All The Day Holiday

The members of All The Day Holiday

All The Day Holiday, a quartet from Cincinnati, OH, plays music that’s just as catchy as their name. Made up of Daniel Simmons (guitar and vocals), David Roller (bass and keys), Mark Ventura (drums and percussion), and Nathan Frisch (lead guitar), these guys have created a unique and exciting sound.  Their album, The Things We’ve Grown to Love, released in August of 2009, and it’s brilliant.

All The Day Holiday’s sound is what I would call organic. Their sound is full of intricacies and movement, but it all flows together so naturally they make it seem simple and organic. On their MySpace they call themselves a “jam band,” and the way everything flows together so smoothly proves their point.  The guitars echo softly, the bass-line flows beneath them backed by drum beats that lead the listener along, and the vocals seem just a bit distant yet remain entirely captivating.

Coupled with the instrumentals and overall sound is the the depth of the lyrics. There’s an obvious emphasis on nature and relationships between people. Touching on everything from longing for love to avoiding an uninspired life, each song tugs at a different shade of human emotion.

Here are five standout songs.

“Autumn”- The opening track begins with distant vocals backed by a steady bass line and acoustic guitar for the first verse, then bursts into an instrumental introduction followed by a bridge. “And we fly / we soar through the story of our lives” drifts through the speakers and sets the tone for the song and album. The keys and percussion crescendo and fit the “just let it happen” attitude of the song. Towards the end of the song Simmons swoons, “I promise you we’ll make it out alive / I promise you we’ll see a brand new light.” It’s as if Simmons is setting up the entire experience of the album. The album journeys through the highs in life, but also the lows, but in the end the listener comes away with a new and better perspective.

“2000 Winters”- The third track and one of my top two favorites. It has a similar introduction with a delicate guitar intro and distant, almost haunting vocals. This is a love song, tapping into the emotion of pure and unwavering love. “I’ll take you wherever you want to go / I’ll see you through the night / you are here so come in / I want you to be so close my dear / ’cause I love you so / do you really know?” Brilliance. This is a lyrically driven song, but the instruments pair perfectly, matching the mood of the song throughout.

“The Things We’ve Grown To Love” – The title track is a definite foot-tapper and head-bobber. The rhyme scheme is quick and the music is upbeat for the first 1:30 of the song, slowly winding down into a bridge at the 2:00 mark. Then a slow but steady drumroll crescendo into the last chorus is a beautiful build-up with the inspiring lyrics “We’re holding on to the things we’ve grown to love / we won’t, and don’t want to, let go.” There’s also a subtle trumpet part in the background as yet another layer of perfectly meshed instrumental aspects. Again, a wonderfully crafted piece of music.

“Flowers and Fireworks”- If you hadn’t found a song that “soars” up until this point in the album, you certainly will have after this song. It truly does soar. A song of the joys of youth and a carefree life, and how comforting it is to find something to allow us to return to that feeling, “Flowers and Fireworks” may be the standout track on the album as far as pure musical, emotional force. It’s a truly uplifting song, highlighting the carefree attitude in “Autumn” with the final words, “Why did I ever need to control?

“Invisible”- The final track on the album. If “Autumn” was designed to take you away and start you on a journey through ATDH’s music and out of reality, “Invisible” was designed to bring you back. A stripped down, acoustic and technically simple song. No sweeping movements, bridges, or build-ups and breakdowns. This song is a bare-bones acoustic love song. And while it may not “fit” with the style of the rest of the album, it does serve a definite purpose: it wraps up the album, and brings the listener back uplifted, as though the album was written with them in mind as Simmon’s sings, “It was all invisible to me/you were the only one that I could see.

