NEW PRESS AND COVERAGE FOR SPIRITUAL AMERICA
Featured segment on Wisconsin Public Radio's syndicated program "To the Best of our Knowledge".
"That’s important, as Spiritual America is a strikingly emotional piece of music, born of a desire on Brittelle’s part to reconnect with the religious and moral ethos of his small-town North Carolina upbringing." - Star Tribune
Feature story on MPR News
Special Feature on Liquid Music site
PRESS FOR LOVING THE CHAMBERED NAUTILUS
"If there exists a canon of contemporary classical, I’d venture to say that William Brittelle’s “Future Shock”, a piece for string quartet and synthesizer in three parts, ought to be on it." - Popmatters
"Brittelle describes his new album as "Electro-Acoustic chamber music," but to me it sounds simply like fresh integrations of classical and pop. Call it indie classical if you will, the album sports a deft, sometimes cheeky comingling of strings and retro-sounding synths and beats. In "Future Shock" a string quartet gets ambushed by a fat dance beat and in the title track, "Loving the Chambered Nautilus", Brittelle breaks out vocals that will make disco-era Bee Gees fans happy. A fun album for summer performed vibrantly by members of the American Contemporary Music Ensemble." - All Things Considered, NPR
"William Brittelle creates classical music that hip classical consumers ought to be listening to." -Gramophone
"…bright, joyous chamber works" - The New York Times
"William Brittelle is creating a body of work that has no precedent, and marks him as a one of the most promising heirs of the vital American maverick tradition." - Classical TV
"William Brittelle follows his art-rock song cycle Television Landscape with something more like pure chamber music. The results bring his compositional talents into sharper focus; the melodies are all the more remarkable for mostly not feeling pop-derived (though moaning synths on “Acid Rain on the Mirrordome” bring to mind Brittelle’s love for Purple Rain). Great post-minimalist instrumental writing is the focus here. When the virtuoso strings of the ACME Ensemble collide with distorted percussion thumps on “I,” listeners — whether “classical heads” or not — will be intrigued.” - Seth Colter Walls for Rhapsody
"Just like Television Landscape, [Loving the Chambered Nautilus] highlight[s] his magpie-trickster ability to spin out new colors from odd groupings. Retro synths ping warmly and hover like benevolent alien creatures over a watercolor wash of strings: it feels lush, cool to the touch, expansive, and odd.” - eMusic
"What makes it particularly striking…is the deft manner by which it fuses the classical chamber music tradition and electronic pop genre… It’s roller-coaster music of passion and high energy that the five musicians tear into ferociously." - textura
"This is a fast, fun, freedom-fuelled flurry of a record… William Brittelle is clearly the Dan Deacon of contemporary classical." - MUSO
"Loving the Chambered Nautilus" … finds Brittelle continuing to challenge our preconveived notions about pop music, further blurring the distinction between organic and inorganic sound, as well as high and low art." - My Old Kentucky Blog
PRESS FOR TELEVISION LANDSCAPE
"The Color of Rain" from Television Landscape featured in The Believer Magazine’s annual music issue.
"Brittelle traverses electronica, prog rock, neo-classical, avant-garde, alt rock, and more on Television Landscape. But anyone can — and these days, often does — make a record stacked high with eclectic influences; the real masterstroke here is the way Brittelle makes all these elements flow together as though they’d always been part of the same musical universe, and he achieves a surprising degree of easiness on the ear with this deceptively dense, conceptually complex piece of work.” - All Music Guide
"[Television Landscape] evokes an earthquake-weather mood along a painterly musical landscape of searing rock, shaded by tonal passages of strings and French horns, flutes and, in one emotional spot, a children’s choir. You might wonder if Jane’s Addiction had discovered the soul of Debussy." - The Los Angeles Times
"Brittelles experimental & avant garde style is only complemented by his eccentric presentation; His music is a unique experience that may confuse you but will still charm your dancing shoes." - Last.fm (Recommended Listen)
"We’re always on the lookout for great new tracks to share with our readers, and William Brittelle’s “Sheena Easton” definitely falls under that category. It’s a cut off of Brittelle’s sophomore release, Television Landscape…In the course of an album marked by complex orchestrations that are by turns jazzy and jarring and some frankly mind-bending arrangements, Brittelle collaborates with a slew of musicians from bands like the Long Count and Alarm Will Sound, and on “Sheena Easton,” the patently unfairly talented kids of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus." - Pop Matters
"Television Landscape is all the things one expects from an epic art-rock album: expansive, anthemic, all-encompassing, shot through with raw emotion. The warm, analog production feels bathed in cathode rays, and songs veer fluidly and seemingly unselfconsciously from AM-radio power-ballads to sustained passages of string writing that recall French composers like Faure and Debussy. And back again." - eMusic (from a Spotlight Interview by Jayson Greene)
"The songs [from Television Landscape] are at their best when they are most idiosyncratic, when the brass starts blaring and the music takes on the rollicking beat of a New Orleans big band, or when an unabashedly blazing guitar solo interrupts the well-crafted wall of sound. Much of the time, though (and particularly live), Brittelle and his players sound like an excellent jam band: Music to unconsciously, pleasantly sway to." - Capital New York
Subject of New York Times Sunday Arts & Leisure feature article.
