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"Gorgeous .. timeless"
Pretty Much Amazing
"One for the Team won over our hearts"
"Garden" Video Premiere
"The Minnesota based power-pop balladeers sound like a cross between The Arcade Fire and The New Pornographers, with hints of Shins and early Beatles."
Music For Robots
Pretty Much Amazing
"Best New Music"
"Anderson's unique vocal style, similar to Kevin Barnes on a cinnamon-y, British and Bon Iver kick, finds an impressive foil in Fiddler who is almost always singing along with or behind him in a cacophony of sugary breeze."
"The album was written by the gifted, and apparently tireless, Anderson. Just in his early 20s, he's also an author, publicist, producer, and runs his own label, Afternoon Records."
National Public Radio
Members: Ian Anderson, Grace Fiddler, Elliot Manthey, Jacob Huelster
One for the Team is the band you don’t know, but should. That band that time and again offers up songs you love immediately upon hearing and can’t believe no one told you about them before. That hard-working, genuine collection of skilled musicians whose debut was just the tip of the iceberg. That band’s new album, Ghosts, is everything that was lying in wait just beneath the surface.
The Minneapolis quartet, formed by singer/guitarist Ian Anderson and drummer Elliot Manthey, released the critically-acclaimed Build It Up, last August, attracting attention from SPIN.com, NPR, MTV and Daytrotter. The four musicians immediately embarked on several North American tours, sharing the stage with bands like Frightened Rabbit, the French Kicks, Dressy Bessy, and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. In the midst of more than 200 shows, the band took the time to write an eight-song EP, Build a Garden, which came out in April 2009, and is the connect the dots between Build It Up and new release, Ghosts.
“The EP is meant as a transistion between the two,” says Anderson, who also runs the band’s label Afternoon Records and recently published a book about running a record label entitled, Here Come The Regulars. “To supplement Build It Up as well as put new music that we had written and wanted to just get out there. It’s a lot prettier than the music we had done before. And, now Ghosts is much darker, lyrically, and has moved from being cute pop to something more intense, but still pretty."
After the addition of new bass player Jacob Huelster and several weeks of touring Europe over the summer, the band spent a few days rehearsing the new songs before piling in the van and heading on a short run of dates toward San Francisco, during which they tested out the fresh material on unsuspecting crowds. Once they arrived in the Bay Area, the foursome spent August holed up in John Vanderslice’s studio, Tiny Telephone. Anderson, who co-produced Build It Up and produced Build a Garden, took the helm again this time around—except this recording process differed from the prior sessions in that One for the Team laid Ghosts down on tape.
“Recording to tape was really important to us for how the record turned out in general," Anderson says. “Nowadays, you can make everything perfect during the recording process, but you can’t do that on tape. The way it is, is the way it is and that was really important to us as a band. A lot of the record was also done live. The sound of the tape is really warm, you can really hear the room more. There’s a sense of breathing in and out.”
That change in mood and sound to which Anderson refers has been a wildly successful one for One for the Team – on Ghosts, the band demonstrates its superior ability to craft charming indie rock songs with genuine attitude. Heavy, fuzzed-out guitar riffs evoke a tough, grungy 90s college rock sensibility, updated and kept fresh by cheerful and often sardonic synths. Bittersweet, thoughtful lyrics punctuate indie love-and-loss anthems, which are anything but twee or mopey – the combination of percussion and distortion gives the band’s sound a certain swagger that is irresistible and leaves you wanting more.
The palpable life force in the record’s sonic elements is mirrored in Anderson’s lyrics. On past discs, Anderson wrote acoustic demos of his songs, building them with the rest of the band and allowing them to take shape slowly. But this time, due to the time constraints of a European tour and the time the band had already booked in Tiny Telephone, Anderson approached the writing differently. He wrote and demoed all the songs in five weeks, using electric instruments and setting the tone of the album before the rest of the band ever even heard the music. The result is a collection of ten songs that interact with one another, crafting a layered narrative.
“There’s a cohesive story line in all ten songs and I don’t think I would have pulled that off if I’d done it over the course of several months,” Anderson says. “That thread exists because they were all there growing together at the same time. They all make sense together. This sounds weird, but I asked myself the question “What would happen if I became friends with a ghost?” How would we interact and talk? How could I help him move on? Ultimately, it reflected what was going in my real life—getting out of a serious relationship and dealing with that transition and being okay with moving forward.”
“I’ve Been Here So Long,” the record’s opening number, acts as an overture, setting the tone for the entire disc with both its intricate instrumentation and the compelling mélange of Anderson and Fiddler’s vocals as they explore the indecision of feeling stuck and the confusion of moving on. Their richly textured boy-girl harmonies and lyrics tinged with darkness lend an elaborate and powerful vocal landscape to tracks like “Ha Ha” and "Someone Else’s Knife." “I Got Tamed,” a hushed, introspective track that features Vanderslice, is what Anderson calls a manifesto for his year, questioning what it means to become an adult when you feel like you haven’t grown up at all. The record concludes with “Garden,” a hymn of sorts that delivers the ghost into the afterlife.
The songs in this collection are precious gems that fans of contemporary indie heroes such as Wolf Parade, Grizzly Bear, Tokyo Police Club and Dirty Projectors will be eager to add to their playlists. “I think fans of our last record who became fans for the surface elements—the guitars, the melodies, the boy-girl harmonies—are going to like this one,” Anderson says. “They might like it as a breakup album. But, I hope there will be people who will dig deeper and get into the cohesive thread. I mean who didn’t want to be friends with Casper when they were growing up?”