Fictionist

Fictionist

 Provo, Utah, USA
BandRockPop

"The band's analogue treated garage-pop has a grainy radiance that pays tribute to the tonal synthy pop-rock of the '80s. They're the MGMT update of Peter Gabriel: incandescent shadow-pop." — Baeblemusic.com

“Somewhere in the bubbling cauldron of brilliance that is ‘Fictionist,’ we’re offered an incandescent soundscape that’s inescapable, causing us to stop what we’re doing and simply enjoy.” – The Music Ninja

Band Press

Fictionist – Fictionist [TMN ALBUM PREMIERE] – The Music Ninja

Somewhere in the bubbling cauldron of brilliance that is Fictionist, we’re offered an incandescent soundscape that’s inescapable, causing us to stop what we’re doing and simply enjoy. While we can’t pinpoint what moment caused this almost chemical reaction, we can assure you that the quest to finding that moment is just as good as if you actually found that moment in this 10-song, wildly satisfying journey.

Harnessing numerous musical influences, from classics like Pet Shop Boys and Peter Gabriel, to the more modern pop masters like MGMT and Passion Pit, Fictionist has a sound that’s spawned from pieces of many, yet maintains a personality on its own with ease and accessibility.

With a new album coming out October 7th, this Utah-based five-piece have yet to gain the recognition they deserve, but we have a feeling this latest collection of tunes will help give them the adoration that is inevitably coming their way. Yes, we’re giving high praises to this LP, but it’s definitely earned.

Kicking the album off with a level of audible addiction is a lackadaisical journey that floats along a well-defined bassline, coupled with only slow, rhythmic percussion work, grainy vocals, and simplistic piano work. “Cut String Kite” is the perfect song for a laid-back Sunday, or a lengthy road trip, either way, fully encompassing you in its attractive progression.

“Miss You” boasts glowing synthesized tones which expertly accentuate the lead vocals, all of which caress a crawling bassline that gives this song a painfully familiar vibe. On the other end of the spectrum, “Free Spirit” is defined by its danceable percussion and bass, coupled with glowing synths provide what we can only imagine is one hell of fun part of their live performance.

While this is an album that can be listened to start to finish with ease, we can’t say that you won’t have to mess with it once you start listening. Don’t get us wrong, you won’t have to skip any songs, but you will have to hit repeat on a few. They’re simply that good.

Video Premiere: Fictionist – “Give It Up” Plus dates at CMJ Music Marathon – CMJ

Provo, UT, dance-rock band Fictionist recently broke from Atlantic for its self-titled forth album, and it sounds like they’re feeling pretty good about it. Fictionist blends Passion Pit’s ecstatic synth-pop with the moodiness of early Aughts pop-punk, and the result is something that will be stuck in your head for days. Today, we’ve got the premiere of the video for the album single Give It Up. Here’s what songwriter and bassist Stuart Maxfield told us about the video:

The meaning behind Give It Up is pretty clear in the lyrics and quite literal in the title. The question we asked as we wrote the tune was where do our emotional limits lie? Too often, we find ourselves in relationships or situations that tax us to the limit and we wonder if all that effort to make it work is really worth it? The tune really addresses that struggle—it’s something we’ve felt individually as songwriters and collectively as a band. The video is a quirky visual of that same struggle, literally digging and searching for something you’re looking for, hoping you’ll find it and that in the end, the struggle will be worth it.

Check it out below and then scope where you can catch the band live at this year’s CMJ Music Marathon.

VIDEO PREMIERE: FICTIONIST 'LOCK AND KEY' – Baeblemusic

Baeble is excited to premiere Fictionist's heart-breaking video for "Lock and Key." The band's analogue treated garage-pop has a grainy radiance that pays tribute to the tonal synthy pop-rock of the '80s. They're the MGMT update of Peter Gabriel: incandescent shadow-pop.

The video, which stars the group's guitarist and his wife, shows two motherboard-based lovers—one a lovely lady model, and one a clunky and outdated desktop—pining for one another through a clinical glass barrier.
"We joked that some of the highly processed background vocals on the new record sounded like a 'sad robot'," band member Andrew Maxfield says of the video's conception. "But that sparked the question: why would a robot be sad? And then the answer came while I was riding my bike: obviously because he's stuck in an observation room and can't connect with a passing cyborg. Obviously."

Fictionist's self-titled LP comes out October 7th.

See their tech-art video for "Lock and Key" first below:

Rolling Stone Choose the Cover Contest – Rolling Stone Magazine

"Laid-back space-rock quintet whose founding members met while studying jazz at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Yes, they're all Mormon, but they try to keep overt religious references out of their songs. "Music is an area in life where there aren't religious things and secular things that separate us," says singer-bassist Stuart Maxfield. "Everybody can go to a concert and enjoy it."

