Half Alive (band)

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Half Alive
Half-Alive-Promo.jpg
Background information
Genres
Years active2016–present
LabelsRCA
Websitehalfalive.co
Members
  • Josh Taylor
  • Brett Kramer
  • J Tyler Johnson

Half Alive (stylized as half•alive or h•a)[1] is an American band from Long Beach, California.[2] The band was formed in 2016 and consists of lead singer Josh Taylor, drummer Brett Kramer and bassist J Tyler Johnson. The trio are best known for their single "Still Feel" and its choreographed music video. Their first EP, 3, was released in 2017,[3] while their debut studio album, Now, Not Yet, was released on August 9th 2019.

History[edit]

2016–2017: Formation and debut EP[edit]

Josh Taylor had previously been lead singer for "The Moderates", a band from Long Beach, California. The band released their debut EP Colour in 2013.[4] In November 2015, Taylor announced that he had embarked on a seven month songwriting program several months prior during which he hoped to write 50 songs,[5] a project that would eventually end on December 30.[6] Brett Kramer, who Taylor knew as they attended the same non-denominational church, joined him on the project. The duo decided to form a band in 2016[7][8] while "watching the songs evolve as [they] were working together."[9][10][11] The 50-song project would eventually bring about all of Half Alive's released music.[12]

It was announced that The Moderates had disbanded in on April 10, 2017 due to other commitments, but that an EP as well as a new music video would be released by Taylor's new band, "Half Alive".[13] The band's first single, "The Fall", was released on April 24 of that year alongside its music video.[14] Their debut EP, 3, was released on the same day.[15] It was recorded with the help of James Krausse inside a helicopter hanger in the Mojave Desert which had been converted to a recording studio.[16] A behind the scenes video for "The Fall" was uploaded onto the band's YouTube channel in July.[17] "Aawake at Night", the second single from the EP, was released on November 6.[18] The three songs from the EP collectively amassed 4 million streams on Spotify in July 2018 and currently have over 6 million as of November 2018.[19][20] Soon after the EP's release, the duo added a new member to their band, bassist J Tyler Johnson, who Kramer met while performing at various music festivals at university, and together entered and won a jazz competition with during this time, while Johnson had been introduced to Taylor through the former's brother. This was done in order to avoid using computer-generated sounds in their songs and live performances in favor of live instruments.[21]

2018–present: Success with "Still Feel", major label signing and Now, Not Yet[edit]

On August 3, 2018, the band released a single called "Still Feel", accompanied by a music video filmed at Popsicle LA.[22] The video attracted attention for its choreography and cinematography, done by lead singer Josh Taylor and JA Collective,[23] and received positive reviews from publications including Alternative Press and Rock Sound, the former calling the cinematography "first-class" and the latter calling the band "so multi-talented".[24][25] NPR also featured the track on "All Songs Considered" playlist and directed praise at its music video,[23] while Triple J placed it on their "Best New Music" list, expressing similar sentiments.[26] Thanks to the attention received by the track, the band signed a record deal with RCA Records soon after.[12] The band subsequently performed their first live show in October 2018 at the Moroccan Lounge in Los Angeles.[27] They embarked on their first tour from January to February 2019, taking place in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.[28][29] Soon after the release of "Still Feel", the band disclosed that they were recording two new songs that they had previously performed live, but declined to reveal when they would be released.[9]

On January 18, 2019, the band released the single "Arrow" and a music video premiered later that day.[30][31] Time named it one of the best songs of the week, writing that "the song is filled with small surprises, like mini drum breaks and a groovy synth sequence that break it up into an unexpected composition that pulses with fresh energy."[32] After the release of the single, the band disclosed to Rock Sound that they were working "on a larger body of work but keeping it discreet and mysterious."[33] The following month, the band's track "Still Feel" entered the Hot Rock Songs and Alternative Songs[34] chart in the United States and eventually peaked at number 26 on the former[35] and number 21 on the latter.[36] On March 14, the band made their late-night television debut as they played the track on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. The performance was well received by Billboard, calling it "spectacularly orchestrated," and Rolling Stone, who deemed it "cleverly choreographed."[37][38] The band then announced a world tour taking place from June to November in Australia, North America and Europe.[37]

