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The wait is over. OPENSOULS’ terrifically accomplished sophomore album Standing in the Rain is out Monday 17 August, well and truly solidifying their standing as a top-shelf New Zealand soul band.
Since their musical journey began in 2001, OPENSOULS have been busy winning over music lovers with their fresh, melodic energy. Infused with elements of soul and old-school R'n'B, the band’s unique sound is due to a collaborative effort from its seven talented members (vocalists Tyra Hammond and Bjorn Peterson; live band consisting of band originators Jeremy Toy – guitar and Julien Dyne – drums; plus Chip Matthews - bass, Isaac Aesili – trumpet, and Harlin Davey - MPC), each bringing their own personality, flair and musical taste to the mix.
Standing in the Rain is a concept album, made with the intent to reflect the sound and feeling of a musical era; late-50s, early-60s British and American R'n'B. Inspiration was drawn from traditional songwriters such as Lennon and McCartney, Smokey Robinson, Holland / Dozier / Holland, and Van Morrison. Consequently, the album has an unmistakable vintage quality, reminiscent of Motown in its heyday. The song lyrics, about falling in and out of love, lend a more contemporary feel with Hammond’s honeyed voice crooning effortlessly above an irresistibly hip-shaking, swinging beat.
First single ‘Hold You Close’ has taken both commercial and alternative radio by storm recently with its classic Motown vibe and infectious groove. Second single and title track ‘Standing In the Rain’ is a beautiful album highlight primed and ready to follow as it heads out to radio this week. These two singles will only whet the appetite of many an OPENSOULS fan however, so those who are keen to be amongst the first to preview the full album can head to OPENSOULS’ myspace site www.myspace.com/opensoulsspace the week before release to enjoy a taste of Standing In The Rain before purchasing the album the following week!
Standing In The Rain follows OPENSOULS’ critically acclaimed 2006 debut album Kaleidoscope, which impressed reviewers and fans alike. Kaleidoscope was nominated for the Best Urban/Hip Hop album at the 2006 New Zealand Music Awards and the single ‘What Do You Do?’ claimed the best hip-hop song at the 2006 BNet awards. Both records were released through OPENSOULS’ own label From The Crate Records.
With their dynamic and spirited performances, OPENSOULS are also fast winning a reputation as one of Aotearoa’s best live acts, and highly anticipated album release tour dates for New Zealand will be announced shortly. Bringing soul to the music scene, this powerful collective of talented musicians are setting the bar for world-class New Zealand music, and their new album Standing In The Rain certainly raises that bar to the next level.