Sound: A blend of psychedelia – heavy on the guitar effects – and peppy indie rock. "Pink Floyd is a big influence for us, that atmospheric rock," says Maxfield. "And Arcade Fire never cease to amaze me."

The Benefits of Prohibition: Maxfield says that living in Provo, a virtually dry town, actually makes the music scene better. "The only way promoters make money is to book bands with regional followings and promote really hard," he says. "Bands work hard too, because there's no money coming from alcohol sales."

Paste Digital VIP Bonus Downloads-April 2010 Bonus Album: Fictionist: Lasting Echo – Paste Magazine

"Lasting Echo, the second full-length album from the Utah band Fictionist, is full of friendly pop-rock features and layered instrumentation marked by Wilco-esque guitars. The songs range from shimmering, quiet ballads (“Have Mercy”) to anthemic speaker-blowers (“Well Made Shadow”), and while the lyrical sentiments may be straightforward, the music itself is not. It winds through classic rock guitar riffs, prog-rock arrangements sparkling pianos and intricate rhythms, building up and breaking down like an ever-moving nomad across the album as a whole—even within individual songs." — Lindsey Lee

Fictionist - Give it UP – Salt Roads

Fictionist has been slowly been releasing videos to accompany their newest Self-Titled album which will be released October 7th. The latest video for “Give it Up” debuted on CMJ earlier today. Fictionist’s album is one of the most anticipated albums to come out of Utah this year.

Read what our own Austin Hatch had to say about the band earlier this month

Stuart Maxfield was quoted speaking about the album:

“The meaning behind Give It Up is pretty clear in the lyrics and quite literal in the title. The question we asked as we wrote the tune was where do our emotional limits lie? Too often, we find ourselves in relationships or situations that tax us to the limit and we wonder if all that effort to make it work is really worth it? The tune really addresses that struggle—it’s something we’ve felt individually as songwriters and collectively as a band. The video is a quirky visual of that same struggle, literally digging and searching for something you’re looking for, hoping you’ll find it and that in the end, the struggle will be worth it.”

You can pre-order the album here!

U&U Review :: ‘Fictionist’ - Fictionist – Unsigned and Unleashed

Artist: Fictionist

Album: Fictionist

Release Date: October 7, 2014

Electro-pop artist, Fictionist has been rising up with their fourth and latest self-titled album. The five piece group has only released a self-titled EP in 2011 after Lasting Echo, the band’s last full length release that came out the year prior. Though there were a few bumps down the road, Fictionist has kept strong as they have shared the stage with Imagine Dragons, Vampire Weekend, along with many other phenomenal artists. Now back with their latest record, Fictionist is stepping up in the alternative scene and making a name for themselves with this great release.

The record begins with “Cut-String Knife”, a slower jam with a pleasantly strong bass line underneath a string of ever so catchy drowned out words. The track comes to a close with the sound of a distorted recording, giving the song a bit of mysterious and artistic feel. Things start to pick up with “Not Over You” as the beat quickens with high pitched guitars that radiate a sound strangely similar to Phoenix’s “1901”. Once again, the ending rocks it with an unexpected, but awesomely wild riff that just adds an extra bit of oomph to the song. Fictionist absolutely nails it with “Free Spirit”, a track hip enough to be heard through the speakers at H&M, while also managing to be a poppy hit that will guarantee to get everyone moving. In fact, it has so much potential that the band even created a radio edit because it’s practically destined to be blaring out of clubs and car stereos. There’s a change in pace with “Miss You” seeing that the track is much more simplistic and slower than any other on the tracklist. The minimalist style really focuses on the vocals as singer Stuart Maxfield belts out words of heartache that add a beautiful touch to the record while still keeping a consistent artistic edge. The album comes to a slow end with “City At War”. Mid-song the beat quickens as the chorus repeats, “I love you and I’ll fight to prove it”,bringing a huge wave of emotion. For the grand finale, the song comes to a spectacular close with a chaotic, yet rad guitar solo that perfectly embodies the metaphorical reference to war

Whether spending the night in or hitting the streets to hang with some friends, Fictionist provides a fantastic blend of straight up dance worthy pop tunes while also including a range of super avant-garde breakup songs that are just too cool to pass up. Fictionist will be available on October 7th, so keep an eye out for that. Also, keep up with the band on Twitter and on their website.