On April 25, the trio announced on social media that they would be releasing all of their released material on a vinyl record named *7, which also includes an intro track and an unreleased song named "Runaway".[39] On June 13, the band released the track "Runaway" as a single alongside a heavily choreographed music video, simultaneously announcing that their debut studio album, Now, Not Yet, would be released on August 9.[40] They performed the track live for Vevo's DSCVR series alongside "Arrow" and incorporated various dance interludes from their music videos in the renditions.[41] The album's fourth single, "Pure Gold", which was produced by Ariel Rechtshaid, was released on July 19 alongsde a "colorful and jubilant" visual.[42][43] A fifth single titled "OK OK?" was premiered on July 31 at 10 AM PST on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 show as that day's "World Record".[44][45] A music video for the song also shared that day.[46][47]

Musical style and influences[edit]

The band's musical style has been described as indie pop,[48] pop[38], alternative rock,[37] dance-pop, electronic rock and electropop[7] and further incorporates elements of R&B, funk and soul.[12] The band have explained that they enjoy experimenting with numerous genres as well as sounds from 1960's, 70's and contemporary music.[49] The have cited film and psychology, specifically Jungian and Freudian concepts from which the band's name derives, as some of their influences, in addition to the work of Sufjan Stevens, Vulfpeck, Christine and the Queens, Kimbra, Emily King, Chance the Rapper and Tyler, the Creator,[48][49] and incorporate themes of anxiety and religion in their songs.[50][51] Taylor, in an interview with NBHAP, illustrated that while songwriting he aims to hit the "sweet spot" between "abstract" and "relatable" lyrics in order to allow listeners to interpret them in their own way.[52]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Details Peak chart positions
US
Alt.

[53]
US
Rock

[54]
Now, Not Yet 15 46

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details
3[a]

Singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US
Alt.

[36]
US
Rock

[35]
"The Fall" 2017 3
"Aawake at Night"
"Still Feel" 2018 7 21 Now, Not Yet
"Arrow" 2019
"Runaway"
"Pure Gold"
"OK OK?"

