The PondHawks / Press

“Tom Lounges' Top 10 Regional Album picks of 2016 at #6) THE PONDHAWKS -- "Blue Light" (Riverpool Records) This band's 2010 debut album - "The Pondhawks Have Landed" -- had made this list and this worthy successor does likewise. Its groovy psych-pop sound resonates with us boomers who miss the sparkling hooks and bouncy beat of Sixties pop. The Pondhawks create tasty ear candy while blending the British flavor of those beloved Mersey Beat boys with the kind of Sunshine-pop made famous by the likes of Boyce & Hart. Be warned! This 10-song collection is upbeat, energized and prone to causing spontaneous "happy feet." "Blue Light" not only fulfills the promise The Pondhawks made to music fans with their debut, but continues towards the next level on the more progressive '60s sound of the last two tracks, "Orange Sunset Time" and the Eastern-flavored "Incredible Dream." Tom's Picks: "Wire Me" and "Bitter Game"”

“The PondHawks – Blue Light............... The PondHawks delve into a classic psychedelic pop sound on the spirited “Blue Light”. Attention to detail is of the utmost importance as these songs positively teem with life. Possessing a great ear for melody these songs are filled with infectious hooks. Vocals serve front and center of each of the arrangements. Playfulness defines the album as the PondHawks opt for a style that at times recalls the best of the Elephant6 Collective’s efforts at tapping into dreamy, shimmering atmospheres that positively pop. Lilting guitar chords grace the album opener “Bitter Game”. With a sense of defiance, the song moves forward with a catchy groove that simply does not quit. Spacious in scope is the jaunty rhythms of “Come Rain or Disarray” whose optimism is palpable. Reminiscent of Electric Light Orchestra’s gentle approach is the stylish work of “Future In Our Hands” whose sweeping synthesizers work wonders...”

“The PondHawks album Blue Light tops the iTunes Recommendations For Gift Giving With The November Official Holiday Music Guide... Still working on your holiday gift shopping this season? Well, if there’s someone in your life that is lover of all things music, then we have something for them! We selected our favorite albums, audio books, and singles that make amazing gifts for everyone on your list!... Our list of over 10 great albums/singles/audiobooks can be found in our Official Holiday Music Guide. All the titles are available and easy to find on iTunes. On the list you will find a little bit of everything from country to folk, reggae, children’s music and more, all available for download... Topping the list this year are: The Pondhawks “Blue Light”...”

“Delightful third album and first in four years from The Beatle-influenced Chicago based pop outfit, The PondHawks... The jingly-jangly, Chicagoland-based Pondhawks, which formed in 2007, received positive acclaim on 2010’s ‘The Pondhawks Have Landed’ and 2012’s ‘Dreaming Over Ireland’. Their international fans will be happy to know that their long-awaited, ten-tracked ‘Blue Light’ is now also available. The new album features George-Harrison-esque guitar solos, gentle, evocative love songs and a treasure chest of original sonics. Those familiar with the trio, which consists of lead singer/multi-instrumentalist Mario Novelli, vocalist/keyboardist/percussionist Jorie Gracen and vocalist/guitarist Michael Gillespie, know that they care deeply about their story lines, thrive on vivid imagery and are very likely to dip into the Beatles’ early collections for inspiration. All ten tracks were composed by the clever songwriting team of Gracen/Novelli.”

“Are The PondHawks Chicago’s Best Kept Music Secret? New Album May Change That! Riverpool Records and The PondHawks announce the release of the new focus track, “Wire Me” from the album “Blue Light.” The up-and-coming indie band is making waves not only on the radio, but also in social media. They have a quarter of a million likes on Facebook and thousands of followers on Twitter, MySpace and Reverbnation. WHAT IS THE SECRET? Formed in 2007 by songwriting partners Mario Novelli and Jorie Gracen, The PondHawks have since captured a worldwide audience with catchy melodies and a pioneering approach to music. Some may call it retro-rock with a now sound, but the band’s unique signature style falls into its own category. The PondHawks have an artistry for storytelling, which evolves through meticulously crafted passages that create atmosphere and mood. Their music is driven by poetic lyricism that is clever and compelling. Stellar vocal harmonies intertwine seamlessly ...”