U&U’s Favorite Tracks: “Free Spirit”, “Not Over You”, “City At War”

REVIEW: FICTONIST – ‘FICTIONIST’ – Planet Stereo

Fictionist begins their self-titled fourth album with “Cut String Kite,” which carries a haunting, indie feel. It seems to blend elements of the 90s together beautifully. The bass plays a strikingly clear role in the song, providing a bit of an edge. The track itself is unusual, especially with the electro coming into play. “Miss You” has a similar sound, but definitely focuses more on the timing of the beats, and plays up the vocals, which rise and harmonize, giving the track a rich quality.

“Not Over You” comes in with bouncing piano, electronics, and clear-cut rhythm. However, the lyrics have a classic feel to them, with an almost vulnerable, poetic stance on the struggle of letting go. The distortion of the vocals are reminiscent of early Duran Duran, but manages to get by without sounding like a cheesy imitation. It’s not my absolute favorite, but it’s a decent track that I could easily warm to. “Free Spirit” has more of an edge that appeals to me, as well as timeless style. Despite a melancholy subject (having to let someone go if they don’t want to stick around), there is an upbeat tone to the music that is both catchy as hell and also clever. Each element of the song flows perfectly, and need we mention the epic guitar solo as the song nears conclusion?

Starting off, “Lock and Key” is soft, with a grit to the vocals, then adds in 80’s synth, and elements of 90’s grunge. It’s hauntingly realistic, and draws on the human characteristic of fear of giving yourself fully to the people in your life. By far, this song carries the most emotional weight. “Even though I’m scared, I think I love you…” is chanted repeatedly, capturing a sense of fear, frustration, and even desperation.

“Statue In The Stone,” much like “Not Over You,” focuses heavily on piano. With swelling vocals, Fictionist seem to take the album up a notch, with their musicality expounding over genres and eras in music. The instrumentals on this track are fantastic, and definitely worthy of note, as is “Can’t Get Enough,” which sounds very cinematic (see also “City At War”).

Fictionist give listeners a dose of surprise with “Give It Up,” which has more of a rock edge than its predecessors, but by the chorus, the glitchy/electro-pop sound bounces in, only adding to the character of the track. “Leave The Light On” contains that same technical sound, but shows the band’s versatility with a raw sound, which allows them to be a bit more vulnerable. It may be my favorite on Fictionist, although its a toss-up between this and “City at War,” which finishes off the album perfectly, maintaining the general vibe of the album, but with a more daring push to try something new. The guitars on the track will make rock legends jealous; guaranteed.

In many ways, this reminds me of The Maine’s Pioneer, not necessarily because of the sound, but because of the explorative tone. Fictionist play with their creativity and seem to push at their “boundaries” to find a sound that fits them, without a label’s (in this case, Atlantic Records) input. Not only does it sound fantastically liberated, but the boundless talent of the band shines through enough to make them stand out.

Fictionist Provo band makes a comeback at the fifth anniversary of the Rooftop Concert Series – City Weekly

The local musicians who play Provo's Rooftop Concert Series are nothing if not eclectic, ranging from indie-rock band The Moth & the Flame to rap crew House of Lewis. But something the performers have in common is that they are usually in one of two places in their careers: on the verge of making it big, or in the center of mainstream success. However, pop-rock band Fictionist—who's performing at the Rooftop Concert Series' fifth-anniversary show with fellow Provo bands Neon Trees and The Blue Aces—doesn't fit neatly into either of those two boxes.

A few years ago, it seemed like Fictionist had "made it." In 2011, the band was a finalist in a contest to be featured on the cover of Rolling Stone. They were ultimately eliminated from the competition, but still seemed to be climbing upward, especially when they were signed to Atlantic Records shortly afterward.

Fictionist began working on their debut with the label, but, "It wasn't a really creative relationship and ultimately not good for the band," says songwriter, bassist and lead vocalist Stuart Maxfield. "It didn't really allow us to do what we do best." The album was never released, and Fictionist was dropped from the label in late 2013.

But the split "ended up being a really, really good thing," Maxfield says. After regrouping, Fictionist teamed up with June Audio producer Nate Pyfer to put together a new album, their first since their self-titled EP was released in 2012.

Essentially turning Maxfield's and, later, guitarist Robbie Connolly's homes into temporary recording studios, Fictionist "did everything completely different" on the new record than when they had worked with Atlantic, Maxfield says. "We took our time. We just worked when we felt like it, rather than being ... constantly under the gun at Atlantic."

And it was that unfettered, deadline-free creative freedom that allowed Maxfield, Connolly, drummer Aaron Anderson, keyboardist Jacob Jones and guitarist Brandon Kitterman to make the full-length Fictionist truly special. With Pyfer, Fictionist were given license to take risks and get "rid of a lot of the rules that weren't helpful before," as well as any pre-conceived expectations, Maxfield says. "We wanted to figure out what this record could be rather than pretend like we knew what it was before we even started, and that's kind of the downfall of what happened prior to this record. We had a lot of people telling us what we needed to be, and there wasn't a lot of room for discovery."

