The Nobility: 'The Mezzanine'

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Drawing heavily on early Paul McCartney and Kinks records, The Nobility makes jangly guitar rock with sweet harmonies and catchy, carefully plotted melodies. Calling themselves "a humble little rock band," the Nashville, TN trio makes the kind of music that leaves you humming and feeling a little better about the world.

For their debut release, The Mezzanine, The Nobility captured a warm, organic sound with magnetic tape machines and classic recording gear from the 1970s. The result is a cozy 36 minutes of music with particularly strong vocals and a clear devotion to craft.

"We just wanted to squeeze as much melody out of every song as possible...even down to the drums and percussion," says songwriter Sean Williams. "The Beatles were the best at doing that. There was also an intention to explore things we hadn't done on previous recordings and solve things in a different manner. That lead to flutes, cellos, violins, etc. Not to mention our engineer had just bought that giant Recording The Beatles book while we were in the studio."

The Nobility features Sean Williams on lead vocals and guitars, Stephen Jerkins on keys and Brian Fuzzell on drums. The band's original members (Williams, Jerkins, John Grimsley and Pete Traisci) all met at school in Arkansas. In 2001 they relocated to Nashville and morphed into their current lineup with various friends filling in on bass.

For the album's title track, Williams says he wanted to use a mezzanine as a metaphor for the setbacks in life that make one stronger. "A mezzanine is further from the action on the stage," says Williams. "But you have a better perspective of what's taking place. I wanted to do something that would start out bleakly, yet end up excited and positive. From the beginning of the process, this was the song that was going to kick off the album."

The Nobility have been touring extensively since the album's release last year, including performances at the CMJ (College Music Journal) and South by Southwest music festivals. The group plans work on a new album later this year.



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