Art-pop Masters MAKE A RISING Return with Second Album

Philadelphia’s Make A Rising is back: bigger and better than ever. Expanded to a sextet for its second album on High Two Records, Infinite Ellipse and Head with Open Fontanel, Make A Rising has realized its potential.

 After laudatory press for the 2005 debut Rip Through the Hawk Black Night, Make A Rising hunkered down and began working on an intricate, elaborate follow-up. Infinite Ellipse and Head with Open Fontanel  features contributions by members of Normal Love, Fern Knight, Shot × Shot, and others. Holographic in nature and transpersonal in effect, Make A Rising is a band that composes unlike any other. While most experimental bands reside either completely inside or totally outside traditional pop song forms. Make A Rising writes its own rules. The result is excitingly original and marvelous amalgam of genres and influences, layered with spontaneity and energy. We wouldn’t say it, if we didn’t mean it: Absolute masterpiece.

 While the band’s debut earned Make A Rising plenty of fans and admirers across the country, Infinite Ellipsefinds the band have refined and expanded its unique style. While Rip Throughshowed a inventive band full of ideas, Infinite Ellipseshowcases a band that has coalesced its
ideas and has painstakingly perfected its elaborate and necessarily complex recording process. And here’s what critics had to say about Rip Through:

“Philly’s Make a Rising can genre-splice with the best of ’em; Rip Through… traverses melancholy Beach Boys harmonies, chilly music concrète and clattery prog rock. But that’s not what makes the band special: For all their schizo tendencies, MAR’s songs maintain beautiful, compelling narrative threads that transcend any particular musical style.” Time Out: New York/ Hank Shteamer


This is a beautiful, complicated mess of an album, and it gets more interesting every time you put it on.” Kelly, Feb 2006


Rating: 7.9 “Without sounding sloppy, the performance is ramshackle, with plenty of room sound to fade into and acoustic blind spots to jump out of, making your first listen unpredictable: breaks and free passages run longer than you expect, and the melodic, driving sections that follow leave you wary of what’s coming next. Needless to say, that’s what makes it so engaging.” PitchforkMedia/Chris Dahlen

 Make A Rising formed in 2003 out of the ashes a few other projects (the band was originally known as New Planet Make A Rising). Ambitious from the beginning, Make A Rising resolved early on to have an ever-evolving sound. There are certain reference points in the music, but the band has never been limited itself into a specific genre. The concept of the band is that of Make A Rising as a “composition” group. The band writes music slightly out of its own comfort zone; so as the band has evolved, they have had to change the way they write. Each Make A Rising song distinctly Make A Rising, but at the same time, they have no two songs that are closely similar. Though all the members contribute to the process, brothers Justin and Jesse Moynihan are the main writers in the group. Like its predecessor, Infinite Ellipse‘s tracks vary not only from each other, but have numerous various parts in each song. Very rarely is anything straightforward or obviously sequential.  One of the key attributes of the band is not only how well they integrate different musical genres, but how well they seemlessly weave disparate sounds together.

The result is a tremendous album that strikes a balance between the exploration of ideas and
emotional depth. While Infinite Ellipsehas a chaotic outer layer, a few listens reveal a distinct
narrative arc that illuminates the focus the band put on making Infinite Ellipsea great album – and not just a group of songs.

 The last three years has seen Make A Rising sharing the stage with artists such as Dr. Dog, Dirty Projectors, Lightning Bolt, Man Man, Uz Jsme Doma, Pattern is Movement, Gang Gang Dance, Neil Hamburger, as well as two South by Southwest appearances (2006 and 2008) and headlining the opening night of the Popped! Philadelphia festival.

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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