Determined to make it as a band the members of Until June packed up their bags and left their Phoenix, Arizona homes for sunny Los Angeles, a city where hopes and dreams are gloriously realized or abandoned in frustration and bitter defeat. Josh Ballard, singer for the transplanted Los Angeles trio confesses, "We didn't give ourselves a way out. We packed up, left school, left our families and forced ourselves to be alone in L.A. with just our music."
With a collective deadline of June 2006, the unnamed band christened itself after their self-imposed cut-off date. Fortunately, just as time was running out, Until June signed with Flicker Records/Sony-BMG.
Sequestered in a new town the band has crafted an album infused with honesty and perseverance. Produced by Brian Garcia (Our Lady Peace, Kelly Clarkson, King's X), Until June's self-titled debut release represents the virtue of pushing through one's fears, no matter what.
Think in hybrid, a cross-section of the sounds of Keane, Coldplay, and Ben Folds Five"powerful, piano-based rock without an agenda. Warm falsettos crescendo into correspondingly warm moments of emotion. And yet there are many moments of wide-open, airy breaks and choruses, à la Sigur Ros and Sunny Day Real Estate.
Until June's approach to songwriting is more classic in nature. Verses, choruses and bridges flow into one another as songs progress and evolve, without such rigid structures as you hear on mainstream radio. The album lends a beautiful candor seldom heard today, but Ballard & Co. are realistic, even humble about their own sound.
"We would love to think that we are making music that will change the world," Ballard explains, "but we are more concerned with letting it all out than writing pop hits. This music is our everything, and we have lived it. We want people to know that on the record, as well as at shows, we are 100% about spilling our guts. We just want people to feel what we feel."
Though the prevailing lyrical themes on Until June are brokenness and heartache, there is a thread of redemption that is subtle, yet powerful throughout. On "What I've Done" Ballard speaks of deep regret and the need for salvation from one's own mistakes: Tied around the mess I've made, the air I breathe gets shorter every time I speak. The words you've heard a thousand times I've tried before but now I feel like letting go of everything that hurts the most, and now I'm begging you don't let go.
Armed with this sincere emotion, Until June plans to continue to hone its live show while traversing the nation. After four tough years in L.A., where they faced every obstacle the city could throw at them, nothing less than a full-time, national touring schedule would seem appropriate. Recently, Until June completed a U.S. run.
"We want to challenge the listener, not just offer the same, recycled pop," Ballard declares. "The goal of this band is to raise questions, to cause people to seek out greater answers beyond themselves. And I know that we will never take our music lightly because it has the power to influence, the power to encourage. After all, we may need to lay this band down someday. But not today."