"Nos Mos Pollex Vos Per Nostrum Sanus"
(We will thump you with our sounds)
The Universal Thump is a Brooklyn-based band led by Greta Gertler (piano, voice, arrangements, production) and Adam D. Gold (drums, guitar, voice, percussion, arrangements, recording, production).
Born of a whale-less whale-watching expedition to Canada, and inspired at least a little by Melville's “Moby Dick,” The Universal Thump is a search for space, survival and triumph in song. Each song occupies its own, unique landscape in which a world of sound and story unfold. At this universe’s center is The Whale; the guiding creature and mentor in this orchestral pop expedition. Or, are we and the band in the beast’s belly, riding the oceans in a musical big white taxi?
The team is in the final stages of producing its first orchestral pop album, The Universal Thump. In this music one will hear the diverse influences of its ensemble cast, but the catalytic inspiration for this record (and later its unifying tale) was a whale-watching expedition that took the co-producers to Maritime Canada in mid 2008 (elaborated in the impressionistic “To The Border”). Gertler and Gold have found connection with the sounds, songs and survival patterns of ‘The Whale.’ These remain guiding influences, backdrops and metaphors for the new album.
And this is an Album. It’s not quite a song-cycle and not really a concept record. Though these songs stand alone as crafted pop morsels, the collection makes up an album of the type we grew up loving. The album is structured thusly: Four ‘Chapters’ (or ‘Sides’) make up the whole. The songs follow a loose narrative, spanning a wide range of topics and emotions as composed by Gertler. These songs are woven together by thread-like instrumental compositions written by Gold and others.
In 2009 The Universal Thump helped pioneer the Kickstarter movement. In a three-month campaign the producers raised over $15,000 of funding on Kickstarter.com from fans around the world. This influx not only provided the capital needed to begin recording, it also affirmed wide-spread interest in Gertler’s large-scale productions, like the ones witnessed previously on her solo recordings The Baby That Brought Bad Weather and Edible Restaurant.
Her craft was witnessed again this past November when The Universal Thump walloped Brooklyn’s The Bell House with George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass in honor of the album’s 40th Anniversary. Respecting Harrison’s and Phil Spector’s ‘wall-of-sound’ production masterpiece, the group performed the entire album in order, in full orchestral pop splendor, with an astonishing line up of guest vocalists; Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), John Wesley Harding, Rick Moody, Missy Higgins and more. Plans for a DVD and CD release are in the works.
Greta and Adam began recording The Universal Thump in Adam’s recording studio (Oh Real Yum) in late 2009. Gradually, they brought in over 30 of their favorite musicians, including Roy Nathanson (Jazz Passengers), Rachelle Garniez, Jonathan Maron (Groove Collective), Oren Bloedow (Elysian Fields), members of OSSO string quartet, Barney McAll, backing vocalists Cat Martino, Courtney Kaiser, Clare Muldaur Manchon (Clare & The Reasons), Noe Venable, Carol Lipnik, Serena Jost and more, to layer an orchestral pop feast.
Between intense stretches of studio recording, Adam and Greta toured the music clubs of Australia and Europe to spice up their lives, to refine their arrangements and to promote their brand of orchestral pop. Throughout 2009 and 2010 they played to full rooms in Melbourne, Amsterdam, London, Sydney, Berlin, their hometown of New York, as well as in more regional cultural beacons.
The band has previewed ‘Chapters One and Two’ of The Universal Thump digitally only on bandcamp.com and to their Kickstarter backers. These ‘Chapters’ have already garnered significant interest. Stew (The Negro Problem) writes: "'Grasshoppers' is one extended outbreak of goose-pimples after another. Were it a drug I'd be shooting it. 'Swimming' is an amazing, beautiful, kick ass song as well.The most gorgeous thing I've heard in ages." NPR ‘Song of the Day’ will be featuring the song “Opening Night” (from ‘Chapter Two’) in early 2011.
THE UNIVERSAL THUMP Shoulder-Rubbing Shirts available here now! Not only are they extremely cute and comfy, but purchasing them will help support the band in promoting their forthcoming orchestral pop eponymous album.
Soft, 100% cotton American Apparel t-shirts in a selection of beautiful colours. With ORIGINAL WHALE design by Greta. For Men, Women & Children:
Navy Blue (Unisex) $25.00
Light Grey (Ladies' Tri-Blend) $25.00
Indigo (Ladies' Tri-Blend) $25.00
Black (Ladies' Tri-Blend) $25.00
Kids (Pale Blue) $20.00
Kids (Pale Pink) $20.00
PLUS - We are extremely excited to announce that THE UNIVERSAL THUMP "First Spout" Australian Tour EP is now available online. Find out all about it, and sample tracks here:
First Spout EPThe Universal Thump
THE UNIVERSAL THUMP - is a new Brooklyn-based ensemble led by GRETA GERTLER (piano, voice, arrangements, production) and ADAM D GOLD (drums, guitar, voice, percussion, arrangements, recording, production).
Born of a whale-less whale-watching expedition to Canada, and inspired at least a little by Melville's “Moby Dick,” THE UNIVERSAL THUMP is a search for space, survival and triumph in song. Each song occupies its own, unique landscape in which a world of sound and story unfold. At this universe’s center is The Whale; the guiding creature and mentor in this orchestral pop expedition. Or, are we and the band in the beast’s belly, riding the oceans in a musical big white taxi?
Since its inception, THE UNIVERSAL THUMP has toured the USA, Europe and Australia, previewing songs from the album at venues such as The Bell House (Brooklyn), Barbes (Brooklyn), Joe’s Pub (NYC), The Basement (Sydney), The Vanguard (Sydney), De Nieuwe Anita (Amsterdam), and Schokoladen (Berlin).
Greta and Adam began working on the eponymous first The Universal Thump album in late-2008 in Adam’s basement studio. Recording underground near the notoriously murky and lively Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, the pair thrived among its unusual creatures and the sounds from its depths. But quickly, the founding duo realized their new project was in fact a much bigger animal than just the two of them could rein. So in December 2009, THE UNIVERSAL THUMP openly sought financial support from its fans to help widen the scope of the band, to expand the album and to keep swimming forward. What resulted was an outpouring of love and generosity from hundreds of music fans around the globe, as well as from some of the most remarkable denizens of the New York music scene.
GRETA's PREVIOUS ALBUMS AVAILABLE on iTUNES & CD BABY:
EDIBLE RESTAURANT (2007)
THE BABY THAT BROUGHT BAD WEATHER (2003)
NERVOUS BREAKTHROUGHS (featuring PECCADILLO)
More detailed info about Greta and Adam coming soon.Meanwhile, we are excited about and hope you enjoy listening to "FIRST SPOUT", featuring "Chapter One" of the forthcoming album by THE UNIVERSAL THUMP.