Discovery played a huge part in the Provo sessions. The recording setup was limited to what the band could fit into Maxfield's and Connolly's homes, so they had to find innovative ways to achieve the sounds they wanted, experimenting with unconventional instruments such as a junky keyboard Connolly found in a back room at his father's dental office. "The philosophy is we wanted to do the most with the least and not the least with the most," Maxfield says.

Not being tied to a label also gave Fictionist the room to make choices such as having Connolly sing co-lead vocals and also write for the first time, as heard on the dreamy but snappy rocker "Lock and Key."

Now, Fictionist is ready to bring the product of their hard work to fans. "I think it's like Fictionist as I've always wanted people to hear it," Maxfield says.

Fictionist is set for national release Oct. 7, with an official release show at Velour on Oct. 17, but it will first be available at the Oct. 3 Rooftop Concert Series show, where the band will present their long-awaited new material to the scene that gave them their start.

In the past, the Rooftop Concert Series has "given us the opportunity to realize our show on a bigger stage in front of a bigger crowd," Maxfield says. "As a writer, you are never sure how a song is going to travel in the negative space to the listener. It's fun to hear the tunes bouncing off the buildings in the middle of the city; there is a romance to it."

Fictionist is just one of many stellar acts that have helped make the Rooftop Concert Series a huge success. "If we didn't have a good music scene, if we didn't have like really good musicians writing really great music, the Rooftop Concert Series wouldn't be what it is," says C. Jane Kendrick, who is an original organizer of the series along with Sarah Wiley, Justin Hackworth and Mindy Gledhill.

And Fictionist is excited to be back at the Rooftop Concert for a show that will begin a new chapter for the band.

"This show really feels like a reward for us hanging in there for the last couple years," Maxfield says. "We are excited to show people what exactly we have been up to. Given the amount of time our fans have had to wait for this record, I think they deserve a killer show."

Anticipation Builds for Rooftop Release of FIctionist Album – The Digital Universe

Stuart Maxfield, Fictionist frontman, paused between songs at the band’s album preview party at Velour on Sept. 15. He surveyed his audience, which included a mixture of family, friends and promoters of the band. The room was warm with body heat and support. A hat that read “Utah” sat on his head. He opened his mouth, and everyone fell silent.

“I just want to say this is all Provo,” Maxfield said. “It all happened here. That’s the way it should have been done three years ago. And now we get the chance to do it. We’re so thankful for all you guys coming out and supporting us. I thank my brother and my noble knights of rock.” He smiled. “Let’s do this.” And they began to play.

Fictionist recently parted with Atlantic Records, whom the band signed with three years ago. The band celebrated its freedom by crafting a self-titled album with producer Nate Pyfer.

Fictionist will release the album at the Provo Rooftop Concert Series show on Oct. 3. This is a nod from Fictionist to its local fans because the album won’t release nationally until Oct. 7. The Rooftop Concert Series committee purposefully chose Fictionist for the show, which will double as the Rooftop’s fifth-year anniversary celebration.

“I think it’s so fitting,” said Justin Hackworth, Rooftop Concert Series co-founder. “It’s perfect that Fictionist is playing the anniversary show; they’re a staple in Provo and such a solid band. We’re so excited.”

Expanded soundscape

Fictionist members said they felt stifled working with Atlantic. This feeling manifested itself in the band’s sound as it worked with the label. But the self-titled release will be different. This album is an organic overflowing; it’s unadulterated expression.

“We really didn’t have any rules,” Maxfield said. “The only enemy in the room is being boring. If anything felt compelling or interesting we would record it.”

A liberated mindset led to innovative execution. Maxfield turned his whole house into a studio. His living room became a drum room, while another room served as an echo chamber. A mixing board from the 1960s lived downstairs. The band used quirky tools like cassette tapes, cheap keyboards and guitar pedals. “Honestly, whatever we had, we just threw it into a room and used it like different colors of paint on a canvas,” Maxfield said.

Where the members’ past albums are more riff-heavy, this new material features a groove-based focus. Synths also take on a larger role. Brumby frontman Oliver Tingey compared Fictionist’s electronically-driven songs to the work of M83 and Capital Cities.

Matt Orr of Strange Family made predictions about the album’s reception. “They’re not space rock anymore,” Orr said. “But it’s good change. It’s much more poppy than their old stuff. So I think it’s going to be more accepted; people are going to like it. But it’s still Fictionist.”

Fictionist approached the record as a learning process, letting the music broaden the members’ perspective. “We wanted to discover what it could be rather than insist on what it had to be,” Maxfield said.

