by Michael Popke -
Do not operate heavy machinery while listening to Echoes in Time, the fifth album from the Canadian duo of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Sills and vocalist Frank Smith. In fact, this mesmerizing album is best heard when you have the time to sit back and let the music — a light blend of folk, prog and rock with hints of jazz and blues — float into your head. Because Echoes in Time takes its time, and that's not a bad thing.
Sills & Smith open the album with "We Are Receiving," a strolling song that gradually picks up the pace. "The Chalice/The Blade" is one of the duo's dreamiest and most melodic songs, while a lone saxophone lends the ballad "One Step Behind" a film noir atmosphere. The bouncy keyboards on "Echoes," well, echo Ray Manzarek and The Doors, but the surf-music vibe doesn't quite fit with the spooky lyrics.
I've been listening to these guys since 2012's No Way Out, No Way In, and I still can't figure out which one sounds like Warren Zevon. But the world-weariness of his voice brings additional authenticity. Taken collectively, these songs make Echoes in Time Sills & Smith's best album yet.
But Sills & Smith didn't make this record by themselves. Several guest musicians appear on Echoes in Time, enhancing songs with mandolin, trumpet, saxophone and a variety of organs. A special shout-out to guitarist Blair Michael Hogan, whose screaming David Gilmour-style work on "The News" lifts one of the album's already most upbeat and progressive songs to best-of-the-bunch status. Then there's singer Tara Holloway, whose emotional backing vocals on "Slicing Up the Clouds" blend so well with the duo that maybe it should consider expanding to a trio. Sills, Smith & Tara, anyone? Track Listing: 1) We Are Receiving 2) Slicing Up the Clouds 3) The Chalice/The Blade 4) One Step Behind 5) They Don't Come Knocking 6) Reverberations 7) I Was Really Something 8) Echoes 9) The News 10) After the Smoke Clears 11) Is the Mirror Reflecting You? 12) The Sacred Valley 13) Pick Me Up With A Song
Added: February 9th 2016 Reviewer: Michael Popke Score: **** http://seaoftranquility.org/reviews.php?op=showcontent&id=18428
by Daniel Sylvester - Sills & Smith are major Pink Floyd aficionados, and Echoes in Time stands as nothing less than Exhibit A in the matter. On their fifth LP, the Ottawa duo exhibit their devotion to the music of Gilmour-era Floyd via the spacey backdrop behind their often genre-melding, always ambitious songwriting. Over 13 songs and 60 minutes, Sills & Smith manage to demonstrate multiple personalities and moods on Echoes in Time, moving from lucid prog rock ("Slicing Up the Clouds"), to barroom Canadiana ("We Are Receiving"), to dusty folk rock ("Is the Mirror Reflecting You?") and Farfisa-driven smooth jazz ("One Step Behind"). No matter where Sills & Smith travel on Echoes in Time, though, the duo always hover around that same mid-'70s arena rock era, oftentimes stripping some of the "progressive" out of their brand of prog rock. Overall, Sills & Smith come off as seasoned and focused songwriters and distinguished instrumentalists on Echoes in Time. (Independent) Get It http://exclaim.ca/music/article/sills_and_smith-echoes_in_time
Sills & Smith, folk/rock band from Ottawa, has just released its 5th studio album of original songs called Echoes In Time. The album was produced by the legendary Phillip Victor Bova at Bova Sound in Ottawa and features some of Canada's top musicians.
The full album is streaming on our Bandcamp page now: http://sillsandsmith.bandcamp.com/album/echoes-in-time
A music video for We Are Receiving, the album's first track, is out on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2SxA50pSlQ
Echoes In Time will be available on iTunes, Amazon etc. in a few days. The beautiful digipak, CD edition designed by Grace Smith is out on November 27th and shipping shortly thereafter.
Sills & Smith - Echoes In Time
All songs composed by Sills & Smith: Frank Smith (words and music), Jeremy Sills (music), except The Chalice/The Blade, The Sacred Valley and Pick Me Up With Song: Frank Smith and Jeremy Sills (words and music).
Recorded, engineered, produced, mixed and mastered by Phillip Victor Bova at Bova Sound in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada from July 2015 - October 2015. Various musical arrangements by Phillip Victor Bova. Kevin Breit played and recorded at his studio in Guelph, Ontario.
