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
Not every High-Schooler is glued to their phone. 17 Year-Old Riley Schmelzer set to release 3rd single from upcoming EP
Throughout High School, Riley Schmelzer’s road to rock star status, has been nothing short of awe inspiring and unparalleled for a teen-aged rock artist while still attending High School. Since his Feb 2018 “Circle in the Sky” EP debut at 14-years-old, Riley has quietly established himself as one of the best new singer/songwriters in concept rock today. Thanks to his growing army of loyal listeners, the teenage rock prodigy has confirmed today that he will be releasing his highly anticipated EP “Shadow People” on April 16, 2020 via "No Label Productions".
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