Members: Ian Byrd, Jared Ashcraft, Brian Lee, Marsh Shambuger
Bob Dylan once said, A lot of people cant stand touring, but to me, its like breathing. I do it because I'm driven to do it. Soular Marsh, Jared, Brian, and Ian feel the very same. To them, playing live shows is what music is all about. The energy, the spontaneity, the interaction with the audience: giving the listener an experience. Enjoying the vibe with each other and the audience. As Marsh puts it, Its their soundtrack for the night.
Soular are comprised of four musicians who love art, storytelling, music, their fans, and performing live. Theyre based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, but you would never know it because they tour so much. Soular is the epitome of the hard-working band, determined to promote themselves and personally let their fans know how much theyre appreciated.
Soular began in 2002, when Jared Ashcraft (bass) and Marsh (keys and vocals) began their musical collaboration. Not too much longer after that, they added drummer Ian Byrd and released their first album, Time and Space, which appeared on the CMJ 200 chart for more than two months in 2005. Around this time, guitarist Brian Lee joined the band, and Soular was complete. The four individuals styles instantly meshed; Marsh says he knew they would be able to create music together after playing with them only once. Their sound, which has been described as epoch rock, drinks from the waters of the Beatles, Radiohead, U2, Queen, and Led Zeppelin, but maintains complete originality. These influences taught them to love music and instruments, a passion that is obvious when you hear them play. In constructing their new album, Love Crash Heal, you will hear a Moog synth, a Theremin, and even a wall of amps, among other devices. Marsh, Jared, Ian, and Brian share a taste for old, timeless instruments. This blend of old and new defines what Soulars sound really is: modern melodies with interesting beats, but huge arrangements that draw from a classical vein.
With their new release, Love Crash Heal, Soular wanted to build off of their EP, Waiting for Tomorrow, which was written in roughly two weeks and came out very naturally. The band wanted to keep the EPs organic atmosphere and the improvised studio moments, but polish the rough spots, and so they emerged with Love Crash Heal, an album that the Albuquerque Journal calls a lyrically emotional, romantic record that bounces between darker and lighter relationship issues and threads the idea that its human nature to soar, fall, and recover in order to grow.
These particular themes of relationships, being human, and sociology are observations made by the band while being on the road, experiences they had, and the way they view the world. Considering these elements, Love Crash Heal could have been pretty dark, but because of the lyrics, beats, beauty, and ease with which the album is sung, it comes off almost hopeful.
As one UK reviewer noted, Soular uses music as the spiritual gift it was intended to be.
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" 'Take Me Away', the second track on this CD, is the best song I have heard this year. And (whisper it) it's anthemic indie rock. Soular have treated music as the spiritual gift it really is, and by doing so have transcended the notion of genre."
- ZEITGEIST - SCOTLAND, UK
"Albuquerque-based ambient rock revitalizers Soular create melody-driven soundscapes that are both foreboding and serene. 'Where Do We Go' is a Queen- and Bowie-influenced melodic masterpiece."
- SIMON MCCORMACK, THE ALIBI - ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO
". . . retro-rock sound combined with a powerpop edge mixed with a little spoon of modern prog-rock. 'Where Do We Go' which sounds like a mix of Beatles, Jellyfish, Saybia and Mew is a fabulous tune. And this cool hybrid of styles is one reason why Soular is worth spending your time and money on. They deliver something unexpected and unique in the mix of everything. Soular rules."
- PAR WINBERG, MELODIC.NET - SWEDEN
"At first listen you would expect this slightly whining vocal and aggro-rock vibe to come from some spotty oiks from the Home Counties of England. So a surprise then to learn that Soular hail from Albuquerque, New Mexico, but perhaps the influence of all those wide open spaces comes to the fore in 'Take Me Away' which has a really strange but inviting distorted production sound . . . this one has the potential to be a real grower."- TASTY FANZINE - UK
. . . very sophisticated musicianship; clear, clean drums, melodic keyboards, psychedelic guitars and all business. Kinda between Coldplay and Dandy Warhols. The writing is highly personal and dreamy, quiet and plain spoken, working well against the modern music. These guys are icy cool and coming back to LA for a record release party at the Viper Room on April 28th. GO.
- VICTORIA JOYCE, SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE - LOS ANGELES, CA (LIVE REVIEW)