Player Piano

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Player Piano
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Background information
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InstrumentsPiano, Guitar, Synth, Saxophone
LabelsThe state51 Conspiracy
Fence Collective
WebsiteOfficial Website
MembersJeremy Radway, Ed Grimshaw, Michael Tomlinson, Charlie Hughes

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Jeremy Radway grew up staring at the framed poster of John Coltrane that his sax-player father hung in the family living room. Years later, though Radway’s music as Player Piano draws frequent references to David Bowie, John Lennon, Beck and Rufus Wainwright, the spirit underlying the tracks goes back to growing up in a jazz house.

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Born in Atlanta, Jeremy was brought up in Indianapolis. The aforementioned sax-player father instilled in the young Jeremy the ethos of the hard-working, gigging musician trying to turn a buck from his instrument. With this in mind, Jeremy practiced like a demon, and managed to get accepted at the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston.

He spent a year there, then moved back to Indiana —this time, Bloomington – home to labels like Secretly Canadian and Jagjaguwar, and one of the great hidden gems of the American music scene. He immersed himself in the music scene there, played in a series of bands: funk, psychedelic, alt noise - you name it, he played it - and also enrolled in the IU School of Recording Arts, where he found his other love: the studio. An unanticipated series of events saw him boarding a plane to London, where has been for several years.

In the UK Jeremy fell in with the Scottish folk collective centered around Fence Records, putting out a critically lauded EP on the label, and touring with Mercury Award-nominee King Creosote. Then Fence imploded, and Jeremy was left on his own to produce his album. And at long last, here it is.

Indianapolis, Indiana was also home to the writer Kurt Vonnegut, after whose first novel Player Piano is named. And something of Vonnegut’s political vision and indomitable humanism seeps into Player Piano’s whole approach, from the world weary yet emphatic vocals to lyrics like “the early morning ghostly streets, In our heads were projection screens, and in our mouths were broken beats”. Player Piano has come a long way to make this record. When he sings, he means it. You can hear it in every note.

Radio Love is his debut album.

Critical Response

The Sunday Times wrote “…it is the completeness, the fully realised grandeur of Radway’s first EP, Into the Dark, that so impresses. Evoking solo-Lennon string arrangements, the unfettered creativity of early Bowie and the Walker Brothers, and the vocal plangency of Chris Martin and Rufus Wainwright, it tugs at the heartstrings and ensnares you with the scope of its ambition.” [1]

The Guardian: “Radway has been compared with everyone from Ed Harcourt and Rufus Wainwright – because of the piano flourishes and a certain tendency to baroque-out and pile on the strings – to Julian Casablancas and Mark "E" Everett from Eels, due to a certain growly vocal tenor when he tries to sing low.” [2]

Louder Than War: "This opening single (Radio Love) sets the bar incredibly high, with a hook laden chorus and an incessant groove it’s one of those tracks that sticks." [3]

Clash Magazine: "New album ‘Radio Love’ drops on July 1st, with Clash able to premiere the supremely intelligent funk-pop banger ‘Kings & Queens’. Rooted in that chugging, Talking Heads style bass, the choppy guitars and laid back rhythm recall Metronomy’s more direct moments. The whole package, though, sounds utterly Player Piano." [4]






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External Links