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The Silent League preps new album, …but you’ve always been the caretaker, for Jan. 2010 release

By November 25, 2009No Comments

MP3: “Here’s a Star (Neon Indian Remix)”

MP3: “Here’s a Star” (album version)

Silent League

The Silent League is a difficult band to trace. Formed in 2004 in Brooklyn by Justin Russo (at the time, keyboardist for Mercury Rev during the classic Deserter’s Songs / All is Dream era), The Silent League may sometimes appear like an on-again/off-again relationship between a collective of musicians interested only in periodically making records, playing shows, and disappearing again. This may be true. While nobody in New York ever seems quite sure whether or not the band still exists (their second record, Of Stars And Other Somebodies was never even released in N. America, and is due for re-release), the name carries weight all over the city. Lay tracks through the past 5-6 years’ worth of new music (take Arcade Fire, Beirut, St. Vincent, Stars Like Fleas, Bishop Allen…) and you’re going to run over more than a handful of people who began with or spent time creating music under the name The Silent League…many of them still do, you just don’t know it. “We don’t really care about maintaining a place in the industry. There is enough noise in the world and everyone has other work to busy themselves with”, says Russo, “we try to keep it new, detached…we make music when we think we have something to say that isn’t already being said”.

The Silent League is releasing a new record, it’s third, in Feb 2010, ..…but you’ve always been the caretaker. This time with the idiosyncratic producer, and band-member, Shannon Fields at the helm (founder and producer of the unclassifiable Brooklyn collective Stars Like Fleas, and whose musical credits include Helado Negro, Miho Hatori, Doveman, and many projects that ignore rock and pop altogether), the band spent time at various upstate farmhouse studios with recording and mixing engineer D. James Goodwin (Scary Mansion, The Bravery) crafting a somewhat different record. More explicit is the group’s affection for the soft rock and artrock power ballads of the 70s (the group initially bonded over a common love of ELO, Todd Rundgren, Roxy Music and Bread), but the moodier and more unhinged qualities that have always been subtexts in the band’s music have been pushed forward. It is an evocative, jarring, sometimes disturbing and densely woven record that seems nearly to ignore contemporary indierock but which sounds very little like its antecedents or any obvious contemporary reference points. Rather than chasing the endlessly tiresome “reinvention of rock”, The Silent League, with one foot in sterling songcraft and the other in the Brooklyn diaspora, has sculpted stunningly fresh new music with the decapitated pieces of rock’s MOR family tree.

For a band that disappears for long stretches of time and has never properly toured, browsing The Silent League’s prior press clippings and live show history will show a band that has always held fascination by its peers. The prior two records have been praised by The Guardian, The Times, The Independent, NME, Q, Mojo, Uncut, Rolling Stone, Spin, The New York Times, Village Voice, Blender,, etc). The Silent League has performed live supporting a broad range of artists, including Interpol, Los Campesinos!, Echo & The Bunnymen, Bloc Party, Le Loup, Patrick Wolf, Jens Lekman, The National, Sufjan Stevens, Rufus Wainwright, Bear in Heaven, etc.


[4/5] “bewitching, lush, orchestral beauty…will leave you craving more” The Guardian

“Russo’s Flaming Lips-like vision of indie chamber music is now fully realized…the budding promise of their debut blooming into something truly uplifting” Q Magazine

“expansive and epic” The Sun

“Of Stars takes Silent League’s widescreen vision further…majesterial” NME

“a pop group of rare majesty…echoes the great American artists of the 1970’s and puts a whole new slant on the ‘orchestral pop’ movement… should be savoured by as many people as possible”

[4.5/5] “It’s hard to imagine a more brilliantly arranged album being released this year” Gigwise

“After touching on that elusive Mercury Rev / Flaming Lips sense of grace The Silent League blossom… goes beyond cred-by-association” Uncut

“embracing bolder, bigger spheres…like the ghost of George Harrison guiding Crazy Horse…Broken Social Scene covering Lennon…Sublime, joyous and occasionally deeper and darker than all the Oceans. ‘Of Stars…’ is their mini-epic” Clash Magazine

“a thing of beauty…a feast of ambitious summertime pop rock, soft rock at heart and proud of it… this album feels like the first collection that truly represents the glorious live impact…[it] has the instantly timeless quality of a great album”
Rough Trade

“underwritten by an arch pop awareness…epic flights of melancholy pop, flavoured with vintage soft-rock and Americana”
Wire Magazine

“intimate, confessional songs set to the backdrop of seventies infused soft rock with lush orchestral embellishment and delicate arrangements…like Arcade Fire covering The Band…simply staggering” The Line of Best Fit

“immediately engaging…some of the most enjoyable songwriting I have heard all year ”

“the kind of record that makes you want to take the day off work so you can play it over and over again…a masterpiece” Word Magazine

“[8/10] majestic, glorious…full of pomp, brass…Arcade Fire dynamism” Rocksound

“**** lush…swoon-pop [that] taps a gently psychedelic vein, with shades of Lambchop and ELO…dreamy. ” The Independent

“The Silent League are brilliant in the Flaming-Lips-ish sense of the word. Brilliant” CMU Daily

“…they fast become one of those few that soundtrack your life…heartbreakingly captivating…a formidable group of innovative minds…really a must-have album” Glasswerk


“Highly Recommended…Brian Wilson’s legacy shimmers through the songs…grandly expansive” New York Times

“Importantly, the orchestra joyfully acquiesced…[The Silent League] create a lush, expansive orchestral pop record…sublime” Rolling Stone

[4/5] “wistful pocket symphonies…a splendid corollary to Mercury Rev’s 1998 pastoral masterpiece, Deserter’s Songs” Mojo

“[Q Recommends – 4/5] a sepia-toned Wild West utopian dream…Reserve space and time for it” Q Magazine

“a sweeping masterpiece” Rough Trade


01/16 New York, NY Blender Theater at Gramercy

silent cover
The Silent League
…but you’ve always been the caretaker
(Something In Construction)
Street Date: Jan. 26, 2010

Disc One:

1. Egg-Shaped
2. When Stars Attack!!!
3. Yours Truly, 2095
4. Little i
5. There Is A Caretaker In The Woods
6. Sleeper
7. Here’s A Star
8. Dayplanner
9. The Ohio Winter Conventioners
10. Rules of Disengagement
11. I Go
12. But You’ve Always Been The Pilot
13. Resignation Studies
14. Final Chapter Meeting
15. How and Why our Dads Lost The War

Disc Two (Bonus Disc):

1. Here’s a Star (Neon Indian Remix)
2. Dayplanner (Instrumental)
3. Kings and Queens (In-studio version)
4. Can’t Get It Out of My Head (ELO Cover)
5. Final Chapter Meeting (Instrumental)
6. Here’s a Star (Prequel Mix)
7. Here’s a Star (Helado Negro Remix)
8. No One (Alicia Keys cover)
9. Let It Roll (live)
10. Time (live)


Press Materials