"…dense, interwoven soundscapes that twist and turn through movements. Brittelle’s overarching theme and dramatic vocals unify Television Landscape, resulting in something of a classical rock opera. But no matter how you classify it, Television Landscape is a realized vision. - "This Week’s Best Album", Alarm Press
"Brittelle channels Prince’s heavenly wail, addresses a love song to Sheena Easton and stumbles across teenagers smoking American Spirits and singing The Smiths "Girlfriend in a Coma". Melodic, tight, and powerful, Brittelle’s art rock hanidly outperforms the real thing." - Relix Magazine
"William Brittelle’s Television Landscape album could be said to draw on as many music channels as a satellite-radio subscription offers. And he seems to integrate them all into one seamless, artfully constructed epic.” - The New Jersey Star Ledger (feature interview)
"William Brittelle is more than just a singer/songwriter, he’s a genuine composer. In an era where just about anyone can pick up a guitar and start writing songs, it is rare to find composers that write songs for multiple instrumentals and bring some classical styles into the mix. But this is exactly what Brittelle has done on his newest album Television Landscape as it offers lush soundscapes that are constantly blurring the lines between genres. Although the disc may initially seem a little random, its eclectic mixture of sounds makes sense the more you listen and it is very likely that they will stick with you for some time."
- Cosmos Gaming
"It’s an effort to make a big squishy proggy soft-rock album, and it has a relaxed, breezy, stonery vibe that reminds me of late-90s stuff like Chicago post-rock (Jim O’Rourke, Sea & Cake) and Mercury Rev’s See You on the Other Side, and some of the songs are shot through with wonderfully nerdy guitar solos that I like to imagine, if you notated them on paper, would wind up making the shapes of unicorns in leather jackets." - a grammar
Fluxblog.org: MP3 of the Day.
"[Sheena Easton] is one of the more interesting tunes I’ve heard in a while. Classically trained and overachieving art-pop composer William Brittelle is back in the bins today with his sophomore release, Television Landscape (get it from New Amsterdam Records). Fans of minimalism beware, Brittelle brings it big and he brings it sticky, with puffy clouds of orchestral arrangements lush enough to give Burt Bacharach wood. Is it just me, or does this feel like something Prince left off Lovesexy? - My Old Kentucky
"(Four star review) The cohesive 50-minute album plays like a glorious reclamation of lush sounds that crusty critics have vilified for years…Like the finest AM gold, Television Landscape soothes even as it dazzles.” - Time Out NY
"…larger than life and spectacular in scope. A synthesis of modern classical invention and avant-garde experimentation, Television Landscape taps Zappa, mid-period King Crimson and composer Gustav Holst as obvious influences. Despite its complexity, it also boasts moments of subtle intimacy…" - M Music & Musicians Magazine
"[Brittelle] loves the idea of being, and of actually being, a pop star. So few of us become that, but we can bask in the glory that he so generously shares with us, as sympathetic equals, and that sentiment is the fundamental thing that makes him a star and this record so magnificent." - George Grella, The Big City
"… the musicality by all those present is top notch. Strings and pianos over the “Halcyon Days” interlude meander, brass and marching drums in “Wasteland” and an all-out assault/adventure during tracks “Pegasus in Alcatraz” and “Rio Rio” soars. “The Color of Rain” majestically ends the album…" - Glide Magazine review of Television Landscape
"You’ve gotta love a musician who embraces pop music in a bear hug and cranks out a ridiculously over-the-top power ballad. That’s what you get with Sheena Easton from William Brittelle’s new album “Television Landscape.” Scorching guitar solos? Check. Syrupy, swelling strings? Yep. Melancholy piano? You bet. Add in a fluffy subject — hello, it’s about Sheena Easton, for crying out loud — and you’ve got all the makings of a soft-rock manifesto that Air Supply only wishes it would’ve thought of. It’s all here in this Survivor meets Mr. Mister meets Tears for Fears wailfest.” - Goldmine Magazine
