Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Ladies Who Lunch: New Reveille

The ladies of New Reveille are equal parts talented, and humble.  Speaking of each other’s talents, and of the commitment of the band, as well as the unconventional beginnings of New Reveille.  New Reveille grew from music written by Daniel Cook, the band’s founder, and banjo player.  Cook reached out through Craigslist for band members to bring the sound to life, and stumbled upon Amy Kamm.  Kamm, with no previous training, not only started working with Cook, but inspired him to write music centered on her voice.  While the ladies are quick to say that the band may have ”done things backwards," with live shows being their last step- this natural progression is nothing to be criticized.  For them, it is a force to be reckoned with.

Sitting down to lunch at Raleigh’s own Lilly’s Pizza last Sunday afternoon, Amy Kamm, Kaitlin Grady, and Autumn Brand discussed their new album Cannonball, and their Addy award winning video "Babylon."  While both the album and video are impressive, the context for each makes them stunning.  When Kamm reached out to Cook originally, she heard back within the hour, and they planned to meet.  Cook had already booked studio time, with the intentions of recording the material he had written.  Kamm and Cook began working together immediately, and Brand was hired to play violin in the studio.  Brand was impressed, and a few months later, was thrilled to join officially.  New Reveille was a "mysterious project," as Brand puts it, with no released music and no immediate performances.  Grady had joined in on the cello in much the same way, she was hired for studio time, and continued contributing.

Initially concerned they may be too similar, Brand and Grady hit it off, and blended into the "mysterious project," they were all becoming so invested in.  Both Brand, and Grady, wondered if they were "just session musicians, and not getting paid anymore."  Not only is this a testament to the heart of the band, but an interesting look into the uncertainty that this path held two years ago.  Kamm, who seems charmingly surprised to be the lead singer in an very much up-and-coming band, started singing in the shower, then at church, and when she saw Cook's Craigslist post she took a leap.  Kamm said that it seemed "too good to be true, but you never know."  New Reveille, is a charged take on country and folk.  With powerful harmonies on "Conway Shore," and the haunting, emotional tone of "Smoke and Mirrors," the vocal, and instrumental talent is undeniable.  It is surprising to think that songs with such depth, and passion, were recorded before a formal band had united. 

The recording project turned into New Reveille, and soon they were filming a music video.  Cook, who works for Myriad Media, had the concept for "Babylon."  The band, and Myriad,  brought it to life at Lake Gaston.  Filmed over the course of only one day, the ambiguous music video centers on a narrative of escape.  The production quality and raw energy are unmatched.  It is truly a grand entrance into the local, and national, music scene.  What may be even more noteworthy, is that New Reveille had not yet performed a live show.  While the members had run through the woods, surrounded themselves with torches, and Kamm even took a 2 a.m. swim for the production- they were still very much a "band in the making."  The two Addy awards and the national nomination the video received further proves the talent, and creativity, the members collectively possess.

Earlier this year, after releasing "Babylon," and their first album Cannonball, New Reveille played their first live show at Deep South.  Their sold-out debut proved that the well mapped out "quality over quantity" mindset is working overtime for them.  New Reveille, is in a very real way, creating a buzz.  A genuine buzz.  For the first few months of the band's "life," they had no photos on their public profiles, and no released music.  There were only rumblings of what could only be called a "project," at the time.  It seems that the music came before the band, and the band had time to grow, and plan before jumping into the scene.  To see a band so cohesive, and members so genuinely appreciative of the individual, warrants a respect.  The momentum behind New Reveille is palpable, and with their distinct sound it is hard to believe that their recent performance at Raleigh's Brewgaloo festival was only their fourth live show.  Grady notes that their method "seems to have been effective," and it would be hard to argue otherwise.   With a new album, and video ideas in the works, Grady adds that they are "marketing themselves in a unique way."  New Reveille is consciously not over-saturating the market.  With possible festivals in the future, New Reveille will be playing NC Hops on May 24th, and Oak City 7 on June 12th.  Don’t miss what happens when the music comes before the band.

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