A portal into the No Signal world is through the highly conceptual, darkly theatrical, and genre-defying music. Once you enter this captivating universe of sound, you’re granted access to a realm of thought-provoking concepts, thrilling narratives, mesmerizing visuals rife with symbolism, and captivating videos. No Signal’s upcoming EP, out April 16th, 2020, features a chilling storyline and gorgeously gloomy sound-sculpted songs.
“I want No Signal to be an immersive experience with stories and concepts. It’s way more than just the music. My goal is to create and bring back intelligent music, and make people feel things they haven’t felt before, something words can’t be put to” shares the Boulder, Colorado-based artist. “I take this work very seriously.”
No Signal officially released its first EP in February 2018, and, in two years, has released two singles and a debut full-length album. Riley writes every lyric, every piece of music, and plays every instrument on his recordings. He also storyboards each release, sometimes writing 14-page Google documents to flesh out his ideas, and he currently has the next 6 albums mapped out. It’s a prolific and weighty outpouring of music from someone who will graduate high school in May of 2020.
No Signal’s videos are overarching. Each visual short will thematically connect so that in 50 years there will be an epic video experience for No Signal fans. Between albums, No Signal releases standalone EPs which are a respite from the LP mindset. These are experimental in music and concept, and they are often independent of No Signal’s established thematic territory.
It’s hard to pin down an epiphany that led a 14-year-old boy to set out to explore the dystopian artistic statements that permeate No Signal. The facts are that Riley grew up in a musical household, but never took music seriously until he was 14. At that time, a flood devastated his family’s house, warping all the guitars his father owned. Riley and his father went through the lengthy process of restoring each guitar and on that last remaining instrument, Riley began exploring music, and, from there, he began to organically branch out and taught himself to play other instruments.
At first, his tastes encompassed the pop music of the day, but hearing aggressively emotive music by Slipknot and Korn shifted his perspective. Discovering Tool was epiphanic for Riley as it showed him music could be a fluid form of creativity. Tool also showed him the power of narratives and symbolism as part of a music package. Soon after his Tool transformation, Riley set out on a journey to establish his own world of creativity. He soon realized that communicating his vision to others was almost futile. So, he began a solitary artistic pursuit as No Signal. No Signal does perform live with a trusted and very capable rhythm section.
The first chapter of this story is the eerily ethereal track “Grey Sun” which features melodically foreboding guitar parts, emotive vocals, and an imaginative arrangement that punctuates the ambience with heavy guitar riffs. “That first clash of the cymbals when the horror-movie sounding guitar enters, that’s the moment the story officially starts,” Riley shares. The lushly layered “Vanished” is the first No Signal song to have no guitar. Instead, it features atmospheric textures and harmonious vocals, and an impactful arrangement that is perfectly heightened by a drum-induced climax. No Signals fans may notice a vocal motif on this track—a chant of “soul over body”—that previously appeared on the single “Stranger Danger” (interestingly, “Stranger Danger” also references the phrase “Shadow People”). The title track is dreamily ambient, layered with breathtaking harmony vocals, and it captures the frightening end of the storyline which is epically thrilling.
“The reason I do this is to put words and music to emotions I’m feeling that I’ve never felt prior to discovering this music,” says Riley in closing. “I hope people feel transported by the theatrics and grandeur of what I’m presenting. I don’t know the meaning of it all—a lot of this is an anomaly to me—but I do know I want to move people the way I’ve been moved by this strange and grand sonic entity in the past.”
Rock | Indie Rock | Unclassifiable
17-year-old rock prodigy Riley Schmelzer's No Signal set to release concept EP "Shadow People" April 16, 2020
BOULDER, COLO. APRIL 16, 2020
17-year-old high-schooler, Riley Schmelzer, who performs under the name No Signal, is set to release his next concept EP "Shadow People" on April 16, 2020 via No Label Productions. Today, fans can pre-order the EP HERE.
Eerie, shadowy, and cryptic, all of the songs on "Shadow People" were written, performed, and recorded entirely by high-school student Schmelzer in the basement of his home in Boulder, CO. A self-taught musician, Schmelzer plays lead and rhythm guitar, bass, drums, synthesizers, eBow, Theremin, and sings all of the vocals and backgrounds, as well as playing all other sounds heard on the EP. Touring members of the band include 19-year-old Nic Kubes (drums/percussion) and 21-year-old Tanner Shafer (bass/background vocals).
As you enter the world of No Signal, you are greeted with an immersive experience of sonic stories and overarching concepts to draw the listener in. Schmelzer says, “It’s more than just the music. I want to create thought provoking music while submerging people in the entire aural experience and make them feel things they haven’t felt before.” With "Shadow People" Schmelzer wrote the story before he wrote the music on the EP, “through the lens of a horror movie soundtrack composer.” Darker than anything he’s released before, "Shadow People" is the follow up to the EP, "Circle in the Sky" - listen HERE, written while Schmelzer was just 14 years old and full-length debut album, "Seat of Dreams" - listen HERE, released in 2019. All releases have been based off a story to create a visual for the listener while allowing them to decipher the meaning for themselves. “I don’t like giving the story away” says Schmelzer. “"Shadow People" follows one large story. Each track is like a chapter out of a book and if the listener pays close attention, they can get a detailed grasp of what this story is just by listening.”
The lead track “Grey Sun,” with its sparse lyric video - HERE, sets the stage for the poetic story of "Shadow People". The song is jarringly ethereal and features foreboding guitar parts, emotive vocals, and an imaginative arrangement that punctuates the ambience with heavy guitar riffs all providing the tone to for rest of the EP. “That first clash of the cymbals when the haunting guitar enters in the moment the story officially starts,” Schmelzer shares. Then comes “Idée Fixe” - listen HERE and the lushly layered “Vanished,” released today - listen HERE, is the first No Signal song to not have guitar. Instead, it features atmospheric textures and melodious vocals, and an impactful arrangement that is perfectly heightened by a drum-induced climax. The title track is dreamily ambient, layered with breathtaking harmony, and captures the frightening end of the thrilling storyline. “The reason I do this is to put words and music to emotions I’m feeling that I’ve never felt prior to discovering this music,” says Riley in closing. “I hope people feel transported by the theatrics and grandeur of what I’m presenting. I don’t know the meaning of it all—a lot of this is an anomaly to me—but I do know I want to move people the way I’ve been moved by this strange and grand sonic entity in the past.”
|Preferred Retail Link:||Click here|
|Suggested Retail Price:||4.99|
|Record Label:||No Label Productions|
|Release Title:||Shadow People|