"Brittelle has a keen understanding of textures and tonal shifts, and brings us down from the heights of “Pegasus in Alcatraz” with a painfully beautiful ballad, “Halcyon Days.” His voice has a deep melancholic quality that brings to mind Radiohead’s frontman Thom Yorke with a touch of Leonard Cohen. There’s an orchestral interlude between verses that brightens the mood slightly before taking it down again. When it’s brought back after the final verse, the orchestra plays together in chilling counterpoint to the quietly distorted guitar and piano. It’s such a short song, though, so I found myself playing it over and over as it was always ending before I wanted it to." - Classical TV
“Sheena Easton holds an anthematic vibe throughout the whole song complete with strings, full chorus backing, and a raging guitar solo.” - Filter Magazine
Inclusion in “8 Great Bands Emerging Outside of Williamsburg and the LES" in Black Book Magazine.
"Mixing autotune vocals with classical, jazz, and modern pop instrumentation, Brittelle is truly one-of-a-kind. Don’t try limiting his music or having any expectations of Television Landscape, because they’ll be trashed immediately. He thrives off the ups and downs; the crescendos and decrescendos in his music. Each song raises me up to euphoric states, completely flattens me, and then picks me right back up again. Piano and sax are at the forefront of a few of the songs, but when the electric guitar comes in all bets are off. Punk, rock, prog, whatever, whenever. Expect Television Landscape to be a breakthrough for Brittelle.” - Knox Road
"…the music was substantial: a riotous shotgun wedding of rich orchestrations and complex arrangements with the rock-oriented pleasures of flamboyant posturing and excessive volume, Mr. Coale’s fuzz-pedal bass lines and the bombastic precision of Ted Poor’s drumming. Where the two sides came closest together — as when Mr. Dancigers, Mohawk-coiffed and wearing a “Classical Music Is Dead” T-shirt, piloted a dive-bombing guitar solo into a plush thicket of horns — the results were irresistible." - The New York Times
"Every song on Television Landscape has something distinct to recommend it; I’ve only had the album for a couple days, but I can report that it all bears up incredibly well on repeat. There’s acoustic strum-and-mope along the lines of Bon Iver, some hazy noise sections that fans of Fennesz could get behind, and hints of post-punky drum and electronics (all of those styles are actually represented in "Vivid Culture," the first track). And naturally, you’ll find some of the minimalist string writing that’s become a lingua franca for American composers, post-Reich and Glass." - The Awl
PRESS FOR OTHER WORK
"There was a hint of yodeling in William Brittelle’s exuberant “High Done No Why To,” the title repeated in various guises to create a colorful polyphony." - The New York Times
"Amid the Minotaurs", by composer and New Amsterdam co-founder William Brittelle, begins as an ersatz jazz madrigal and ends with a gloriously ludicrous, Lita Ford-style power ballad finale. As a composer, Brittelle is heroically unafraid of flirting and occasionally consummating the relationship with bad taste, and "Amid The Minotaurs", like his 2010 AOR prog-rock suite Television Landscape, has the nervy throwdown feel of an aesthetic dare. - Pitchfork
"The most riveting moment in an evening full of hypnotic dazzle came with William Brittelle’s Amid the Minotaurs … Virginia Warnken’s insistent, rising repetition of the lines, “There is no subtlety in death / like a hurricane / like Farrakhan,” through controlled angst to a near anarchic hysteria at the crescendo left a high-water mark of devastating proportions for which no one could have prepared and which will not soon be forgotten.” -Berkshire Fine Arts
In his high-spirited “High Done No Why To,” William Brittelle also focused on sound instead of lyrics, creating a vivid polyphonic canvas with a hint of yodeling. - The New York Times
"The star of the show was Amid the Minotaurs by William Brittelle, the most daring and also cohesive piece of the evening, showing the singers to be extraordinarily skilled with huge ranges and sweet, clear voices, the climax coming with contralto Virginia Warnken suddenly became a pop diva soprano, pinning the audience to their amazed seats.” - The Times Union
