What's New

March 20th, 2015

-- New MV "Old Mill Park" premiere on Grounds Sounds! Please check it out :)

March 6th, 2015

-- Have you listened to KQED Arts "To Do List" yesterday? See you all tomorrow at Cafe Underwood!

March 4th, 2015

-- "Old Mill Park" EP is available now! It has been introduced on DeliSF, This is Book's Music and Largehearted Boy

February 25th, 2015

-- Premiere & Interview for the new EP posted on The Bay Bridged! Check out the track "Dog Named Bart" there!

February 4th, 2015

-- Biography page updated for "Old Mill Park."

January 20th, 2015

-- Website design updated for the new year & new EP. Hopefully you will like it!

June 3rd, 2014

-- Our Uncorked TV appearance is available on Video Page

May 16th, 2014

-- Our interview with SF Weekly is on their Music Blog!

February 19th, 2014

-- Our new EP has been mastered! We are so looking forward to revealing more information about it....

-- We are one of the artists chosen as "Staff Picks" this week (till 2/26) on Brite Revolution!

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We've Got a Map

We've Got a Map - Tidelands



If... - Tidelands

Holy Grail: Music Video



Beautiful Guitar Riffs courtesy of The Tidelands

The New Black captivates our ears with its catchy guitar riffs, smooth vocals and funky chorus.

Japan features a smooth guitar interspersed with some brass to create a fab instrumental arrangement which is further complimented by exquisite vocals and halfway through the song, there is a slowed down segment that will leave you stunned as its simply sublime.

The Ship begins with a wonderful intro and then flows into catchy beats and beautiful vocals, this song will blow your mind with its orchestric arrangement.

Sixes And Sevens starts with a slow but delightful arrangement, with its laid back tempo this is another musical gem from The Tidelands. The band are pros when it comes to choosing the best instruments for their compositions. I love the guitar sequence towards the end, a real joy to the ears.

With a catchy opening and quick lyrics, The Tidelands once again entertain us with catchy instrumental hooks galore in Holy Grail.

The band are the combined musical efforts of Songwriter/Guitarist and Flugelhorn player Gabriel Montana Leis and Drummer/Keyboard Player Mie Araki.

This double act pack a musical punch with their extraordinary vocal talents and first class instrumentals, The Tidelands will leave you in awe.

It’s not easy to describe Tidelands in everyday terms without grasping at straws, but smart, wide open, glowing, profound, deep, and light of heart may suffice. Though even these words are kind of numbing to the actual experience of aural intake. Not to say that their music is alienating and overly complex or defies description, but the San Francisco 2-piece definitely bring a fresh and welcome sound to a world that is becoming increasingly hungry for substance. From the shimmering moog synthesizer and snappy guitar riffs right down to the way guitarist vocalist Gabriel Leis delivers his poignant lyrics, it is obvious that a lot of thought and love has gone into their music, and that to me is golden in its worth.

Returning with an excellent follow up to 2011’s If…, We’ve Got a Map sees Gabriel Leis and drummer Mie Araki taking a formula that worked before and improving upon it. The results are a spontaneous indie-pop soundtrack that is layered and rich in sound without the over-production.

Take for instance “The New Black”, an upbeat tune with the punch similar to Modest Mouse and the sensibilities of Cake. With light handed political, personal and emotional leanings Gabriel’s lyrics are touched with a mild cynicism, all the while carried by such fluid and lovely pop music. Something I really like about this band besides the immediacy of their playing and that Mei is one heck of a drummer, is how clear the vocals are. Leis has not only given the lyrics more than a passing thought, they are pronounced clearly, with enunciation that is almost theatrical.

The themes of searching for meaning and finding your way, sex, conscious thought, and politics without the preaching wind their way through this sophomore effort. Coupled with some great playing by some good people, I’d venture to say we have a treasure in our midst along with a map to lead us there.