Corey Fox, owner of Velour Live Music Gallery, is happy to see Fictionist experimenting again. Fox said it’s nothing new for Fictionist to reinvent its sound for a new album.

“The difference between this album and their unreleased Atlantic Records album is that this one feels like a natural evolution of the band rather than a major label trying to take a progressive-thinking band and squeeze them into a cookie-cutter mold,” Fox said.

Here’s a first for Fictionist: guitarist Robert Connolly wrote and sang lead for nearly half of the new album’s tracks. This gives the album a varied style and sound. Maxfield’s voice serves as a solid foundation while Connolly’s floats, taking the music to planes it hasn’t previously visited.

Conolly’s contributions add emotional depth to the band’s identity. Right before the band performed “Lock and Key” at its preview party, Maxfield recalled the first time Connolly showed him the song. “I cried a lot listening to it,” Maxfield admitted.

“You never told me that,” Connolly said, turning toward Maxfield onstage.

Conolly now stands up front, next to Maxfield while performing. The old setup used to place Maxfield at the center, with the band around him.

“When I’m mixing, I look at it like a Lennon-McCartney thing,” said Fictionist sound engineer Mark Carey. “In the overall set, one singer isn’t more important than the other. They’re equal.”

What to expect from Fictionist, going forward

In addition to its album release at Rooftop, Fictionist will play a more intimate, extended-set show at Velour on Oct. 17. For those who haven’t yet seen Fictionist perform, expect a smoother sound on the record and more edge live.

“They’re a live band,” said longtime Fictionist fan Steve Vistaunet. “Their interactions are so great to watch. They’re meant to be seen live.”

Fictionist will not stop innovating, but Maxfield noted constants the members will cling to as they evolve.

“We have a certain obsession with pushing boundaries,” Maxfield said. “We also like memorability. Our general idea on what good music is remains the same. We’re on a journey and more interested in looking forward than looking back.”

Review: New Fictionist Album Embeds Band In a New Sonic Context – The Daily Herald

The new album by Fictionist, the local band’s first release in three years, and first full-length LP in four years, is self-titled. But it could also be called “The Purge.”

Context is key, especially for this release. The Utah quintet, which is appearing at Friday's season-closing Rooftop Concert Series, signed to industry mainstay Atlantic Records three years ago, only to toil through some disheartening, maddening recording sessions — the result being an unreleased album neither the band nor Atlantic was happy with.

“We were sort of forbidden from doing the things that were previously instinctive to us,” Maxfield said this past March, when the band announced Atlantic had dropped it. “This was the crucible of our band.”

“Fictionist” is the sound of band members purging that crucible from their souls.

In that same interview, Maxfield explained Fictionist’s musical aim: to be a true contemporary classic band — a progressive yet palatable brand of band that has all but disappeared since the days of The Police. “We think we know the answer,” Maxfield claimed.

Is this new album the answer? Well, sort of. From a songwriting standpoint, “Fictionist” is the most contemporary thing the band’s ever released: Sophisticated, exploratory and remarkably eclectic, looking to music’s future more than its past. The production, though, is probably too progressive and idiosyncratic to be considered “classic.”

Again, though, context matters. Atlantic stifled Fictionist at every turn. With this album, Fictionist indulges all its sonic curiosities that were suppressed for years. The songs float in a frothy river of synths, drum sounds and subtle, nearly subliminal guitar work — a departure from the guitar-based riffs of previous Fictionist albums. These tracks drip with catharsis; it’s thrilling to hear, for the most part.

“Statue In The Stone,” one of the few leftovers from the band’s Atlantic period, sounds like a completely different song on “Fictionist” than the version the band used to play. Gone is arguably Fictionist’s greatest guitar riff, replaced with some undulating, syrupy synth chords. The new version has its strengths, and for the band it undoubtedly felt therapeutic to reconstruct it, but was it good for the song? For the album? I’m unsure.

A major point of contention between Fictionist and Atlantic was the emergence of guitarist Robbie Connolly. He began writing more material during the Atlantic years, but the label didn’t want him to sing lead and rejected most of his songs. Connolly sings lead on nearly half of the new album. Of all the developments in Fictionist’s recent evolution, this is undoubtedly the most important one. Connolly’s voice is an essential counterpoint on “Fictionist” — slightly thinner and more arid than Maxfield’s, but in some ways remarkably similar. It makes their vocal handoffs seamless.

