RochaNews: Pineapple Thief Free Download of New Track

Gorgeous artwork for the forthcoming TPT album, Magnolia.
Gorgeous artwork for the forthcoming TPT album, Magnolia.

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF OFFERS FREE DOWNLOAD OF NEW TRACK “SIMPLE AS THAT”

10th studio album “Magnolia” out September 16 via Kscope

ENGLAND – The Pineapple Thief is offering fans a free download of the new track “Simple as That” from the band’s upcoming 10th studio album Magnolia at:http://emailunlock.com/kscope-burningshed/the-pineapple-thief-simple-as-that#. Magnoliais set for a September 16 North American release via Kscope.

“Here’s the opening track from the new album for you, the beginning of a deep and varied journey,” said songwriter and guitarist Bruce Soord. “I hope you get as much from our new music as we do. Thanks for your support!”

Additionally, a Magnolia instrumental teaser video is streaming on YouTube at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJrVo9BkURQ.

Fans can also pre-order Magnolia via the following links:

Magnolia follows the acclaimed 2012 album All The Wars and marks an important turning point for The Pineapple Thief, as it expands its musical horizons beyond the progressive sphere. Recorded at Snap Studios and mixed at Strongroom Studios in London, Magnoliarepresents the ultimate culmination of Soord’s ongoing quest to raise spirits and connect. A devastating yet uplifting collection of 12 beautifully crafted songs, it showcases the band’s intuitive chemistry and soulful demeanor, cramming a vast array of emotional shades and inspirational ideas into its 47 mesmerizing minutes. Veering from the strident opening assault of “Simple as That,” due to be the first single, through to the cinematic sweep of the closing track “Bond,” it marks an important step in the band’s story, while skillfully encapsulating everything that has made its musical journey such a relentlessly fascinating one. 

“All I ever wanted was to write catchy songs that stay with people,” commented Soord, explaining how this record represents an important evolutionary phase for The Pineapple Thief. “The striking thing is that there are no long tunes… all I care about now is writing a good song. I don’t think about whether it’s rock or progressive or commercial or anything like that. As time went on, I discovered I could say everything I wanted to say within a shorter period of time.” 

New drummer Dan Osborne, also heavily involved in the production of Magnolia, brought fresh energy and ideas to The Pineapple Thief, strongly contributing to steer the band in a new direction. Completing the line-up are solid bassist Jon Sykes and keyboard maestro Steve Kitch. While string arrangements are courtesy of regular collaborator Andrew Skeet of The Divine Comedy, the stunning final mix was crafted by mix engineer Adam Noble, who has previously worked on albums from the likes of Placebo, Guillemots, Paul McCartney, Robbie Williams and Belgium alt rock band dEUS. The artwork for Magnoliawas created by French artist Patrick Gonzales (http://www.patrickgonzales.net).

1. Simple as That (04:01)

2. Alone at Sea (05:21)

3. Don’t Tell Me (03:35)

4. Magnolia (03:47)

5. Seasons Past (04:14)

6. Coming Home (03:06)

7. The One You Left to Die (04:19)

8. Breathe (02:35)

9. From Me (04:31)

10. Sense of Fear (04:31)

11. A Loneliness (03:22)

12. Bond (04:31)

Formed in 1999 by founder and chief songwriter Bruce Soord as an experimental bedroom project, The Pineapple Thief has since continued to evolve and refine its sound. The group is seen by many as one of the most interesting and innovative rock bands the U.K. has produced in recent years. Previous albums like Someone Here Is Missing (2010) and All The Wars (2012) have made The Pineapple Thief’s reputation and fan base stronger, resulting in interest from a wider audience. Bruce Soord also collaborates with other Kscope artists, joining forces with Jonas Renkse of Swedish band Katatonia on their critically acclaimed Wisdom Of Crowds project. Along with this collaboration, we saw Soord join Katatonia on their recent “Dethroned & Uncrowned – Unplugged & Reworked” acoustic European tour.   

With a new, blossoming sound, Magnolia has all the potential to bring The Pineapple Thief to the masses. This, the band’s 10th record, could not only be a milestone, but also a mainstream breakthrough for the band. With Magnolia, The Pineapple Thief has created 12 musical gems that defy all classifications – anthemic, catchy, intense, honest and straight from the heart.

Stay tuned for more information on The Pineapple Thief and Magnolia.

 

The Pineapple Thief online…

 

The Pineapple Thief is… 

  • Bruce Soord – vocals, guitar
  • Dan Osborne – drums
  • Jon Sykes – bass
  • Steve Kitch – keyboards

 

A huge thanks to our friend Brian Rocha and Fresno Media for reaching out to us–ed., progarchy.com

Nick’s Best of 2013 (Part 2)

Following hot on the heels of Part 1, here is the second part of my ‘Best of 2013’ list: positions 10 to 6 in my Top Ten.

