2017-06-01 / Front Page

‘Waverley’ arrives at station

Musician, band, wrap up album trilogy
By Grant McPherson
Staff Writer


From left, Mac Coldwell, Chris Mayo, Sam Anderson and Chad Walls in a waiting room outside Adam Ayan’s studio at Gateway Mastering Studios in Portland. The mastering process is the final step before “Waverly” is released at the end of June. (Grant McPherson photo) From left, Mac Coldwell, Chris Mayo, Sam Anderson and Chad Walls in a waiting room outside Adam Ayan’s studio at Gateway Mastering Studios in Portland. The mastering process is the final step before “Waverly” is released at the end of June. (Grant McPherson photo) BIDDEFORD – Biddeford native Chad Walls and his band, An Overnight Low, are set to release their third album, “Waverley” this coming summer. Walls said he hopes to have their latest work available by June 30.

“Waverley” builds on the themes of travel and identity and started with “Euston” and “Piccadilly,” the band’s first two albums. All the titles are named after train stations in the United Kingdom, inspired by time Walls spent abroad at the University of Manchester earning his doctorate. “Euston” and “Piccadilly” were released in 2014 and 2016 respectively.


From left, Mac Coldwell, Sam Anderson, Chris Mayo and Chad Walls listen to the entire “Waverly” tracklist for the first time together. Band members Tina Murphy and Mike Murphy, who helped produce and record the album, were not present in the studio Friday, May 26. (Grant McPherson photo) From left, Mac Coldwell, Sam Anderson, Chris Mayo and Chad Walls listen to the entire “Waverly” tracklist for the first time together. Band members Tina Murphy and Mike Murphy, who helped produce and record the album, were not present in the studio Friday, May 26. (Grant McPherson photo) Walls, a professor at Southern Maine Community College, University of New England and Maine College of Art, said living abroad helped him look at America from a distance and gain a different perspective. He said he remembers when Barack Obama was elected president and British people were cheering the victory. Walls said he hadn’t been expecting that.

“These albums are not political,” Walls said, “rather the world through a different lens. A lot of it is just about train travel.”

Walls said “Waverley” is sonically different from An Overnight Low’s first two albums. He said “Piccadilly” was a piecemeal recording process, inviting band members into the studio to play whenever they were available. Walls said “Waverly” is all hands on deck; everybody is in the studio at the same time and able to put their stamp on each song.

The album was recorded by Jonathan Wyman of The Halo Studio in Windham and mastered by Adam Ayan of Gateway Mastering Studios in Portland. Ayan has mastered for a number of artists including Paul McCartney, Katy Perry and Bruce Springsteen.

Members of the band include Sam Anderson on vocals and guitar, Tina Murphy on vocals, guitar and keys, Mike Murphy on drums and percussion, Mac Coldwell on vocals and Chris Mayo on vocals and guitar.

“I had a lot of control over the first two,” Walls said. “Now I’m just letting go. We’re really excited for people to hear it. The songs are really diverse but the album is cohesive.”

Mayo said “Waverley” is the first album he was involved with start to finish. Stylistically Mayo said he is all over the map, enjoying country, punk and metal. He said in An Overnight Low he pretty much plays country rock guitar, but enjoys experimenting with different effects and delays to layer his sound.

Walls said the band has found a creative rhythm after working together over the course of three albums. The lyrics for a song typically don’t change once Walls has written them, but the process is up for debate after that. Walls said he has the final say but recognizes everyone has a unique voice, and wants to ensure all members are equally represented.

Anderson said they’ve enjoyed working things out as a band for a full-length record.

“We’re cooperative guys and gal,” Anderson said.

Coldwell, who has been involved in all three albums, said the feeling of harmony on “Waverley” came from Walls pushing each member to give their input. Thematically, Coldwell said there are similarities across a variety of subjects related to travel and homesickness.

“There’s still the melancholy of the first two, but there’s some happier places than there have been in previous albums,” Coldwell said.

Walls said he is grateful for the support the band has received in the U.K. The band has dedicated “Waverly” to an English DJ named David Gray, a monk and rock DJ known as the “Punk Monk.” Walls will debut the album to the U.K. on Gray’s show the last week of July. Walls said he is also working with a publicist in Dublin to promote the band’s new music in Ireland.

“The Irish are really accepting of musicians. It’s really exciting to see what’s going to happen there. It will hopefully open a lot of doors,” Walls said.

Walls said he knows of a train station in Ireland called Connolly, but isn’t sure he wants to continue the theme of his first three albums. He’d like to take the entire band with him to the U.K. but has no plans to right now due to the cost. Walls said he’s considered a gofundme or kickstarter page but has not set one up yet.

“I’m along for the ride, if the plane takes off I’m strapped in the seat,” Mayo said. “We found a cohesive group to play as a band.”

In the meantime the band will focus on releasing “Waverley,” as well as two lyric videos, the first one they hope to have on YouTube by the middle of June. The band will also plan a CD release party in September once they find a venue.

Walls said it feels good to have “Waverley” finished, but felt the band almost wore themselves out recording over the past month. During his first listen to the album in the car, Walls said all he could hear was the imperfections. However, he said he does that every time and once he gets over it he’s usually pretty happy with the finished product. Walls said he would like to continue the theme of travel in his future work but is also looking forward to something separate from a narrative.

“I don’t want to let the momentum die,” Walls said. “Hopefully this time next year we have something else out.”

Contact Staff Writer Grant McPherson at news@inthecourier.com

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