrated indie songwriter Seth Sherman, who was showered with local accolades for his earlier solo material, and Devon McDermott, a classically-trained singer whose influences of Irish, English and Appalachian folk music and proficiency playing the autoharp were a perfect compliment. Already nominated as “Band of the Month” by The Deli-Austin, Tinnarose is set to release its self-titled debut album on August 26, 2014 via Nine Mile Records. Its breezy, transatlantic pop, and it was mixed by Grammy-WinnerStuart Sikes (Loretta Lynn, Modest Mouse, The Polyphonic Spree) and engineered by Barrett Walton, who also recorded Sherman’s solo debut. Hear the band’s first single “When You’re Gone” via Soundcloud (https://soundcloud.com/rocket1000/when-youre-gone).
McDermott, Morris Ramos (guitar/songwriter) and Drew Schlegel (bass) joined Sherman’s band shortly after his solo debut, 2012’s When The Moment Is True, came out to tremendous local applause. The Austin Chronicle called it “pure pop pleasure” while the Austin American-Statesman included it in its round-up of the city’s best albums of the year, and KUTX DJ Laurie Gallardo exclaimed “incredible album, incredible songwriter” in her Austin Music Minute feature of Sherman.
As Sherman tried to make a name for himself performing venue to venue, his personal vices of alcoholism and depression grew, though it didn’t stop him from writing. Working service jobs trying to make ends meet, Sherman penned “Emptiness,” which he said was inspired by Ron Sexsmith’s “Secret Heart”: “…classically sad sounding, but a beautiful song,” says Sherman. “It’s about the embracing of emptiness, with which comes a simultaneous experience of peace and sadness. Not necessarily a sad song.” Fast forward two years, Mark Henne (drums) and Andy Bianculli (keyboards) made the band a cohesive whole in 2013, spurring a new dynamic. “We were nameless before going into the studio,” explains Sherman. “Tinnarose is a name we created as an ode to a band we all bonded over, the band Rosebud,” recalling the psychedelic folk-pop cult classic band who released just one eponymous album in 1971. Sharing the same melodic quirkiness of the band that spawned their new name, Tinnarose was born.
Recorded in the farmhouse of a horse stable in Driftwood, TX, the unconventional space allowed the new band to experiment, rework, and refine. They even went outside in the fields for some of the guitar tracking. The unstifled atmosphere coupled by British folk rock influences from the late 60s/early 70s such as Fairport Convention (“Willie O’ Winsbury”), Richard and Linda Thompson, and Rosebud inspired sharp lyrics that can be playful, but demanding (“Small Talk”); others like “Hard Loving You” are so direct lyrically it’s hard not to recognize their simple beauty. This collection of nine songs conveys an adventurous spirit, sometimes even recalling Steely Dan’s funk/rock fusion. There are smooth jazz elements in the song “Monster“, which features a lush saxophone. “She is My Maker” is one of the most vibrant tracks here. As one of the greatest examples of the effortlessness McDermott and Sherman display of vocal harmony, it’s an exciting ride of pizzicato Afro-pop guitar that twists and turns as the vocal layering multiplies into the dizzying places where Sun Ra resides. The album concludes with “Fallen Debris” (reprise): an instrumental track with a 70s groove, all dreamed up with McDermott’s vocal refrain on loop. Sherman’s got the sun on his back, and Tinnarose is proof that he thrives best in collaboration.
Tinnarose is Seth Sherman (vocals, guitar), Devon McDermott (vocals), Morris Ramos(guitar), Drew Schlegel (bass), Mark Henne (drums), and Andy Bianculli (keys). Their debut album Tinnarose will be released on August 26, 2014 via Nine Mile Records.
1. “When You’re Gone”
2. “Hard Loving You”
3. “Small Talk”
5. “Fallen Debris”
6. “She Is My Maker”
8. Willie O’ Winsbury
9. “Fallen Debris” (Reprise)