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FLAMESHOVEL

Bound Stems' new album, "The Family Afloat", collects the time spent since the release of their last album, 2006's "Appreciation Night", and refracts it through dozens of characters, viewpoints, voices, instruments and sounds. "The Family Afloat" expresses a crucial personal transition and a collective one. While Bound Stems quit their day-jobs to tour relentlessly throughout 2006 in support of "Appreciation Night" (an album that garnered praise from the likes of Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Alternative Press, URB and Chicago Tribune), the band returned home ready for new challenges, and made the communal decision to return to the more stable life of work weeks and strong roots. It was a choice that also ultimately made the concept of home central to "The Family Afloat". The songs sound like preparation: the family has grown now, to include new ones being formed in Chicago. But there's no settling down in these songs: family life is raw and confusing, as uncomfortable and unexpected and rewarding as crucial.

The Narrator

All That To The Wall

    During the writing of their new album, "All That To The Wall", The Narrator underwent some pretty heavy changes, which included the departure of their drummer. Maybe this slimming down further forced the boys in a direction they were already headed, or maybe it served to remind them of what they loved about being here in the first place. Regardless, the band hunkered down in the studio and brought along friends from the likes of Oxford Collapse, Russian Circles, Bound Stems, Sybris, Tight Phantomz and Lying In States to help make things right.


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