The Things We've Grown To Love

Overall, this album is one of my favorites.  It’s refreshing, relaxing, and just plain good.  Inspiring lyrics backed by well crafted music that can truly take you away from the troubles and trials of life is tough to come by.  Check these guys out

Moving Mountains

Moving Mountains, a quartet from Purchase, NY, has achieved a sound that I have never heard equalled.  An ambient sound but at the same time fast-paced, full of tight guitar riffs (Gregory Dunn & Frank Graniero), intriguing synths and orchestral instruments, and smart lyrics (Gregory Dunn), all backed by impeccable bass (Mitchell Lee) and percussion (Nicholas Pizzolato).

And as amazing as all of these pieces are independently, together they become a whole package that is much better than the sum of its parts.  The continuity of their EP Pneuma (Greek for “spirit” or “breath”) makes it a set of songs all working to tell a story of love, loss, and hope.  The opening “Aphelion” starts with breathing followed by a soft piano introduction soon backed by a powerful drum beat that shifts into full gear when Dunn yells “and that’s the fire in the sun / and that’s the fire in the sky” creates an energetic birth for the album.

That energy flows throughout the whole album, with every song beginning as low ember, with basic bass lines and drum beats accompanying a quiet guitar and building, building, building into a crescendo of energy and emotion before fading gently back into a soft segue into the next brilliant song.

The fifth track, “8105,” is the one song that best captures this incredible style.  This masterpiece is eight-and-a-half minutes long, so prepare to sit back and enjoy the ride.  An intricate guitar intro starts “8105” off, and from there it builds to incorporate every instrument (including a violin) to back the words, “can you feel it now? / we’re burning up / amongst your flames / amongst your love, our life.”  Then an explosion of dual vocals backed by an epic drum and bass beat.  Then a softer respite for the next few minutes that gets its power from the lyrics and intricacies in the musicianship.  Then at 5:15 again an epic crescendo that keeps the energy going by building and building in either the percussion or Dunn swooning the lyrics until finally the song fades out to “don’t fret baby, we’re simply growing / don’t fret baby, the sun is coming” and finally a haunting keyboard, cello, and drum epilogue.  It’s nothing short of a brilliant work of musicianship.

Other standouts are “Sol Solis,” a wonderfully sad acoustic song that focuses on lyrics that epitomize the love, loss and hope theme that encompasses the entire album, and the final track “Ode We Will Bury Ourselves,” which somehow ties in aspects of every previous song (lyrics included) on the album and delivers a beautiful end to a brilliant album.  Beginning with “God, you took a lot from me / I don’t ask for much, just a sense of security / and all I ever wanted was a minute of your time,” backed by a light guitar riff and a xylophone (it works, trust me), Dunn explores growth in an unsure world.  With musicianship equal to that shown in “8105,” “Ode” ends the album perfectly, pulling all the stops by including samples, violin, cello, keys, trumpet, and the aforemetioned xylophone.  But everything is so well-done that it all works perfectly.  It ends with Dunn and Graniero singing “and I am in the earth and you’re in the sky / Hallelujah / and nothing will change what you are / Hallelujah / and someday the trees will sing.”

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The added beauty of Moving Mountains is that the energy that is present in their albums is shown, and topped, in their live performance.  I had the privilege  of seeing Moving Mountains live last October and would recommend a live show to anyone.  They focused on the music, which I love.  Each member donned only jeans and a white T-shirt (except Pizzolato, who wore more breathable gym shorts) and had only four lights onstage with them.  And that was all they needed.  The vocals were spot-on, the instruments and samples were executed perfectly, and they even brought a trumpet.  Oh, and they brought a whole lot of energy too, especially Graniero.  He was jumping off the wall, off the stage, and off the drum kit.  It was a show to remember.

I highly recommend picking up Pneuma, and if you like what you hear (which I’m sure you will) pick up their latest album, Foreword. It’s a four-song album, but each one is nearly ten minutes long.  They have a music video out for the single, “Lights and Shapes,” which is my personal favorite on the album.  It starts off with an energetic introduction and doesn’t let up until the song ends nine-and-a-half minutes later.  Foreword is essentially an album with four songs that are on par with “8105.”  Definitely check it out.

Moving Mountains may be the best unsigned band out there, so give these guys some love.