Alas I Was No Swimmer
O Pioneers plays indie-folk with a literary bent, making frequent excursions into pop and alt-country. Their sound has been compared to The Decembrists, Natalie Merchant and Cat Power. They have been playing in NYC for two years at the Living Room, Southpaw, Pianos and Mercury Lounge, among others, and have performed on PS1 Radio. Their song Stand Clear can be heard as the theme song of the movie Speak, playing on the Showtime and Lifetime networks. Time Out New York says: "A little bit country and a little bit folky, the songs of O Pioneers bounce so merrily you might miss the heartbreak." Tastemaker.com says: "Sara Shaoul has a divine voice, an intriguing and beguiling sound all her own." O Pioneers new EP, Alas, I Was No Swimmer takes it's title from the folk ballad 'Oh my Darling Clementine' in which the bereaved but lazy lover laments "But, alas, I was no swimmer," so I lost my Clementine" as he watches her drown in the river. In response, O Pioneers singer/songwriter Sara Shaoul adopts the muted voice of the folk heroine on the title track. Shaoul often draws inspiration from classic literature, folk songs and poetry, from Willa Cather (the source of band's name) to Amy Lowell, whose epic poem of love and murder, Evelyn Ray, is reconfigured as an evocative, minimalist ballad on the new release. Baudelaire's poem A Une Passante serves as inspiration for the EP's first track, a broken-hearted plea to an iPod-dependent passerby that "Everything's a song, and you don't hear me when I call." Shaoul and multi-instrumentalist bandmate Matt Rocker (real name!) first collaborated together as a ukelele-and-mandolin folk duo The Recorder Club, learning obscure bluegrass songs together and honing their harmonies. Rocker is also an accomplished composer and editor, having worked on Howard Shore's score for Lord of the Rings as well as many independent films. O Pioneers drummer David Berger has toured with national acts such as Erin McKeown and Ursa Minor. O Pioneers is currently recording it's first full-length album. Stay tuned!