Celebration Florida

Interview: Felice Brothers Celebrate Change

To say the Felice Brothers marched off the edge of the map on their latest album Celebration, Florida would be a stretch, but the band definitely veered away from their well-worn path. Foregoing the straightforward folk romps for which they have become known, the Felice Brothers took their core acoustic song structures and morphed them into ambient, sonic departures. The distinction relative to band’s previous albums is dramatic, however, the reliance on elements like organs, drum machines, synthesizers, ambient sounds and found objects for percussion did not drive the material, but rather gave the band opportunities to learn, and ultimately build on their abilities as studio musicians.

[Photo by Nolan Conway]

“The skeletons of the songs themselves were written outside of that kind of influence,” lead singer and songwriter Ian Felice explains. “I wrote them with just an acoustic guitar or piano and a voice. When we moved into the space, we had a vision to depart and experiment with different kinds of instrumentation and sounds, so we got a couple different organs and beat making machines, and it was a big learning process, because we actually had to learn to play a lot of these things. It didn’t really inform the record or the songs that much, A lot of it has to do with keeping ourselves interested in the music.”

A “reinvention album” so-to-speak like this will probably take fans by surprise, but to the band, it just felt like growth. They didn’t want to make another album like Yonder is the Clock or the previous self-titled album. The Felice Brothers succeeded, as this time around they are more likely to hear references to Brian Eno than The Band. The process was intentional; they wanted it to sound different.

READ ON for more of our chat with Ian Felice of The Felice Brothers…

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