ASHFORD CASTLE (self release, 2/19/16)
“The Nobility create joyful, exuberant music. This whole record is… just so joyful. I really really loved it” – All Songs Considered co-host Robin Hilton (April 2016)
BLURT MAGAZINE / John B. Moore
It’s pretty tough to stand out in a music scene as varied and impressive as Nashville in 2016, but somehow the fours-some that make up The Nobility has managed to do just that with their third effort, Ashford Castle. The record grabs influences as varied as Jellyfish, Harry Nilsson, ELO and The Beach Boys, and mixes them into a sound that’s as infectiously catchy as it is eclectic.
The band deals heavily in tight harmonies, strong hooks and choruses that are irresistible, all backed by pianos, drums, guitars and the occasional trumpet and violin. But rather than a cluttered sound the guys have created a vibe that would make Jeff Lynne proud.
Songs like “Rollin’ in the Aisles” and “Mrs. Judy May” have a definite ‘70s FM radio feel to them, but the band can just as easily switch gears to a much more contemporary (but still catchy) sound for a song like “On the Sly.” There are a few weak spots on the record (most notably when it sounds like they are trying too hard to write an ELO song), but those moments are fleeting and are far outweighed by a song like the earworm “Alone.”
It’s only a matter of time before people finally start namechecking The Nobility when they tick off the reasons why the Nashville scene is in its prime. (April 2016)
DAGGERZINE / Tim Hinley
This quartet hails from Nashville where they proclaim themselves to be that city’s “53rd best band.” Humble as they are it has to be tough trying to stand out in that music city where there’s so darn many bands (granted mostly are country, I’m assuming). The band is led by Sean Williams on vocals and guitar while Cheyenne and Will Medders handle bass and drums respectively and keyboardist is Stephen Jerkins and there’s a serious love of melodic 70’s rock on here, I’m thinking of mainly the Beach Boys (some terrific harmonies) and I’m hearing some E.L.O. as well. The opening title track is a charmer as is the nearly-as-good “Wonderful Night.” Elsewhere check out the soaring “On the Sly” and the all-over-the-place “Alone.” I was trying to think of who Williams’ vocals reminded me of and I finally realized it’s the main guy from the Fruit Bats (musically they remind me of them during their folkier moments as well and like the FB’s they get a little too jammy for my liking, at times). The Nobility, through their two prior full-lengths and several EPs are also proudly independent and wear it on their sleeve (good for them, screw the man). Good tunes and the right attitude, what’s not to like? www.thenobility.com (July 2016)
WE OWN THIS TOWN / Michael Eades
As much as it pains me, I’ll admit that I once thought of The Nobility as “The Features Lite” – a slightly lesser version of everyone’s favorite four piece. Having listened to Ashford Castle a multitude of times now, I can be man enough to admit that my quick pigeonholing of their sound was a callous and shortsighted call.
Having been a band for fifteen some odd years, it’s clear that the band has found their confidence and knows how to execute exactly what they do well. There’s Beach Boy level harmonies, heartbreaking melancholy ballads and undeniable pop gems peppered throughout the record. It’s actually hard to determine exactly which of those styles they excel more at.
If you haven’t dug your teeth into this record yet, fire up “On the Sly” and just try not to play it more than thrice. (March 2016)
MEDIUM.COM / Todd A.
This year’s Ashford Castle, (The Nobility’s) first release since 2011’s The Secret of Blennerhasset Island, is a wonderful long-player that’s at times dreamy rock, shimmery disco(!?), and lovely vocal pop… a sort of timeless guitar pop that calls to mind their “North Stars” of the Beatles, Kinks, and Costello without sounding retro…” (April 2016)
Erik Estrada, April 25th, 2016