Bellows: Linear Abstraction & Christmas Sweaters

Editor’s Note: Since this interview, the members of Bellows changed their name to Someday River

This year, no one is more overcome with holiday spirit than Orlando experimental folk rock trio, Bellows. These sonic sculptors have been at it since 2010; and in 2013, Orlando Weekly named them Best Experimental Act. I sat down with Bellows’ lead architect Greyson Charnock to talk about Orlando music, Bellows’ progression, and Christmas cheer. Later, I was able to encroach on the band’s practice space with TVW Photographer, Karina Curto. Somehow, we ended up helping them out with their Christmas cards. Enjoy.

This Saturday, Bellows’ will be playing at Sweater Fest. Come see Orlando’s finest take over The Milk District.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

M: Within the band, do you do most of the songwriting? How does that work?

G: Some of [Bellows’] earlier material was stuff that I had written that we just pieced together and turned into this structural thing. But we’re moving more into like, I might just come up with a little idea and we all just jam on it together. Then we say, “that works, this doesn’t work.” [We] sort of separate it out into a song that’s more grooved-based. Instead of [songs] based solely on transitions, or solely on the vocals, which is something I did a lot in the past.

M: That’s what collaboration does, right?

G: Yeah. We got Sean [Boyle] on drums, and Pat [Dunn] on the bass. And they’ve really helped crystallize the band. We were a two-piece for a while, and I think there’s a lot of being deliberate as a two piece. The idea is so pure. But, now that we have a bassist, I could never go back.

M: You guys have been [playing] for like, five years… almost five?

G: Yeah, five years from our first show is in February.

M: Five years is a long time, especially for a local band.

G: I didn’t have any expectations, honestly. When I first started writing music [after] I moved to college; it took me years to grasp the idea that, “Okay, there’s a next step to this.” Before that, I had no intentions of ever playing for anybody. Even open mics, I never did [those] until Bellows. That was the first time that I ever played live.

M: Really? How did it go?

G: (laughs) It went alright. It takes a long time to get your footing in a community… now it sort of feels like I can just feel the culture building, and it’s kind of cool to be a part of it.

350A8404

M: You guys are playing sweater fest. Are people supposed to wear their sweaters to that?

G: Oh yeah!

M: Okay, okay. I have my own, but it drips glitter every time I move.

G: You leave a trail?

M: Yeah. So I feel like in a pit, everyone is going to have glitter on them and be like, “It was that [asshole].”

G: (laughs) I love it. Yeah, you got to bring a sweater and uh… Christmas vibes.

M: Now, you were talking about how you work at the UCF Art Gallery. How does that passion for visual art merge with music? How do those things collide?

G: I use one thing to fuel the other. A lot of the artwork I’ve been doing in the past couple years has been for the band. And my job at the gallery makes [Bellows] possible.

M: What more traditional artists are you into?

G: I’ll just start by saying I have a huge print in my living room that’s framed. It’s a drawing from Da Vinci. I looked it up and it was like a couple hundred bucks, but I got it for like $12 at a thrift store. But there’s something that my professors would say: your competition isn’t like, the people in this classroom. That’s your immediate competition, but your competition to push yourself is every artist that’s ever lived.

M: Wow. That’s a lot of pressure.

G: Yeah, I guess. But I can’t compare or anything like that, obviously. But I like to keep that drawing up as a reminder like, “that’s your competition.”

M: Do you do the same thing with music?

G: I compare recordings. I try not to get stuck on the style of the music… It doesn’t matter if it’s the same genre, but I try to hold myself to the same level as bands I respect. I don’t want to be like, “I would listen to this all day long, but I wouldn’t listen to my shit.”

350A8524

M: (runs out of questions) So… is there anything you want to talk about?

I love to paint too. Whenever I paint, it’s not about anything. It’s just about color. You know, working with color and blending. I rarely clean my brush. I just continuously mix colors without cleaning. It’s kind of like that with a song where you want everything to be congruent, but kind of reactive and responding to itself.

M: You guys recently put out an EP [Day Changer].

G: It’s going to be an LP. It’s not released yet. I just released a couple songs off [of it]. We’re going to be releasing one or two at a time every couple months, and then we’ll have an LP come out somewhere, probably Spring 2015.

M: How many songs we lookin’ at for the LP?

G: Well, after we filter out everything, probably 10 to 12.

M: Awesome. Well, I appreciate you sitting down.

G: Yeah, thanks for talking to me.