“Our 15 ReverbNation Picks of the Week! It’s week three of our ReverbNation campaign and we’re still getting lots of great submissions. Here are our 15 picks for this week: The Pondhawks “Bitter Game” As a band from Chicago, a city with a massive Blues scene, it comes as no surprise that The Pondhawks’ music would have a heavy Blues influence. Their music has a mid-to-late 60s sound that brings to mind a combination of The Beatles and David Bowie.”

“New on Pure Pop Radio 6.29.16 JUNE 29, 2016 / ALAN HABER'S PURE POP RADIO Spins and Reviews | June 29, 2016 | by Alan Haber The PondHawks | Blue Light Third album and the first in four years from this Chicago trio is a melodic treat, melding retro and contemporary influences for a decidedly catchy listening experience. Clever touches delight across the whole program, from the mandolin-powered “Armadilla,” with its playful vocal harmonies, to the pop pleasures of four-on-the-floor pop-rocker “Bitter Game.” Mario Novelli, Jorie Gracen and Michael Gillespie deliver a highly desirable album and win on all cylinders. Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Bitter Game,” “Far Away,” “Orange Sunset Time,” “Incredible Dream,” “Rhythm and Purples” (love the a cappella tag), and “Armadilla.””

“The PondHawks Might be the Next Breakout Indie Band with Their Highly Anticipated New Album that is Gaining Worldwide Radio Attention The PondHawks have a new album called Blue Light hitting the airwaves. The band’s third original album is a happy, eclectic mix of pop, rock, and classic rock influences that are jam packed with flavors of Beatles-esque and psychedelia. The PondHawks are an unsigned indie band from Chicago who formed in 2007 and have since captured a worldwide audience with catchy melodies and a pioneering approach to music. Some may call it retro-rock with a now sound, but the band’s unique signature style falls into its own category. Musically driven by poetic lyricism that is clever and compelling, the band sends a message to their listeners. The PondHawks have an artistry for storytelling, which evolves through meticulously crafted passages that create atmosphere and mood. Instruments are carefully selected to drive the melody and the emotional power of the song.”

“Chicago MusicSpotlight - Reverbnation Artist: The PondHawks have gained a loyal following through their genre smashing style. This Chicago indie band is truly an experience. The PondHawks are an original band from Chicago who are changing the style of pop/rock music. Catchy melodies are exhilaratingly fresh and Beatlesque. The songs are delightfully infectious with playful lyricism that is exuberant and gutsy. The band’s arsenal of music takes the listener on an eclectic journey into Indie Rock spirited by Classic Rock influences that transcend the boundaries of contemporary music. You wouldn’t be completely wrong if you said The PondHawks have created a new music genre. The band has a unique contemporary retro rock sound with signature vocal harmonies reminiscent of The Beatles, ELO and Wings. Their albums have a bit of humor, ear candy, stellar rock ‘n’ roll and outstanding musical finesse. The PondHawks are currently the #1 ranked Indie band in Chicago.”

“The Pondhawks combine Paul McCartney and Squeeze on the infectious 'Drive'.”

"When an artist or band grabs my heart... All I can say is WOW!!! The PondHawks have a great sound. If there was EVER a group that sounded similar to The Beatles yet had its own identity, it is The Pondhawks. What I love about The PondHawks is, I've always wanted the '60's to be re-recorded with today's technology. The PondHawks not only sound like The Beatles -- so it's a dream come true having The Beatles reunite -- though they are not The Beatles, they are their own entity. Their music gives me a feeling of love and passion. When I listen to The PondHawks' music, it takes me back to the good old days of radio. I'm blessed to have The PondHawks in the playlist and in the rotation everyday. I'm just glad that I got a hold of their music, because I would be very sad had I known it existed and I didn't have it." -- Larry "TEZ" Tezekjian - Station Owner - Ft Myers Radio, FL