Frank Smith - vocals; Jeremy Sills - vocals, acoustic guitars, piano (4, 10, 12) electric guitar (3), trumpet (1); Phillip Victor Bova - electric and acoustic bass; T. Bruce Wittet - drums and percussion; Blair Michael Hogan - electric guitar (3, 4, 5, 9, 11, 13), mandolin (1); Kevin Breit - electric guitar (2, 9, 7, 10, 12), electric mandolin (7); Don Wallace - electric guitar (5, 6, 8); Jim McDowell - Hammond organ (4, 9), Farfisa organ (7), Vox Continental organ (8); Roddy Ellias - electric guitar (3); Tara Holloway - vocals (2); Linsey Wellman - alto saxophone (4);
1. We Are Receiving (5:10) 2. Slicing Up The Clouds (5:15) 3. The Chalice/The Blade (8:55) 4. One Step Behind (4:37) 5. They Don't Come Knocking (4:18) 6. Reverberations (2:43) 7. I Was Really Something (3:26) 8. Echoes (3:43) 9. The News (7:32) 10. After The Smoke Clears (3:26) 11. Is The Mirror Reflecting You? (4:18) 12. The Sacred Valley (3:07) 13. Pick Me Up With Song (3:05) Sills & Smith band online: https://www.reverbnation.com/sillssmith https://www.facebook.com/sillssmith http://sillsandsmith.bandcamp.com/album/echoes-in-time https://www.youtube.com/user/SillsandSmith https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/sills-smith/id462351918 https://twitter.com/SillsandSmith https://sillssmith.bandcamp.com/album/the-glorious-ache
Producer Phillip Victor Bova is mixing the new Sills & Smith album "Echoes In Time" at his Ottawa recording studio Bova Sound! We are getting very close to the world-wide release of the album, after four months of writing and rehearsals by Frank and Jeremy and three months of in-studio efforts by the core band of Jeremy Sills, Frank Smith, Phil Bova and Bruce Wittet. We invited five additional Canadian musicians to lend their considerable talents to the project and the results are quite extraordinary -- our boldest lyrical and musical adventure to date.
We can't wait for you to hear Echoes In Time, as we are so proud of the music we have created. The fifth Sills & Smith studio album is 13 original songs and 60 minutes of music, covering folk, alternative rock and progressive rock styles. The recording will be finished and available on iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, CD Baby etc. for download in early November. The beautiful digipak CD edition -- designed by Grace Smith -- will ship around mid-November.
The music video for the album's first track We Are Receiving has just been released on YouTube, produced by our good friend Robin Youlton. Check it out!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2SxA50pSlQ
I hope you enjoy this taste of Echoes In Time. If you like the song and video, please consider helping us out by sharing it on your Facebook page and/or other social media.
Thank you so much.
All the best,
Sills & Smith band
https://www.reverbnation.com/sillssmith https://www.facebook.com/sillssmith https://www.youtube.com/user/SillsandSmith https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/etched/id907197199 https://twitter.com/SillsandSmith http://sillsandsmith.bandcamp.com/releases https://sillssmith.bandcamp.com/album/the-glorious-ache
Dear friends and fans:
Sills & Smith, led by Ottawa singer-songwriters Jeremy Sills and Frank Smith, has independently released four studio albums of music that boldly blend elements of folk, alternative rock and progressive rock. On the heels of our critically acclaimed album "Etched" we are poised to re-enter the studio with legendary producer Phillip Victor Bova (Bova Sound) to record 13 powerful, melodic original songs. But we need a little help to support the costs of the new album "Echoes In Time" that will be released in October, 2015, so we have set up a crowd sourcing campaign on Indiego: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sills-smith-new-studio-album-out-october-2015/x/11188955#/story
The beauty of this campaign is that depending on the level of support, donors will receive a gift of music -- the new album and previous recordings by Sills & Smith. Plus, there will be lots of other great perks offered. Funds raised will assist with costs of studio time, musicians' session work and the production of the digipak CD edition.
We have set a goal of $5,000 to be raised over 60 days. Your contribution, whether small or large would be greatly appreciated to help us get there.
"Echoes in Time" will feature a stellar cast of players, with the core group: Jeremy Sills (music, vocals, guitars, piano, crystal bowls); Frank Smith (words/music, vocals); Phillip Victor Bova (producer, bass), T. Bruce Wittet (drums/percussion). Brilliant supporting musicians , and their credentials, will be announced as we record the album in the studio.