Tidelands are a superb two piece band from San Francisco consisting of Gabriel Leis and Mie Araki. We've Got A Map is their excellent second album and is the natural progression from their wonderful debut album If... From the opening strumming guitar of Coil we can tell this is going to be something special. The songs here are not your usual pop productions, they are poetry to music. Coil slides beautifully into one of the best songs I've heard from any artist; The New Black is not only musically magic but a lyrical masterpiece that hits out at the heart of society from the conformity to corporal society 'I'm here to confess that I've been acquired...if you've got a lie, well I'm buyin'' to the on going wars in the Middle East 'cold is the gun that we give to our sons', and to put all this social commentary under the heading the New Black to brand the bleakness as a trend...this honesty is refreshing. There is some wonderful musicianship here to especially, for me at least, Gabriel's guitar work.

More social commentary follows with Rock Bottom which has a solid rhythmic drum beat from Mie. Next is the supercool Sexy Fox which builds again from a neat guitar riff to a wonderful song that sounds it like it belongs on the soundtrack of some road movie. Japan is a brass filled orchestral piece about Western Greed and the misery we have inflicted on the East, including Mie's vocals in Japanese. Toaster is a symbolic piece about the trappings of life and the freedom of love; it includes one of my favourite lines 'all my life I've been the toaster, I want to be the toast' - this line speaks to me of someone who has cared for all his life and now wants to be cared for. But as with all Tidelands songs, they will speak to everyone differently. Twin Lakes is the album's ballad and flows beautifully into the albums final song Half A Century which is instrumental for the most part.

Within the album one can find many connections to ones own life and, as previously expressed, everyone will hear and feel something different. It is a pure gem of an album that one can hear over and over again finding something new each time to enjoy a fresh. It leaves me wanting to hear a third album and wanting to see Tidelands perform live. We've Got A Map should be in your music collection...it's in mine and I love it.

Tidelands are San Francisco-based band consisting of songwriter/Guitarist and lead vocalist Gabriel Montana Leis and drummer/keyboardist Mie Araki. Our search for new talent lead us to their Facebook where a number of five songs are at a display, with The New Black part of their new albumWe’ve got a map, which was released in early 2012. So what kind of band is Tidelands?
First of all, they produce the kind of music you could expect by a band that operates from sunny San Francisco, on the other hand, they do have a lot of influences which doesn’t make them just another sunny state pop band. The addition of horns, next to the mostly clean guitar sound, for instance is something that makes the tracks stand out and it gives them a more epic feel. There also are a lot of world music influences. The trumpets in Marigolds have a Latin feel to them, while Japan, also on the new album, has an Eastern vibe, although here too the horns play a leading role in the outro.

The songs often sound simple and straightforward, but after a couple of listens you always discover new elements and layers and you have to acknowledge that there is more to it, than seems at first. There is always a twist which makes the songs either melancholic or even a slight bit haunted, like the violins in The Ship, which make the tender song burst into a stormy affair. The vocals are delivered in a very special way in this song too. The New Black a song from the earlier mentionedWe’ve got a map is more of a straight-forward song, yet the backing vocals do give it an oriental undertone as well.

Tidelands don’t just make catchy music, these songs are journeys where you can discover new things with every time you listen to them. The mixture of the clean guitar and the horns, the violins and other diverse instruments works really well and this duo obviously has a lot of creativity on offer. The vocals are really good as well and really clever, with a lot of well thought out metaphors. We might have been lazy, only looking at these five, loose songs offered on Facebook, since their new album can be previewed at their bandcamp. We will however give this a couple of spins as well and probably, as means of compensation, will fall in love with it and buy. Anyway, here are both links.

Tidelands Facebook

Tidelands bandcamp

The new EP by Tidelands shows a duo who understand what it takes to create pop-accessible songs without having to cater to pop needs, which is an interesting dynamic. Gabriel Leis and Mie Araki maintain their “indie credibility” in this one, in that they create the kind of heartfelt songs that sound like they wrote the lyrics and music (which they did) but without having to follow trends or a formula. With that said, upon hearing songs like “Sexy Fox”, “Rock Bottom”, and “Coil”, they show that if people came to them and experienced what they were about on their own terms, Tidelands could be massive.

What makes them “massive”? Their sound reminded me a bit of the early to mid-80′s pop and rock that one could hear on MTV, whether it was The Alarm, Temple Tudor, or anything that felt good then. This is what would be categorized as “college rock” before it became alternative, alterna- trendy, and now indie. What was rooted in those songs and bands were the sounds of bands from the 1960′s who used folk, country, rhythm & blues, and a bit of jump in their jazz to create that type of rock’n'roll that sounded so foreign back then but in truth it came from their backyards. That’s what Tidelands sound like, a bit of that familiar and yet because they may sound different at first, you’re curious as to what they are able to bring forth.

