An Overnight Low is:
The music of An Overnight Low is based on a journey that inspired a trilogy of travel albums. Delayed at Heathrow airport for nine hours and facing another six on my flight home for Christmas, Chad Walls pulled out the pictures, videos and interviews he collected over the past year while studying at The University of Manchester in England. Over several cups of Costa coffee, he organized these scattered items in folders on his laptop while waiting for his flight. The year of distance provided an objectivity allowing him to stitch together unrelated moments into common themes. The collected events spoke with a new voice creating new stories.
On his return to the university after the holidays, he continued using spare time to travel around the UK. En route, he continued to rearrange his travel artifacts. On one particular trip he used a typical song format as a template. He used journal notes and pictures he had taken at The Queen of Hearts pub on the corner of Oxford St. and Wilbraham Rd. in Manchester to create the song Sleeper. The videos he made at The Castle Arms in Edinburgh yielded Trainspotting Extras. The picture he took of sunlight glowing through a glass of beer at Teuchter’s pub in Leith inspired Smile.
He divided these songs into three albums named after the train stations he frequented most: Euston (2014), Piccadilly (2015), and Waverley (2016) and formed a band, An Overnight Low (Mac Coldwell, Chris Mayo, Sam Anderson, Mike Murphy) to help him record and perform them live. Rick Johnson of the Portland Press Herald says, “the resulting song cycle that makes up the album plays like a great road movie, and hits all the essential road movie bullet points along the way, including lost loves, fading friendships, loneliness tinged with excitement, travel in general and the characters one meets along the way on any journey.”
The first release of the trilogy, Euston, was released in 2014 to favorable reviews. Ben Meiklejohn of Mainley Media says it “sounds like R.E.M. would sound like if they were downgraded from being a spectacle arena-rock band to being a small folk-rock band performing in a café.” Mark Curdo, DJ for WCYY and contributing writer for Maine Magazine, says Euston “delivers vintage, old-school college rock- from back when college radio was at its finest”. Euston also received positive reviews in the UK. One track from that album, Goodnight, Portland, was recently named “Single of the Week” on Salford City Radio and members of An Overnight Low are a regular on David Gray’s show on 106.6 FM in Manchester.
Piccadilly debuted at #1 in the BullMoose Top 10 Local Releases when it arrived in November 2015 and also received positive reviews. Mike Dow of The Maine Edge mentioned An Overnight Low’s “smooth sound, especially in a live setting” while also calling Piccadilly “one of the most rewarding Maine-made listens of 2015.” Gascan Magazine says that Albert’s Square, a track from Piccadilly, “feels like an undiscovered Beatles demo” while Emily Stoddard-Burnham of BDN’s Culture Shock noted that, “Piccadilly is, naturally, a continuation of themes explored in Euston… It’s also a musical continuation, that’s very much in keeping with the tuneful, melodic, Beatles-haunted indie pop that was present on the first album.” At the close of 2015, Dragonfly, the opening track on Piccadilly, was also featured on Callum Mitchell’s (Salford City Radio/Reverbnation) Best of 2015 on Spotify.
In 2016, Piccadilly found its way to Chris Busby of The Bollard who says that Piccadilly “delivers the catchy smart-pop and indie-rock grit you’re craving” and Kyle Gervais of The Phoenix who agrees that Piccadilly contains “well executed, catchy songs with a timeless energy.” An Overnight Low added Tina Murphy (vocals, keys, guitar) during the doldrums of their Maine winter to round out their live sound and continue the journey to Waverley. On March 9th, 2016, An Overnight Low gathered to construct and rehearse the final leg.
Oh my, how the days pass.
So, what happens next, now that The Overnight Low Express has finally entered Waverley Station? Well, rest assured, the band has not run out of steam. In the closing months of 2017 a new live album was released, “Live: Local Motives”. At around the same time, Chad began hosting his own radio show on Salford City Radio called, appropriately enough, “An Overnight Low”, providing a wonderful opportunity to promote the band’s music, along with the music of other up and coming local artists.
The journey continues….