 

10. Ulver – Messe I.X-VI.X

This liturgically-themed piece, recorded with the Tromsø Chamber Orchestra, was my introduction to Ulver. It had a powerful effect on me when first I heard it and I shall certainly be exploring their back-catalogue in future. Messe is solemn, haunting and mysterious – best heard on headphones late at night with the lights turned off.

 

9. Freedom to Glide – Rain

A richly atmospheric, superbly recorded album, evoking the grandeur of Pink Floyd in places and with liquid guitar solos that Dave Gilmour would be proud to call his own. Rain‘s story is set during World War I and is based on the experiences of band member Pete Riley’s grandfather. It’s a powerful and moving piece of work that assumes particular relevance with the imminent centenary of that awful conflict.

 

8. Henry Fool – Men Singing

A welcome return by Tim Bowness & colleagues, a mere twelve years after their debut release. The title is a neat little joke, given that this is an entirely instrumental album, Tim electing to merely play guitar rather than treat us to his wonderful and distinctive voice. What you get for your money here are four tracks of proggy, jazzy, semi-improvisational brilliance.

 

7. Bruce Soord with Jonas Renkse – Wisdom Of Crowds

This collaboration between The Pineapple Thief’s frontman and Katatonia’s vocalist is a revelation. The album consists of nine simple, elegant songs written by Soord with Renkse in mind, and the clean, minimalist production gives that spellbinding voice the space to work its magic. A modern masterpiece.

 

6. Haken – The Mountain

Haken are arguably progressive metal’s leading proponents in the UK. Each album has improved upon its predecessor and The Mountain is their best yet. These guys have the musical chops of Dream Theater but are considerably more adventurous. They also don’t take themselves too seriously, as this brilliant video for The Cockroach King shows.

 

See Part 3 for my five favourite albums of 2013…

Sounds of Summer: Bruce Soord-Wisdom of Crowds, Shineback, and Sounds of Contact

by Frank Urbaniak

In an outstanding year of prog, with the heat of summer comes even more interesting soundtracks for 2013. These three releases are similar in their focus on audio excellence, none of the three are 100% prog, yet all three provide a good listening experience, but they do vary in terms of their ability to generate the desire for ‘go to’ repeat listens.threealbums_july172013

I originally didn’t want to review Wisdom of Crowds because while it is sonically rich, the music left me flat. After Carl Olson of Progarchy suggested differently I gave it a few more spins and have a more favorable opinion of the music, but still am a bit surprised by the glowing online reviews. As with more recent Pineapple Thief music, I find the song construction a bit predictable, with 2 verses, chorus, bridge/instrumental section and final verse/chorus. The music just doesn’t engage me enough to want to play it again/often. For instance the title track, “Wisdom of Crowds,” repeats the chorus for far too long, so that by the time I hear the song again I am ready to skip the track. The next track, “Radio Star”, has a weak melody so I am ready to move quickly to the best song on the CD, “Frozen North”, with lovely guitars and a haunting melody, which starts softly and then builds to an infectious finale. This track and the following track, “The Light,” reveal the great qualities of Jonas Renkse’s voice but overall, I find the songs just a bit long and I wish Soord had stretched a bit more compositionally as well as sonically. An enjoyable CD but I don’t see it in the top releases of the year.

(For an interesting transition, play Wisdom of Crowd’s “Flows Through You,” followed by Shinebacks’s “Here Come the Envoys.”)

Shineback’s Rise Up Forgotten, Return Destroyed is the top audio experience of the three releases and is worth repeat listens on headphones. Rise Up Forgotten is quite an eclectic mix of prog, dance, hip hop and pop (think ABC) which all comes together nicely, but is significantly enhanced by the quality of the recording. The dynamics are breathtaking. While there are similarities to Tinyfish’s Big Red Spark, this is much less ‘prog’ and this ‘story’ offers an opportunity for Simon to expand his musical palette. The proggier moments remind me of Frost* (go figure). There are only 6 songs three minutes or longer, connected by musical ‘blogs’. If you have the time to listen to the entire CD it works well, but the blogs are so short they sometimes seem to interrupt the flow of the songs, which is already challenging due to the diversity of the songs. I wish there were a few longer compositions as these short blogs aren’t easy to get into if you have a 20 minute drive or a short listening window. I also wish that they had used the female voice for more than the opening and closing songs, as Simon’s voice sometimes sounds thin on the choruses. Unfortunately I think that in a few months I will only return to this CD to revisit just the longer tracks. But hey, these are minor points, this is good stuff and worth an investment of your listening time and money. Hats off to Bad Ear Music and to Simon for taking such a gamble at such a precarious time in the industry.

