Partisan Records

Treetop Flyers sign to Partisan

by Woody on March 7, 2013


A few years back I wrote a quick little post about an English band named Treetop Flyers. I compared them to The Moondoggies, whom we hold in very high regard. After that post, Oz and Shirk remembered seeing them at a TGIF’s during SXSW. Well, from Friday’s to Partisan Records as the band has just signed to one of the best labels going.

Partisan has this to say.

The Mountain Moves, out June 25th on Partisan Records. Though based in London, the British five-piece – Reid Morrison (vocals/guitars), Sam Beer (guitar/vocals), Laurie Sherman (guitar), Mathew Starritt (bass/vocals) and the band’s lone American, Tomer Danan (drums/vocals) – swapped urban England for the picturesque beaches and rolling hills of Malibu, where the album was recorded at Zuma Sound, a studio originally built for Rick Rubin. With their quintessential vintage West Coast sound, it’s fitting that Treetop Flyers laid down their outstanding country soul debut in the canyons of Southern California.

Produced by Noah Georgeson (Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom, Bert Jansch), The Mountain Moves is a record of hope, honesty and huge choruses, its universally reaching songs strewn with sunshine-infused four-part harmonies, propelled by an irrefutable open-highway groove. Paying their dues to everyone from The Band and Neil Young by way of Little Feat and Fleetwood Mac, there are also nods towards the more contemporary likes of My Morning Jacket, Band Of Horses, and Jonathan Wilson wrapped up in this stunning debut.

Here’s the first track from the upcoming album. They will be touring the States and hopefully we’ll convince them to visit the studio.


Virgin Forest – Easy Way Out [Album Review]

by Woody on January 17, 2012

I first heard of Virgin Forest a couple months ago when I saw Deer Tick in Chicago. John McCauley was sporting a Virgin Forest tee and, being the sophomoric 41 year old that I am, it made an impression. And really, who wouldn’t want to visit a forest comprised of virgins?

As luck would have it, something came from their PR machine the next day and I saw the word Phosphorescent written somewhere there on my phone. I consider myself to be a bit of a Phosphorescent fan and upon listening to track, I found instant gratification.

Turns out the connection to Phosphorescent is that the four dudes in Virgin Forest comprise 4/5 of Phosphorescent – minus that lead guy Matthew Houck. Phosphorescent is aces in my books and they absolutely kill it live, so musicianship isn’t something I questioned when giving Virgin Forest a listen. How bout the vocals and songwriting? I spent some considerable time with their debut, Joy Atrophy, as I waited for my copy of Easy Way Out to arrive. Sold.

Like Phosphorescent, the music is extremely tight and there is more than a hint of twang in there. Easy Way Out is 10 tunes long and clocks in at an economic 26 minutes. The songs are like quick jabs as lead singer Scott Stapleton leads the foursome through.

Like Partisan label mates Deer Tick, Virgin Forest aren’t afraid to crank up the gear and let it rip. “Get Away” and the title track see them release the hand brake, but it’s the twangy cosmic country efforts like “Big Old Mama” and “Home Alone” that really allow Virgin Forest to relax and shine. That could be due to the couple of years backing Houck while supporting To Willie and Here’s To Taking It Easy, but Virgin Forest doesn’t need to rely on Phosphorescent to gain credibility or John McCauley as president of their street team. Easy Way Out stands on its own and I’m sure their live performance will be an experience. Look for the album on January 31st.

Virgin Forest – Don’t Be Afraid


deer tick

Damn. I’ve been fighting battles with hosting companies, blogging software, airports, airplanes and bi-coastal trips. It’s good to sit down with a drink and listen to some music again.

“Smith Hill” is the second track offered up by Deer Tick and their recent release Born On Flag Day. Get in there while I track down my sanity.

Deer Tick – Smith Hill

Previously posted:

Deer Tick – Easy

They are also still touring like crazy:

