Culture

UM Faculty Member Helps The Local Tourists Release their Debut

If you’re looking for an album with more substance than what you generally hear on the radio, “Happy Birthday, Kyle,” the debut album from The Local Tourists, could be a refreshing change of pace.

“Happy Birthday, Kyle” has an intriguing, eclectic sound all its own. Operatic vocals paired with alternative rock instrumentals set it apart from the norm.

The Local Tourists initially began in 2002 under the name of O’Malley and Schauble. Brendan O’Malley and Kent Schauble, both vocalists and songwriters, met while attending the University of Indiana School of Music in 1995. It wasn’t until 2007 that the duo renamed themselves The Local Tourists. The album “Happy Birthday, Kyle,” a collection of songs written by O’Malley and Schauble, incorporates other artists as well.

Steven Wolf, the group’s featured drummer, has been featured previously on a number of gold, platinum and Grammy award-winning albums. Jack Daley, the band’s bassist, served as Lenny Kravitz’s bassist of choice on several world tours. Jim Ryan is the featured pianist on The Local Tourists’ debut album, and he is also an adjunct faculty member at the Frost School of Music here at UM.

“It’s incredibly diverse, with songs ranging from rock to almost musical theater,” “It brings an interesting and different quality to rock music.”

O’Malley described the album as “vocally-driven, compositional rock music.”

“The songs are carefully composed and each is a little bit different,” said O’Malley. “Styles run anywhere from Phish to Ben Folds.”

With such a new and unique sound, it’s no wonder The Local Tourists’ debut album has an equally unique title. Kyle was a neighbor of O’Malley and Schauble while they were in college. The song Schauble wrote about her, “Kyle,” was the first of the 13 songs on the album to be completed.

“The album is eclectic so we decided ‘Happy Birthday, Kyle’ was a good way to summarize the album in a neat little package,” O’Malley said.

According to O’Malley, the primary goal behind the album was to produce a product that is easily accessible. With “Happy Birthday, Kyle” already available on iTunes and Amazon.com, it seems that goal has already been achieved.

The next step for The Local Tourists is yet to be determined, but may involve touring. “We might tour to promote the album,” said O’Malley. “First we just want to get the music out there.”

Kendall Sale may be contacted at k.sale@umiami.edu.

January 31, 2008

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