"William Brittelle blew out his voice during a gig with his postpunk band The Blondes some years ago, effectively ending his career as a lead singer. But rather than throwing in the towel, Brittelle developed Mohair Time Warp, in which he lip-synchs his studio recorded, multitracked vocals over a stellar live band that includes members of Anti-Social Music and other new-music luminaries. Brittelle’s crafty, catchy music taps ino the best of what Frank Zappa’s oeuvre has to offer, while his surrealist lyrics suggest a copy of Roget’s Thesarus, the complete Allen Ginsberg, and a Taco Bell menu fed into Cuisinart. Factor in Brittelle’s charisma, and the results are completely electrifying.” -Time Out New York
"New Amsterdam Records, a new label run by composers, has begun documenting this hybrid music, with invigorating discs by the band itsnotyouitsme and the composers Corey Dargel and William Brittelle." - Allan Kozinn, The New York Times
"Brittelle is following up the amazing “Mohair Time Warp” (a record that demands more listening each time I put it on) with his own personal reactions to a mix of his favorite music. This is orchestral rock/pop that follows a grand design and a fairly grand tradition as well – his list doesn’t include Burt Bacharach or Chicago, but the best parts of that sound is there. Stylistically, the music embraces a reaching-for-the-stars quality with complete sincerity, and is accomplished, passionate, refreshing and satisfying. Brittelle strikes me as a longer-lasting pleasure than Beck, he’s as musically accomplished but strikes no poses." - The Big City
Featured article, Classical & Opera, Time Out NY: "Read My Lips"
"William Brittelle’s multiplanar hyper-awesome Mohair Time Warp… reverses [that] by creating little genius pop concertos - playing a hand filled with Broadway, 00’s everything rock, 90’s indie rock, 80’s hard rock, 70’s light rock, and polite contemporary chamber music crafted largely from piano, subtle electric rhythm guitar, flute and strings. His manic vocal style hugs the melody like a stock car does the inner edge of the track to pick up speed and ramp up the danger… The ecstatic joy in Hey Panda cleared up my sinuses. Hieroglyphics Baby reveals where the Pavement really leads to should you be in shape for so long a walk. Catwalk to the Multiplex raises the Animal Collective’s hushed shout to an alert. Delirious, delicious stuff. If you like Sufjan Stevens but wished his palette was brighter and more extensive, Brittelle might be your guy. It’s like XTC in residence at the BAM. A little night music meets Night Ranger in the forgotten dressing room of the university black box theatre of the soul.” - Alex V. Cook from Badasses of Contemporary Composition
"[William Brittelle] is taking bits of rock and classical and mixing it all together…with alarming speed. If you hang on for the ride, Mohair Time Warp can be alot of fun." - New Sounds, WNYC
All Things Considered feature interview: "A New Label for Music’s New Blood"
"… an exhilarating blend of absurdity, exuberance, and musicianship. Brittelle is smiling through the apocalypse - the smile that comes from taking it’s measure and knowing he has nothing to fear. The music has that same confidence in the face of absurdity, it faces chaos and demolishes it on its own turf, by making it friendly, charming, sociable, cutting it down to size. It is smart without being just clever, good humored and invigorating." - The Big City
"…this song cycle is unhinged from genre, from conventional narrative, and even from conventional singing… The music doesn’t just combine elements of rock and classical — it flits from one to the other with often neck-snapping speed." — WNYC’s Soundcheck CD pick of the week
"There are a lot of artsong composer–performers around these days, but Brittelle is one of the most compelling I’ve come across." — The Rambler
"…the orchestra seemed to hit its stride with Bill Brittelle’s Obituary Birthday: A Requiem for Kurt Cobain. Kurt was only really a ghost in that song, but I eventually forgot I was listening for Nirvana because the music was so damn beautiful.” - Seattle Met
"William Brittelle’s "Obituary Birthday: A Requiem for Kurt Cobain" was a kaleidoscopic drama of protean themes, some epic, some small, floating or urgent. Fragmented melodies and a restless brilliance captured something of Cobain’s artistry and, perhaps, Brittelle’s take on the man himself." - The Seattle Times