Buzzbands.LA calls Smoke Season their “Newbie To Know”
Big thanks to Buzzbands.LA (one of our favorite music blogs) for their newest article about us! Glad we could remind you to inhale…
“New York City-born, UCLA-educated singer Gabrielle Wortman launched her career as rock frontwoman before segueing to the electronic project Tempest (akaTEMP3ST). However, upon meeting fellow New Yorker Jason Rosen — the ex-keyboardist and guitarist for the pop-rockers Honor Society — things took a turn. And from the sound of their new side project Smoke Season, it probably involved some long drives in the desert. Neither the sexed-up music of Wortman’s past nor the Jonas Brothers-approved pop of Rosen’s, Smoke Season takes a cinematic approach to Americana on its debut EP “Signals” — woozy, dreamy and, yes, smoky. Don’t forget to inhale.”
When Smoke Season’s Jason Rosen (former keyboardist of pop group, Honor Society) and Gabrielle Wortman (electro-rock artist) came together, they wanted to create a sound that captured their youthful encounters in the great state of California. With their first release,Signals EP, not only does the group achieve this, but they render a listening experience unique enough to standalone in sound.Smoke Season blends psychedelic folk rock reminiscent of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, with searing electronic undertones in the vein of The XX. The result is beautiful story-telling that is musically saturated with the Old West, tumbleweeds, and a pioneering youthful spirit. Smoke Season captures the ears, minds, and hearts of listeners of all ages.
Check out interview: www.revolutionthreesixty.com
Today Smoke Season released our first music video ever. Staying true to our promise to make art in a more DIY fashion (and let our imaginations run away from us), Gabrielle Wortman directed it and I edited. It is one of the most honest artistic endeavors I have ever accomplished and I have learned that coloring outside the lines is the key to finding your own artistic voice.
In case you’re wondering what the video means… here is a little more insight on the symbolism and imagery we wanted to convey:
While it may seem like Gabrielle and I are the only two characters in the story, the real protagonist is most definitely color. Gabrielle wanted to metaphorically tell a more honest tale of love in today’s world. In the beginning, the world is grayscale. We are waking up and timidly dipping our toes into the idea of something that may be around the corner. The red your see throughout is the hint that better days are on their way. Once that idea is realized, we find ourselves in a world saturated with color. However, the story doesn’t stop there. Gabrielle also wanted to show the far-too-often reality that the most beautiful things (like butterflies) die very quickly. And that love is most often the casualty of the world getting in the way. We lose our color in a flurry of madness once life leaks back in.
In case you haven’t noticed yet, dreamcatchers are a very important Smoke Season symbol. In this video, our characters are like two wide-eyed children gathering snapshots of their beautiful moments. While they may not be asleep, the dreamcatcher is collecting their memories that feel more like a dream than reality.
We truly hope you enjoy watching as much as we enjoyed making.
We noticed a blog post commenting on our recent photo shoot and wanted to address it directly because it is something we take very very seriously.
The misappropriation of cultural symbolism and stereotyping of any race is a real and dangerous problem in American society. It is something we must fight everyday through awareness, education and a willingness to be corrected when we find ourselves in offensive territory. There is never an appropriate time to spread hate or ignorance.
We want to thank @lenofi for bringing up a perfect opportunity for us to explain our decision to incorporate Native American symbolism into our art. As a descendant of Native Americans, Gabrielle has long cultivated a scholastic understanding and emotional bond with Native American culture. When we started discussing the meaning behind Smoke Season and the sound we wanted to capture, she brought to the table a desire to pay homage to both her roots and academic background while still leaving room for us to form an original artistic voice through the music.
Our decision to use a Sioux headdress in the photo came from a desire to connect more deeply with the actual meaning behind the Native American tradition and not simply as a fashion statement. For those who are not familiar with the subject, headdresses or war bonnets were used by tribes to symbolize a man’s bravery. Each feather was to be earned and represented a specific act of valor. Individually, Smoke Season has been deeply affected by our personal hardships and choices that have led us to be where we are today. As a band, we are most driven to create art by the moments where we have summoned all our strength and kept fighting. While we may not be in the physical battlefield, we all find ourselves in an emotional one throughout life. The headdress, as well as our EP, is an artistic tribute to our moments of unrelenting determination. Moreover, headdresses were only worn by men in Native American culture. By placing it on Gabrielle in certain pictures, we consciously chose to subvert the cultural norm and bring light to another looming problem our society has faced and will continue to battle: gender roles and inequality among the sexes.
For us, the incorporation of these symbolic objects and imageries were a conscious emotional and artistic choice, because we are educated on the history and sociology. However, it is absolutely imperative that everyone learn about the full history of genocide as well as the beautiful traditions we so readily celebrate. No culture, race or society is monolithic but we run the risk of making them appear so when we adorn symbolism we do not understand or take the time to learn about.
We deeply apologize if our artistic quest to express personal bonds with a culture has been misinterpreted or has offended anyone. Please know that we will forever be your allies in the battlefield against sociological microaggressions and dangerous stereotypes. Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. We truly appreciate any and all attempts to combat racism, even if we’re the targets.
We will happily discuss this matter further with anyone who has comments or questions. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Five years ago, four friends decided to make music together and a special bond was formed. Out of its wake came the band that you have come to know and love as Honor Society. These men have become brothers, confidants and individuals that I will cherish in my life forever. The exhilarating ride that took us from rehearsing in our basements to playing stadiums has been nothing short of a fairy tale come true. I will forever cherish the memories we made, people we have met and art we have created.
I have decided to move on from Honor Society. While my departure from the band is a redefining moment in my life, I have nothing in my heart but love for the past and excitement for the future. I have learned that life is short and taking chances is what makes us feel alive.
And with this in mind, it is my deepest honor to introduce you to the new chapter in my book: Smoke Season. I invite you to join us at smokeseason.com to learn more about the art, the story and what we have in store. Most importantly, I’m proud to present you with a free download of our debut single, Soleil at soundcloud.com/smoke-season/soleil. Feel free to share, send and comment to whomever you like. It is my gift to you.
I want to thank all of you for coming along with me on this journey. The Honor Society guys and I are so lucky and continuously grateful to have our loyal, supportive and dedicated fans. Your continued support for the gentlemen (after dark) of Honor Society and new support of Smoke Season mean the absolute world to me. I hope that you find that your family of favorite bands just got a little bigger.
It is my priority to make you proud as fans and continue bringing beautiful music into the world.