Manchester Orchestra performing in Cumberland Caverns (Dec. 2014)
|Origin||Atlanta, Georgia, United States|
|Past members||Jonathan Corley
Manchester Orchestra is an American indie rock band from Atlanta, Georgia, formed in 2004. The group is composed of rhythm guitarist-singer-songwriter Andy Hull, lead guitarist Robert McDowell, bassist Andy Prince and drummer Tim Very. Former drummer Jeremiah Edmond parted ways with the band in January 2010 to focus on his family and on running the band's record label, Favorite Gentlemen. The band's original bassist, Jonathan Corley, parted ways with the band in 2013. Keyboardist/percussionist Chris Freeman announced his departure from the band in September 2016.
They have released several extended plays and four studio albums: I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child (2006), Mean Everything to Nothing (2009), Simple Math (2011), and Cope (2014) (as well as its accompanying acoustic version, Hope). They are signed to independent record label Favorite Gentlemen Recordings, which is distributed through Sony Music Entertainment, and Loma Vista Recordings.
The band has performed at major music festivals such as Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Coachella, Riot Fest, Shaky Knees Music Festival, Firefly Music Festival, Reading and Leeds Festivals and more.
- 1 History
- 2 TV appearances
- 3 Band members
- 4 Discography
- 5 Podcasts
- 6 Related Musical Projects
- 7 The Stuffing
- 8 References
- 9 External links
2004-2005: Early years
Manchester Orchestra originated in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. They are named after the English city of Manchester, a city frequently viewed as bohemian and rich in musical history (The Smiths, The Fall, The Buzzcocks, The Stone Roses, Joy Division, Oasis, New Order, Happy Mondays, Magazine). Feeling increasingly alienated at his "small-town-Georgia, Christian high school" named Providence Christian Academy, in suburban Atlanta, the band's lead singer Andy Hull became so frustrated that he spent his senior year studying at home. He also wrote and recorded his first full-length album in 2004 while studying during his last year of high school.
Early in their career, the band recorded an album entitled Nobody Sings Anymore. However, it was never released due to the shift in the band's musical direction and personnel changes undergone following its recording. The band stated that "the band that made the record was different to the band now." Some of the tracks written for the album were released instead on You Brainstorm, I Brainstorm, but Brilliance Needs a Good Editor.
2006-2008: I'm Like a Virgin Losing A Child
Following the You Brainstorm, I Brainstorm, but Brilliance Needs a Good Editor EP, Manchester Orchestra recorded and released their debut album I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child. This album gained the attention of the music industry, and eventually led to their signing with Canvasback. The album was released nationwide July 27, 2007. Guitarist Robert McDowell did not appear on this album. The song "Wolves At Night" was featured in the video game NHL 08. The band worked in the studio recording their second EP, Let My Pride Be What's Left Behind, with producer Dan Hannon and engineer Brad Fisher. It was released October 7, 2008.
2008-2010: Mean Everything to Nothing
In early September 2008, the band announced on their Myspace blog that they had begun recording their second album entitled Mean Everything to Nothing with producer Joe Chicarrelli (The Shins, My Morning Jacket). On February 4, 2009, the band posted a link to a free download of the single "I've Got Friends" and performed an acoustic version at The Fly's in the Courtyard Sessions. The album was released April 21, 2009. Jeremiah Edmond left the band in January 2010 to focus on his family and running the band's record label. Also in January, the band announced the release of a split EP with Kevin Devine entitled I Could Be the Only One. The EP was released digitally January 26, 2010. Following the release of the Manchester Orchestra / Kevin Devine split EP, it was announced that Devine would record a full-length album along with the members of Manchester Orchestra later that year, with half the album written by Devine and half by Andy Hull. On April 10, 2010, it was announced the new project's name was Bad Books and that the album would be released under that moniker. On August 16, 2010, it was announced that the self-titled Bad Books album would be released on October 19, 2010, digitally and on November 9, 2010, on a physical CD.
2010-2012: Simple Math
On March 2010, in an interview with the Dallas Observer, Hull mentioned that the band had begun work on a follow up to 2009's Mean Everything to Nothing, tentatively titled Let Go of Your Sorrowful Groaning. (While ultimately discarded as an album title, this phrase later appeared on the song "Mighty".) He also said that the band had been demoing around 34 songs, and that in writing the album he was imagining a "spiritual miscarriage". On September 2010, in an interview with Rip It Up magazine, the band announced that they were in the middle of recording their third full-length album, and explained it to be completely different from anything they had released in the past. The album was recorded with Dan Hannon in both Blackbird Studios (Nashville, Tennessee) and their own Favorite Gentlemen Studios (Atlanta, Georgia). Drummer Tim Very featured on the album, and eventually became Edmond's replacement. On October 23, 2010, during an appearance at Radio 104.5 in Philadelphia, following a Bad Books show in support of their recently released self-titled debut album, Manchester Orchestra debuted an acoustic version of the new album's title track, "Simple Math". Frontman Andy Hull said the album would be released in March 2011. On January 27, 2011, the band announced that their third full-length studio album, Simple Math, would be released on May 10, 2011. It was also revealed that Simple Math would be a concept album. The song "April Fool" was featured in the game NHL 12. In the summer of 2011, the band joined Blink-182 and My Chemical Romance for part of the 2011 Honda Civic Tour. In autumn 2011, the band headlined the PacTour and were supported by White Denim, The Dear Hunter and Little Hurricane.
