Will Dailey & The Rivals pave a new path with their upcoming full length self titled album and first for Universal Republic Records.
Breaking from an approach they employed on their last series of recordings, Will Dailey and his musical cohorts don't stick to one simple theme, emotion, genre, or style this time out. Rather, the Boston group incorporates elements of introspective folk and invigorating pop into one big rock 'n' roll ride.
When Will Dailey entered a Somerville, MA studio with The Rivals and producer Tom Polce in October 2010, he had one goal. "I wanted to shy away from the singer-songwriter side of things and make a real rock and roll record…the ‘roll’ seems to have disappeared from a lot of rock, and we’ve made it part of our mission to bring it back," the singer, guitarist and lead songwriter declares. "The songs may unfold themselves in many different ways, but the music needed to be high-energy, adventurous, and get right to the heart of the matter."
The band accomplished their mission with flying colors. Hunkering down for four marathon weeks in the studio, Dailey, Dave Brophy [drums], Matt Pynn [guitar], and Matt Tahaney [bass] poured their hearts into making a record that reflects the band members' intense devotion to the songs and belief in rock’n’roll.
"The whole recording experience was us in a room struggling, arguing, and having beautiful moments together at the same time," Dailey recalls. "It's a real band record, and that's why it's called Will Dailey & The Rivals. This music is who we are. It's like Mission Impossible where I have these staple sidekicks. These guys have stuck it out with me for a long time and we're all immensely proud of what we've made."
Dailey certainly has come a long way to arrive at his major label debut. He released a series of critically acclaimed records through the relaunched, and now independent, CBS Records. In the process, he was honored with two Boston Music Awards for Best Male Singer-Songwriter and was lauded by Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Boston Globe, and numerous other publications. Meanwhile, his music was featured on more than 50 different television shows such as MTV's The Hills, NCIS, 90210, CSI: Miami, Eli Stone, CSI: New York, and more. After the band finished recording their third effort, Universal Republic Records executives heard the music and instantly signed them in early 2011.
Will Dailey & The Rival's first single, "Counting on Karma,” opens up a new chapter. A sunny acoustic guitar shimmers alongside Dailey's soaring refrain as the song paints a cinematic picture of waiting, optimistically, for "the one.”
Hang tight pretty young girls
That ain’t every guy in the whole wide world
Sometimes he’s standing in the corner
Counting on karma to bring you over
It's a lush pop rock gem that's as infectious as it is inviting.
About the song, Dailey says, "A dear friend of mine had this diatribe about how girls never go for the nice guy. I didn't buy the concept at first though, and he responded, 'I'll just count on karma'. That conversation stuck with me, and the song is focused on that feeling for all of the guys and girls out there who’ve discovered that sometimes, the first or most aggressive person in line isn't always the best choice. Sometimes it is the one standing in the corner."
The rest of the record is filled with songs whose universal themes are sure to resonate with listeners. "Big Bright Sun" is a pensive anthem that takes flight on another massive chorus, while "Best Friend" and “No Fiction” respectively chronicle the positive and darker sides of social media and online encounters. Album opener "How Good It Feels" saw Dailey enlist the help of the first chairs of The Boston Symphony Orchestra to add an epic flare to the song’s arrangement.
"It was special to compose this majestic thing and have real pros play it," smiles Dailey. "It opens the album on this very honest statement. It's about how the trip itself feels so good. You're not going anywhere in particular or wishing you'd changed things in the past. Don’t punish yourself with hindsight or stress about tomorrow. Enjoy, it's about the journey. I like setting the pace for the album that way."
He also sets the pace similarly on stage. With uncontainable charisma and energy, he's won over audiences supporting Neil Young, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews Band at their historic Farm Aid benefit concerts. In addition, Dailey will soon be heard collaborating with Stephen King and Mellencamp on a highly anticipated project produced by T Bone Burnett.
Ultimately, this album is truly designed as an adventure for Will Dailey & The Rivals to share with fans. "I hope the album is a ride people want to take again and again," he concludes. "I'd love for people to reach the end and press 'play' one more time."