A.J. Ellis will release his debut solo album Bury The Devil on April 1st, 2014 via Glaze Records. The New York City based British expat is best known as the front–man of Five O’Clock Heroes, a band that saw success during the early to mid-2000s NYC revival. They toured alongside the likes of Albert Hammond Jr. and developed a dedicated following both at home in NYC and abroad in the UK and Europe, winning over audiences with their what Time Out London described as a “feisty punk power pop” sound, and songs that NME praised for having the “power to creep into the subconscious.” The first introduction to Ellis’ solo sound comes in the form of the single “Prove You’re Not A Number” available for free download via SoundCloud.
Born in the UK, Ellis came to the United States as a teenager in the mid-’90s, initially living in upstate New York while playing in his brother Steve Ellis’ band The Simpletons (Columbia Records). Attracted to the music and the musician’s life, but wanting more, Ellis left The Simpletons after two years and moved to New York City to pursue his own path as a songwriter. Before forming the Heroes, Ellis’ first gigs consisted of open mic nights at New York City staples, such as The Sidewalk Cafe and The Raven Café, getting his feet wet with other upcoming artists, like Adam Green and Regina Spektor.
Three years removed from the most recent Heroes’ album. Bury The Devil sees Ellis breaking out on his own again, putting his distinctive rough hewn vocals and Costello-esque guitar-pop songwriting style to great effect over the course of 11 tracks alternately tinged with country twang, bluesy refrains, and anti-folk aesthetics. The album also spans a wide emotional landscape. The upbeat “Dance All Night” is a rollicking kiss-off to responsibility and settling down, while “A Long Way Down” takes the listener on a brooding tour through deep despair.
Bury The Devil was recorded in Leeds, England at Cannonball Studios and produced by George Riley(10,000 things, The Blacklisters, Heart Ships). The album was mixed in Nashville, TN by Willie Breeding (The Breedings) and mastered by Duane Lundy (My Morning Jacket, Vandaveer) in Lexington, KY.
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