Bag of Tracks Orlando: Pasty Cline, Witch Kings, Fortune Howl

Today, we have three new releases, by three Orlando acts. Each feature a distinct sound, worlds away from the rest. Enjoy.

Pasty Cline – “But A Phase”

Pasty Cline is becoming quite a staple on The Vinyl Warhol. “But A Phase” is a familiar sound with the same DIY recording and one-man-against-the-world attitude. Here, Lawhorne’s voice is twangier than usual, evoking the California gold rush. The song was recently featured on a split cassette with Tremolo Ghosts,  put out by Liquid Library. With quick picking and a thumping beat, Pasty Cline sounds as if he’s riding the rails in search a fortune that’s long gone.


There’s a whole album waiting at Pasty Cline’s Bandcamp. Side-effects may include: lactating.

Witch Kings – “I Can’t Tell”

Witch Kings’ debut single is a sultry slow jam with darkness at it’s core. We’re greeted with wispy guitar tones that dive slowly into the first verse. Singer John Waters’ vocals are deep and haunting, his diction reminiscent of Lou Reed (see: “Cheeesssttt”). Waters himself seems confused. He cries, he laughs, he’s high, he’s low. This uncertainty only adds to the song’s overall haziness. Witch Kings features members from The Welziens and The Haroux, but “I Can’t Tell” is in a vain different from both. This first release was a surprise. I can only wonder what other surprises are in store.


Keep an eye on Witch King’s Bandcamp. There is much, much more to come.

Fortune Howl – “Interzone Export”

The video for Fortune Howl’s “Interzone Export” is both beautiful and disturbing. We follow a figure (you can’t even call him a person) through an eerie world void of life and color. He trudges through a swamp to stop at dead stumps and piles of ruble, longing for the lively world he used to know. The video perfectly reflects the song’s emotion. Themes of isolation plague every element of sound. The music and vocals give me chills. Fortune Howl moans out, “Everything is gone, but I’m still here.” I need an adult.


Interested? Go steady with Fortune Howl on his Bandcamp!

Album Review: all boy/all girl – “Tiny Iglesia”

all boy/all girl is an abstract chamber-pop act based out of New York CityThe band recently contacted me, asking if I could review their debut album Tiny Iglesia. I was floored when I received a beautiful green marbled LP and a lovely hand-written letter from the band (they were obviously after my heart). So here my friends is all boy/all girl. Enjoy.

Follow The Vinyl Warhol on Facebook and Twitter for more music updates.

This band is neither all boy or all girl, they are a collection of both.

With a total of seven members in all boy/all girl, the band incorporates a vast amount of different instruments and sounds on Tiny Iglesia. Viola, cello, trombone, trumpet, ukulele, bongos, and upright bass all have their moment to shine, but together create an interesting pallet for vocalists Danielle Lovier and Jessie Rogowski to harmonize over. The tribal like drums on “Animal” fit nicely with the song’s primal theme, and the plucking viola strings on “Burundi” make the song pop.

On songs like “Fall” and “Algorithm” the instruments seem to play around with each other, morphing the progression of the tracks, surprising the listener with the numerous changes. In “Algorithm,” the song starts with smooth jazz guitar and trumpet, but quickly evolves into a punchy hook that could have come out of the musical Chicago. It’s a definite highlight on Tiny Iglesia. 

However, what Tiny Iglesia has in musical dynamism, it lacks in other areas. For instance, the vocals on “Animal” don’t match the intensity of the lyrics or the music: they’re more of a purr than a roar. With “Fall,” the vocal melody during the chorus is slow and repetitive. Unfortunately, that’s a recurring theme on Tiny Iglesia. On “Dirt” the lyrics seem to drag on and on, “After all is said and done, dirt is what we all become. After we have had our fun, dirt is what we all become.” I find myself waiting for the chorus to be over so we can get back to the interesting melodies like in the first verse.

“Summertime,” “Water,” and “Nightingale” all have similar problems. The vocals are drowned out by these layered instruments, and sound weak in comparison. Each of these songs do have appealing parts in them, but the stuff in between doesn’t keep me coming back. The three songs were previously released on all boy/all girl’s self-titled EP, but featured more stripped down instrumentals and reverb laden vocals. I wish more of Tiny Iglesia sounded like this. The vocals seem more potent and sincere.