Grace Smith will provide her amazing, beautiful photographic art and graphic design skills to create a full colour, four panel digipak CD edition of the album.
Please share our campaign on your social media. Thank you so much for supporting our music.
Frank Smith and Jeremy Sills
Sills & Smith band
Official Website: www.reverbnation.com/sillssmith Facebook: www.facebook.com/sillssmith Twitter: https://twitter.com/SillsandSmith Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/SillsandSmith iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/etched/id907197199 Bandcamp: http://sillsandsmith.bandcamp.com/releases http://sillssmith.bandcamp.com/album/the-glorious-ache
Another two hour rehearsal today of the original songs we have planned for the new Sills & Smith studio album, with a tentative. working title of "Echoes In Time." There is a powerful song in the repertoire called Echoes, with a big chorus. We reconvened at a secret Hintonburg location in Ottawa. Again, the approach was to practice 13-14 songs. with only acoustic guitar accompaniment -- no amplification, effects, looping etc. Jeremy played guitar and we both sang, taking different approaches as to who would sing which verse, chorus, and/or bridge parts. Still trying to get the arrangements and timing down.
Jeremy was playing more intricate guitar in the intros and mid-sections of each song than last week. The tunes are starting to gel. Harmony parts are coming into play. We are trying spontaneous humming at the ends of the songs to see where we can take the melodies. Some of these new songs will rock very hard; others are sweet or bitter sweet ballads. I feel like we are taking our music in directions that we perhaps haven't visited before. Despite the stripped-down approach to the rehearsals at the moment, we are starting to hear/imagine other instruments in the mix. There will be lots of guitar (electric and acoustic) on the next album. along with cello, piano. mandolin -- perhaps some horns?! Many of these songs will be very trippy, with a full studio band behind them. Creative drums and percussion will be a requirement.
We recorded individual tunes in the two hour rehearsal live through the air so we would have MP3s to add to our Dropbox folder for reference purposes. On Thursday, Phillip Bova (Bova Sound) is joining us at my place so he can hear and play along to the new material for the first time. He'll be bringing his electric bass. If all goes according to plan, we are one month away from entering the studio to begin work on our 5th album. This is starting to feel real and it's getting very exciting! We'll keep you posted. Cheers, Frank
Jeremy and I rehearsed for four hours this week, in two sessions; for the first time after nearly 10 months of inactivity. We worked on 11 brand, spanking new tunes. Jeremy played acoustic guitar, with no amplification so we could concentrate on the essential elements of the musical arrangements and singing the stuff. Next week we will do it all again, and test drive these tunes amplified, with loops/effects etc.on the guitar sound. And we'll bring in another 5 or 6 songs from our post "Etched" album writing sessions last fall to find out if they'll also fit into our plans for a new Sills & Smith studio album. Stay tuned! Cheers, Frank
ALT-ROCK: Etched by Sills & Smith
by Lisa Fiorilli (April 29, 2015)
Sills & Smith are an alternative rock band based out of Ottawa who released their fourth full-length record, Etched, in August 2014. If you like intelligent, folk-influenced alternative rock in the vein of The Tragically Hip, then the 13 eclectic tracks that make up Etched will be a perfect fit for you.
The album was produced and recorded at Bova Sound by Phillip Bova (Zeus, Bahamas, Yukon Blonde) in Ottawa. The core of Sills & Smith is Jeremy Sills (acoustic guitars/piano/crystal bowls/vocals) and Frank Smith (vocals) – who take care of composing the tracks. On Etched, they’re joined by Phil Bova (bass), T. Bruce Wittet (drums), Kevin Breit (electric guitar, electric mandolin), Don Wallace (electric guitar, dobro), Roddy Ellias (electric guitar and nylon string acoustic guitar), and Raphael Weinroth-Browne (cello).
The album is an eclectic mix of folk rock, alternative rock, and hints of progressive rock – ultimately combining together in an eminently pleasing 54 minutes. Alternating between sombre and moody (“What You Deserve”) and driving guitars (“End Times”), Etched rolls along at a memorable pace. The greatest success of this record is that while you’re humming along, you’d almost be forgiven if you missed the occasionally dark lyrics (see “Space Junk” for a perfect example). Thematically, Etched is a highly personal record that deals largely with the human experience and social justice, and Sills & Smith manage to work in a highly diverse set of influences into these 13 songs without sounding too jumbled.
