Current Album

Keep Em Flying
(May 8, 2012)
 

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Bio

Keep Em Flying: Rotten fruit, beer bottles, spit, a half-eaten slice of pizza, panties and bras, a crowd surfer's stray shoe. You never know what might be coming your way.

Well, bring it, motherfuckers, and keep 'em flying: BRANDEN DANIEL & THE CHICS aren't afraid of gettin' dirty.

These street-slithering sexpots from Seattle work from the alleyways and dirty streets that lead to your rawest inhibitions and desires, under the spell of moonlight and whiskey-baited, knee-scraping rock n' roll. The music comes walking right up to you with a coy, flirtatious stare, then gently pushes you off to the side, without turning around to see the tears roll down your face. But it isn't heartless; it eventually comes back to comfort you and pick you up on the way back home. Singer/guitarist Branden Daniel has the menacing sneer of Iggy Pop, instilling the '60s pop-rock sensibilities of the most famous British Invaders, and the shaded cool of The Dirtbombs' Mick Collins. His sonic creations crash through the scuzzy walls of some Detroit garage built from a Rolling Stones R&B foundation and the rhythmic supports of classic Northwest garage staples The Kingsmen.

Previously known as Branden Daniel and Everybody Gets Laid, they released an EP, EVERYBODY GETS LAID, in 2008 and won raves from their hometown of Seattle all the way to Bristol, U.K., where the BBC said they were "poised to take over the world." The band laid it all out on the line, sure enough. Then, in the magical summer of 2009, after touring the nation in support of Branden Daniel's self-titled EP, he gave birth to The Chics, a line-up that consists of Aaron Schroeder on baritone guitar and Matt Winter on drums.

KEEP EM FLYING, the debut full-length from BRANDEN DANIEL & THE CHICS, charges out of the gate with "All Things Chic," a deviant full-throttled prowler of a number that leads into the paining desire of "Missionary" before "Hey, Howie" opens its firm but tender arms to set the record straight. There's a call-and-response urgency of muscular rhythm and blues on "Mor Yay," while the title track riffs on some doo-wop straight from Hill Valley High's Enchanted Under The Sea prom, opening up a magical chasm of strong, dreamy harmonies. A string section (arranged by noted L.A. composer Ali Helnwein) adds a rich dose of grandiose decadence on "Feel Real," and the compelling, impenetrable album closer, "Not Like Anything." In all, KEEP EM FLYING is a bold and tireless rock n' roll journey that carefully navigates well-traveled roads, while paving the way for innovative technique and a wholly unique style your ears will desire and your brain will undoubtedly remember.

KEEP EM FLYING was recorded in Los Angeles at Kingsize Soundlabs with producer Bruce Duff. It was completed in August 2011 at Avast! Studios in Seattle with Grammy Award-winning producer Tom Biller, who recorded "Feel Real" and "Not Like Anything," and remixed and mastered all of KEEP EM FLYING.

Click here to download a PDF copy of the bio.

Track-By-Track

By Branden Daniel

"All Things Chic" – The material of the song is a sarcastic address to the style and pop culture pressures that exist in our current society. I was feeling particularly disgusted with the news, pop culture and messages we are bombarded with today. The song is a menacing celebration.

"Missionary"4a: a specific task with which a person or group is charged, 4c: a pre-established and often self-imposed objective or purpose, found in the list of definitions on the word "missionary" in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. "Missionary" hints at troubles in the world and time-old worries of where things are going today, but it’s still a love song. A "missionary" for your love.

"Hey, Howie" – As a young man growing up, my best friend was Howie. That friendship was destroyed, communication was lost. So, I decided to put everything I wanted to say to Howie in the form of a song, which actually proved to be pretty damn therapeutic.

"Feel Real" - One of my personal favorites. Some songs write themselves; this is one of them. When the sun hits your face for the first time at 3 o’clock in the afternoon and your whole day changes, you’ll know what this song is about.

"Only the Heavy" – Apocalyptic in theme, "only the heavy will be ready" is not for conspiracy theorists. Accept what you are, enjoy your urges and dance on the graves of those who have done the same before you.

"Mor Yay" - At 18 months old, my son started calling the music that I played on my guitar "mor yay," because after a performance, people clap and say "Yay." These were some of his first words and it struck me as an incredible title for a record or song. I was driving home from a long tour and the whole song, minus most of the lyrics, practically came to me. When I got home, I wrote a song about music acting as a drug. A bizarre double entendre, but the true meaning retains the song’s innocence.

"Keep Em Flying" – was the slogan for World War II B-17 Bombers. My grandfather was a Bombardier on a B-17 and he was shot down over Nazi Germany on what was supposed to be his 42nd and last mission. He was the only survivor from his plane and a P.O.W. in Germany for the remaining four years of war. A nod to my grandfather, "Keep Em Flying" is a feeling of never wanting to come down before you’re ready.

"So Alone" - It's funny, two years ago when I wrote this song on tour, I almost named it "La Strada" (in English: "The Road"). That's what it's really about — how the road can make you lonely — and for a band on tour, it can be quite unrelenting. This year, the Black Keys named their album La Strada. A common effect, I suppose.

"Burns" – When I started writing this song, I thought, No, I shouldn’t, but that just meant it had to be done. If this song doesn’t make parents disapprove of their children listening to it, then it hasn’t done its job.

"Not Like Anything" – Written and recorded after the bulk of the record was already complete. A song written to be intentionally ambiguous in meaning, some of the ideas for lyrics came from trade and political turmoil at the time, which I suppose could catch some listeners by surprise. When we recorded this at Avast!, we had spent all day working on "Feel Real" in great detail and were pretty burnt out. We didn't intend to keep going, but our producer encouraged us to see what we could come up with. It was 2 a.m. and we were too tired to be rational, so we tried it and nailed it! A lot of the instrumental ending that the quintet took and ran with was just us not knowing how the song should end and being mentally gone. I think it gives the track a sort of "T-Rex" feel that the whole band approves of.

Click here to download a PDF copy of the track-by-track.