Idling | Brave Chandeliers

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Liner notes

This song will be a part of the band's newest album, due out in October. Presently, it can be found on their tour EP entitled BC.516.T11. This was a 3 song EP initially available only to fans who came out to see the band on tour. It features 3 songs, Idling, Love Is (What You Only Get From Me), and Deep End.

All songs were written and performed by members of Brave Chandeliers.
They were recorded (to 2 inch, 24 track analog tape!) in KBC Records, Portland Oregon.
All mixing and production performed by Jeremy Sherrer (Hockey, Dandy Warhols).

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About the artist

It's a ridiculous thing to do in a recession—quit your job, start a band, go out on the road. But that's exactly what Portland's Nick Drum and Jon McNeill did. The former was a young lawyer working his way up the ladder through endless hours; the latter an ethnographer whiling away his days on product research far from home. They felt themselves settling, their freedom slipping, so when the pair finally met, they knew what they had to do. From a single jam session, Brave Chandeliers was born—a power-pop and soul-fueled answer to the nine-to-five grind ringing with heartfelt sentiment and optimism.

What began as a couple of fast friends playing cover songs—"Tempted" by Squeeze and "I Get Lifted" by George McCrae—quickly evolved into the piano-driven, hook-laden Brave Chandeliers of today: Nick on vocals and keys and Jon on guitar, plus bassist Cary Samsel and drummer Nathan Powell (tour-tested players for bluesman Terry Evans). In a sense, the band's founders had waited all their lives for this. Nick developed his voice in choir, and began piano lessons at 8 with a teacher who didn't quash his ability to improvise. Jon had instruction too, but taught himself guitar by memorizing the tabs to Siamese Dream.

It seemed significant that their first practice took place on the day of the TARP bailout. While the nation set out to fix itself, so did the men of Brave Chandeliers with a new outlook attested to by the poignant words of "Madmen," an early standout: "I can read the headlines / I know all the hard times / I'd rather take a slow night / Where you and me can get out of here / out from under the fear / and follow our lives." That romanticism couched in reality colored the band's self-released debut EP, Put Away the Camera, and helped secure them a seven-week tour around the U.S.

Brave Chandeliers' brand new album, 11 Escapes, finds the fresh-faced group already coming into their own. After locking themselves into rehearsal for two weeks, they repaired to KBC Studios, situated in a gorgeous old remodel in northeast Portland. With producer Jeremy Sherrer (Hockey, Dandy Warhols, the Gossip) at the helm, they recorded live to two-inch tape, everyone playing at once. In the parlor was a grand piano you can nearly picture as the rich notes ring out. Songs like "Sinking Ship" deliver propulsive pop à la Maroon 5, while the fuzzy raucousness of "Escape" evokes Arctic Monkeys and the upbeat jaunt of "Deep End" Ben Folds—others who put songwriting above all else.

As its title would suggest, 11 Escapes offers as many angles on the concept of breaking away. Each song acts as a window into one room, or one life, in contemporary America. "Say It's Alright" is told from the view of a repentant cheater. "Bumpy Ride" is about overcoming of a rut. "Life In Motion" takes stock of those things we simply cannot avoid: entropy, aging, time. "Viral" is about falling head over heels in love. And of course, it's deeply personal too. After all, 11 Escapes is the very document that proves that Brave Chandeliers, happily, are the ones who got away.


Verse 1
I'm in the pocket, I'm lit like a rocket
I've been looking for the place we should go
They used to provide it, now you have to buy it
So we're thinking any port in a storm

No one ever thought we would give it up for free
We will get to the deepest need tonight
I want to be there when the crowd goes wild

Chorus 1
Idling, let the world spin round on me
and everything go down, baby:
rest assured that I don't belong here

Verse 2
So push it again step right up to the ledge and never wonder/worry how you get down.
It was a lucrative scene and a fleeting release
With all the bodies that had littered the ground.

Sure we could say no to the pleasurable machine
But why would we bite the hand that feeds?
Oh no, we're mounting up the horse and its around we go.

Chorus 2
Idling, let the world spin round on me
and everything go down, baby:
rest assured that I don't belong here
Idling, like a love gone south on me
when there is no way out, baby
and everything that I know is wrong here

It feels like a waste of time,
For heart, head, soul and mind
For we are the young who have walked in circle

And every now and then I feel I sometimes get it right
But we descend to the animal inside
Watching as my body’s taken for a ride

Chorus 2