My favourite track on the album is likely the opener, “Where You’ll Find It”, which sort of reminded me a bit of a cross between The Tragically Hip and early R.E.M. I enjoyed the off-kilter arrangements and prog rock-esque vocal harmonies in other tracks, but the laid back rhythm of “Where You’ll Find It” sold me on the record instantly.
3.5 out of 5 stars
Must-Listen Track: “Where You’ll Find It”
(Ottawa, March 22, 2015) Sills & Smith band of Ottawa has entered the CBC Music Searchlight 2015 contest. The song that they're showcasing is "Where You'll Find It", a powerful classic/progressive rock track that explores the issue of mental illness. The tune opens the band's 4th, full-length studio album Etched. "Where You'll Find It" has been entered in the Ottawa area under the CBC radio All In A Day program, so you will be hearing it on CBC during the contest. To listen online and vote for the song, go to the Sills & Smith CBC Music page, give the track a spin below the Searchlight icon and select Vote for This Artist: http://music.cbc.ca/#!/artists/Sills-Smith Voting starts on March 30th. "Where You'll Find It" is featured on the Sills & Smith CBC Music page, along with the painterly YouTube music video created by David Duchow with his photography: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMOLQLZMuPo Sills & Smith is an independent band, that has delivered its unique sound and style across four critically acclaimed albums. The group includes core members, singer-songwriters Frank Smith (words, music), Jeremy Sills (music). The Etched album and "Where You'll Find It" were recorded and produced by Phillip Victor Bova, at Bova Sound in Ottawa. The 13 tracks on Etched address social justice and the triumphs and tragedies of the human experience to a hard driving, guitar-based sound -- rich in melody. The music is a genre bending and blending stew that touches on alternative folk, classic rock and progressive rock. "Where You'll Find It" features the excellent studio band rocking out, with Phil Bova (electric bass), T. Bruce Wittet (drums), Don Wallace (electric guitar), Kevin Breit (electric guitar), Jeremy Sills (acoustic guitar). Jeremy and Frank share vocals on this melodic, layered track. Check out "Where You'll Find It" and vote for the song throughout the CBC Searchlight contest. For further information about the music of Sills & Smith -- including full songs streaming, music videos, retailers for the albums -- visit these websites: www.reverbnation.com/sillssmith www.facebook.com/sillssmith https://twitter.com/SillsandSmith http://sillsandsmith.bandcamp.com/releases https://www.youtube.com/user/SillsandSmith https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/etched/id907197199 http://music.cbc.ca/#!/artists/Sills-Smith - 30 -
(Ottawa, August 7, 2014) With three previous, critically acclaimed independent alternative rock albums stoking the creative fire, Sills & Smith has released their fourth, and most accomplished studio album of originals to date! Named for its title track "Etched", this 13 track musical and lyrical adventure is both powerful and melodic. The full-length, 53 minute recording explores the human experience and social justice issues to a hard driving, guitar-based sound. Sills & Smith is an Ottawa, Canada based band led by singer-songwriters Jeremy Sills and Frank Smith. The music is a genre bending and blending stew that touches on folk, alternative rock and progressive rock styles. Produced and recorded by the legendary Phillip Victor Bova at Bova Sound in Ottawa, the new album features an all-star cast of great players: Phil Bova (bass), T Bruce Wittet (drums), Kevin Breit (electric guitar, electric mandolin), Don Wallace (electric guitar, dobro), Roddy Ellias (electric guitar and nylon string acoustic guitar), Raphael Weinroth-Browne (cello). Jeremy Sills plays acoustic guitars, piano and crystal bowls. All songs on Etched were composed by Frank Smith and Jeremy Sills -- Words and Music - Frank Smith; Music - Jeremy Sills. Both Sills and Smith handle vocals on the disc. Track order: Where You'll Find It; Meet Out By the Lake; What You Deserve; A Love For All Seasons; Space Junk; To Be Embraced; Please, Please Save Me; In Dreams; Etched; End Times; The Sound; Give Us Peace; Endings and Beginnings. Sills & Smith "Etched" is available online through all major retailers including iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, CD Baby etc. A beautiful digipak CD edition will be sold online and in select box stores. For further information: email@example.com Sills & Smith band website: www.reverbnation.com/sillssmith Twitter: @SillsandSmith - 30 -