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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Old Mill Park

Comprised of guitarist and vocalist Gabriel Leis and drummer Mie Araki, Tidelands is a duo by circumstance instead of design.  Teaming up amid the ashes of a previous band, the pair started using loops to fill out its sound.


“That created a sound of its own, and directed my songwriting for the first couple years of the band,” says Leis.  “What I didn’t count on was becoming reliant on it.”


There’s a fine line between a tool and a crutch, and the songs on “Old Mill Park” are responses to the band’s acknowledgement of this fact.


“I wanted to write and record songs that would stand on their own with just an acoustic guitar and my voice,” Leis explains.


This time around, the basic guitar, upright bass, drum, and vocal tracks were all recorded live in the studio as full takes.  Only later did the band “get all Tidelands” with the songs, building them up with strings (once again collaborating with the Magik*Magik Orchestra), keys, horns and harmonies to create the most realized and memorable Tidelands tunes to date.


“It’s an actual place in Mill Valley where I spent part of my childhood,” Leis goes on to say of the location deep in the California Redwoods that inspired the title of the EP.  “It’s a magical place with a creek that runs down a small canyon to a classic three-tiered swimming hole, and then under the skeleton of the original old mill that the town was named for.”


Leis continues, “There’s something comforting about being there, with childhood memories played out in front of you by the kids there now who are doing the things that I did when I was a boy.”


Araki neatly ties her bandmate’s reflections into how the actual Old Mill Park inspired the more organic approach to the recording “Old Mill Park”.


“The full sound with beautiful layers, yet simple and folky atmosphere reminds us that we all have Old Mill Park in us,” she says. “Old Mill Park is the place everyone has deep in the bottom of their heart.”


Suckers for handclaps will revel in “Dog Named Bart,” the first single from the new EP.  Leis describes the genesis of the song, the result of a panic attack.  Sad for him, good for us – the song is pure joy.


As Leis describes it, “My friend was getting married and asked me to perform a song at the wedding.  I polished up a version of the Daniel Lanois song ‘Shine,’ but about a week before the trip, I had a panic attack and thought I’d better have a backup plan in case the song wasn’t what they were hoping for, or reminded his fiancée of a past boyfriend or something. So, I wrote one instead.”


Leis ultimately stuck with the Lanois song for the wedding performance, but came out of the situation with “Dog Named Bart,” which features the fantastic drumming of Araki, the trumpet of John Freeman, and arrangements by Minna Choi of Magik*Magik Orchestra.


“I gotta give a shout out to JV for altering the phrasing and delivery of the vocals that we all sung together,” acknowledges Leis of Vanderslice’s essential contributions.


With all of the teamwork on “Old Mill Park,” it’s clear that Tidelands has successfully broken out of the box that being a “duo by circumstance” may have put them in. Unfortunately, the quality of the songs – the best Tidelands has ever recorded – might mean panic attacks are a good thing?  Sorry about that, Gabriel!


“Old Mill Park,” the new EP by Tidelands arrives on March 3rd, 2015.