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Portland, OR | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Portland, OR | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Rock Indie




"Melville featured by industry tastemaker blog Kings of A&R"

ndie act Melville has released a new track Heart that will come off their upcoming album. Melville’s first EP, Maquette, was recorded at Type Foundry Studios with Adam Selzer (M. Ward, The Decemberists, Peter Buck of R.E.M., She & Him) and has garnered radio play on Portland stations like KINK, KNRK and KZME. The Deli Magazine says this ““With an anything but shallow rock sound, Melville mixes layered electric guitars in unique and often beautiful ways, taking a break from a driving song line up to bring moving instrumental rock moments…”. The new single Heart was recently featured at halftime in front of 15,000 people at the 3/28 Portland Trailblazers game. The band is currently in the studio with Gregg Williams (The Dandy Warhols, Sheryl Crow, etc) working on the follow-up to Maquette. This is an artist to watch.
Contact: - Kings of A&R

"Melville at SXSW 2015: The Portland Party and more"

South by Southwest, the music festival to end all festivals, is underway in Austin, Texas this week, and a number of Portland bands are slogging through the madness and breakfast tacos to win new fans and blog buzz. Among them: country-tinged rockers Melville, who volunteered to document their week in Austin for the Oregonian. In their first video blog -- dare we say, vlog? -- the group packs up, hits the airport and covers the Beatles. Watch it above. - The Oregonian

"Melville Featured in The Deli Portland"

Melville is a band with roots in americana and alt-country. Those roots clearly influenced their new album, however the current sound that is Melville is firmly filed under the "rock and roll" section at your local record store, in case you were hoping to pick up a copy of the band’s recently released EP, Maquette. With an anything but shallow rock sound, Melville mixes layered electric guitars in unique and often beautiful ways, taking a break from a driving song line up to bring moving instrumental rock moments like “Einleitung” to life. Ryan T. Jacobs is the front man and creator of this four piece force and it is clear he has worked hard to create a tight band and album with diversity and heart. See Melville tomorrow night at the Hawthorne Theatre with Minor Alps and The Upside Down. - Joy Pearson - The Deli

"Live review: Autumn Defense gets 'Sentimental,' enthusiastic at Mississippi Studios"

The band's taste extended to the openers: Portland locals Melville, an alt-country group that's enriched its sound since last year's promising "Maquette" EP, and Barna Howard, a folk songwriter who at times sounded like James Taylor raised on a farm. Both have new material in the works, a sophomore album for Howard and hopefully a full-length debut for Melville, a band that, with fire-voiced Ryan T. Jacobs at the helm, shouldn't be playing opening gigs for too much longer. - The Oregonian

"Coming (Back) to America"

The cliché is that young Americans go to Europe to find themselves. Sometimes all they do is spend Mom and Dad's hard-earned money partying and learning how to swear in new languages. But sometimes, the trip is a journey, and the time abroad produces a changed person (see Lost Generation of the 20s).

For singer/songwriter Ryan T. Jacobs, the latter outcome applies to him.

"The greatest change in my thinking due to my time abroad is the way I perceive and process things around me," Jacobs said in an interview with the Source. "The linguistic and cultural cues you take for granted are mostly gone and you have to investigate constantly just to tread water."

At 32, and now living in Portland, Grants Pass native Jacobs is actually thousands of philosophical and artistic miles away from where he started his music career rather than just a short trip up the I-5 corridor, partially because he didn't begin exploring music until he moved to Germany.

"I majored in romance languages at the University of Oregon," Jacobs said. "I decided to learn French for some reason and lived [in France] for a couple of years. I met a German girl and ended up living [in Germany] for four years. When I moved to Germany I had just finished my degree and didn't know what the next step was. That's when I started writing music."

As a result, what began as a self-taught hobby during his senior year of high school—playing the guitar—turned into a life of busking and playing small venues in Berlin. It wasn't until Jacobs returned to Oregon and pulled together band members Thomas Yates on bass, drummer Tim Skerpon and Jim Meyer on keys—forming the group Melville—that he got really serious and further developed his sound.

Despite being away from the States for so long, Melville's music is rich with Pacific Northwest influences. With his hybrid Eddie Vedder/Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes) voice, Jacobs and company successfully straddle continents by pairing stout woodsy rock and the sullen sound of The Smiths. And the band's new EP, Maquette, speaks not only to duality in relationships, but also living somewhere that isn't home. It's both musically and lyrically powerful.

