FROM EUSTON TO CONNOLLY
Euston “delivers vintage, old-school college rock- from back when college radio was at its finest”.
“…a musical continuation, that’s very much in keeping with the tuneful, melodic, Beatles-haunted indie pop that was present on the first album.”
“An Overnight Low’s most musically varied and richly-produced collection yet.”
An Overnight Low “channels the retro sound of R.E.M. for this swooning alt-rock delight.”
So HERE'S THE LONG, ANNOTATED VERSION...
In the beginning...
“Maine songwriter Chad Walls earned his Doctorate in Education at the University of Manchester. The grind of seemingly ceaseless travel back and forth between the United Kingdom and his native United States was surely exhausting, but it also afforded Chad the opportunity for plenty of reflection. The sum result of all that contemplation was several songs, the formation of a band -An Overnight Low- and the album ‘Euston’,” (The Cud, Evan Kanarakis).
“Inspired by the likes of REM, XTC and Simon & Garfunkel, the band is from Maine but spends time in the U.K. Many of the songs on the album are inspired by their travels around the country, Manchester in particular,” (Biddeford Courier, Molly Lovell-Keely).
Rocker/teacher extraordinaire Chad Walls’ six-person band has been a Portland highlight since 2014, cranking out three solid albums as a sort of trilogy of Britpop, which no one else does around here. Listening to them feels like traveling on a red-eye bus with nowhere to go and all the time to get there. Pack your bags and get lost in the clear harmonies and nostalgic beats as they carry you away from your life. Or at least to the next train station. Rolling out 2017 strong, they recently released a live album recorded at WMPG, titled Live: Local Motives. Keeping with the train metaphors, An Overnight Low has proved they’re not just passing through, they’re here to stay.
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 106.6 FM in Manchester.
We hear the band’s tight harmonies in full flight and ultimately, it is here that we can get the strongest sense of the album’s sentiment– that while the road may be a lonely place, perhaps what we’re most searching for is somewhere that might feel like home so that, at long last, one’s journey can be at an end,” (GasCan Magazine, Paolo Mizerna).
“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,”(Portland Press Herald, Rick Johnson).
Piccadilly debuted at #1 in the BullMoose Top 10 Local Releases when it arrived in November 2015 and also received positive reviews.
“The Portland band An Overnight Low delivers the catchy smart-pop and indie-rock grit you’re craving — plus a handy new album to take home, Piccadilly,” (The Bollard).
“After listening to their latest CD, Piccadilly, I can’t help but agree. It’s the energetic, yet thoughtful and well-paced road-trip folk soundtrack that you’ve been looking for.” (Portland Phoenix, Francis Flisiuk).
“Piccadilly is, naturally, a continuation of themes explored in Euston — travel, loneliness, acclimating to a new place, emotional duress, missing loved ones, among others. 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,” (Culture Shock, Emily Stoddard-Burnham).
“If you don’t like thoughtful, energetic, inspirational music that lights up your soul – whatever you do don’t listen to the Piccadilly album from An Overnight Low,” (Salford City Radio, UK, Punk Monk).
“Manchester’s dichotomy is represented on Piccadilly’s diverse lineup of songs. From the Christmas Markets of “Albert Square” to the English music-hall of “Finally, I’m a Postcard” to the observational passenger in “To Travel Hopefully,” the album is a rock photo collage as seen through the eyes of a part-time resident… Piccadilly is one of the most rewarding Maine-made listens of 2015,” (Maine Edge, Mike Dow).
“Albert’s Square, feels like an undiscovered Beatles demo. I’m 90% sure that Paul McCartney was stuck in Heathrow that same day. ‘Working on a record are you? Well, I’ve got this melody kicking around…” (GasCan Magazine).
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 next leg.
With producer/engineer Jonathan Wyman again at the helm, Waverley, the trilogy’s third installment, found An Overnight Low exploring new sonic landscapes. Lyrically, Waverley continued where Piccadilly had left off, exploring old ghosts and demons in the wonderful city of Edinburgh, Scotland.
The Maine Edge’s Mike Dow promptly declared Waverley to be “An Overnight Low’s most musically varied and richly-produced collection yet,” and WCYY’s Mark Curdo added that “They make music on Waverley that’s intelligent, which goes back to their Beatle influences.” David Gray from Salford City Radio offered what was probably the best summation: “Waverley is a really uplifting collection of songs, even in those moments when it is dealing with darker themes. It’s a truly mature collaboration between musicians who are still in touch with their inner child, and so are bold enough to name life’s games, and free enough to have fun.”
“Waverley builds on the themes of travel and identity and started with Euston and Piccadilly, the band’s first two albums,” (The Courier, Grant McPherson).
“Waverley is An Overnight Low’s most musically varied and richly-produced collection yet,” (Maine Edge, Mike Dow).
“The three albums, named after train stations he frequented Euston, Piccadilly and now Waverley, wrap up the package with more clever songs that will please anyone who loved that amazing college rock we got from the later 80s into the early 90s (REM, The Posies, Blur),”(The Phoenix, Mark Curdo).
“They make music on Waverley that’s intelligent, goes back to their Beatle influences and really good 80’s and 90’s college rock… Chad Walls and the crew make some cool records,” (WCYY, Spinout).
“I feel that this group is really a group and consequently, the sound of this record is way different and, dare I say, more unique… everything on Waverly was played by the band as it stands and that puts a unique signature on it,” (Halo Studio, Jonathan Wyman)
“Waverley is a really uplifting collection of songs, even in those moments when it is dealing with darker themes. It’s a truly mature collaboration between musicians who are still in touch with their inner child – so are bold enough to name life’s games and free enough to have fun,” (Salford City Radio, David Gray).
CONNOLLY, PART ONE (2019-2020)
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.
As 2017 drew to a close, An Overnight Low received a Portland Music Award, recognized as the city’s “Best Rock Act” by the readers of the Portland Phoenix. Acknowledging the award, the Phoenix stated “… Keeping with the train metaphors, An Overnight Low has proved they’re not just passing through; they’re here to stay.”
In 2018, An Overnight Low debuted the first single, Galileo Chains, from their forthcoming record, Connolly, Part 1, on The Tom Dunne Show on Newstalk 106 FM, Dublin FM and Community Radio Kilkenny City. The single received a wide airplay in the United States, Ireland, and England. Mystic Sons (London) said that An Overnight Low “channels the retro sound of R.E.M. for this swooning alt-rock delight.” Barry Gruff (Ireland) also acknowledged Galileo Chains as a “bright, upbeat & melodic slice of jangley guitar-pop.” At Cost Magazine (Canada) declared it “a bright and rosy twee sound with instrumental warmth” while When the Horn Blows (London) found that Galileo Chains has “a great energy, attitude and bounce.”
An Overnight Low recently finished recording the second single, Another Plot at the Wrong Time of June (featuring Monique Barrett). So far, critics have said that the “Effervescent vocals shine though” (ObscureSound) a “Bright, upbeat and hooky slice of melodic indie-pop. It is dripping with melody and oozing with a sweetness and charm as it skips along a smiley, jovial groove” (BarryGruff).
In late 2019, they released Tameside, the third single from Connolly: Part One. Aimsel Ponti included the song in the Portland Press Herald’s “Face the Music” year-end highlight reel and declared it “pure, upbeat sunshine,” while other writers said that it “rustles our inner 90’s and takes us back to younger, freer days when nothing seemed to hold us back from having a good time (mp3hugger) and “it’s catchy as hell” (BarryGruff).