I say this because I had written something somewhere online about how an artist made pop music, and I was quickly reminded that pop is not a genre or a style of music, it’s merely to say what is popular. Tidelands could very well be popular if given the means, but don’t let their independent status hold anyone back from listening to We’ve Got A Map, because they’re basically saying “come along for the ride, and we’ll find it together”, whatever “it” may be or represents. Catchy and addictive music comes from those who understand musical comprehension and construction. It may sound simplistic at first, but let it simmer into your mind and you’ll be able to sense the trail they want to and will continue to explore.

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We’ve Got a Map finds Gabriel Leis (lead vocals, guitar, flugelhorn) and percussionist Mie Araki, aka Tidelands, back with a predominantly mid-tempo, quiet soundscape. By quiet, I mean the space between measures; between more strident and less aggressive sounds. As with most paintings, everything can’t be in the foreground. It takes musicians with restraint, vision, and and technique to paint a picture that works, from one end to the other. Tidelands is about  articulate, engaging expression, which is embellished beautifully by Magik*Magik Orchestra on this second full-length.

If Tidelands occasionally leans into medieval imagery and tones, a contemporary cousin to ‘70s Prog. rock, I’m not really bothered – it all seems to fit (the band would make a great bill-sharer with Shearwater). We’ve Got a Map is the sort of album that’s meant to be played in its entirety; revealing fresh colors and nuances with successive immersions. The album also sports Tidelands’ rockin-est song to date, “The New Black.” But my favorite, “Japan,” is an unusual concoction of soulful flavor with a vaguely Asian feeling and the sort of bright, conversational vocals that could herald a “now” version of the New Wave.

What happens when you get a free month of Amazon Prime?  You end up watching way too many “free” shows.  When one of those shows is Doctor Who, you get sucked in and start drawing comparisons with your everyday world.

I have been watching a lot of Doctor Who, and listening to a lot of Tidelands.  The lines are starting to blur.

For those unfamiliar with the BBC television show, the Doctor is the last of the alien race of Time Lords.  He travels with a companion (usually a female from Earth, more accurately the UK) through time and space on various adventures and saves the universe in 42 minutes every week.  The Doctor battles Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels, and other enemies of the past and future with the help of friends, a sonic screwdriver and his space vessel, the TARDIS.  He has been coming to a television set near you since 1963 (with a hiatus from 1989-2005).

How do they get around the annoying detail that it would be plain near difficult to keep the same actor playing the role of the Doctor for that span of time?  A simple writing device that when the Doctor is near death, he regenerates with a new face and (slightly) new personality.  A new actor is free to take the character in a new direction every few seasons as the nth iteration of the Time Lord; new face –  same sonic screwdriver, TARDIS, and alien encounters.

Tidelands as bears

“New face” are two words I would use to describe Tidelands’ We’ve Got A Map.  Written immediately on the heels of their heady debut,If…, their sophomore attempt has a new face, a new personality, but is the same old Doctor.  Taking a spontaneous approach to their music, Gabriel Leis and Mie Araki have brought two worlds together: the spiritual robustness of their original sound combined with some catchy-as-hell rock riffs.  When the album opens with “Coil,” the listener can immediately experience familiarity: the return of Magik* Magik Orchestra, Araki’s straightforward beat keeping, plus Leis’ flugelhorn and silky poetry. But there is something else there as well as in the subsequent tracks.  Like a Doctor reborn and stranded who discovers he enjoys fish sticks with custard, Tidelands finds a lighter side of themselves.  Every beat is catchy.  Leis shows off some funky guitar chops in “The New Black” and “Japan.”  ”Sexy Fox” covers so much personal ground and is a fantastic trip down the psychedelic rock rabbit hole, while “Twin Lakes” is a piano, vocal and string arrangement of pure beauty.

