Spotlight: Brave Chandeliers

Pushing for Rich Fan Engagement With Their Own App

GENRE: Indie Pop

HOMETOWN: Portland, OR

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ARTISTIC APPROACH: Crafting a suicide Slurpee of alternative, pop, and gospel.


Portland’s Brave Chandeliers  – Jon McNeill (guitar, vocals); Nick Drum (keys,vocals); Cary Samsel (bass); and Nate Powell (drums) – find their passion to be more than just a labor of love. The group shares a common goal, works diligently on their music and is excited about their new full-length release: 11 Escapes.

Dropping this month, the album’s concept is relevant to what the name implies: “escape.” The songs have a general theme and share sonic ties that cover the spectrum from escaping relationships to the everyday grind.

McNeill explains: “In a lot of ways, we see ourselves as a Recession-era band. I’m sure it has shaped the way we approach our music, and what we want for the band. Part of the reason for the album being about escapes is that Nick and I have experienced ‘escape’ in a very real way with this band. We were both good boys who did what was expected of us – we went to college and got careers that paid well – but once we started listening to that small voice inside, we both knew that we had to pursue what we really wanted to be doing: making music. We left our jobs – the exact thing you’re not supposed to do in a recession – put the band together, and here we are.”

Taking time from their hectic schedules, the band began their recent recording process with Jeremy Sherrer, a well-known producer who has worked with and helped many Portland-area bands. Drum explains, “This year we wanted to do a full-length album: we did a six week tour of about twenty or so dates. We must have covered 10,000 miles. We recorded on two-inch in an analog studio in four days. Once we got it on tape, we took off for the tour, and then we came back in September to mix it.”

The album’s first single, “Love Is (What You Only Get from Me),” described as a ’50s dance number, is about a girl trying to escape a relationship. Consistent with the album’s thematic structure, Brave Chandeliers are confident and eager to unfold their vision to the public. “We’re coming out with an app that Jon and I developed. It will give the user a vast, comprehensive mobile experience so they can understand the music,” says Drum.

McNeill adds, “This will give people a deeper experience; they can sit down, read the liner notes, lyrics or enjoy the album art. We created images and video tied to each individual song. This content add additional layers to the tracks and their meanings.”

After the release of 11 Escapes, Brave Chandeliers will embark on a string of performance dates on the East Coast.

photos by Casey Curry

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