Try Taking Drugs in the Amusement Park
The Silent Years’ forthcoming album ‘The Globe’ will be released in the UK on 12th October, 2009, just after their Taking Drugs in the Amusement park single. ‘The Globe’ certainly represented a sea of change for The Silent Years on multiple levels. For frontman Epstein The Globe was a challenging album: It was the first outing for a new line up of The Silent Years, as Epstein was able to recruit three-fifths of the line-up from Detroit indie rock legends Rescue to join his project; and the album was based around a prevailing concept of recognizing the universality of life. 'The Globe' title is itself a metaphor at play, a symbol of scale in each direction, as the songs shift naturally from the microscopic to the universal.
The Silent Years formed in Detroit in late 2005. Like so much great music, theirs is the product of the suburbs – music that dreams of others places. Music that begins in a basement but takes you on a journey far, far away. Music as escape – music as a narrative.
In four short years they have taken the US underground by storm and now look set to do the same in Britain and beyond. The Silent Years are part of that great US underground tradition that every now and again produces innovative bands capable of soundtracking lives and shaping generations – comparisons to Mercury Rev, The Shins, Arcade Fire or Fleet Foxes would not be completely misleading. Nor for that matter would a passing nod to the elemental pastoral vistas of Doves or British Sea Power. Inspiration-wise, The Silent Years don’t mind admitting to drawing inspiration from “the classics – band’s whose music has proven itself to have lasting worth.” That would be people like The Beatles, Beach Boys and Paul Simon and more recently Jeff Buckley and Radiohead. And about a thousand others.
From the band’s formation in 2005 with four core members – their line-up is somewhat fluid and has been known to feature anything up to eighteen musicians on stage – things moved quickly. The Silent Years’ self-titled, self-produced debut album was released in 2006 and by 2007 Spin magazine were voting them ‘Underground artists of the year’. Mixed and produced by Chris Coady (Grizzly Bear, TV On The Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) over the course of one intense month, The Globe followed, as did much road work, including a UK tour that was somewhat fraught when a band member had to depart on the first date due to bereavement. But The Silent Years battled through and laid the foundations for their return visit in late 2009.
That Josh and the revolving line-up that comprises The Silent Years are music obsessives is undeniable. Aside from band duties, members are also currently writing and producing for other artists, writing children’s books, making electronic music and, in Josh Epstein’s case, working on a Broadway production and becoming involved in a project that is attempting to re-unite The Funk Brothers in legendry Detroit studio Hitsville USA.
Bizarre – yes. Boring? Never. That’s The Silent Years.