Beyond his voice, Connolly’s songs truly buoy up the band’s new LP. The danceable indie-pop gem “Not Over You” and the churning “Give It Up,” both with Connolly at the vocal helm, are the album’s most fun. His straightforward lyrical approach and fun-loving songwriting provide the ideal contrast to Maxfield’s more brooding, symbolic tendencies. When the haunting caress of Maxfield’s “Leave The Light On” comes through the speakers, for example, its impact is deeper because of Connolly’s songs. These new contrasts, and the band’s palpable sense of freedom, make “Fictionist” something that none of the band’s previous albums were: fun. Fictionist has always been a thrilling live band that crafts engaging songs. That said, “fun” isn’t the word to describe its previous releases.

Yes, “Fictionist” is full of studio wizardry — to a degree that might make some Fictionist purists uneasy — but it conveys the live charisma the band has always possessed, better than anything they’ve done before. If musical karma is real, “Fictionist” will bring the band the success that Atlantic was too timid to pursue.

Fictionist goes alt-pop – The Spectrum

A few years ago Fictionist followed in the footsteps of fellow Provo band Neon Trees in signing a major label recording contract.

Fictionist released a self-titled, six-song EP on Atlantic Records in 2011. But when the label and the band faced creative differences, they parted ways, leaving Fictionist free to pursue its own vision. The result is the band's third independently released album: the eponymous "Fictionist."

Sonically, this collection of 10 new songs could come as a surprise to some longtime Fictionist fans, who may be put off by songs like "Free Spirit." This dance-pop track is a major stylistic departure for the band.

Yet it's similar to what Tegan and Sara did on 2013's "Heartthrob," the indie-folk duo's full dance-pop makeover. When you take an über-talented indie-rock band and let them have a little fun with dance-pop, the results are super-catchy, intelligent songs that make you want to shake your booty without feeling like a sellout.

While the album is not entirely dance-pop, the style is unexpectedly pervasive. Perhaps it's partly due to guitarist Robert Connolly's greater role as a full songwriting partner and co-vocalist with bassist Stuart Maxfield, the band's primary singer and songwriter on past efforts. Whatever, the cause, it's a fascinating shift as a nifty groove bounces its way through "Not Over You," encouraged by keyboardist Jacob Jones' buoyant flourishes.

Maxfield may have been sole frontman in the past but it's never been a solo show. Jones' atmospherics, Connolly's virtuoso solos, Aaron Anderson's anthemic beats and Brandon Kitterman's guitar experimentations were just as much a part of the Fictionist sound.

"Give It Up" combines the new sound with everything we love about Fictionist into one superb song. There's the Connolly-Kitterman guitar interplay, the melodically lurching Maxfield bass, the Anderson drum barrage and the Jones keyboard cascade.

This album isn't a complete change in direction. "Statue in the Stone" is old-school Fictionist, from the brooding verses to the face-melting guitar solos. The soaring chorus begs for fans to scream: "I'm alive and I am ready / To face the unknown."

Fictionist is also known for its "spacey" sound, which can be found on "Cut-String Kite."

Maxfield's bass carries the melody on this space-age ballad where swimming synths lift up astronomical lyrics like, "You were a burned-out sun / Cold star on the run."

The lyrics also stand out on "Lock and Key," which sets lines like, "I fight alone against the ghost that's haunting me," to a terrific hook. But deep down this is pure headphone music with a whole network of beautiful noise. You just have to listen for it.

If you want intelligent rock, you've got it with "Can't Get Enough." It takes nearly two minutes for the hook to hit you but when it does, the payoff is worth the brainy buildup.

Even better is the epic "City at War," which reveals itself as the epitome of Fictionist: a subtle grandiosity where Maxfield's afterburner bass feeds the howling monster inside Connolly's guitar.

The album does slow down a bit with a couple of softer moments. "Leave the Light On" is a bit sleepy but quite lovely while the tender ballad "Miss You" is poignant in its honesty ("I'm wonderfully miserable") and gorgeous in its execution, from falsetto choruses to swooning synths.

In the end, "Fictionist" is the story of a band unafraid to try a daring new approach while remaining true to the values that made it worthy of major label attention in the first place.

Even the packaging begs attention with eye-catching photography by former Spectrum Media photojournalist Trevor Christensen. He has gained national attention recently for his twist on nude photography where he's the one without clothes. The band photo inside the album was taken during a session for this project.

Interview - Fictionist – Cool Try

Who are you and what are you doing here? (what is your name, what is the band and what is your role in the band?)
What if I were to tell you that I am your destiny? Oh, wait, sorry…wrong interview. My name is Brandon Kitterman, and I am a guitarist, bassist, synthesizer-slash-sampler-ist and all-around sonic-ist for a band called Fictionist. We’re good ol’ fashioned electro-garage-rock song-wielders from the USA. Some might say we play those classic tone-skewing future-dance earworms that are all the rage right now. Then again, some might not (was that enough absurd hyphenated adjectives?).

