Tuesday, July 31, 2012

City Rain to release album

Like many musical backstories, the story of Philadelphia’s CITY RAIN is one of defeat and ultimate redemption. The big difference here though is that City Rain’s redemption is ongoing… and this time, the band is wielding their most impressive weapon yet: the MONTAGE EP (Stompf Tavern Records / release date: August 28, 2012).

“It was a story of wanting to be noticed and respected for who I was and the gifts I have to offer,” says vocalist/keyboardist/programmer Ben Runyan. “It was and is also about making amends for people I feel like I have wronged or hurt.”

With the release of the Montage EP, however, his primal scream therapy results in this EP of pop/electro/EDM perfection.

Though the music is electronic, the center of City Rain is very human… one filled with emotions, pain and ultimate triumph. The title track of the EP, “Montage,” is born from mortality and growth. A dance pop gem that hearkens the mid-90s Madchester shuffle beat, the song is accented twinkling keyboards intertwined with Jarrett Zerrer’s signature surf guitar.

“I had been sitting on the chorus lyrics since 2009,” Ben explains. “I had come off depression meds a good year earlier. As more and more things started to happen for City Rain, I could also feel my brain healing, my cognition sharpening, my feelings becoming broader. I was developing back into a human. Around the same time, I was visiting my ailing grandfather in Colorado. And as I felt I was ‘coming into my own’ as the lyrics say, my grandfather was dying. I felt like I had become a man he could be proud of. He died within a month after I left back for Philly.”

"Montage" video on Altpress.com
Link: http://goo.gl/rru7N

The heart-rending video which intercuts shots of the band with nostalgic photos and videos from both Ben and Jarrett's childhoods, was exclusively premiered on Altpress.com and can be viewed here:

Similar epiphanies birth songwriting binges for Ben. The expansive intro of “Big Boys Do Cry” crashes into a cathartic crescendo at midpoint, only to reveal an epic and bombastic pop song at its center, which seems to echo the central story of overcoming despair.

“I was thinking about ending it all,” Ben recalls. “It was essentially a suicide song. There is no way around that and this was my last message.”

Fortunately, he rerouted his emotions and wrote this song instead.

“When I finished the song, it was such a huge relief and a very emotional undertaking. I had taken something supremely negative and ended the song with this really positive and uplifting ‘moving on’ type of feeling.”

From the propulsive anthem “Hearts on Fire” to the lifting Caribbean rhythms of “No Problems” to the soaring playfulness of “I Remember.”

“This EP heads into a poppy direction with a bit of traditional songwriting but still mixed with the electro soul that I have inside of me. I think over the last three years it has been a matter of slowly and surely becoming a better songwriter.”

Making their first national splash with 2011’s I'm Gone EP that combined the emotional yet danceable impact of The Postal Service, New Order and Cults, with a surprising surf guitar twist adding a fascinatingly fresh dimension. Blending surf, New Wave, funk and electro, City Rain was hailed by Deli Magazine as "Band of the Month" and has received adulation and spins on Philly's influential AAA station WXPN 88.5FM. The title track "I'm Gone," an immediately catchy pop song that coasting on a hazy synthpop beat with dreamy surf guitar resonating throughout, spawned a viral video that caught the eye of AOL Spinner who crowned it “Video of the Day.”

Named after the "cleansing and cathartic electric smell after it rains in the city," City Rain is ready to undergo a similar rebirth - from one of Philadelphia's best kept secrets to a formidable national electronic band. Having supported such buzz-heavy and diverse bands as The Dears, School Of Seven Bells, Telefon Tel Aviv, East Hundred, Wilco, Counting Crows, The Lumineers, The War On Drugs, among many others, their buzz is beginning to resonate quite loudly outside of their hometown.

“This record is telling a broad story of where I have been and where I am going. I am venturing out on my own again, and it's scary,” Ben concludes. “Scary awesome."


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