Lyrically, Tiny Iglesia deals with themes of childhood, aging, changing, and longing for the youth that seemed to have rushed right by. The line “This is the place from whence we came.” from the opener “To A Flame” is alluded to again in the closer. The phrase is fitting tagline for Tiny Iglesia, and throughout the course of the album we see the narrator develop. Unfortunately, it’s not always a smooth ride. Along the way there are some cringe-worthy lyrics.The worst comes in “Summertime”. The theme of the song is nice: the long days of summer, playing with friends, and having adventures. But, I’m just pulled out of that mindset by cliches “rain, rain, go away, come again some other day,” and “April showers bring May flowers.”

Overall, my problem with Tiny Iglesia is that most of the songs leave me apathetic. There are interesting moments musically and lyrically, but it’s too spotty. There aren’t enough catchy, fun moments to appeal to the pop side of chamber pop. And conceptually the themes aren’t existential enough to appeal to the artsy side of chamber pop. Most of the story is just played out in front of you, and you’re not left with anything to ponder. So if Tiny Iglesia doesn’t make me dance, and it doesn’t make me think, then what am I supposed to do? Hopefully, all boy/all girl will incorporate one or both in future releases. That’s something I would love to listen to.

Hear more from all boy/all girl on their website, Facebook, and Bandcamp.

Mumford & Sons is Mumford & Done?

Indie coffee shop employees are in an outrage. Folk rock band Mumford & Sons has announced that they are going on hiatus. Is this the beginning of the end for the folk revival?

Mumford & Sons breaks down, this time without banjos

Mumford & Sons broke out in 2009, with their debut, Sigh No More. With hits “The Cave” and “Little Lion Man,” Mumford & Sons quickly rose to the forefront of the ever growing folk rock revival. With their second album, Babel, their popularity skyrocketed even further, winning Album of the Year at the Grammys. The band seems to be at their zenith, so why stop now?

“There won’t be any Mumford & Sons activities for the foreseeable future following Friday’s show”, the news was dropped by keyboardist Ben Lovett in an interview with Rolling Stone, and the shock wave quickly rocked the needles of every Urban Outfitters brand turntable. Later in the interview Lovett said, “These shows take a bit more out of us,”.  “We have a bigger responsibility to be in better form. We can’t be dropping the set 20 minutes because Marcus has tired legs.” Additionally, it was recently revealed that bassist Ted Dwane had surgery for a blood clot in his brain. Currently, the band hasn’t said that this hiatus is due to conflict within the band, so it doesn’t seem as if Mumford & Sons is completely done, just put on pause.

Alright, opinion time!

This is the point of the program where I stop talking like a journalist. In my opinion, this “folk rock revival” should be re-titled exactly what it is, corporate folk. Record companies saw the growing hipster trend and decided it to make some money off of it. But it’s not just Mumford & Sons, bands like: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Of Monsters and Men, The Lumineers, The Civil Wars, Alabama Shakes, and Grouplove, all encompass the genre that I call corporate folk. Listen people, I’m not saying it’s all bad, it’s just getting really boring, and overrated. Recently, I went to the fabulous Raglan Road Irish Pub in Downtown Disney. There’s a folk cover band there that play while you eat. Here’s the thing, they played three Mumford & Sons songs. Mumford & Sons is not even Irish! And, they introduced the songs with, “Here is a song by the legendary Mumford & Sons.” Okay nice, this is alright… wait a second. LEGENDARY! Excuse me, Mr. Cover Band Man, you’re jumping the gun a little.

Here’s the thing, Folk music in the 60’s was about counter-culture, it was an anti-war, anti-establishment middle finger to the man. Bands like Mumford & Sons just don’t have that spirit of angst to them. All they want to do is sit on a blanket and write love songs, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but its not like there isn’t war and injustices to sing about. It’s not that I hate this music, if I hear a Mumford & Sons song at restaurant I’m not like, “OH MY GOD, WHAT IS THIS SHIT?!”, but after a while all the Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers, and Of Monsters and Men songs sounds the same. Hell, even every Mumford & Sons song sounds the same. Slow coming in, then boom! banjo breakdown. I hear American Apparel slaves complaining all the time about the dubstep breakdown cliche, but the same cliches are here too. The dress: beards, overalls, suspenders, upright basses, lack of shoes, and flannel. What I will give Mumford & Sons credit for is being able to make fun of themselves, check out the video for “Hopeless Wanderer”, you will laugh. They even know it’s getting old.

Watch The Needle Drop review Babel!

Listen to Mumford & Sons on Spotify!