(updated 13 March 2008) Balligomingo's 2002 album Beneath The Surface drew significant attention from Musical Discoveries and the publication's readership. In the first feature article of its kind, our album review was accompanied by seven individual interviews with the vocalists that performed on the album. The article included interviews with the album's two producers, Garrett Schwartz and Vic Levak. While the seven women made some individual contributions to the material, none of them were ever actually part of the group. They served as featured vocalists for the project. Although blame for the team's breakup spread throughout industry and the fanbase, their differences scattered the artists to the winds following the very successful album release.
The First Women of Balligomingo. No, they weren't part of the group, but the women's voices were a critical element of Balligomingo's sound and our interviews with the individual singers made interesting reading. Beneath The Surface defined an entirely new genre by carefully blending lush electronic arrangements with the most sensual female voices. Seven Canadian singers were involved with the project, contributing not only vocals but other aspects to recordings. They were: Jennifer Baldwin ("Wild Butterfly"); Colleen Coadic ("Escape," "Being"); Jennifer Hershman ("Sweet Allure"); Camille Miller ("Lost"); Jody Quine ("Purify," "Privilege"); Beverly Staunton ("Falling," "Beyond," "Marooned," "Lust"); and Kristy Thirsk ("Heat"). Interviews with all seven women open individually from our main album page.
We haven't heard new material by Jennifer Baldwin since Beneath The Surface was released. Baldwin's one and only recording appears to be the stunning Balligomingo track "Wild Butterfly." Colleen Coadic released the 2005 solo album You Feel This Good (review). Jennifer Hershman released a solo album entitled The Little Things (review) that included a 2007 version of the Balligomingo tune "Thinking Of You" which she co-wrote. It has resurfaced as a bonus track sung by Rebecca Ramone on Under And Endless Sky.
Camille Miller recorded solo albums Carnarvon Street (2005) (review) and Somewhere Near The Truth (2007) (review). Beverley Staunton moved to Los Angeles and, in addition to recording projects, has an ongoing multilingual live singing engagement with Dancing With The Stars. While she has no new releases, several recent recordings are available for streaming at her website.
Kristy Thirsk recorded a solo album entitled Souvenir (review and interview), touring and recording Chimera and Nuages Du Monde with Delerium (reviews), recording the Sleepthief tracks "Sublunar (Sweet Angel)" for The Dawnseeker and "Send Me An Angel" for "The Chauffeur Remix" EP with Sleepthief. Kristy and her husband wrote and recorded the exclusive track "Out There" for the Musical Discoveries Sirènes compilation. Kristy recently recorded a four track EP entitled "Under Cover" that was sold on the last Delerium tour.
Jody Quine recorded "Eurydice," "Tenuous" and "Kiss To Savor" for Sleepthief's The Dawnseeker (review and interviews), performed in the "Eurydice" video and was featured in every track of the "Eurydice Remix" EP. She also recorded a solo demo entitled Crazy (review). Jody also recorded a number of tracks including "Star" with Vic Levak as Viia (review and interview) that was included the Musical Discoveries Sirènes compilation. She joined Balligomiingo in 2007.
Under An Endless Sky. Balligomingo is now Garrett Schwartz, Vic Levak and Jody Quine. The new album, entitled Under An Endless Sky features the vocal work exclusively of Jody Quine and newcomer Rebecca Ramone. Each of the women sing half of the album's total tracks. While out takes from the first Balligomingo sessions continue to circulate in mp3 sharing communities, Vic Levak and Garrett Schwartz began working on a second album of all new Balligomingo material during 2007. Ten primary tracks that continue to feature sensual female voices grace the album. Our promotional copy also includes four bonus tracks consisting of three remixes from the first ten and an additional new track. Balligomingo are presently exploring alternatives for the release of Under An Endless Sky.