"It's definitely from the perspective that is gained by viewing yourself as an outsider," Jacobs said. "Coming back to the States, I can have that same detached perspective. But I didn't want to be that one guy-you know, everybody has that friend who was backpacking for a month in Europe and comes home and is like, 'Oh, man, it was so different dude'." - The Source Weekly

"Melville debuts in Portland plus news from The Tumblers"

Playing his debut Portland gig last Thursday, June 16th, Ryan T. Jacobs is ready to share his still-developing band Melville with Oregon audiences and make a name for himself. Taking the cramped stage at a packed and noisy LaurelThirst Public House, Jacobs showed that although he’s new to town, he no rookie performer. (Not to mention he’s also a Southern Oregon boy, hailing from Grants Pass.) Jacobs cut his teeth for years in Berlin and admits that it’s nice to be playing to audiences that can fully understand him, although, he’s clearly at his most confident while intoning his heartfelt lyrics in his stunningly emotive voice. Combined with the pedal steel of Ben Cartwright (The Tumblers), Melville creates a truly affecting sound, painted with dusty melancholy. The band has yet to establish a static lineup, but if these two can stick together, that might be all the glue that this project needs.

For full disclosure, Jacobs first came to our attention when he offered to write an article for OMN but we’ll let you decide for yourself if he’s worth checking out. We promise he sounds as good live as he does on his standout track “Questions,” from Melville’s debut EP Erstwhile. - Oregon Music News

"Win tickets to Melville, Ed & The Red Reds and Country Mice at Mississippi"

Since the release of his debut EP, Erstwhile, just over a year ago, Portland’s Ryan T. Jacobs has been attempting to make the transition from a solo singer/songwriter to a full band effort under the name Melville. The one constant in that process has been his pedal steel player, Ben Cartwright (also of The Tumblers). But Melville is back in action with a new cast of characters—including drummer Chris Peterson (formerly of Sunfall Festival) and bassist Thomas Yates—and playing their first show back on Sunday, April 15th at Mississippi Studios.

Jacobs is eager to get back on stage, saying that Melville is “looking to make an even better second impression with this new lineup than our first one. We’ve been rehearsing like crazy to get things ready for this show and are currently booking shows in Seattle as well as other shows here in Portland. The plan is to get into the studio later in 2012 to record an EP or LP, depending on finances.”
To warm up before Sunday’s show, you can catch Jacobs on the radio today at noon as part of 107.1 FM KZME’s The Lunch Box where he’ll be doing an in-studio acoustic performance and interview, and we’re sure he’ll be sharing a few of his heartfelt songs with a twang, like Erstwhile‘s “Questions”: - Oregon Music News

"Album Review"


"Aus Oregon hat es Ryan T. Jacobs über Frankreich nach Berlin und ins schöne Friedrichshain verschlagen. Der Umsiedlung zum Trotz klingt sein Album "The Places You Might Have Gone" durch und durch amerikanisch und fischt im großen Indie-Folk-Teich nach Juwelen. Genre-bedingt klingt das nicht unbedingt aufregend, aber in Ryans Fall spannender als vieles was seine Schubladen-Kollegen auftischen. Ob verschmuste Balladen oder verspulte Liebeslieder, wer mal wieder einem ordentlichen Singer/Songwriter lauschen möchte - Ryan is your man. "


"Ryan T. Jacobs came from Oregon, via France to land in the neighborhood of Friedrichshain in Berlin. In spite of the change of scenery, his album "The Places You Might Have Gone" sounds American through and through and fishes for jewels in the lakes of Indie-Folk. Though the singer/songwriter genre in and of itself is not incredibly exciting, in Ryan's case it's much more interesting than what the majority of his peers bring to the table. So whether it's cuddly ballads or love songs, whoever would like to listen to not-just-your-typical singer/songwriter - Ryan is your man. " - Uncle Sallys

"Album Review"

"At his best, Jacobs is as thought provoking as Rice, Young or Dylan."

" a cross between Adam Duritz and Neil Young"

"Dear You, Oh Dear Me .... is a finely written folk/pop song that should gain Jacobs a lot of attention; the sort of song that other artists rush to cover." - Wildys World

"Album Review"

"... the main impression left by these songs - familiarity. It is like you've heard the songs before even though you couldn't possibly have done so. The emotional intensity of Mr Jacob's performance is obvious to all..." - Bluesbunny Music Review

"GPHS Grad Has Become International Troubador"

Ryan Jacobs is making a name for himself in the music business, and he's doing it in four different languages.

The 1999 Grants Pass High School graduate earned a degree in romance languages from the University of Oregon, where he learned French and Spanish. Then, when he met a lovely German girl while in France, he added German to his repertoire.

That relationship led him to Berlin. "She had to finish her degree so I moved back with her," Jacobs said.

Even though he and the girl no longer see each other, he has remained in Berlin on a student visa and began writing songs.

He works in a hostel in Berlin part-time so he is able to play a lot of shows, sometimes as a soloist with his guitar and a piano and sometimes as a band member.

After developing a following, Jacobs released an album titled "The Places You Might Have Gone." He recorded it in Berlin, but it was performed in English.

He said his music has been described as a lot of things, but he notes it has a folk aspect and features acoustic guitar.

"It runs the gamut," Jacobs said.
Others have described it as speaking about the highs and lows of life.

It also pays the bills.

"I definitely am able to make money doing it," he said.

The hostel where he works is closed temporarily for renovations, Jacobs said, so he took the opportunity to visit friends and family in Grants Pass.