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 3 is recognised as a single by iTunes, but promoted as an EP by the band[15][59]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "half•alive on Apple Music". iTunes Store. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  2. ^ "half•alive (@halfaliveco) - Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  3. ^ "3 - Single by half•alive". iTunes Store. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  4. ^ "Colour (EP) by The Moderates". iTunes Store. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  5. ^ 50 Songs in 7 Months on YouTube
  6. ^ 7 months of my life in 5 minutes on YouTube
  7. ^ a b Monger, James Christopher. "Half Alive Artist Biography by James Christopher Monger". AllMusic. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  8. ^ "half•alive - New Music, Playlists & Latest News - BBC Music". BBC. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Wilber, Kira. "Half Alive Interview". Honey Mag. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  10. ^ Lanham, Tom (February 7, 2019). "Pop trio half*alive ponders good vs. evil". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  11. ^ half•alive On How The Band Started, The Meaning Of Their Name, 'Still Feel' & More on YouTube
  12. ^ a b c "Long Bio: half•alive" (PDF). Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  13. ^ "half•alive on Twitter: 'what's happening. what's next.'". Retrieved February 10, 2019 – via Twitter.
  14. ^ Tanner, Chris (April 24, 2017). "half•alive – "the fall" (Video)". newsickmusic.com. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  15. ^ a b "3 - Single by half•alive". iTunes Store. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  16. ^ Newkirik, Shea (April 24, 2017). "half•alive Release Debut EP & Video "the fall" - Long Beach Independent". Long Beach Independent. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  17. ^ half•alive - the fall (BEHIND THE SCENES) on YouTube
  18. ^ half•alive - aawake at night [VIDEO] on YouTube
  19. ^ Scholfield, Anna (August 3, 2018). "Indie Pop Trio half•alive Wins Warehouse Dance Videos with "still feel." Visual / Ones To Watch". Ones To Watch. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  20. ^ "half•alive". Spotify. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  21. ^ Half Alive about 50 Song Challenge, "Still Feel" & Inspirations on YouTube
  22. ^ half•alive - still feel. [VIDEO] on YouTube
  23. ^ a b Hilton, Robin; Boilen, Bob (September 11, 2018). "New Mix: Thom Yorke, Sylvan Esso, Buke & Gase, More". NPR. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  24. ^ Hannan, Devon (August 3, 2018). "Watch indie newcomers half•alive nail this incredible choreography in one take". Alternative Press. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  25. ^ Jamieson, Brii (August 3, 2018). "Introducing: half•alive- Check Out Their Brand New Video - News - Rock Sound Magazine". Rock Sound. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  26. ^ Newstead, Al (December 10, 2018). "Best New Music: Chance, Sampa, half·alive, Crooked Colours, Fergus James". ABC. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  27. ^ "half•alive - Tickets - Moroccan Lounge - Los Angeles, CA - October 29th, 2018". The Moroccan. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  28. ^ Jamieson, Brii (September 28, 2019). "Half•Alive Have Announced Their UK Debut, And It's On Sale Now - News - Rock Sound Magazine". Rock Sound. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  29. ^ "half•alive on Twitter: '•tour starts sunday'". January 16, 2019. Retrieved February 4, 2019 – via Twitter.
  30. ^ Ryan, Gavin (January 18, 2019). "New Music Releases for 18 January 2019". Noise11. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  31. ^ half•alive - arrow [VIDEO] on YouTube
  32. ^ Bruner, Raisa (January 18, 2019). "5 Songs You Need to Listen to This Week". Time. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  33. ^ half•alive Talk New Music, 'Arrow', Cover Versions & Live Dancers on YouTube
  34. ^ "Alternative Songs Chart: The week of February 9, 2019". Billboard. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  35. ^ a b "Hot Rock Songs Chart: The week of July 20, 2019". Billboard. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  36. ^ a b "Top Alternative Chart: The week of July 6, 2019". Billboard. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  37. ^ a b c Acevedo, Angelica (March 15, 2019). "Half Alive Give Debut TV Performance Of 'Still Feel' On 'Kimmel,' Announce Global Tour". Billboard. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  38. ^ a b Blistein, Jon (March 15, 2019). "Watch Half Alive's Mesmeric Late-Night Debut on 'Kimmel'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  39. ^ "half•alive on Twitter: '•the entire half•alive collection thus far...'". April 25, 2019. Retrieved June 14, 2019 – via Twitter.
  40. ^ Shaffer, Claire (June 13, 2019). "Half Alive Announce Debut Album, Dance Off to War in New 'Runaway' Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  41. ^ Jamieson, Brii (July 15, 2019). "Watch half.alive Tear Through Two Songs In A Single Take". Rock Sound. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  42. ^ Ryan, Gavin (July 18, 2019). "New Music Releases for 19 July 2019". Noise11. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  43. ^ Shaffer, Claire (July 19, 2019). "Half Alive Release Jubilant New Track 'Pure Gold'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  44. ^ "half•alive on Twitter: '•great new song 'ok ok?'...'". Retrieved August 1, 2019 – via Twitter.
  45. ^ "Beats 1 on Twitter: 'Another #WorldRecord incoming...'". Retrieved August 1, 2019 – via Twitter.
  46. ^ half·alive - ok ok? (Official Video) on YouTube
  47. ^ Jamieson, Brii (August 1, 2019). "Check Out Half•Alive's Brand New Single". Rock Sound. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  48. ^ a b Villasenor, Yvonne (February 5, 2019). "Half•alive Make Feel Good Music for the Soul". OC Weekly. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  49. ^ a b Coraline (March 21, 2019). "[Interview] half•alive : "Ce qui nous importe le plus, c'est de développer une vision globale pour le groupe"". On the Move (in French). Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  50. ^ Aikins, Gabriel (September 18, 2017). "half•alive's Josh Taylor on new music: "It's been a wild journey"". Substream Magazine. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  51. ^ half•alive "still feel." Official Lyrics & Meaning - Verified on YouTube
  52. ^ Hiller, Nora (March 25, 2019). "YouTube As A Driving Force: How half•alive Beat The Algorithm". NBHAP. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  53. ^ "Top Rock Albums Chart: The week of August 24, 2019". Billboard. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  54. ^ "Alternative Albums Chart: The week of August 24, 2019". Billboard. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  55. ^ "Now, Not Yet by half•alive on Apple Music". Apple Music. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  56. ^ "half•alive on Twitter: '•the debut album Now, Not Yet...'". June 13, 2019. Retrieved June 14, 2019 – via Twitter.
  57. ^ "Now, Not Yet CD - half•alive". Retrieved August 17, 2019 – via Half Alive's web store.
  58. ^ "Now, Not Yet Cassette (Limited to 100) - half•alive". Retrieved August 17, 2019 – via Half Alive's web store.
  59. ^ "half•alive on Twitter: 'our debut EP - 3 is now available on Spotify / iTunes / Apple Music.'". November 14, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2018 – via Twitter.

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