btw. We are making an interconnected series of  6 albums.

I love science fiction. Since I was a teenager, I have been an enthusiast of great storytelling and epic book series.  I’ve always been a fan of expansive, immersive experiences. Why read just the Hobbit, when you can read the Lord of the Rings?  Better yet, why go for that trendy stuff when you can dig deeper into the Silmarillion?  There are many epic book series out there… And I have gleefully devoured many.

So too do I love albums. Better yet, give me an artist’s discography so I can come to know the mind(s) of the artists.  I suppose I’m not suited for this decade, with its child-rhyme hooks and its singles mentality.

Polaris Rose is working on a 6-album series… Beginning with ‘Telescopes’, deepening into 'Ocean Blue, Velvet Skies’ and then racing off into darkness with 4 subsequent albums.  All of which have their own theme and sonic palette… But all of which have the Polaris Rose sound.

As much as I’d like to excitedly talk about the direction we will take, I will hold off.  But I will say, I’m super excited.  On any given day, I will be working on material from album 6 and then turn around and work on album 3.  The titles are all established.  The landscapes are there too (we’re leaving the beach and driving through the desert).  The emotional themes are set up like skeletons, with room for adaptation depending on where life takes us.

“Telescopes” was an album about searching for something/someone unobtainable and making yourself miserable in the process.  I was writing about my own search for success in the music industry.  It was a fool’s search… But more on that another time.  “Ocean Blue, Velvet Skies” is about finding peace in ourselves… Building a life as an artist and letting go of that “unobtainable search” in order to explore deeper territories.  The following record (#3) continues that narrative in a more “socially minded” kind of way.  I’m excited to share those songs and ideas… And I’m excited to be in a band that will evolve over the course of each record, leading to that final, sad goodbye.

SCREAMING OUT.

Lots of commotion here on the good ship Polaris Rose.  Aye, we’ve hoisted our mizzen mass (even though we’re not entirely sure what that is) and we’ve set our course to starboard.

This blog will be a bit brief, I think.  We’ve been recording!  Ocean Blue, Velvet Skies is on it’s way to becoming an 8-song reality.  Drums are done!  Kiel Feher killed it.  Now, we’re back with Yan Perchuk tracking vocals.  There is much rejoicing (yea!).  Next week we start rerecording some guitars and bass… forever searching for a better sound.  We’ve got some great people who have agreed to help us with mixing and mastering… we think this record is gonna be a great step forward sonically.

We have a show coming up!  It’s a special Acoustic Night that Maddie and I have wanted to do for a while.  The venue is the tiny, intimate Touch Vinyl record shop.  Kiel and Matt Saba will be joining us still, but it will be a bit more lovely (less rocky).  I’ve been saying we are playing ‘lullaby’ versions of our songs… and we’ll provide milk and cookies for everyone in attendance.  Maddie also insists on performing in her pajamas… in a onesy, no less.

One last thing… we had a fun time chatting with Dr. Bones on his radio show the other day.  Take a listen!

Madelynn Elyse
A Rose by Any Other Name...

“When the curtains close and the film projector rests

And I’m breathless with my heart stuck in my chest

I’ll throw myself into the waves

It’s a tragedy but c’est la vie

wishing your life away”  - Rose

I shouldn’t be writing this right now.  I should be picking up my guitar and writing the last song I need to write for ‘Ocean Blue, Velvet Skies’.  I know what it will be about.  I know what it has to sound like.  I just haven’t written it yet.  

But!  I can’t lock myself away in my studio forever.

We are nailing down the final structure for ‘Ocean Blue, Velvet Skies’.  When last I blogged about this collection of songs, I mentioned we would release singles towards some sort of eventual release.  For financial reasons, we realized this was a bad idea.  Releasing a song one at a time is all fine and dandy, but without investing in publicity… well, we’ll be doing ourselves and the songs a disservice.  

So we started thinking of releasing an album or EP… and I really feel like ‘Ocean Blue, Velvet Skies’ (as an artistic statement) needs to be an album.  I went back through our demos and drafted a list of 12 songs that I thought would make a great album.  I wrote out the album’s main themes and motifs (which I won’t bore you with) and saw where I still wanted to make certain points… so I set aside a couple spots for new songs and passed the list along to Maddie.  

While she liked the 12-song LP, Maddie thought that recording so many songs was a bit outside of our budget (how dare she be practical!)  So we went through the songs together and settled on a 9-song LP that we think is special and says what we want to say.  “It’s so sad,” Maddie mentioned, having looked at the list.  “I’m not sure I feel so comfortable putting out things so personal”.  We went back and forth on a couple of the more ‘personal’ songs (my argument was that people love to get personal) and settled on the final 9.  

The album has the elements we want and need.  It has radio-friendly singles, which has always been important to us.  We are constantly being played on boutique radio stations, and the exposure we get from those has helped us increase out listeners substantially.  The album also has ‘deep cuts’, with more progressive songwriting (much more to my taste), that I think will hook listeners and intrigue them a bit more than the cotton-candy radio songs.  At the same time, the album talks about life and death and finding our place in this crazy existence.  So the subject matter is near and dear to our hearts.  

…. but enough about the record.  We had an awesome & successful show at Hotel Cafe on the 17th.  Our bandmates - Matt Saba and Carlos Beltran - performed beautifully.  We played a couple new songs (that will appear on ‘Ocean Blue, Velvet Skies’) and enjoyed a terrific turnout.  We won’t be allowing so much time to elapse between shows this time.  We are aiming to put on a special acoustic performance this June, followed by a more rowdy rock show in August.