Tidelands debut was a thinking person’s soundtrack; We’ve Got A Map still has intellectual density, but doesn’t make you fell like you just read Proust.  There are many tracks that push the 5-minute-plus mark, but like “Toaster,” are expertly written to change their face midway through to maintain a fresh feel throughout.  True art is about using abstraction to express emotion, and true artists know how to make their medium speak to everyone.  Tidelands has mastered the technique of making their depth accessible and sinking the hooks of their songs into your subconscious.  Listen to We’ve Got A Map to challenge your expectations of what music can mean to you, and enjoy every second of it along the way.

Oh, and I can’t speak for the band, nor do I know what their thoughts are on Doctor Who, but you should totally watch that show as well.

Hot on the heels of their debut album, If…, San Francisco based indie rock duo, Tidelands, has eagerly added to their resume with the compilation of their sophomore effort, We’ve Got A Map (8/7/12, Redgummy Records). 

It has been a little over a year since the release of If…, and the band’s quick turnaround is characteristic of their overall spontaneity and free-spirited approach in-studio.  In fact, drummer Mie Araki (native to Osaka, Japan) claims that the word “spontaneity” best describes the album as a whole and fully captures the songwriting style of the duo, who worked without listening back to most of the album’s tracks throughout the process. The result? What vocalist, guitarist, and flugelhorn player Gabriel Leis believes is a very “organic” work, representing a shift in sound and style for the band. 

Leis aptly defines his default writing style as both “heavy” and “heady,” citing his handiwork on the band’s darker debut album. Upon acquainting oneself with We’ve Got A Map, however, the duo’s story takes a turn with lighter, more uplifting tracks like “The New Black” and “Japan,” a whirring display of catchy insightfulness a la Ben Folds, Ben Gibbard, or The Decemberists, which characterize and quantify the band’s creative stream of consciousness in the rapid flow from If… to We’ve Got A Map

Dividing their attention instinctively among a number of issues, Tidelands’ latest album addresses everything from American Imperial guilt (“The New Black”) to sexual healing (“Sexy Fox”) and the unspoken pleasures of intimate company (“Coil”), all in eight tracks. The result is a comprehensive and creative work blazing new territory for the duo, whose ingenuity and openness are evident in their swift second effort.

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Indie pop-rock duo Tidelands, who are based in San Francisco, introduce themselves on their Facebook page this way:

mie is from osaka japan and plays drums, moog synth, and sings a little bit. gabriel is from nowhere but claims california and he writes words, plays guitar and flugelhorn and sings. together they write and arrange songs that become tidelands. yep, that’s it, just the two of us. we do it with loopers and the ultra-dexterity of mie’s limbs.

Their fresh tune “The New Black” has been stuck in my head since I first heard it yesterday.  The song features a wonderfully retro guitar solo, rambling riffs that make the song perfect for a road trip, and interesting lyrics like “Haven’t you heard the new black is denial?”  The tone of the song almost recalls Canadian alt-rockers Moist.  It’s an addicting listen that’ll have you turning up the volume with each repeat play.  

These guys have a mere 400 likes on their Facebook page — fewer than we do, which is simply ridiculous — so head over there and give them a few new fans.  This is one About to Break artist that’s in here not because they actually are about to break, but rather because they deserve to break.

When rock legend Bob Weir hands you your very first guitar - you'd better make good use of it! Such is the case with Gabriel Montana Leis - the male half of the San Francisco based Tidelands duo. Leis, along with his female co-conspirator Mie Araki (drums, keyboards vocals) have created an extraordinary debut album which draws on such disparate genres as folk, prog-rock, and classical. This mesmerizing mix of flavors should come as no surprise: Araki studied jazz, classical and European music. Leis has composed for cello, violin, and trumpet and has experimented with loops. 

In addition, the band was introduced to the conductor of the Magik * Magik Orchestra (Minna Choi) who worked on the charts - which also feature various members of Magik *Magik. Every track is essentially a mini-opera. "Holy Grail" blends punk-y guitar rhythms with a swinging orchestral backdrop whilst Leis' icy vocals recall Ian Curtis and Peter Murphy (be sure to check out the video which was put together from over 1000 watercolor paintings by Ami Kutata). Leis' rapid fire delivery complements his brisk guitar playing on "The Ship" as Araki fractures the back-beat and the strings and synthesizers forge on and on and on. Things quiet down for beginning of "Eyes of God" - a dreamy, mid-tempo track featuring cinematic choruses constructed with odd time signatures and cacophonic blasts - and a coda Lou Reed would have died for circa 1968. 

