Aunt Ange is an American indie rock band formed in Long Island, New York by childhood friends Patrick O'Brien and Jack Kearney. They are characterized by their innovative sound which incorporates choral harmonies, lush orchestration and a unique approach to song structure. To date they have released two independent LPs and will be releasing a third LP in March of 2010.
Fliptop Circus (2004)In 2004 upon the break up of their previous band Clinton Road, Jack Kearney and Patrick O'Brien decided to record an album of songs they had been writing since their junior high school days. Recorded in a week's time in Jack's Aunt Angela's house, Fliptop Circus was comprised of eleven tracks that although more straightforward than their later work already hinted at the sort of musical experimentation that would later come to characterize their sound. Upon the release of Fliptop Circus, Aunt Ange would begin gigging with the lineup Patrick O'Brien (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Jack Kearney (guitar), Rolando Alvarado (bass), and Mark Ettingoff (drums) around the New York City and Long Island area. Consequently the band decided on the name Aunt Ange as a tribute to Jack's aunt for letting them use her house for recording the album.
Apathia (2006) Aunt Ange began garnering major label interest with their second independent release Apathia. The 14 track LP (produced by Stephen Hodde of Soundspank Productions and mastered by Nathan James of Jigsaw Music.) was a concept album based on the story of the Tarot Card character "The Fool" and his interaction with other tarot characters in search of his own heart. Patrick O'Brien and Jack Kearney recorded the majority of the album themselves, however additional contributions were made by Adam Kushner (Bass), Austin Reese (Saxophone) and producer Stephen Hodde (who contributed string arrangements as well as some guitar work). Apathia caught the attention of the Arts Institute of Pittsburg and Brian McCormack who animated the song "Raining Ashes" for submission in several Film and Animation Festivals. The video was presented both at the Three Rivers Film Festival and the Red Stick Animation/Film Festival, the latter of which saw the video as one of twelve videos selected from a pool of thousands for the festival's pitch competition. With the release of Apathia, the band also started to expand their touring range, and a new live lineup was established. Through the first leg of touring O'Brien and Kearney maintained their rolls in the live setting, but were now joined by Adam Kushner (bass), Paul Livanos (guitar, mandolin), Austin Reese (saxophone), and Brent Stranathan (drums). A year into touring off of Apathia, Adam Kushner departed and was replaced on bass by Dean Hartofilis, formerly of Long Island band The Headie Berrie. Dean would continue playing with Aunt Ange into the recording of their yet to be released third album and is now considered the third permanent member of the band.
Olga Walks Away (to be released in 2010) After nearly three years of touring on Apathia, Aunt Ange went back into their home studio in the summer of 2008 for what would be 14 months of recording their third release. In contrast to Apathia, which utilized sampling to create the string arrangement and some of the alternative instrumentation, O'Brien and Kearney learned several new instruments for the recording of what would later be titled Olga Walks Away. Among the new instruments learned for this album were the violin, harmonium, sitar, accordion, indian drums, tabla, dunebec, and the ukulele. In addition, all the choral arrangements were written and recorded by Patrick O'Brien. Austin Reese returned to contribute Saxophone again on the record and also assisted in engineering. The album is currently completed and awaiting release.