But that hasn't prevented him from working.

In addition to gigs in town, he's booked to appear in Eugene, Newberg, Portland and Salem before he returns to Germany next month.

Bouncing around a few cities is minor travel in Jacobs' world.

"I didn't do a typical student thing," he said of his college career.

Instead, he would travel for a while then attend school for a while.

Along the way he spent a year in Northern Ireland, two years in France and, of course, found himself in Germany.

That may end this fall when his student visa expires.

Jacobs said he isn't sure if he will try to extend it. If not, he plans to return to Oregon.

He has another performance on tap in town after he finishes his road shows. He'll be playing at Rogue Coffee Roasters on April 2 for First Friday Art Night. - The Daily Courier

"Wacker Gegen den Laermpegel"

"Jacobs' Stimme, häufig sehr in die Höhen gehend, mag polarisieren. Für die einen ist sie einfach nur gefühlvoll und sanft, für die anderen, schlicht zu knödelig. Zweckdienlich ist sie allemal..."

"Uramerikanisch klingen die Lieder, mit Referenzen an Neil Young, an Bob Dylan. Leise oft, kraftvoll im dynamischen Midtempo zuckelnd manchmal. Jacobs spielt sie auf seiner Akustikgitarre und auf dem Klavier"

"Wohlig warme Harmonien lassen sich erahnen, schmelzend trauriger Gesang" - Kieler Nachrichten

"Wacker Gegen den Laermpegel"

"Jacobs' Stimme, häufig sehr in die Höhen gehend, mag polarisieren. Für die einen ist sie einfach nur gefühlvoll und sanft, für die anderen, schlicht zu knödelig. Zweckdienlich ist sie allemal..."

"Uramerikanisch klingen die Lieder, mit Referenzen an Neil Young, an Bob Dylan. Leise oft, kraftvoll im dynamischen Midtempo zuckelnd manchmal. Jacobs spielt sie auf seiner Akustikgitarre und auf dem Klavier"

"Wohlig warme Harmonien lassen sich erahnen, schmelzend trauriger Gesang" - Kieler Nachrichten

"12 Portland bands to watch in 2016—and 1 fresh festival"

The group's "The New Zero," its debut album, is expected this spring. Early singles "Heart" and "Televised" offer a crackling rock sound with roots in Tom Petty and the Gin Blossoms. - The Oregonian


"The New Zero" (2017)

"Maquette" - (2013)



Portland band Melville’s initial offering, the EP entitled Maquette, was exactly what the title’s definition would lead you to believe: a small, preliminary model. However, when the churning opening riff of their debut full-length album, The New Zero, explodes to life, it’s clear that this prior model has been blown up in order to make room for what’s to come.

The concept behind The New Zero represents a starting point – the culmination of past events into the beginning of something new. Melville’s first full-length record comes after the band spent time honing their sound from lower-fi alt-country to the current template of visceral, shoot for the stars, high-energy rock ‘n roll. The results do not disappoint. The songwriting is markedly tighter and more focused on this album. When combined with lead singer/songwriter Ryan T. Jacobs’ fiery vocals, the album’s abundance of hooks and singable choruses proves nearly irresistible.

Having spent seven years living in Europe, Jacobs speaks four languages, and channels his world travel experiences into his songwriting. Jacobs’ lyrics and dynamic vocals are enhanced by the impressive technical skill of his fellow bandmates: bassist Ryan Aughenbaugh; guitarist Dan Bacon; and drummer Juan Felipe. This versatile troupe of musicians brings a certain swagger to the Melville sound and a new fire to the stage.

Either a result of, or a reason for Melville’s longevity, the band’s sound is neither restrictive to nor a derivative of the current era. The music has been compared to the likes of Ryan Adams, Tom Petty, Snow Patrol, and REM. Above all, Melville’s invigorating brand of emotive rock ‘n roll believes in transcendence through music and aims to move its audience to believe the same.

Recorded with Gregg Williams (The Dandy Warhols, Sheryl Crow, Blitzen Trapper) and mastered by Paul Gold (The War on Drugs, Grizzly Bear), The New Zero was meticulously crafted over the course of two years. As the band has evolved, Melville has seen their song “Heart” debuted at a sold-out Portland Trailblazers game; they played the Portland Party at SXSW; and they shared the stage with the likes of 3 Doors Down, Wilco side-project The Autumn Defense, Minor Alps, and Murder By Death. The August 18th debut of The New Zero and the ensuing album-release tour will simultaneously mark the closing and opening of chapters old and new. With a live show full of energy and packed full of their exhilarating songs, you won’t want to miss being a part of what’s coming next.

Ultimately, our worlds can change in an instant. What Melville wants to convey with this record is that in the moment after those changes, we have The New Zero: a chance to shape what comes next. We can no longer influence the past, but the present is ours to be molded and defined. The aftermath of what comes our way is malleable and there is always The New Zero.

Band Members