You'd be hard pressed to find a collective that sounds anything like Tidelands - highly recommended for rock 'n' roll fans who are tired of bands recycling the same old ideas
--Tom Semioli

Oh, to be elevated, that curious anti-gravity, lifting and gaining momentum against every Newtonian law. But it is rare, to be sure, these upwardly mobile chord progressions, half because of innate difficulties and half because we live in an age where elevation feels dishonest. Our position already so edified, so ripe for tipping, we feel guilt, fear. We are watershed people, standing on a horrific fulcrum, aware of our precipice and how everything runs away, down to the sea. Chose your continental divide, we think, but the way out is certainly not headed up. Yet, even in a world rife with cultural anxiety, where a comparatively meaningless band like Tidelands can write a seven-and-a-half minute song ostensibly about flowers, all is never lost. The horns are lifted from Sufjan Stevens circa 2005, but the melody and its plucked acoustic roots have no interest in staying grounded. These refuse to be simple cover ups, nor a dishonestly positive rendition of a negative time. This sounds like the slowest of liftoffs and the knowledge that the sun never stops rising in the east.

Made up of Gabriel Montana Leis and Mie Araki, Tidelands is an experimental, ambient, folk band from San Francisco, CA. Their album, If…, starts off with “Holy Grail,” which is fueled by Leis’ varied vocals throughout. “Holiday” has its gloomy moments with flugelhorn and the cello. Bringing a foreboding vibe to the relatively mellow album, “Eyes Of God” incorporates all the instruments, including the voice, to instill a chill down the listener’s spine. The track changes its tune and brings in an airy guitar and classic rock drumbeat to add more of a spiritual feel. The entirely instrumental cut, “Amulet,” provides a sad and folky ambiance to If…, which leads into “Letter To A Young Soldier I Love,” a love story set to music, full of emotion.

The second portion of the release starts off with soft drums provided by Araki, which sets the stage for the beautiful harmonies of the Magik*Magik Orchestra, who provide additional instrumentation throughout the release. “The Ship” is one of the more upbeat alternative tracks on If The narration in the song along with how the orchestra blends in yet stands out against Araki’s drum beat makes “The Ship” a top-notch tune. Another instrumental, “In The Wake,” will have the listener feel like they are floating in water. The pace of the music has a tide-like effect. And the final ditty on Tideland’s If…, “Marigolds,” brings a magical, carefree vibe to the release through the use of the bells. The longest track on the collection is uplifting and recaps the narrative that was told through If…

All in all, If… will engage the listener in a story while providing harmonies perfect for chilling out to.

In A Word: Chill

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From it’s opening track onwards, Tidelands’ debut album If… is an ambitious , multi-layered project taking indie-pop to rarified heights.  Partners Gabriel Montana Leis and Mie Araki (originally hailing from from India and Japan, respectively) match literate, impressionistic lyrics to bittersweet, deceptively simple melodies, then lushly arrange them with input from San Francidsco’s Magik*Magik Orchestra.  Leis’ melancholy yet resolute lead vocals, murmuring electric guitar and flowing flugelhorn lines gives these songs and intimacy even when the string backdrops suggest vast cinematic expanses.  A pervasive yearning colors tracks like “Holy Grail,” “Holiday” and “Letter to a Young Soldier I Love.”  “Sixes and Sevens,” and “The Ship” offers quick and telling glimpses of a lover’s quarrel over aching accompaniment.  Dreamy, ruminating tracks like “Amulet” and “Marigolds” unfold in watercolor tones, while “Eyes of God” inserts a cacophonous free-jazz passage as it ponders the madness of humanity. If… achieves a widescreen sonic grandeur, yet never fells overblown or detached.

If you're a fan of orchestral pop with poetic lyrics delivered in a rich baritone, newcomers Tidelands need to be on your radar.  The duo comprised of Gabriel Montana Leis and Mie Araki make quite the first impression with their "If..." debut.

