Colin | Jul 9, 2021 | 0
Head With Wings – From Worry To Shame – The Album Piano Medley (Exclusive Premiere)
American prog rock outfit Head With Wings are celebrating the one year anniversary of their debut album “From Worry To Shame“! Happy Birthday! To celebrate, the band decided to revisit their music with the help of keyboardist extraordinaire Vikram Shankar (Lux Terminus, Our Destiny, Redemption) to create hauntingly beautiful piano covers.
Last week, Prog Magazine released the piano rendition of single ‘Somewhere, Something Gives’, this week The Progspace invites you to discover ‘From Worry to Shame – The Album Piano Medley‘ featuring Vikram Shankar.
Before getting into it, we encourage you to listen to “From Worry To Shame”, we at The Progspace have been loving this gem of an album and you can check out our review here for more info!
“From Worry To Shame” is brimful of emotions and humanity. The album is raw passion, delicate hope, and all-to-human pain in one graceful package. The music featured, lyrical content and impressive performance may be both challenging maybe and at times uncomfortable for the listener, but at the other end of that journey lies a reward that is more than worth the time you’ll take to familiarize yourself, and open up to these compositions.
Head with Wings are storytellers of sound: textured, ethereal, and blissfully haunting, the U.S.-based quintet creates boundary-pushing rock songs that straddle the aesthetic line between art music and narrative drama. The powerful piano covers by Vikram adds dimension and depth to this already emotional piece of art.
“Vikram’s stunning arrangement of this song has opened our eyes to the power of interpretation and also, paved the way for new illustrative ideas, that actually hold merit in continuing the visual story of the album.” – Joshua Corum
We asked Joshua Corum how the project came about:
“Since the release of our debut album last summer, I’ve been asked one question fairly consistently and that’s,”Will you ever feature piano in Head with Wings?” The strange truth about us, is that we started the band with Brandon on keys, but we didn’t produce any substantial material in that time period (around 2009). When we approached the band again, and with less preconceptions, we found that a drum, guitar, bass and vocal ensemble better suited our personalities and a mutual desire to keep a tight lid on our lineup. However, some of our most talented colleagues are pianists.
The Ohio band Lux Terminus made their emergence into the prog scene last year and their band leader Vikram, has been blowing people away with his virtuosic piano performances, by way of original material and carefully selected covers. We’ve been friends for some time and eventually, I asked Vik if he’d take a stab at some of the material on “From Worry to Shame”. This lead to his decision to perform an album medley and one full cover playthrough.
We left it up to Vikram to decide which track would make for the most compelling piano rendition. His decision was “Somewhere, Something Gives”. Vikram’s stunning arrangement of this song has opened our eyes to the power of interpretation and also, paved the way for new illustrative ideas, that actually hold merit in continuing the visual story of the album.
Vik chose to perform the medley in album sequence, with excerpts from each song that most related to the nine chapter narrative. We believe the result is emotionally potent and brings forth an innocent voice that is somewhat evasive on the album. In this form, all of the melodies are exposed and handled with such care. In a way, it feels like we’re flipping through nine powerful scenes of a movie. Perhaps this new entry into our musical world can help pave the way for the inclusion of piano in our future work, but for now, it suffices as a way for us to gain a fresh perspective on what we’ve already done.”
Head With Wings’ melodies are practically designed for pianistic expression, and bringing their emotionally charged narrative to a new format was a true pleasure. – Vikram Shankar
We contacted Vikram Shankar to find out how he approached the project and his thought on reworking on existing materials:
“One of the greatest musical joys for me is getting to explore the essence of a full album by creating a piano medley. When my friends in Head With Wings reached out to me to help them celebrate the one year anniversary of “From Worry To Shame”, I jumped at the opportunity, and immediately realized the astonishing depth and potency of the source material I was working with. Head With Wings’ melodies are practically designed for pianistic expression, and bringing their emotionally charged narrative to a new format was a true pleasure.”
Shankar’s performance transforms the 2018 original into a spine-tingling, thought-provoking opus that toys with the emotional depths of the original version featured on Head With Wings’ debut album.
Vocalist Joshua Corum adds:
“For the artwork, we collaborated with Darcy Kelly-Laviolette. Kelly-Laviolette’s artwork depicts our protagonist in the aftermath of the album story, as a ghost that’s forever tormented by the family that he was unable to protect. Her goal was to create two pieces of cover art, that would conjoin to create one widescreen image (the left side for the cover rendition and the right side for the medley).
In the album version of “Somewhere, Something Gives”, the narrative depicts a school shooting where our protagonist loses his daughter. This is a catalyst incident for his trajectory throughout the album. By the end of the record, our anti-hero is strangled to death, leading up to the very last note. Kelly-Laviolette’s artwork depicts the protagonist in the aftermath of the album story, as a ghost forever tormented by the family he was unable to protect.”
Here at The Progspace we’re proud to present the exclusive premiere of Head with Wings ‘From Worry to Shame – The Album Piano Medley‘ featuring Vikram Shankar.
Head with Wings – From Worry to Shame – The Album Piano Medley ft. Vikram Shankar (click here if the video doesn’t play)
Since the release of their debut album, Head With Wings has worked their way up thanks to the band’s commitment and the help from Incendia Music. They will come to Europe for the first time this fall and perform at Euroblast Festival in Cologne, Germany (September 27th – 29th 2019).
They will also support Bent Knee and Thank You Scientist in their home state on June 19th in Hamden, CT – USA .
After many positive reviews and encouraging feedbacks from the prog community, the band has been nominated in this year’s Independent Music Awards, in the categories of “Concept Album of the Year” and “Rock Song of the Year” with their track ‘Goodbye Sky’.
We hope you enjoyed this new approach to Head With Wings’ story, and we look forward to seeing them live in Germany in September.
You can also support the band by purchasing Vikram Shankar’s re-imagining of ‘Somewhere, Something Gives’ and much more from Head With Wings’ Bandcamp page.
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