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 - Tidelands



If... - Tidelands

Holy Grail: Music Video





Tidelands is the duo of San Francisco’s Gabriel Montana Leis(Guitar, Flugelhorn, Vocals) and Mie Araki (Drums, Keyboards, Vocals). Sharp, poignant, poetic lyrics are uniquely arranged with looped guitars, Moog bass and beautiful harmonies on the duo’s debut album, If..., to be released July 26th, 2011. Taking cues from their combined multi-cultural backgrounds, Leis and Araki have created a texturally rich record that speaks to their collectively deep and unique life experiences.


(Photo by Summer Makovkin)

Born in New Delhi, India, Leis led an itinerant childhood, bouncing from one hemisphere to another, town to town, school to school. After his return from India in the late 1970’s, Leis eventually settled in the San Francisco bay area, where Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead gifted him his first guitar. Growing up around open mic nights, he later formed the band The Love X Nowhere (which included Araki in its final incarnation), releasing three EPs and an album, a success that led to Leis being hired as a touring musician with Dan The Automator.

Originally from Osaka, Japan, Araki moved to New York in 1992 to further her study of classical percussion at the Manhattan School of Music.  Attracted by the challenges and beauty of improvisation, Araki soon switched her major to Jazz & Commercial Percussion, eventually earning a Masters degree after relocating to California and incorporating African, Asian and European music into her playing.

“I found myself writing melodies that I knew were meant for a horn,” Leis says of the material that took shape in 2009 out of the ashes of The Love X Nowhere.  “I had fantasies of recruiting an accomplished trumpet player for the band that eventually became Tidelands.” Instead, Leis decided to learn the horn from scratch on his own.  “Never having played a horn before, I purchased a beautiful vintage Benge flugelhorn and began at the beginning, not able to form a single note.”

Since he passed on recruiting a trumpet player, Leis decided to recruit former band mate Araki, who added a Moog to the ensemble of instruments, essentially beginning her own new musical education in learning to play the drums and synth at the same time. Further exploring his earlier experiences writing for cello, violin and trumpet, Leisbegan using a looping device to write guitar parts that he could later pair with orchestral instruments.  

Araki began to transcribe these ideas to standard musical notation and via a connection with musician John VandersliceTidelands was introduced to Minna Choi, conductor of the Magik*Magik Orchestra. “We gave her the framework of the songs and the charts and the freedom to create around what we had already written,”Leis explains.

Recording engineer Ian Pellicci (Deerhoof) was the final co-conspirator added to the project, and less than six short but studious months into becoming a flugelhorn player, LeisArakiChoi and Pellicci convened at San Francisco’s Tiny Telephone Studios to create If...

Musically, the songs on If... are defined by the creative and precise drumming of Araki and her ability to explore her creative voice through the framework of these songs. Further enriched by the incredible players in theMagik*Magik Orchestra, the album also features standout local players such as bassist Nils Erickson (20 Minute Loop), cello player Sam Bass (Les Claypool), and Leis’ foremost inspiration as a horn player, trumpeterAra Anderson (Tom Waits).

Describing the lyricism on the record, Leis says, “I’ve always valued poetic quality as highly as I do narrative. I think this is reflected in these songs. Inter-personal turmoil, frustration over seeming powerlessness in the face of ongoing war, and a farewell to my previous self-destructive ways of youth are the primary themes to these songs.”  

If..., the debut album by Tidelands, will be released on July 26th, 2011.

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