The nine songs here are lush and fully realized.  In fact, it's hard to believe that only two people are responsible.  Keepers "Eyes of God," personal favorite "Letter to a Young Soldier I Love," "Sixes and Sevens" and "The Ship" will wash over you every time you hear them.  Good stuff. 

Poetry, a flugelhorn, a Moog bass, and a music video featuring 1,000 individual watercolor paintings.

Welcome to the world of Tidelands.

The San Franciscan duo of Gabriel Montana Leis and Mie Araki has a musical résumé longer than many music professors and an ambitious vision for their craft.  Their countless hours of devotion have led to the release of their debut album If…

The album is equal parts gentleness and grandness, built around Araki’s temperate drumming and Leis’s mellifluous poetic narrative.  This base is augmented by members of the Magik*Magik Orchestra as well as other musicians in the bay area.  The sound is fleshed out by violins, cellos, rich guitars, a flugelhorn, trumpets and many other instruments left to the imagination.  The end result is the equivalent of someone giving VAST an Ambien.

If… is a 9 track 48 minute dreamlike ride; much of the album has softness and lilt to it.  There are brief moments of cacophony, like the horn and cello chaos in “Eyes of God,” but what dreams do not?  The song rides the crest and comes out the woods with joyous guitar strumming complemented by a trumpet.  “Letter To A Young Soldier I Love” is the obligatory anti-war statement, yet contains more honest emotion than most people can conjure in a lifetime and condenses it into a 6 minute ballad.

If you want to experience the vivid imagery Tidelands tries to conjure with their music, watch the video for “Holy Grail.”  It does a better job of explaining their sound than any blog could do.  The video features 1,000 watercolors which illustrator Ami Kutata spent four months working on for the single.  How is that for dedication and determination?  While it wasn’t from one of the members of the band, it shows the type of people they work with and is a reflection of their own seriousness to their work.

So turn down the lights, put a rose in a vase on your dinner table, open a bottle of wine and get lost in the lullaby of Tidelands’ debut If…  When you wake up, see where your world is, and check:

Does it have a flugelhorn?

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Mie Araki and Gabriel Leis of the San Francisco-based band Tidelands are set to premiere their self-released debut album If… on JuIy 26th. The duo collaborate with Minna Choi and Magik*Magik Orchestra to create a rich symphonic soundscape comprised of fluid strings and textured horns. Leis tips his hand as an artful songwriter particularly adept at effortlessly delivering run-on lyrics fraught with imagery seemingly all in one breath. If the first single “Holy Grail” is symptomatic of the forthcoming release, then you can expect the album to be chock-full of buttery goodness for your eardrums. Along with the album’s release, Tidelands will perform at Cafe du Nord in San Francisco on July 26th.

Japanese illustrator Ami Kutata spent four months creating 1,000 watercolors to animate Tidelands’ new music video, “Holy Grail.” The trippy clip unfolds as a journey through a medieval-meets-steampunk village that’s occupied by thumb-size citizens, a queen, an archer and dripping celestial orbs of unknown origin.

“We gave her complete creative freedom,” Tidelands guitarist Gabriel Leis said in an e-mail to Wired.com about the making of the video.

Kutata is not fluent in English, so Tidelands singer Mie Araki translated the lyrics into Japanese. “Ami got really attached to the line in the song that goes: Over-dignified is just another way to compensate for what you’ve lost,’ Araki said. “That became her main inspiration for the images of a traveler, the queen and the dwarf town.”

San Francisco duo Tidelands‘ debut album If … , featuring accompaniment by MagikMagik, will be released July 26.

Once in a while (not that often nowadays), there is the perfect balance of creativity in a music video between sound and vision. Tideland’s Holy Grail music video is probably one of the best I have seen in recent memory. “Each frame is an actual watercolor illustration,” says Gabriel Leis of Tidelands about the video, “I was inspired after seeing the visuals for the Jonsi (of Sigur Ros) live show and wanted to search out an artist doing illustrated animation.”

Leis and Mie Araki, his partner in Tidelands, ultimately found illustrator Ami Kutata whose excitement about the song led her to spend four months of full-time work completing the project. The completed video was created based on more than 1000 pages of Kutata’s hand-illustrated work.  “Looking at the early storyboards she did for us (see example above), it kinda puts in perspective the scope of the task,” says Leis. She spent over four months creating the video. We gave her complete creative freedom.”

