“In our heads we’re haphazardly trying to write classical music,” says Jesse Tabish, and if you listen with an intent ear to Other Lives’ lush, layered beatific musical creations, it’s hard not to imagine the singer-musical maestro crafting his next opus. “Every sound, every drum beat has to have some sort of purpose,” he adds. 13 years since they first began playing together in their native Oklahoma, Other Lives, which includes Josh Onstott and Jonathon Mooney, remain focused on the search for audible clarity: their next expression, their next melody, their next rhythm. Rituals, the band’s third and latest full-length album, is a pure encapsulation of the trio’s relentless drive for precision. “It’s more dimensional, it’s more 3-D, if you will,” Tabish explains. “We wanted a cleaner, brighter record with more movement and more color.”

It’s also an extremely personal endeavor: having lived in the heart of the Dust Bowl for their entire lives, the trio of musicians ventured Westward in recent years, settling down in Portland, Oregon, to record their latest work. “There was a spirit of change,” Tabish offers. “We had done [2011’s second LP] Tamer Animals, which was very close to us and about our home. So the next record was about the spontaneity of travel and being isolated. For the first times in our lives we were moving off on our own away from our families and kind of coming into our own. I wanted the songs to reflect that new spirit.”

To engage with Rituals is to barrel along a winding, hidden dirt path; peering into its bounty is to be swept away into the pines and deep, briny brush revealing a new, almost utopian existence. The classical strings of opener “Fair Weather” swells into the pitter-patter electro snippets of “Pattern,” Tabish’s reedy voice hovering ever so slightly above the mix. Ambient soundscapes (“New Fog”) buttress against prog-rock stomp (“2 Pyramids”) lending the album the experience of embarking on a choose-your-own-adventure novel. “There’s kind of a duality to this record,” Tabish says, referencing “Pattern” — “rhythmically kind of up-tempo, really fast-moving, marimbas, this new kind of new-wave orchestra sound” — in opposition to the closing title track, a slow-building, piano-and-strings-anchored ballad Tabish wrote in the finals weeks of recording.

“This one was a real journey,” Tabish says of the 18 months spent writing more than 60 songs for Rituals, a constant creative outlet for the relentless sonic architect amid a rigorous few years of touring their debut album.  “It was a long time spent searching for a new identity,” the soft-spoken singer continues of the writing process, “still trying to retain the past of our musical palate but also really trying to stretch ourselves into a new type of music.”

There’s no compromise when writing, Tabish says, and to hear him tell it one risks losing their self-worth if they relent on their artistic intent. “Be a dentist or something if you’re not going to make the type of music you want to be making,” he says laughing. “Writing for me, no matter what’s going on in my life, it’s the thing that gets me right with the world. It calms me down.”

While Rituals marks a new chapter in Other Lives’ story, it’s also a continuation of a decade-plus passage.  “I feel really lucky to be able to have a band and people around me that have been so supportive and we’ve stuck together all these years and still don’t hate each other,” Tabish says. “All three of us are like brothers. I don’t think that will ever go away. I loved those kids then and I love them now. There’s that mutual feeling. If I want to go have a beer with anyone it would be those two guys. That kind of says something.”

Head over to Consequence of Sound to stream Other Lives’ new album, Rituals!

Other Lives released their sophomore album Tamer Animals some four years ago. Since then, they’ve won a fan in Thom Yorke, released an EP, reduced their numbers to three, and moved from Stillwater, Oklahoma to Portland, Oregon. All of that — especially their new home — has impacted their latest effort, Rituals, due out May 4th on tbd Records. Ahead of its release, the album is streaming in full below.

Though the band has shrunken in size, it’s grown exponentially in sound. Horns and strings were present in past efforts, to be sure, but the lushness in which they’re presented on Rituals is entirely new. Some of that is no doubt due to the presence of Atoms for Peace drummer Joey Waronker as co-producer, but most credit falls on the trio’s immense instrumental talents.

The songs find Jesse Tabish, Josh Onstott and Jonathon Mooney exploring ambient grandeur on “New Fog”, skittering experimentalism on “Pattern”, subtle theatrics on the title track, and deceptively simple strolls on “English Summer”. It’s a range of aural treats, each constructed of big, bold layers arranged with careful hands. “In our heads we’re haphazardly trying to write classical music. Every sound, every drum beat has to have some sort of purpose,” Tabish said in a press release, adding that the album is “more dimensional, it’s more 3-D, if you will. We wanted a cleaner, brighter record with more movement and more color.” They got it.

Rituals drops next week (5/4) via tbd, and is going for adds at radio NOW

Distiller Promo announces CMJ Marathon Day Party featuring Yellow Ostrich and WATERS!

Please join us at The Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Ave. Brooklyn) on Friday October 21st from Noon to 6pm.  Hot on the heels of successes at college radio, Yellow Ostrich and WATERS will both be performing live.  More exciting acts yet to be announced!

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Have a guess at some of these other confirmed acts:

x?x?x?x?x ?x?x
x?x x?
Yellow Ostrich

We hope to see you there and promise it will be an awesome couple of hours you wouldn’t want to spend with anyone else anywhere else!

Radiohead - In Rainbows

Format: 12", LP
Pressing: Repress
Color Variant: Black
Catalog Number: 88088-21623-1, TBD0001
Label: TBD Records
Release Date: 2013


A1 - 15 Step
A2 - Bodysnatchers
A3 - Nude
A4 - Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
A5 - All I Need
B1 - Faust Arp
B2 - Reckoner
B3 - House Of Cards
B4 - Jigsaw Falling Into Place
B5 - Videotape

Purchase Here


White Rabbits - Temporary - Official Video (by thewhiterabbits)


WATERS’ new video for “For The One” premiered on Stereogum!


White Rabbits-Percussion Gun


Other Lives: great band that i don’t hear nearly enough about.  checkemout!