How did you start?
Oh, the usual stuff, like sneaking my mom’s guitar out to play “Smoke on the Water” and fibbing my way into bands as a young pup by telling them I could do things that I actually couldn’t. Eventually, I learned how to play for real and met some of the future members of Fictionist through several high school band sorties in Utah. After several years and many different projects, we completed our ensemble with two fine gents from Northern California and called ourselves Fictionist. We all connected through a love of classic songwriting, sonic experimentation and great rock and roll. So, we set out to take the next leap in the venerable tradition of rock and pop music.

How would you describe yourself as an artist?
Personally, I have a great love for music with skillful song-craft, inventive sonics and sincere emotional expression. I attempt to use all of those things in my music. I believe popular art forms can be accessible and innovative at the same time – that we can dance, sing along to and be enlightened by music all at once. As for the rest of the guys in the band, I can’t speak for them personally, but I’ll try to speak for us collectively: our influences are varied and our tastes many, and when they all come together, we find ourselves creating singable, textural and driving music that knows what you’re feeling and feels it with you.

If you had to choose one song you’ve written [that your band plays] to best describe your music which one would it be?
That’s really tough because our repertoire is quite varied and I truly love it all. So, I’m going to go the indecisive route and break the one-song rule: I’d say if you’re into dancing, check out Free Spirit. If you’re in love, listen to Lock and Key. If you like to rock out, give City at War a try. And if you feel like driving on the electric rainbow all the way to Peter Gabriel’s mysterious basement of wonder, well, just give our new album a listen all the way through.

Where are people able to hear your songs?
At this very moment, check out and subscribe to our YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/fictionistnoise) which has several of the tracks on our album in music-video form, complete with robots and hidden conduits to the earth’s core. On or after October 7th, find our album on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you like to get a hold of your music. Failing all of that, visit our website (www.fictionist.com) or Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/fictionistnoise) for details, links and other social media miscellany. We’re also on Instagram and Twitter (@fictionistnoise), if you’re into that.

Are you playing any shows anytime soon?
Yes! and we always want to play more. If you’re in Utah you can see us either on October 3rd at the Provo Rooftop Concert Series or onOctober 17th at the illustrious Velour Live Music Gallery in Provo for our official album release show. If you’re in the western region of the US we are coming to a town near you soon, so check our website for upcoming tour dates. However, seeing as how this is an Australian blog and many of your readers live in that mystical land, we’d like to invite ourselves over to see how you guys party down under. Anyone up for a house party, and can we sleep over?

What is your proudest moment/greatest achievement as a singer/songwriter?
Whenever I feel that synergy of a live crowd connecting with music that I am performing, that is when I feel I have done my job as a musician and entertainer.

If you could have a dream tour with 3 other bands/artists who would they be?
Oooooo, anyone I want? Living or dead? Still together or broken up? I’ll split it up. For past bands I would pick: Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and The Beatles. As for current artists, I would choose: Radiohead, Tame Impala (and not because I’m trying to suck up), and Black Moth Super Rainbow.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Yes, a question: is “booting” really a punishment in Australia? Ha ha, I couldn’t resist. I’m an enormous Simpsons fan and the Australia episode is one of my favourites for sure. Hopefully that episode wasn’t overly offensive…but if it helps any, the whole show is about making fun of Americans! Oh, and thanks a bunch for having me! I’m dead serious about the sleepover, too.

CD Baby Editor's Picks - Lasting Echo Review – CD Baby (cdbaby.com)

"Countless bands site Radiohead and Pink Floyd as influences. Few deliver on that promised sonic association. Fictionist does not disappoint, though. Like those two iconic British bands, this Utah act blends moody, atmospheric rock with dark pop tendencies to create a lush album that gains strength from its balance of relaxed tones and tension. Singer Stuart Maxfield has a voice reminiscent of David Gilmour, understated and easy, but capable of soulful, scrappy energetic leaps. But Fictionist isn't a purely anglophile band, either. One can hear the influence of American acts like Wilco, Jim O'Rourke, and Sonic Youth as well, particularly in their blurty guitar interplay and their occasional forays into friendly barroom grooves sprinkled with more menacing noise elements on top." - Chris at CD Baby

1 Liner: Fictionist – Lasting Echo – The Album Project (thealbumproject.net)

"On the band’s second release they have settled into a tempered rhythm that incorporates a southern sound merged with classic rock influence. “Human Wings” and “Blue-Eyed Universe” immediately show the album’s attractiveness, while some of the other tracks take longer to get aquatinted with, though are just as good. Overall a record that sneaks up slowly, but ends up satisfying in every way."

