In particular, there was none of the electro and hip/hop that went with Tulsa turf, instead the mainly white influences seemed artistically stifling for the music he wanted to realise. A little disillusioned, Caleb gave Berkeley a try, but any scholastic swooning soon waned as his passion for music once again proved all too consuming. San Francisco, with its magical weather, lush trees and Pacific shores, became his new home and, except for a bittersweet brief affair with London, has remained so ever since. Reunited once more in San Francisco the friends came together to focus on accomplishing their musical desires.
Now things were getting more serious came the big challenge in every band’s life, picking the right name. Taken from a lyrical couplet in a cutesy psychedelic song by an early incarnation of King Crimson; the ring of words and symmetry of Seventeen Evergreen eventually won out. With a sound far removed from the grace of the debut offering, now in your hands, the first incarnation of Seventeen Evergreen was a far rockier affair that stood on bills at the cult ‘Purple Onion,’ alongside contemporaries including the ‘Dandy Warhols,’ and an early version of ‘The Rapture.’ Though the sound was well received, something wasn’t quite right for the artists themselves. Growing ever weary of the tired trad-rock ethos and its retro mentality, hip/hop and electronic influences became an island of inspiration that brought the two closer in feeling to Cornelius, Aphex Twin and Eno & further from the “flavour of the month-alikes” that were saturating the musical landscape. Now, with the band all present and correct in San Francisco, conversations pondering the likelihood of intelligent non-human life forms in the vasts of the universe, sci-fi love, and urban lament of the mundane working world soon turned in to lyrics, and, ultimately, the main inspiration behind their debut album, ‘Life Embarrasses Me On Planet Earth.’ With the name firmly in place, more importantly, the songs had to be fully realised.
Writing out of a house sandwiched between a Deaf Senior Citizens’ residence and an Alcoholics Anonymous building, the guys had to look no further than their own front door for material. Take, for example, the story behind the band’s upcoming debut single release ‘Haven’t Been Yourself’. This track is inspired by a schizophrenic neighbour who lived in constant fear of aliens equipped with heavy artillery and would seek Seventeen Evergreen HQ for refuge! In song, the band convey this thematically with an honesty about the human condition that everyone, at moments, can feel otherworldly or unnatural, almost with a sense of being encased in another’s skin. It is that sense of exploration of the psyche, and the worlds that influence and surround us, that makes listening to Seventeen Evergreen truly feel like you’re being privy to the inner workings of life through all its foibles, successes and, often, sufferance.
As lead singer Caleb puts it, “We’re interested in expressing an Eno-esque nostalgia for the future, a message of escapist optimism amidst technological and financial meltdown, and a disappointment in humanity near and far.” An organic electronic/rock hybrid, sonically kite flying amongst Boards of Canada, My Bloody Valentine, Pink Floyd & Pavement, the album is a genuine whole, a rich & considered tapestry that’s weaves a kaleidoscope of possibilities in to a psychedelic, breathy almost mystical soup. After all, how many bands would hold trees, fire, sea, knowledge, experience and the vast unknown space on earth and beyond, as equal inspirations to beautiful girls? In all, where others cough and splutter, Seventeen Evergreen float slowly and calmly, along life’s path, savouring the beauty of every rose along the way. With the release of their debut on Lucky Number Music, Seventeen Evergreen, allow you too to peer over a cosmic garden fence and see life as they perceive it. Spend a minute with any Seventeen Evergreen track and you’ll be greeted with the sirens of the forest, the stars in the sky, the vibrations of the ground dancing together in the ether to form an intricate yet consummate aural feast for your stereo.
The album, ‘Life Embarrasses Me On Planet Earth’ is released on 2nd April 2007 on Lucky Number and is preceded by the limited edition single ‘Haven’t Been Yourself’, released on 19th March also on the label. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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