“Chicago’s #1 Indie band, The PondHawks, have captured the attention of Euro Indie radio with their new song “Drive”. The PondHawks have taken their song to the top of the Euro Indie charts. After being nominated for “Drive” on Music World Radio (UK), the band entered at #1 on the station’s Top 20 Alternative Songs Chart. A feat MWR says not many artists have achieved. The PondHawks’ appeal is that they have a sound like no other band. They stand out from the current crop of Indie and Top 40 artists because their music has an edge. The band’s music is influenced by a variety of classic rock legends and has a unique musical quality of its own. Carved with a signature sound that echoes The Beatles, ELO and Wings, The PondHawks have transformed their music into a retro, infused, ‘now’ sound. You won’t hear a song in their catalog that sounds like the last one. What you will hear is a band that can be easily identified by their music. A refreshing change and bold mov”

“The Pondhawks: ‘Dreaming Over Ireland’ (review)... Since my review of ‘The PondHawks Have Landed’, the Chicago-based Alternative band has received nearly a year of Triple A radio airplay and are currently considered one of the top 20 Alternative bands in Chicago, but that’s not surprising – those prolific PondHawks continue to churn out contagious tunes with lilting harmonies and thought provoking, yet down-to-earth lyrics. Their influences are straight ahead and easy to determine – their pop sound recalls the Beatles and Buddy Holly, two of the band’s undisputedly favorite muses - essentially, their tunes bring out the best elements of British and American rock. Their debut featured the memorable and celebratory ‘Midnight Howl’, the old world ‘On The Phone with Thillerie’ and the devilish ‘Dragonfly.’ Now Mario Novelli, Jorie Gracen, John Rivera and Michael Gillespie all come together on their new project, ‘Dreaming Over Ireland’...”

“The PondHawks Land in the 'Top 10 Regional 2011 Albums'... As the local music columnist for the Times, a lot of regionally produced music visits my stereo each year, some bad, some good, some exceptional. What follows is my personal Top 10 of Chicagoland releases for 2011...... 7) THE PONDHAWKS/produced by Mario Novelli and Jorie Gracen: "...Have Landed" (Riverpool Records) The PondHawks have embraced the Liverpool pop sound and have created a tasty slab of original songs that while fresh, have a familiar feel. Infectious hooks, playful lyrics and spirited playing, nice male/female vocal harmonies, coupled with bright production and a vibrant approach, make "...Have Landed" an album sure to take up residence in your stereo. More: ”

“The PondHawks are literally THE band to watch, major label deal or no deal. The band's latest project 'The PondHawks Have Landed' is a classic album and anyone with an ear for great music will hear that factor is missing in the alternative rock genre these days."Sweet Dreams In The Rain" -- WOW! I love the mystery in the music and vocal performances. This song has some of the coolest guitar riffs and the keyboards, percussions and bass add so much color to the music. The band exudes a Beatles-esque vibe that I haven't heard many bands today offering. This is a great song and you should check it out. Another incredible song on The PondHawks Have Landed is "Your Mind Is Hard To Find". The song is all about trying to understand a complicated person you're in a relationship with. The vocal harmonies take you on a real ride full of twists and turns and I'm actually sitting here trying to figure out how they actually harmonized all of those vocal spirals? This is freaking awesome!”

"The PondHawks are light years ahead of most new artists... I received a copy of 'The PondHawks Have Landed' album and to say I was blown away would be an understatement. Thank you so much for creating this music! The amazing thing to me is the feeling of how badly this music was needed without being aware of it. It's been longer than I can remember since an album has so strongly resonated with me. When I get new music at KPOV, I listen to some and decide whether they should get airplay. I then play The PondHawks right afterwards, and there is no comparison."

Tom Jasper - KPOV 106.7 FM (Bend, OR)

“The PondHawks, a tremendous five-piece with stunning melodies, harmonies, and energy... the true trifecta of the IPO ethos! Love 'em!! One of my fave bands at the IPO. Their songs keep rising on various charts, and for good reason, because they rock the British inflected, ‘60s influenced pop music! Some British influences, some U.S. influences, radio friendly pop/rock, but their stock in trade are their wonderful male/female harmonies and sparkling hooks! One of the tightest, most professional bands we've ever had at the IPO. As good as their CDs are, they're 10 notches above it live!”