Fictionist - Lasting Echo – carry you away (http://carryyouaway.wordpress.com)

"Out west, everything seems bigger than their counterparts here on the east coast. The sky, mountains, fields, the states, everything. Thus, it comes as no surprised that Fictionist, with their latest album, Lasting Echo, seems far more impressive, grander and epic than anything that really comes out of the East Coast. Hailing from Utah, the size difference might be the key, but the band certainly does their part to fill that role nicely.
Lasting Echo is a really solid album. There’s no reason why I should particularly like this album, the indie-music fan in me tells me, but there really is a lot to this album that I like. With a sound that really reminds me of Civil Twilight or Low Millions, they have an easygoing alternative-rock sound that I found really suited my ears while in the car. “As gentle as gentle as a summer breeze,” is one of the lyrics off of the second track, Human Wings, and that’s a lot of how it really sounds with some of the tracks. Other tracks, such as Blue-Eyed Universe and Time to Time lay down a good driving beat that that set me back with my feet tapping along. Several other reviewed mentioned similarities to older classic rock artists such as Pink Floyd and the Beatles, and I can see the comparison, especially with some of the guitar work that comes along with some of the songs. But there’s a wholly unique feel to this music, despite the comparisons to music new and old.
"Like a lot of artists that I’ve come to listen to, I really appreciate that the band varies its tone, sound and themes between songs over the course of the album. This is a crucial element to really good albums (although not universally) because it brings a band out of a one-dimensional sound that either staples the band to one image, which ultimately, in my mind, is harmful to the overall effect on the music. Music is supposed to be versatile, interesting and surprising, all at the same time. Listening to Fictionist just once may give that impression, with a fairly average alt-rock sound, but upon other listens, I hear some very interesting guitar tracks during Suffering Angel, and other little things that crop up against the sound throughout that gives Lasting Echo more character and a richness to it that few albums really have."

More at http://carryyouaway.wordpress.com

Fictionist - Lasting Echo – carry you away (http://carryyouaway.wordpress.com)

"Out west, everything seems bigger than their counterparts here on the east coast. The sky, mountains, fields, the states, everything. Thus, it comes as no surprised that Fictionist, with their latest album, Lasting Echo, seems far more impressive, grander and epic than anything that really comes out of the East Coast. Hailing from Utah, the size difference might be the key, but the band certainly does their part to fill that role nicely.
Lasting Echo is a really solid album. There’s no reason why I should particularly like this album, the indie-music fan in me tells me, but there really is a lot to this album that I like. With a sound that really reminds me of Civil Twilight or Low Millions, they have an easygoing alternative-rock sound that I found really suited my ears while in the car. “As gentle as gentle as a summer breeze,” is one of the lyrics off of the second track, Human Wings, and that’s a lot of how it really sounds with some of the tracks. Other tracks, such as Blue-Eyed Universe and Time to Time lay down a good driving beat that that set me back with my feet tapping along. Several other reviewed mentioned similarities to older classic rock artists such as Pink Floyd and the Beatles, and I can see the comparison, especially with some of the guitar work that comes along with some of the songs. But there’s a wholly unique feel to this music, despite the comparisons to music new and old.
"Like a lot of artists that I’ve come to listen to, I really appreciate that the band varies its tone, sound and themes between songs over the course of the album. This is a crucial element to really good albums (although not universally) because it brings a band out of a one-dimensional sound that either staples the band to one image, which ultimately, in my mind, is harmful to the overall effect on the music. Music is supposed to be versatile, interesting and surprising, all at the same time. Listening to Fictionist just once may give that impression, with a fairly average alt-rock sound, but upon other listens, I hear some very interesting guitar tracks during Suffering Angel, and other little things that crop up against the sound throughout that gives Lasting Echo more character and a richness to it that few albums really have."

More at http://carryyouaway.wordpress.com

CD Baby Editor's Review - Invisible Hand – Brad at CD Baby

"With six members in its fold, this Salt Lake City outfit sees endless possibilities in their sound, and they do a stunning job of realizing those visions. On "Noisy Birds," the opening track on this 11-song disc, they start easy, employing piano and semi-muted guitar over chirping sound effects. The vocals mirror the feel, entering in an initially delicate fashion, but hinting at a continuous stirring that eventually breaks the song wide open. Three minutes later, everything is swirling: the drums are rumbling along with the bass, that opening guitar is sprawled out and flying, and the sparse chirps have made way for encircling strings sounds. The sum of all the parts is grand, but it's never busy or overwhelming, and the same can be said for the rest of the record. These songs are mapped out exquisitely, with each player knowing his role, whether it be in a rhythmic vamp or a death-defying solo. For a prime example, make sure to check out the ethereally flowing closer, "Song for B."