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Heavy Rotation Records (HRR) Presents Dorm Sessions 9, Featuring Berklee Student Artists
Heavy Rotation Records (HRR) presents Dorm Sessions 9, the new release by Berklee’s student-run label. The compilation—a mix of rock, blues, folk, Americana, pop, rumba, reggae, indie rock, and electronica by Berklee students and alumni—features Fate & The Family Band, Oyinda, Redwood Deville, Los Rumberos, Dav3, The Western Den, Night Lights, Salda, and Analog Heart.
Stream or download Dorm Sessions 9 for free at BerkleeCollegeofMusic.bandcamp.com.
HRR is a class that gives Berklee music business/management students hands-on experience in running a record company. Under the guidance of faculty advisor Jeff Dorenfeld, former manager of the band Boston, the student staff oversees all the label's functions, including marketing, sales, web development, media, and A&R. The label presents events and artists in the Boston area and at some of the music industry’s largest festivals, including Lollapalooza (Chicago, Chile, and Brazil), SXSW, and CMJ Music Marathon. HRR is partnering with Vans Vinyl on its next release.
The selection process for Dorm Sessions 9 spanned the spring, summer and fall of 2013. HRR’s A&R group listened to hundreds of submissions and presented the best ones to the full class for feedback. The class voted on finalists, taking into account live performances, YouTube clips, and social media presence. “It’s not a scientific process, the selections are based on a combination of what the students like and the artists entrepreneurial spirit,” said Dorenfeld. “They do try to mix it up and have a variety of genres. This time there are two DJs – an important genre in today’s music world – and an electronic R&B artist.”
About the Artists:
Fate & The Family Band is a blues/rock band with some serious soul. The group, influenced by Tedeschi Trucks Band, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Joe Cocker, and Stevie Wonder, will be releasing its first EP, Together, this summer. Fate & the Family Band is comprised of students vocalists Emma Hern and Kelly Eberle, guitarist Collin Pastore, bassist Will Story, and drummer Sampson Hellerman; and alumnus guitarist/vocalist Zach Torres.
New York-based alumna Oyinda, originally from London, has a unique sense of cinematic storytelling – bringing together sounds from the British electronic scene and fusing them with her love of pop. Oyinda’s debut EP, Before the Fall, contains so much modernity and sophistication it becomes endearingly warm as its simplicity envelops you. This is contemporary pop with an intuitive nature, one that can sound sparsely romantic. Oyinda also features alumnus Rafferty Swink on piano and guitar, and Harsya Wahono on sampler and drums.
Redwood Deville is a folk/rock band based in Nashville, TN. The seven-piece Americana powerhouse is able to throw down rowdy bar songs alongside haunting ballads. Fronting the band, alumnus singer Charles Johnson has a distinct, honest voice and truly lives what he sings about. Rounding out the group are students vocalist Hadley Kennary, and drummer Andrew Peebles, and alumni guitarists Alex Douthitt and Phil Stanley, bassist Barry Rigby, and violinist Connor Dugan.
Los Rumberos – Mexican guitarists Lito de la Isla and Angel Cespedes, and percussionist Paul Sefchovich – have created a powerful sound combining Latin cultures with other influences like the blues, flamenco, rock, dance, funk and reggae. They met as composition students at Berklee. Their mesmerizing energetic Latin flavor has allowed them to conquer stages in Mexico, the U.S., Latvia, Russia, and Spain, and share stages with musicians like Juanes, Julieta Venegas and Ziggy Marley. Their unique style of music has gained a wide range of enthusiastic followers.
Dav3 is a Boston based DJ/producer, currently attending Berklee College of Music.
Driven by a shared passion to create music with purpose, The Western Den is the collaboration of students Deni Hlavinka and Chris West. Together, they blend compelling folk harmonies with ambient textures to produce a sound all their own. The duo released their debut EP, Battle Hymns, in May, 2013, and opened for Melissa Ferrick on the Northeastern leg of her national tour that summer. The Western Den is currently based in Boston, performing and working on their full-length album.
With student and alumni members from Mexico, Texas, Japan, California, and Norway, Night Lights brings together a world of indie, rock, and soul influences. The Boston-based band has struck a balance between profound lyrics, hooky melodies, danceable music, and intriguing harmonic progressions. Yusuke Sato’s intricate riffs, Drew Story’s warped soundscapes, Jeff Kinsey’s melodic bass lines, Dag Hanken’s colorful rhythmic creations, and Mau Jiminez’s captivating guitar and other-worldly voice effects all come together for an audio adventure.
Hailing from Colombia, student Salda’s DJing caught the attention of Boston’s most popular clubs in 2010. With his roots as a lead guitarist in a metal band and a passion for electronic and pop beats, he quickly became one of the cities leading DJs. Today, he spins regularly at exclusive clubs in Bogota, Cartagena, Berlin and across the U.S. Salda made his Miami debut at the acclaimed Winter Music Conference in 2011. His music is self-produced and his first video, “Wild Card,” has over 100,000 hits.
Analog Heart is a vocal-driven rock band from Boston. Alumna singer/songwriter and keyboard player Liz Bills hypnotizes audiences as the little woman with the big voice whose powerful presence demands attention. Austin Ferrante doesn’t go unnoticed behind the drum set. He is exciting and passionate and moved by raw emotion. Alumnus Jesse Cohen, guitar player and songwriter, completes the trio. He is the voice of reason, a gifted musician and the glue that holds the group together. Analog Heart’s self-titled debut EP was released in 2012.
HRR has released 15 albums since 1995, including Shekinah: 13 Artists, distributed by Epic; Apollo Sunshine’s second CD, co-released with spinART; Dorm Sessions 1-9; and Under the Influence. Many up-and-coming artists have appeared on HRR albums, including St. Vincent (as Annie Clark), members of Passion Pit (as the Peasantry), HAERTS (as Nini & Ben), Christopher Barnes (Gem Club), the Click Five (as Oscar Bravo), Big D and the Kids Table, and Madi Diaz. The label also serves as a springboard for careers in the music industry. HRR alumni have gone on to work at Interscope, Capitol, DreamWorks, BMG, Universal, Live Nation, AEG Live, and YouTube/Google.