The tracklist for Under An Endless Sky is: "Spinning" (RR), "A Beautiful Day" (JQ), "Letting Go" (JQ), "Under An Endless Sky" (JQ), "Sunshine in Rain" (JQ), "Dream Believer" (RR), "Goodbye" (RR), "Over You" (RR), "You're A Star" (JQ) and "La Bonita" (JQ). Bonus tracks are: "Goodbye (Jeratone Remix)" (RR), "Beautiful Day (Hush Remix) (JQ), "Dream Believer (Jeratone Remix)" (RR) and "Thinking of You" (RR). Recorded at Hush Sound (Vic Levak's studio), all tracks are written and produced by Balligomingo; Rebecca Ramone contributed to the songs she sings. Jerry Sintich adds guitar and piano to "Dream Believer." Additional writing on "Over You" is by Michelle Lewis (courtesy The Dog Music/Razor and Tie Songs/ASCAP).
Listeners will be delighted to hear the new inspirations reflected in Balligomingo's new album. The entrancing opening track "Spinning" is sung by newcomer Rebecca Ramone. Wonderful guitar and percussive accompaniment excite the mood in this ethereal melody. Rebecca's dreamy tone in this song immediately develops a new flavor of Balligomingo's modus operandi. She exudes a delicate, softness in this beautiful opener. Jody Quine's powerful vocals in the album standout "A Beautiful Day" complement the driving beat of the music. Jody's voice is sensual, crystalline and powerful in this edgy tune. The sonic sounding and percussively luxuriant "Letting Go" has a faraway feel to it. There is a sultry texture to Jody's beautiful vocals that maintain a languid quality.
The title track, "Under An Endless Sky," with its staccato-infused melody enjoys the soaring, beautiful vocals that Jody delivers effortlessly. "Sunshine In Rain" delivers the goods one expects from Balligomingo with their unique alt-rock sound and driving energy. Originally written by Jody and Vic, an earlier version of the track was posted briefly on the Balligomingo MySpace page to guage interest and was subsequently taken down when the decision to finish it with Garrett contributing additional arrangements for the album release was made. The upbeat tune has a contagious beat with sweeping vocals. Rebecca's confident voice in "Dream Believer" showcases her extensive range and emotive quality. She continues to share her compelling vocals in "Goodbye." The beguiling tune has an hypnotic quality.
A more folky and mesmerizing percussive tone captures the listener in "Over You." Rebecca's riveting vocals have a breathiness but forceful tone in this compelling song. Jody follows up in the ethereal "You're A Star." Her gorgeous and sensuous voice lends a mysteriousness and esoteric feel to this track. "La Bonita" with its exotic and melodic vocals certainly showcases Jody's effortless, pure voice. The wonderful guitar arrangements are intoxicating in this beautiful piece.
Noting the difference in sound from Beneath The Surface we asked Garrett Schwartz about writing and recording the album. "Our goal was to try new things and to redefine our sound on the second album so that it sounds musically different than anything else in our genre," Schwartz replied. "We wanted to avoid electronic sounds as much as possible while creating new and unique sonic soundscapes through the sheer ambience of tweaked acoustic guitar."
Garrett continued, "Though we love electronic soundscapes, it's more and more difficult to sound unique with so many bands producing similar sounds. Our goal was to take the soothing sounds of acoustic guitar and effect them in a way that delivers an entirely new listening experience, minimizing our reliance on synthesized music." Two prime examples are "Letting Go" and the title track. "We hope people like it. I couldn't be more amazed at Vic's ability to weave a sonic vacation through his guitar into these songs." These two songs were written and set aside for months. "It was only then that we realized we had something different and began to appreciate the new sonic experience," Schwartz adds, "Those two songs are my greatest joy."
The prerelese sampler of Under An Endless Sky includes four bonus tracks. The three remixes add a club flavor to "Goodbye," the stunning standout "A Beautiful Day" and "Dream Believer." Rebecca Ramone's version of "Thinking Of You" was also included to showcase the options for bonus tracks to the industry. Says Garrett Schwartz, "This version is a new mix and slightly changed vocal idea. Jennifer Hershmann is a great singer and helped to write some of the vocal melody. However, for keeping the songs souding consistent, Rebecca's voice made the most sense."
Balligomingo are hoping to pen a deal before the end of the year. With the holiday season's releases now set in stone, the album should emerge in 2009. It is likely that only the main ten tracks will be released. With a renewed sound and vocal focus on Jody and Rebecca, Balligomingo are charting the course for another breakthrough success with Under An Endless Sky.--Audrey Elliot and Russ Elliot in New York