Sat-Aug-01‚ ‚ ‚  Great Barrington, MA‚ ‚ ‚  Bella Terra Festival
Sun-Aug-02‚ ‚ ‚  Newport, RI‚ ‚ ‚  Geroge Wein’s Folk Festival 50
Fri-Aug-07‚ ‚ ‚  Brooklyn, NY‚ ‚ ‚  Prospect Park Bandshell *
Thu-Sep-03‚ ‚ ‚  Uncasville, CT‚ ‚ ‚  Mohegan Sun – The Wolf Den
Sun-Sep-06‚ ‚ ‚  Ithaca, NY‚ ‚ ‚  Stewart Park #
Mon-Sep-07‚ ‚ ‚  New York, NY‚ ‚ ‚  Rocks Off Concert Cruise – aboard the Jewel %
Tue-Sep-08‚ ‚ ‚  Pittsburgh, PA‚ ‚ ‚  Club Cafƒ© %
Wed-Sep-09‚ ‚ ‚  Bloomington, IN‚ ‚ ‚  Video Saloon %
Thu-Sep-10‚ ‚ ‚  Chicago, IL‚ ‚ ‚  Bottom Lounge %
Fri-Sep-11‚ ‚ ‚  Iowa City, IA‚ ‚ ‚  The Mill %
Sat-Sep-12‚ ‚ ‚  Lincoln, NE‚ ‚ ‚  Bourbon Theatre %
Sun-Sep-13‚ ‚ ‚  Morrison, CO‚ ‚ ‚  Monolith Festival
Tue-Sep-15‚ ‚ ‚  Centralia, WA‚ ‚ ‚  Olympic Club
Wed-Sep-16‚ ‚ ‚  Portland, OR‚ ‚ ‚  Kennedy School
Thu-Sep-17‚ ‚ ‚  Gearhart, OR‚ ‚ ‚  Sand Trap
Fri-Sep-18‚ ‚ ‚  Portland, OR‚ ‚ ‚  Mississippi Studios / MusicFest NW
Sat-Sep-19‚ ‚ ‚  McMinnville, OR‚ ‚ ‚  Hotel Oregon
Wed-Sep-23‚ ‚ ‚  Bend, OR‚ ‚ ‚  Old St. Francis School
Thu-Sep-24‚ ‚ ‚  Seattle, WA‚ ‚ ‚  High Dive
Fri-Sep-25‚ ‚ ‚  Vancouver, BC‚ ‚ ‚  Biltmore Cabaret
Sat-Sep-26‚ ‚ ‚  Forest Grove, OR‚ ‚ ‚  Grand Lodge
Sun-Sep-27‚ ‚ ‚  Troutdale, OR‚ ‚ ‚  Edgefield
Sat-Oct-03‚ ‚ ‚  Austin, TX‚ ‚ ‚  Austin City Limits Festival
Sat-Oct-10‚ ‚ ‚  Joshua Tree, CA‚ ‚ ‚  Joshua Tree Roots Music Festival
Sun-Oct-11‚ ‚ ‚  Joshua Tree, CA‚ ‚ ‚  Joshua Tree Roots Music Festival
Thu-Nov-05‚ ‚ ‚  Wallingford, CT‚ ‚ ‚  The Space
Sat-Nov-07‚ ‚ ‚  Northampton, MA‚ ‚ ‚  Iron Horse
Sun-Nov-08‚ ‚ ‚  Boston, MA‚ ‚ ‚  Church

* = w/ Grace Potter and The Nocturnals
# = w/ The Hold Steady, The Felice Brothers
% = w/ Jonny Corndawg


Deer Tick’s debut release, War Elephant, was a tremendous album that has yet to leave my rotation. After hearing some new tunes at SXSW, I’ve been waiting for Born On Flag Day. It’s always a good feeling when you’re looking forward to a release and it exceeds all of your expectations.

On War Elephant, John Joseph McCauley III went at it alone while Flag Day has a robust sound backed by a proper band. And when bands start growing up, you know what that means. It’s time to experiment with strings. “Smith Hill” introduces stringed arrangements and thankfully it works.

But what I like best is the following tune, “Song About A Man,” that sounds like it was recorded in his bedroom right after pen was put to paper. It’s raw and reflective, the production is limited and its as if McCauley was saying “I’m still the same guy.”

A couple of the other highlights include “Friday XIII” that has McCauley sharing vocals with a female lead. Much like the strings, a female vocalist was unexpected, but along with “Houston, TX,” it’s probably my favorite tune on the album.

Deer Tick has been getting gobs of press lately including an interview with Brian Williams, the “breaking band” feature in Rolling Stone and hand jobs from bloggers. It is probably just a matter of time before Deer Tick is crossing into the mainstream like M. Ward, Conor Oberst and others. It will be interesting to see how they handle the transition from alt-country rag-a-muffins to a more noted act with even greater expectations from a wider audience. This suburban dad hanging on to his youth will remain a steadfast fan.

Website | MySpace | Partisan Records

Deer Tick – Easy

Previously posted:

Deer Tick – Art Isn’t Real (City of Sin)

Deer Tick – Long Time

Deer Tick – Still Crazy After All These Years (Paul Simon Cover)


Deer Tick releases Easy, sets date for new album [new mp3]

April 13, 2009

Deer Tick is all set to release the long anticipated follow up to their debut, War Elephant, on June 23rd via Partisan Records. The new album is called Born on Flag Day. The cover art is above. “Easy” is below. Deer Tick – Easy Tweet

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