2008 In Review, Vol. 9 - Raise High The Roof Beam

If you’ve been paying attention than you’ve read about Raise High The Roof Beam a few times on PHW this year, including once already this month. But I’m betting 2009 brings them much wider acclaim. A Chicago collective led by singer-songwriter Thomas Fricilone, Raise High The Roof Beam recently released an EP called The Buildup that, if it gets to the right ears, should propel the band to the next level. It’s a highly enjoyable mix of folk rock and indie-pop, all sung with an emphasis on loose harmony and played with an ear for the dramatic. I’m very excited to hear what this band is capable of next.

Turns out I didn’t have to wait very long. Fricilone sent along the band’s latest recording to go along with this Year In Review post - a brand new track called “A Letter To Noelle”. The plan seems to be to release this song along with a handful of others in early 2009, with a full length record later in the year.
(from The Build Up. Buy here)

MP3 :: A Letter To Noelle

Aloha to everyone out there in the cyberspace superhighway! We hope everyone had a great year, we know we did, here's what we've been up to:

Raise High the Roof Beam formed as a full band in February of 2008, pleasantly pushing ourselves through the winter cold, we spent many nights in a costume house, practicing in an area no bigger than a large bathroom. Through those winter nights, we were able to form a sound reminiscent of 60's beach parties. Scott Westrick, the drummer, with his shimmering cymbals and fast dancey beats, helped capture and shape our sound immediately.

Our spring was spent playing a show a week in the Chicago-land area. We played everywhere from a bar with jello wrestling every Wednesday, a dirty old basement, to a person's living room. Each show was different and memorable and we loved every moment of it. Thanks to Aly Barohn, keyboards and backing vocals, who was not only able to shake her hips while slamming on the plastic ivories, but also helped us all find some fashion sense.

The beginning of June brought us to a new practice space with high spirits for our upcoming recordings. The space was a vitamin and wheat factory in the middle of Garfield Park. Filled with strange rooms and even stranger smells, we began to call it our home. With Long hallways, rooms filled with tile, and completely dead rooms we were able to find the perfect sounds for recording. Sweetly sweating through the summer months, we were able to record our first EP, "The Buildup." Six songs that helped shape and define the summer of 2008. Well, for us at least....

Fall was a transitional time for the band. Our guitarist, Wes Tucker, and bassist, Brian Jennings, both left the band. Not long after they left, however, their spots were filled by our current players, Josh Lambert on guitar and Will Wood on bass. Both terrific players and excellent song writers, they have changed the band's sound for the better. Josh, the rock and roller, has given the band an energy we had yet to see. Will, the composer, has helped us write and sing some of the best harmonies we have accomplished thus far.

Although these last winter months have been cold, we have kept ourselves warm with energy and excitement. Once again moving to a new space in Thomas' attic, we have begun recording our first full-length album with plans to release several songs a month to keep our fans on their toes. Our first small release will be in January and will feature one or two songs from the upcoming album.

2009 will be a big year for us and we can't wait to get it started. Hopefully a trip to SXSW and summer touring will be our biggest endeavors. We hope we will soon be able to grace a stage in your area and see your smiling faces.

Here's the music of 2008 that has inspired us throughout the year:

Best Albums:
Man Man -
Rabbit Habbits
Fleet Foxes
She & Him -
Volume One
Vampire Weekend
Noah and the Whale -
peaceful, the world lays me down
The Streets - Everything is Borrowed

Next Biggest Female Pop Star:
Katy Perry

Favorite Up and Coming:
Jared Mees and the Grown Children

Band We Wish Had Made An Album This Year:
LCD Soundsystem

Best Chicago Act:
Raise High the Roof Beam!

Thanks so much to Pop Headwound and everyone out there who listens and accepts new music into their lives.

Happy Holidays.



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