Members: Brad Parker, Ryan Heller, Rob McCaffrey, Christopher McLaughlin
Fresh out of the studio with Grammy winning producer Steve Lillywhite (U2, Morrissey, Talking Heads) and Nic Hard (Jesse Malin, The Church, The Bravery), Boston quartet Aberdeen City has just re-released their debut record, The Freezing Atlantic. While recurring themes of abandonment, zealotry, and regret might suggest a cold and melancholy affair, The Freezing Atlantic offers surprising warmth and optimism. The politically aware first single God Is Going To Get Sick of Me won a Boston Music Award in 2005 - before it had been commercially released- and The Freezing Atlantic was recently voted Local Album of 2006 by Boston Phoenix readers. The album also won the 2006 Boston Music Award for Local Album of the Year, pairing with the band's win for Local Rock Band of the Year.
Three of the four members grew up in the same Chicago neighborhood, though their paths did not cross until 2001 when they met at a seminar for underachieving child prodigies at a Boston area university. Details of their Midwestern backgrounds are murky and scarce. What is known is that each member, once poised for greatness, has had to overcome tremendous personal failure. Brad Parker (vocals, bass), an aspiring spiritualist, spent much of his adolescent years in a sensory deprivation chamber he built in his parent's attic. Emerging with incredible insights he found difficult to communicate, Brad halted his search for universal truths in order to explore songwriting. Ryan Heller (guitar), business minded beyond his years, declined the opportunity to run his family's snack food empire after losing the patent for the highly anticipated Ket-Chip to a rival Canadian company. Rob McCaffrey (drums) was a successful stage actor until an unfortunate commitment to method acting during a production of the "The Pirates of Penzance" led to his expulsion from middle school. And Christopher McLaughlin (guitar, vocals) gave up what promised to be a successful and lucrative career in physics after a homegrown experiment involving ionized photons blinded the family dog.
The four became fast friends and rented a house in the Aberdeen Architectural Conservation District of Boston. There, they eagerly pursued their collective hobby of writing and recording music. The band's self-produced, self-released We Learned By Watching EP (2003) helped them to build a regional fan-base while reviews unanimously predicted bigger things to come.
In the deep freeze of winter 2005, Aberdeen City retreated to The Ranch, a former country western hangout turned recording studio, with producer Nic Hard to record their debut LP. For three weeks, they obsessed over every lyric, chord and sonic nuance. Delicately balancing distance with intimacy and dynamic tension with beauty; they achieved a sound that is grand without pretense. Textured guitars occasionally yield the melody to the bass (Parker, a classically trained violinist, picked up the instrument recently), while decisive drumbeats evoke a call to arms as often as a call to dance. Parker's delicate lyrics develop carefully and reveal multiple meanings with each listen. Sprinkled with romance and dark wit, "Pretty Pet" offers: I've seen shame on many faces / I've seen it on mine / I've been helped my many people / I've hurt more than you / Sometimes regret makes a great pet / You hit the target, my pet, regret.
The record was released in the fall of 2005 on New York based Dovecote Records. Thanks to positive reviews, a healthy Internet buzz and a strong presence on the CMJ charts, the band played to capacity crowds at the 2005 CMJ Music Marathon and the 2006 South By Southwest Music Festival. They found an early fan in Producer/A&R Columbia Records Steve Lillywhite who approached the band about going back into the studio to work on a few tracks, leading to a deal with Sony's Red Ink label to re-release the album on August 8, 2006. Recent months have found the band touring the US with the likes of Elefant (Kemado/Hollywood) and Sound Team (Capitol). For up to date tour dates, press and more, visit www.aberdeenmusic.com.