2013-2015: Cope and Hope
On February 10, 2013, Jonathan Corley left the band to pursue a career outside of playing music and was replaced by Andy Prince. On March 11, the band announced they had begun recording their fourth full-length album. For Record Store Day 2013, the band teamed up with Grouplove and Frightened Rabbit to release a 12-inch containing the tracks "Make It to Me" and "Architect". On October 28, 2013 the band released their first new music since 2011, "After the Scripture", a song featured on the soundtrack of the movie Dallas Buyers Club.
On December 8, 2013, Andy Hull announced in a video interview with Matt Pinfield that their fourth studio album would be titled Cope, and was slated for release on April 1, 2014. On January 21, 2014, an official statement from the band confirmed this information. The album's first single, "Top Notch", was released alongside the announcement. Pre-orders for CD and LP copies of the album were subsequently added to the band's online store. On February 25, 2014, the album's second single, "Every Stone", was released. On September 16, 2014, Manchester Orchestra surprise-released Hope, a song-by-song re-imagining of Cope with stripped down and more emotionally driven versions of each song. On Hope, Andy Hull stated that the band "aimed for nasty and guttural stuff on Cope, and this was more like, 'How pretty can this be?' I've always liked both sensibilities. This was an opportunity to see if we could sit down and do it for a whole album." They also announced a 13-date tour in support of Hope.
2016-Present: Swiss Army Man and Recording of New Material
Andy Hull and Robert McDowell wrote and performed the soundtrack for Swiss Army Man, a 2016 film starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano. The soundtrack is comprised solely of vocals, with as many as 150 vocal tracks layered on top of one another. Radcliffe offered high praise for the soundtrack:
Do you know what I honestly think should be nominated [for an Academy Award?] The soundtrack and the songwriting from the band — Andy and Rob from the band Manchester Orchestra. Obviously, I’m totally biased but I really think that when people hear the ‘Montage’ song that we sing in the movie — I don’t feel that there’s going to be a better original song all year than the one those guys wrote.
The soundtrack was nominated for "Best Original Score for a Comedy Film" and "Film Music Composition of the Year" in the 2016 International Film Music Critics Association Awards.
Manchester Orchestra has performed on several television shows, including the Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Their song, "I Can Feel a Hot One", was featured on Gossip Girl episode "The Dark Night", and was played throughout the episode. This song is featured on their EP Let My Pride Be What's Left Behind, which was released on October 7, 2008. Also, music from their 2009 album, Mean Everything to Nothing, was played during the One Tree Hill episode "I Would For You". The song "The Only One" from the same album was also featured on the season 1 finale of 90210, "One Party Can Ruin Your Whole Summer". The song "The Only One" was also used in an episode from the fourth season of British drama Skins. Andy and Robert also guest programmed Australian music video program Rage during their Australian tour as a part of Splendour in the Grass along with a performance on the British live music show Live From Abbey Road during their tour supporting Biffy Clyro. The song "Virgin" was featured in the 2013 documentary Little Hope Was Arson. Their song "Shake It Out" was used for the 2010 edition of the TNA Wrestling pay-per-view event Sacrifice.
- Current members
- Andy Hull - lead vocals, rhythm guitar, piano
- Robert McDowell - lead guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Tim Very - drums, percussion
- Andy Prince - bass
- Former members
- Garrett Brown - guitar
- Jeremiah Edmond - drums, percussion
- Benjamin Homola - drums, percussion
- Len Clark - drums, percussion
- David Brandon Dees - bass
- Trey Balfour - lead guitar, piano
- Andrew Maysilles - drums, percussion
- Trevor Dowdy - guitar, keyboard
- Jonathan Corley - bass (2003-2013)
- Chris Freeman - keyboards, additional percussion, backing vocals
- I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child (2006)
- Mean Everything to Nothing (2009)
- Simple Math (2011)
- Cope (2014)
- Hope (2014)
Manchester Orchestra has consistently released a series of video podcasts throughout the span of their career. Over one hundred Podcasts have been released since September 2006 on the band's YouTube page. They begin during the recording process of the band's first record I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child, and continue to highlight key moments of the band's progression. These short 5- to 10-minute videos were released as a way to connect with fans and to give them a glimpse of what it's actually like touring and making records. These videos were filmed and edited by filmmaker and founding band member Jonathan Corley. The numbering of these podcasts reflect different time periods, and reset for each additional record release.
Related Musical Projects
Several of the members of Manchester Orchestra are involved in other music projects. Andy Hull has a solo project called Right Away, Great Captain! as well as a band called Bad Books consisting of Hull and Kevin Devine. Robert McDowell's solo project is called Gobotron. In addition to Manchester Orchestra, Andy Prince plays bass for Kevin Devine and Nashville-based band The Gills.
The band hosts, curates, and performs at an annual festival in Atlanta, GA called "The Stuffing". The festival began in 2010 and takes place every year on the day before Thanksgiving. In addition to Manchester Orchestra, past performers include Cage the Elephant, Kevin Devine, O'Brother, The Front Bottoms, All Get Out, Grouplove, Dustin Kensrue and more. 2016 was the 7th year of The Stuffing and featured Manchester Orchestra performing their album "I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child" in its entirety to celebrate the album's 10 year anniversary.
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