David Bash (founder) - International Pop Overthrow Festival

“The PondHawks can cut loose with guitar-driven tunes with a modern edge like “Fire Eyes” and “Midnight Howl,” but also place a strong emphasis on harmony vocals. “Your Mind Is Hard To Find” features them working in a slower, more Beatlesque vein. ”

"Your Mind Is Hard To Find" by The PondHawks a "BOLD=new song."

Rodney Bingenheimer - KROQ-FM 106.7 Los Angeles

"The PondHawks have a contemporary pop sound that merges happily with an unforgettable past. Dance to it, sing to it and revel in it. It's pop on the rocks that requires no chaser."

Lisa Torem - Penny Black Music (UK)

"I just got a chance to listen to the whole The PondHawks Have Landed album... WOW! Innovative, unabashed, catchy, interesting, even kooky (in a great way), and always consummately professional in all four-part harmony!"

Thomas Gilding, Station Manager - WBSD-FM 89.1 Milwaukee/Burington, WI

"Pop The Beat Burst" on KDHX St. Louis - LOVES 'Time Flies' "

Rich Reese - KDHX-FM 88.1

"WOW!!! Sweet Dreams In The Rain: Epic! I couldn't help but think ELO!"

Brian Ray, guitarist for Paul McCartney - Macca Report

"Fire Eyes has a super guitar vibe with bright vocals and a pleasing melody. Great guitar licks give this energetic rocker a bouncy, positive feel, reminiscent of the surfin 60 s but with a new, now sound! This song will stay with you all day long! All in all, The PondHawks Have Landed is a great CD to pop in the car for a long drive!"

Joe Johnson - Majic 102.7 - FM (Miami, FL)

“The PondHawks' "Fire Eyes" and "Sweet Dreams In The Rain" were featured on a Triple A radio sampler with Jeff Beck”


Ocean 98

“Chicago Rock Band Called The PondHawks Inspired By Buddy Holly and The Beatles . The PondHawks have written a song about the late great Buddy Holly called "Time Flies" that has caught the attention of his fans as well as radio stations across the U.S. Chicago, IL (PRWEB) January 29, 2011 -- The PondHawks rock band from Chicago, has written a new song about the late great Buddy Holly. "Time Flies" was inspired by a news item posted on the Surf Ballroom’s Web site commemorating Holly’s last concert there on February 2, 1959. PondHawks’ Mario Novelli and Jorie Gracen wrote the song on the 50th anniversary of Holly’s final concert in Clear Lake, Iowa. Holly along with J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and Ritchie Valens, perished shortly after their plane took off in the early morning hours of February 3rd from Mason City. They were headed to Moorhead, Minnesota after playing the Winter Dance Party at the Surf Ballroom. more...”

"Been enjoying the album very much! Playing all of the songs on the air today. The radio audience has been responding quite positive!"

Michael McCartney - KEAO/KONI-FM 91.5 Hawaii

“The PondHawks Have Landed - Heavily influenced by the Fab Four, Clapton, Hendrix and the miraculous range of Roy Orbison, the band has infused indie pop with sophisticated, bright tonalities, shimmering harmonies and themes that touch on frothy romance and fantasy. Their outstanding oeuvre encompasses levity, handclaps and ‘Sergeant Pepper’-esque kitsch. A video from their debut album, ‘The Pondhawks Have Landed’, two and a half years in the making, was created by Randy Reisen and shows blonde Gracen brandishing the twist while the charismatic Novelli flashes an intoxicating smile towards an imaginary audience. Opening track ‘Midnight Howl’ reveals, “Photographs of days gone by/never seem to ease the pain,” and waxes about “Something in the air tonight/looking for a late night prowl.” This immediately enthralling track trembles boldly along with a cliff-hanging bass line. more...”

“Congrats to veteran Chicago photographer and musician Jorie Gracen and her band the PondHawks — still at No. 1 on Music World Radio (UK), after five weeks, with their song “Drive.” The song is from the band’s second album, “Dreaming Over Ireland,” and has received wide airplay on Internet radio stations both here and abroad. Next up: The PondHawks will be headlining the International Pop Overthrow at the Red Line Tap, April 22.”

"THE PONDHAWKS are one of the TOP 10 most requested Indie bands on Hamilton Radio." -- Gene Pierro, Station Owner