The Japanese director isn’t fluent in English, so Araki translated the lyrics to the song for her.  This created slightly different meanings which combined with Kutata’s own storyline made for something entirely new altogether. “She was really attached to the line in the song, ‘Over-dignified is just another way to compensate for what you’ve lost’, which became her main inspiration for the story and the images of a traveler, the queen and the dwarf town,” says Araki.

Of the song, Leis explains, “Holy Grail is ‘an attempt to capture the feeling of responsibility I have towards friends and acquaintances who did not live to tell the tale. Just carrying a torch for lost friends, knowing it just as easily could have been me.” Holy Grail is the first single and video from the debut Tidelands album, If… Tidelands is the duo of San Francisco’s Gabriel Montana Leis (Guitar, Flugelhorn, Vocals) and Mie Araki (Drums, Keyboards, Vocals) along with the Magik*Magik Orchestra, conductor Minna Choi and Deerhoof engineer Ian Pellicci.

With warm sonic approaches, combining clean electric guitars with baroque elements, Holy Grail is orchestrated to pull heart strings with its epic sweep cast within rustic intentions. An excellent sampler for the album to come.

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On July 26th, 2011 San Francisco Duo Gabriel Montana Leis and Mie Araki, also known as Tidelands, will release their debut album If...; a colorful mix of guitar, flugelhorn, drums, keyboards and pure poetry.  With sharp and poignant lyrics, beautiful harmonies and back up instrumentals contributed by the Magik*Magik Orchestra, Tidelands picks up their listeners and takes them on a unique journey through the album. 

If... opens with sweet bells in the track "Holy Grail".  This song is full of uplifting and inspiring orchestral excerpts and laced with bells behind Gabriel’s running, almost breathless vocal lines.  It features moments of powerful horn solos and climactic instrumental phrases that will have listeners tingling and excited as their energy levels rise with anticipation. 
"Letter To A Young Soldier I Love" is a sweet track with heart-wrenching arpeggios and a slow-jam-style drum beat behind smooth, pensive lead vocal lines and faint back-up vocals.  It contains moments of quiet melodic solos and slightly southern home-style guitar lines that will have listeners feeling extra cozy and relaxed as they open their hearts to the honest, raw vibe of this track.  It is a love letter brought to life. 

The last track on the album is "Marigolds".  This track alternates back and forth between Gabriel’s soft, smooth signature vocal lines and a colorful variety of horn solos mostly likely inspired by Araki, who discovered her unique ability to write horn melodies after attending theManhattan School of Music.  This song feels like a summary.  Listeners will feel reflective, as if remembering all their favorite moments of the journey they’ve experienced listening to the album.

If... contains a truly unique blend of instrumentals.  Not many bands are brave enough to adopt a horn as one of their main instruments. Tidelands, however, brings this instrument to life and demonstrates an impressive ability to blend instrumentals and vocals into deep, wholesome tracks.  By the end of this album listeners will feel emotionally connected, as though they’ve been on the Tidelands bandwagon since day one.


That’s the name of Tidelands‘ debut album, If…, and it’s open-ended on purpose. You might ask yourself If… what, exactly? That’s the point. They’re a duo Mie Araki and Gabriel Montana Leis who want to create a dreamy feel with their intense music, or what their bio describes as “sharp, poetic lyrics uniquely arranged with looped guitars, Moog bass and beautiful harmonies.” In other words, a slightly retro synth feel with a passion to be bold and daring for today’s audiences who are also looking for the same.

The unique thing is that Leis said he had ideas to make music utilizing the horn, but he had never played any horn instruments before. When he brought in Araki into the project, the music blossomed as he wanted. This project also brings in Magik*Magik Orchestra conductor Minna Choi and Deerhoof engineer Ian Pellicci, so they did not bother to wait around to find a reliable formula, they wanted to be risk takers. If… is the end-result, and fans will be able to hear it in full when released on July 26th. The video for “Holy Grail”, put together by illustrator Ami Kutata, is due to bring them some well-deserved attention.

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