Sounds of Contact’s Dimensionaut is the hardest release to review objectively as with this band you have to deal with Simon Collin’s legacy situation. Father Phil generates awe and respect as a drummer and singer in some camps, and quite caustic and disdainful online comments from others as a solo artist and singer/composer for his more commercial solo work and contributions to one of the genre’s most beloved bands in their later years. So lets get this out of the way: sometimes Simon sounds like his father around the time of Face Value but there are also hints of Sean Filkins, Jon Anderson and others in his singing. The only time I find this objectionable is on a track like “Dimensionaut” where his vocals are mixed with an echo that generates the ‘clip’ at the beginning of each phrase that was so oppressive in later Genesis recordings like “Throwing It All Away” and “Domino.” It isn’t needed, his voice is fine without it. And did I mention that the drumming genetics have been passed down nicely?

The other challenge in reviewing this is that while it is mostly progressive, there are some ‘modern rock’ songs bordering on AOR such as “Not Coming Down,” “Only Breathing Out” or “Closer to You,” clearly geared for more commercial appeal. On each of those songs the lyrics are nice but a bit ‘poppy’. In fact the lyrics on the entire CD alternate between ‘cosmic’ and pop but they work with the music. So you can either let the more commercial tracks put you off or you can just let the CD play end to end to appreciate a fine release, and just give these guys the respect I think they deserve out of the gate (as most seem to be doing). The recording is excellent and the band is solid (although the drums may be mixed slightly up front for some tastes).

Sound of Contact’s overall dedication to ‘bring the prog back’ is admirable, touring after only one album all across the US and Europe, joined by some other excellent bands in different cities on the tour. Talk about taking a risk! I give Sounds of Contact an A for effort and commitment to progressive music. If bands like this aren’t given a fair listen and support on their tours, then the genre’s future is at risk. (As I write this I see they are announced as the first signed band for Rosfest 2014!)

In fact all three of these releases deserve support and attention as these artists spread their wings musically and sonically, providing more reasons to celebrate 2013 as a great year for music.

[Frank Urbaniak is the co-owner of a successful retail technology consulting practice, living in the hinterlands of NJ.  He has played drums since the age of 8 and followed progressive music since the age of 18 when he first heard The Yes Album in college.  He is the father of two daughters who think his music is weird,  and his wife agrees with them.]

Schnikees: The Reasoned Thief!

frontpage_newlogoI guess I’m a little behind on prog news.  This was announced a few weeks ago–The Reasoning will be working with Bruce Soord of The Pineapple Thief on the next album.  Wonderful news.

For the first time we’ll be bringing in an outside producer, too: we’re honoured to welcome the wonderful Bruce Soord on board. The band are full of excitement and enthusiasm right now about getting firmly stuck into this new piece of work.

For the full article at PROG, go here–http://www.progrockmag.com/news/bruce-soord-to-produce-the-reasoning/

What a solid collaboration–one for the ages.

A Potpourri of Pineapple Treats

Kscope Music has been reissuing The Pineapple Thief’s albums beginning with their third, Variations on a Dream. With the recent release of their sixth, What We Have Sown, a wonderful back catalog is now available to those of us who missed them the first time around.

I happen to love Bruce Soord’s music, but there might be a “sameness” to it that can be frustrating to some prog fans. Soord’s compositional technique is very minimalist (in the same sense Philip Glass, Steve Reich, and Arvo Part are minimalist). For example, the song “Vapour Trails”, from Variations on a Dream, is nine minutes long, and the entire lyrics consist of

we’re flying too low/we’re flying too low/and trying to go far/but finding it hard/we’ve got your vapour trails to follow/you home/we’ve got your vapour trails to follow/we’re flying too fast/we’re flying too fast/and finding it won’t last/but something will pass…/we’ve got your vapour trails to follow/you home

As the words are repeated over and over, they become part of the overall sound of the song, and small variations in the melody have a much greater impact. It takes patience to listen to a typical Pineapple Thief song, but it is definitely rewarding. Every song creates a sense of time being suspended, as endless permutations of the basic melody are worked out. Perhaps Soord is the Bach of prog, and his songs are fugues!

If you’ve never heard anything by The Pineapple Thief, a good place to start is the two-disc compilation, 3000 Days. Variations on a Dream (probably my favorite, with the amazing mini-suite “Part Zero”)  is Pineapple Thief at their most Radiohead-like. 10 Stories Down is more acoustic and lighter in feel.  Little Man is a heartbreakingly beautiful account of Soord’s loss of a child at birth.

What We Have Sown was initially released as a quickly-recorded farewell work for the Cyclops label just before The Pineapple Thief began its relationship with Kscope. Recorded in 8 days, it is a wonderful collection that features one of Soord’s finest songs, the 27-minute “What Have We Sown?” as well as the sinuous, Middle Eastern-flavored “Well, I Think That’s What You Said”. Kscope has tacked on two bonus tracks, making it an even better package than the original.

As a matter of fact, Kscope has done an excellent job with all four reissues. They come in attractive slipcases, and all have updated artwork. Variations on a Dream and 10 Stories Down each include a bonus disc of music that was originally given away in limited editions.

The Pineapple Thief represent a more contemplative side of prog, and based upon their latest release, All The Wars, they are still exploring new and exciting musical territory.