A feature on NPR’s Weekend Edition, a gushing review in Rolling Stone, and more blog attention than your average political scandal—not many bands pull off all three without benefit of a record label. With their 2003 self-released debut, Charm School, Bishop Allen did just that. And arguably, that’s not even what’s most impressive about the band.
That would be this: In 2006, the members of Brooklyn’s Bishop Allen took it upon themselves to record and release an EP every month of the year. Twelve months and 58 songs later, they’d completed one of the more ambitious recording projects we can think of. Further, the EPs are impressive in quality as well as scope. Charm School was a hooky indie-pop gem, but Bishop Allen’s EP material proves far more sophisticated, no longer relying on sugar-coating to be addictive. From the first notes of January’s opener, “Corazon,” it’s clear that Bishop Allen has evolved into something grand. The EPs capture a band taking chances, expanding their musical vocabulary and writing unforgettable songs.
A musical partnership between Harvard grads Justin Rice and Christian Rudder with an ever-rotating cast of musical collaborators, Bishop Allen has lived up to the promise of its early press, paid its dues on the road and in the studio, and is ready for the next challenge. Working with a label for the first time, they are gearing up for the release of a new album—just one this time—a follow-up to Charm School due in summer of 2007.