New York City, NY
Chamber pop, Adult Contemporary, Celtic, Progressive folk, New Age, Pop
Over the Rhine, Indigo Girls, Sarah McLachlan, Dido, Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, Enya, Loreena McKennitt, Jewel
October Project - @october_project noted worldwide for unique haunting style & poetic songs. New EPs out now http://bit.ly/Mj7V5v - #CyberPR
“Shimmering, with sometimes dark, sometimes inspirational, always thoughtful songs...”
The Boston Globe
“The music has an enigmatic quality. It’s like an ‘emotional hologram,’ where the listener enters into the musical landscape.”
The Christan Science Monitor
“The New York group...straddles the line between art music and pop song.”
The Miami Herald
About October Project
October Project’s spiritual embrace of interlocking, snowflake vocal melodies, crystalline piano, and hypnotically healing lyrics holds us snuggly this summer as the transcendent trio returns with two luminous EPs—Uncovered and More Uncovered. This pair of five-song, CD-only releases presents the songs of the trio’s upcoming ten-song record in an intimate voice-and-piano experience. This collection of light-at-the-end-of-tunnel hymnals is boldly vulnerable unadorned, and October Project will follow these releases with these sumptuous rosebuds blossomed into full-band grandeur featuring the refined talents of guitarist Julian Coryell (son of jazz great Larry Coryell).
October Project is its own Brill Building of spiritually-transformative pop. Like the famed American music landmark, the trio has its own distinct division of talents with Marina Belica’s sensually angelic vocals, Emil Adler’s imaginative and dreamy compositions, and Julie Flanders’ achingly beautiful harmonies, supportive counter-melodies, and revelatory lyrics that mesmerize as they illuminate. The three’s connection dates back to their teenage years and their richly storied history together fortifies their nearly 20 year professional career as October Project.
“It’s been a longstanding love,” lead vocalist Marina says of her creative union with songwriters Emil and Julie. “I have the freedom to be the singer and not the writer and I feel so privileged to sing their songs. Each of us forms a piece of a whole triadic; it’s very powerful. Where one fails, the others pick up.” Marina effortlessly, with silky precision navigates Emil’s emotionally resonantly but musically adventurous compositions. The delicate power of her vocals, purposefully pure of extravagant vocal affectations, evokes the humility and strength of prayer. Julie’s role as harmony vocal defies expectations; in addition to lead vocal bolstering she darts around the melodies like a shooting star with a Bach-like sense of counterpoint.
Julie’s association with the group began as a non-performing member, writing all the lyrics for the group. In addition to her shamanistic gifts of the pen—she’s written for many other artists outside the trio—she has a creative grounding in acting and classical piano. But her expanded role has, at times, been challenging. “Singing is like being thrown into a washer and dryer,” she says, laughing. “I’m a shy person; when you’re an actor you have time to prepare. I never sang in a shower or sang publicly. And to sing these harmonies, it’s more like classical music.”
Julie also has a background as a hypnotist and her use of nature and pastoral imagery to invite the listener into a trancelike state where he or she can have their own epiphanic journey is a rare treasure. In her cleverly heartfelt wordplay she embroiders each image with carefully considered word choices that are evocatively romantic and sensually spiritual. She writes on “Once Blue”: Nights of wonder/ Lying under dying stars/ Love exactly as it seems/ Someone true/ To show you who you really are/ And the dream you meant to dream. Marina succinctly sums the effect of Julie’s texts, saying her inner creative pull is: “Opposite of escapist. It’s cathartic, and it connects.” The intriguing complimentary contrast of Julie’s role within the band is that her vocal performances imbue the often darkly pensive writings with a warmth and joy. “I write the songs from one place, but I sing in the moment; it adds a dimension and a layering,” she explains, “As a writer, I’m melancholic, but as a singer I have a lot of silliness, I’m more like Kristen Wiig verses PJ Harvey.”
Emil writes all the music and his compositions are steeped in classical music, musical theatre, and refined pop. There is a deceptive simplicity to his writing where he crafts gorgeously labyrinthine melodies and makes odd-time signatures—an unconventional convention in classical music and progressive rock—have an impressionistic warmth. Its heady sophistication pours from his heart, and the effect is tenderly organic. “It was tough for me as a guy in the rock world that my music tends to be pretty, for lack of a better word,” Emil reveals. “I’m lucky I can express as much complexity as I can imagine but when I hear it, it seems too self-referential, it expresses a part of me but it’s not that substantive, it’s like ‘look at me, look at me dance around’ it seems lightweight. But when I write what pleases me, it may sound lightweight, but it has gravity.”
The first taste of these sensual lullabies, Uncovered, opens with “Far Away In A Moment.” Hearing the craft of October Project so elegantly essential, with melodies dripping from the piano like glaciers and the intertwining of lace of Marina’s lead and Julie’s harmony is an inviting introduction to this new October Project chapter. The band has a distinguished heritage dating back to the 1990s where they had a successful career-launching run releasing their self-titled debut (1993) and Falling Farther In (1995) on Epic Records before going independent with the Different Eyes EP (2003). Many of their current fans grew from that fertile time and they revisit their cherished and formative track “Something More Than This” on the EP Uncovered.
The power of October Project’s emotional resonance lies in how lushly scenic its music is. “Always Wanted to You,” from Uncovered, is rife with nature imagery that creates an openness where in a dreamy state the listener can superimpose his or her own moonlight romance. “If you go to songwriting class they tell you what makes a good song is concreteness, but when you use natural imagery, you give more room for the listener to enter the images,” Emil offers. Julie adds: “This is music for you to live by, mark your transitions by; it’s a lullaby and embrace for your losses and celebrations.”
Interview by Lorne Behrman.