Music Junkie Press shared an awesome review of the show….  Read it here.

Okay.  I’m going to start writing this final song.  It’s called ‘Hiss’.  And it needs to be a rocker.  Bring out the OCD!

Madelynn Elyse
Showtime Approaches!

This Friday we are performing at the Hotel Cafe.  And we feel it.  We have been practicing every night for weeks, learning new material and tweaking the setlist.  We stay up late, work all day, and - only occasionally - find time to step out at night and catch our friends’ shows around town.  The work is totally exhausting and it can be nerve wracking…

But it’s gonna be a rad show for us.

Our steadfast drummer Kiel Feher is on tour with Zella Day.  While we are sad to be missing him, we have turned this into an opportunity to work with the mighty Carlos Beltran.  Carlos has a great way of re-interpreting the songs, which we love to hear.  

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Our pal Matthew Saba is once more joining us as a second guitarist.  Matt is one of the greatest people to have on a team… a focused player and always working to achieve the best performance possible.  He is also on an endless search to find just one more pedal…

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This setlist will be a bit different from our last… our last performance featured a lot of songs from ‘Telescopes’.  But this show is going to cover material back to our first EP and beyond.  We thought it would be fun to play a song of our ’singles’… all those songs that we released out into the world that seemed to get the most attention (so you’ll hear songs like the one below).  We are even going to debut a new song, ‘TigerBait’.

Which brings me to our plans with Ocean Blue, Velvet Skies.  I recently blogged about the debate we were having over whether or not to record an EP or an LP… well, the final answer seems to be ‘Neither’.  We are starting something we call an ‘Umbrella Project’… where we will be releasing singles every other month, leading up to a final product of some sort (we are still dreaming up what that final project will be… my vote is to make it a full album with fancy packaging… limited pressing, of course).

SO!  Come to the Hotel Cafe (1623 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028) on Friday the 17th!  We go on at 9:30.  $10 cover.  

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3-20-2015.  ValleyDogs

The last month has been absolutely insane for us.  The end result is a successful move out to the valley… and we couldn’t be happier with our new apartment.  It’s bigger, it’s quieter… and the area is far lovelier.  There are actual trees outside!  haha.

First, we are very excited to be performing at the Hotel Cafe on April 17th!  We will be joined on stage by our good friends Matt Saba and Carlos Beltran.  We’ve been crafting the flow of the set and we are excited to be playing songs from all 3 of our previous releases and one song off of the upcoming Ocean Blue, Velvet Skies.  We have also been dabbling into covering a famous pop song… we’ll see if we pull that one together.

The move out to the valley has set us back a month on the production of Ocean Blue, Velvet Skies.  We have the 6 songs ready to go.  Step 1 is tracking drums with Kiel Feher… but we had to bump back recording (which was supposed happen mid-march) to the first week of April.  We are looking at having the EP finished in July or August.  

Last month, our manager showed some of our tunes to a European producer who liked them.  I’m paraphrasing, but he mentioned the Beach Boys and said we had a “new california” sound.  Total paraphrasing, but that’s what I took from it.  It was inspiring to me, to hear an outside perspective like that.  I think Maddie and I have always tried to stay away from being overtly ‘california’ in our music… but hey, I guess you can’t escape your environment.  There’s nothing more spectacular than a California sunset, after all… so why not let that color your art?

Madelynn Elyse
2-24-15.  EP vs LP

Friday night we had a chat with our manager and landed on the songs that we want to release next.  Out of 23 ideas, we sent off 14 songs, which we whittled down to 8 of our favorites, which is now 6.  The idea is to release a compact, energetic record that is direct and immediate.  Thus, our next release should probably be called an EP… but I suspect we’ll refrain from using that word.

Speaking of releasing an EP instead of a longer LP… Maddie and I were talking about this during the demoing process.  I would recommend to all young bands to hold off on making longer records.  Unless - of course - it’s creatively the absolute right thing for you to do.  We invested more money into Telescopes and really busted our asses to release that chunk of 10 songs… and - although  we are really happy with the album’s reception and the number of folks willing to take the time to engage with the full album - we also feel like it’s smarter for us to pour all that energy into half the songs, to really hone them and release something powerful.  Furthermore, when we release songs, we do so every other month… promoting singles as we go.  It used to be, that the singles were meant to sell the album.  But with our current ‘singles culture’ and streaming culture, a lot of folks don’t buy albums.  Besides, selling records isn’t really our goal.  We are a tiny local band.  And although we feel like we have some great momentum, our singles are really out there to spread the word of Polaris Rose and our sound.  At the end of the day, we feel that releasing music constantly and being ‘alive’ on social media and in the local scene is more important.  There needs to be a constant stream of Polaris Rose coming out… with the occasional break, so we can build suspense for the next release.  It’s a timing thing, I suppose.

So you’ll probably be seeing smaller records from us coming out consistently.  Of course, this could all change tomorrow.  

In other news, we are moving to the Valley.  We signed our lease and are picking up the keys this Saturday.  We are super excited for this life event and especially to have a designated studio room.  Shark Attack Studios is getting an upgrade.  :)

We are also helping to produce some albums by some artists that we really admire.  As we speak, I am reviewing notes for a project for my sister Rachel Elizabeth.  She hasn’t started her social media presence yet.  As soon as her EP is ready, I’ll be sharing it here.

Alright.  Another blog successfully written.  I’m tasking myself with writing more frequently.  So far so good.

Madelynn Elyse