The Invisible Cities is a San Francisco-based band that makes incandescent rough-around-the-edges sometimes-quiet sometimes loud rocknroll pop music with wiry guitars and boy/girl harmonies. Watertown is their first full-length record, born of late-night, half-remembered reflections about half-remembered places. Sometimes they think about the album like this: landing softly in a new town, things that make you sad but are so beautiful you bring them out again anyway, the part where you kick the trashcan just because you remembered something that pissed you off, the moonlit night where you were far from the city and the stars and the orange and the snow swirled together, the relentless highway drive that you don't remember because you were listening to the radio really loud. The Invisible Cities got started when Han Wang and Sadie Contini met on Craigslist and began listening to each other's tunes, adding tracks, and sending them back and forth to each other. They continue to collaborate, often remotely, with Han's brother Gary and drummer Tim Bulkley in NYC, who shape their sound considerably. The Invisible Cities play in different configurations, letting the musicians reshape the songs each performance. People who have played an important role include Gary Wang (NYC), Tim Bulkley (NYC), singer-songwriter Goh Nakamura (SF), Wil Hendricks of The Lofty Pillars, Nick Mirov and Dan Baber of Love is Chemicals, and Dan Lee of Scrabbel. Watertown was released in 2004 and made it's way onto some cool best-of-the-year lists. In 2005, The Invisible Cities got voted Best Indie Pop band by San Francisco Bay Guardian readers, and in 2006 they made it onto the SomaFM Indie Pop Rocks! Sampler. They have played at several local festivals: NoisePop, Mission Creek, piNoisePop 8, and APAture in 2003, 2004, and 2008. They feel lucky to have had help from Matt Yelton (Pixies, Frank Black) when they started recording Watertown, and from Jon Evans (Tori Amos) for mixing it. Watertown Reviews: 'despicably infectious.' -- West Coast Performer 'Few bands these days can create melodies like these folks, and even fewer are fronted by a singer as blissfully-voiced as the Cities' Sadie Contini. I'm tempted to fit this under the 'bliss' category at times, though Watertown's mix of styles calls for a less typical tag like 'sometimes dreamy indie pop/rock. But who cares about classification when an album is this enjoyable? At times loud, at times quiet, these twelve songs take the listener on a fun trip through the band's unique brand of pop songwriting.... As far as self-released indie pop debuts go, this is about as good as it gets. Don't miss out.' -- Indieville.com 'Tonight's top new tune was 'Instaglo' by The Invisible Cities, taken from their cracking debut album, 'Watertown.' It's a classic indiepop album, full of thrumming geetars and honeyed boygirl singing. It's also very varied and full-sounding for a debut, sounds to me more like a third album in terms of the breadth of songwriting.' -- Bzangy Groink (Jyoti Mishra) Watertown and Live Show Review: '[Watertown] has been in non-stop rotation at work and at home for the last month or so. Like I said before, this band has a huge talent and tons of potential. The live show covered all the same emotional territory as the album, and I was glad to experience in person the unique moments of reckless joy, doubt, humor and quiet resignation that made Watertown so special. The absence of some of my favorite cuts was mitigated by a run-through of what seemed like a newish song, "A Squared Plus B Squared." It's about triangles, among other things, so awesomeness immediately followed. Anyway, reviews (even informal ones) make it nearly impossible to communicate the nature of the music, so I'll again fall back on the tired old mainstay of accessible-but-still-slightly-insiderist comparison. Ahem: The Invisible Cities sound roughly akin to a mixture of Exile in Guyville, Life's Too Good by the Sugarcubes, and Yo La Tengo's mid-nineties LP, Painful. If that doesn't explain it, I guess I'm not surprised because writing it certainly made no sense. Anyway - buy the CD and do your best not to completely adore it, I dare you.' -- New Plastic Weblog.
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