Having showcased at their region's most prominent indie music festivals (Bunbury Music Festival and Midpoint Music Festival), The Mitchells are moving headlong into new musical territory and co-composing a new mode of contemporary music with Concert:Nova.
Concert:Nova is a 30-piece chamber orchestra, consisting of members from the world-renowned Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and of tenured composers from the equally renowned University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM).
The Mitchells and Concert:Nova will be performing the new score in a live event as a part of Concert: Nova's eighth season in 2015.
As Cincinnati has blossomed and reinvented itself in recent years, The Mitchells have followed suit, refining their sound and carving out a place at the center of the city's cultural revival.
Forming in 2012, the stand-out blend of folk and symphonic sounds on their "Bird Feather” EP landed The Mitchells in the lineup for both the MidPoint and Bunbury music festivals, Cincinnati's premier national and regional indie music events.
Building on those early successes, and adapting to band roster changes, The Mitchells were not content to ride out their own status quo. Instead, they used the recording of their recent self-titled vinyl LP to dig deep into their musical pasts, then to find and focus in on what is the core of The Mitchells’ musical identity.
The nuance and subtlety of The Mitchells' distinctive sound comes from several places.
Foremost is their orchestral approach to the 4-piece rock band. Two guitars weave together and become a unified "continuo," wavering between distinctive and indistinguishable, and always providing a rich texture and canvas for the melodic ideas. Joseph's primary guitar lines are often subtle arpeggios, understated and seemingly simple, but distinctive and complex. They use the typical rhythm/lead guitar approach sparingly (and to greater effect).
The relative continuity of the guitars opens up a world of musical possibilities. Nicholas and Carlos are free to make the most of the rhythm section, giving the band their wide (at times downright symphonic-like) dynamic range. That continuity also allows The Mitchells to introduce a range of other voices and instruments. As evidenced on the LP with the appearance of oboe, hand bells, mandolin, ambient synths, glockenspiel, and guest vocals -- without seeming contrived, intrusive, or out of place.
What underlies all of this is The Mitchells’ ability to draw upon the breadth and depth of their collective musical experiences and influences.
Nicholas Mavridoglou toured nationally with the jazz/jam fusion group Ray’s Music Exchange (who still have a loyal cult following). Joseph Mitchell’s musical experiences range from from cellist in university orchestras to fronting the folk outfit The Incline District. Carlos Mitchell’s early years in various power pop/punk outfits brings a focused energy and keen ear for song arrangement. And Marc Aiello adds his upbringing in the famed mid-nineties Dayton, Ohio music scene (parker ben parker), and his years of solo composing and indie-electronic producing, to the overall texture of the band.
The band’s influences and current favorite artists include Laura Veirs, Beck (Sea Change), Broken Social Scene, Paul Simon, Wilco, The Dismemberment Plan, and Kings of Convenience. Reviewers have compared their lyrics and music to everything from “Phish-like jazz-folk” to Modest Mouse, My Morning Jacket, Paul Simon, and R.E.M.
Driven by their undying musical curiosity and love of experimentation, The Mitchells weave together the diverse threads of their musical histories and influences into a fresh, satisfying, and decidedly mature approach to indie pop songwriting.