Members: Michael Samuel Sarah Philip
Dormlife is actually three guys and a girl that have never lived in a dormitory, Formed in 2003 they play Acoustic Pop. Basically it's like this: Hard-core influenced Double-Kick Drumming with Acoustic Guitar and Soulful Vocals meet Frettless/Jazz/Upright Bass playing and Piano. Altogether it's a Power House of Pop that even your mom will tap her foot to. Their Debut Full-Length "It's Not Me, It's You" was released in June of 2005. Right now they are in the process of releasing their Sophomore Full-Length "Roses are Blue" with DUCKPHONE RECORDS, which was released october 2007. Look for Dormlife in your State/City/Town. Once the record is out they will be touring endlessly until they run out of oxygen'
For some people that have never lived in a dorm, they make it sound like a good time. DORMLIFE is an acoustic powerpop band from Chicago, with explosive beats and lyrics that will keep you tapping right along with the band. Vocal styling reminiscent of Incubus' unique style makes the fit with this band formidably. The elements of keys, frettless bass, and vocals give this band the needed kick to make it unlike any other band around. With songs like 'Leaving Through the Windshield' and 'Shady Avenue' it will stick in your head most of the day, and some of tomorrow morning. Great Band you should check out.
"Dormlife's vocalist Samuel sounds a little like Daryl Palumbo. Admittedly Dormlife are a much gentler proposition that any of the Glassjaw man's acts, but there's certainly a familiar tone and sound to his voice which makes this band stand out from the pile. Focusing their sound around an acoustic guitar and some natty percussion, the 10 tracks which make up this album are very well constructed and sound pretty darn good. There are plenty of singalong moments - almost a little Incubus-y at times - especially on 'Choke' and the very impressive 'Aurora Borealis'. What Dormalife do well is they use Samuel's vocals as a musical instrument as he drives the songs forward. Although not strictly Punktastic review material, if you enjoy The Spill Canvas or JamisonParker I'm sure you'll enjoy this band."
-PUNKTASTIC.COM / Paul
"If youre looking for the perfect gift for your teenage daughter this holiday season, look no farther than Roses Are Blue, the sophomore release from pop band Dormlife. Clean vocals and power-acoustic guitar playing are this band's trademark sounds, and they mix together nicely. Whether singing about trying to save a relationship or waxing over a broken heart, Dormlife has put together a nice collection of pop songs that anyone can enjoy."
-THECELEBRITYCAFE.COM / Ray Anderson
"We are what we pretend to be. So it's somewhat fitting that Dormlife, three guys and a girl from Chicago, have never actually resided in dormitory. Yet the songs which comprise their buoyant sophomore release certainly reflect topics most prevalent in the lives of many post-adolescent collegians -- that being; romance, self-identity, and uncertainty. Dubbed "acoustic pop" in their press bio, Dormlife is much more. Bassist Philip's (they only reveal their first names) fretless lines afford the tracks a jazzy veneer akin to Tony Franklin / Fernando Saunders / Jaco Pastorius' work in the pop realm. Sarah's flowery piano accompaniment runs the gamut from classical to jazz to rock (Tori Amos, Mike Garson). Drummer Michael holds it all together, laying down a fierce backbeat (see RHCP's Chad Smith) or coloring subtle harmonies (ala Paul Motian) whenever necessary. The success of this band, however, rests on the shoulders of singer/acoustic guitarist Samuel. Blessed with an expansive vocal range to further his supple melodic phrases, Samuel is certainly in a class with some of pop's best theatrical crooners -- Rufus Wainwright, Ed Harcourt, and Duncan Sheik to name a few. His guitar playing is fairly straight forward, strumming on the downbeat in root position, which is the perfect approach as his mates flex their chops on each track. "The Shortest Conversation I Ever Had Was With A Bullet" emerges as a virtual Dormlife greatest hits collection: punky staccato verses, a lush chorus worthy of Sinatra or Bennett, and a ska bridge straight out of London circa 1979. If you only read the lyrics "Leaving Through The Windshield" you'd likely guess it was written by Morrissey on caffeine. However Samuel's winsome falsetto, Sara's cinematic arpeggios, Michael's rapid fire snare fills and half-time groove, plus Philip's growling lower register pedal tones coalesce into an alluring mini-rock opera. Philip's plucking provides a sharp edge to "Shoes Your Weapon." Samuel steps out a bit in the intro to "Making Time To Waste," finger-picking until Sara renders a catchy repetitive motif to prepare the listener for the rollicking rhythm section. Despite its relative brevity, there's a lot to digest on "Roses Are Blue." Nobody ever said Dormlife would be easy..."
-MINOR7TH.COM / Tom Semioli
"Dormlife's Second Release (first on Duckphone Records) .Very catchy poppy acoustic rock. This Chicago four piece has released their best work yet. Very impressive vocals by Sam Swanson. This is a must buy!!!"
"From the opener Medicine the off-kilter drums mixed in with the piano tinkling and the distinctive vocals mish mash together to make, at least, interesting music even if its not your cup of tea you have to appreciate they are trying something fresh. Having listened to Roses Are Blues (Lies!!) on many many (Probably easily 100 times) occasions since getting it for review I havent got bored of listening to it. First off the lack of electric guitar plucks them out, remaining solely acoustic, yet strangely never seeming inhibited or lacklustre because of it. The bass playing is more akin to jazz than anything else and the drums are never smack on 4-4 for too long, which all in all keeps things interesting. Highlights of the album are Choke with the catchy lyrics and upbeat melody sinking in super fast, Cure For The Common Cold (Heart) sending me occasionally into the 1950s lounge bars and Medicine which showcases the bands sound to a tee. In terms of introducing themselves to the world, this is a great starting block."
-DIE SHELLSUIT, DIE! / James Davison (UK)
R E L E A S E S
"Roses are Blue"