Image © October Project 2002
Image © Steven Lowy 2002
More October Project
Unplugged in Soho, NYC Oct 2002
(07 August 2002) October Project is back. Re/Formed around the angelic voice of Marina Belica, and the songs of Julie Flanders and Emil Adler, the group returns itself to its three original members, who have been friends and collaborators since college.
Signed to Epic Records in 1993, the group has enjoyed international acclaim and has sold close to half a million copies of their two albums (October Project and Falling Farther In). The albums continue to sell and attract new listeners to this day.
In March 2002 Falling Farther In made the top five (along with Creed, Jars of Clay and U-2) in a list of "Music With A Message" in Borders Bookstores' magazine. Now, six years after the group left Epic, songwriters Flanders and Adler and singer Belica have reunited, with plans for a long anticipated third album.
October Project established its roots in a New Jersey garage but its early seeds germinated on the campus of Yale University where Belica and Flanders were roommates for four years. The three were joined in 1990 by guitarist
David Sabatino, percussionist Urbano Sanchez and singer Mary Fahl.
October Project headlined sold-out shows across the US and toured with such platinum-selling acts as The Crash Test Dummies and Sarah McLachlan. The band performed live on TV's Latenight with Conan O'Brien as well as on
numerous nationally syndicated radio shows, and was featured in an Emmy Award-nominated PBS Special, Just Passing Through, with Shawn Colvin and
Julia Fordham. October Project's music appears in the feature film Blown Away starring Tommy Lee Jones and Jeff Bridges, and has appeared on such TV shows as The Real World, Extra!, The Rosie ODonnell Show, Baywatch and One Life to Live.
Although the original group took a break for personal reasons in 1996, Flanders, Belica and Adler continued to make music together. In 2000, they gathered in the studio with Sabatino and percussionist Sanchez to "cover"
October Project's second single, "Return to Me," for Belica's debut solo recording, decembergirl. The response to the track was phenomenal. It went to #1 on alternative station WBER in Rochester, New York and aired for
several months on 99X, one of the most popular commercial radio stations in Atlanta. Prompting a mention in Billboard magazine, the track was also featured in the climactic scene of an indie movie--The Adulterer--featuring several Flanders and Adler songs that had its New York premiere in
June of 2002.
Starting with an appearance at The Bottom Line in October of 2001, Belica, Flanders and Adler began to perform together again on a regular basis. They have since performed charitable concerts for Gilda's Club, The New York
City School System, and the closing concert at St. Paul's Chapel in Manhattan for workers and volunteers at the World Trade Center recovery site. On July 3rd, they opened the Carolina Arts Festival at the 7,000-seat Regency Amphitheater. And on September 22nd they will give a concert celebrating the launch of the Manhattan chapter of the NOCC (National Ovarian Cancer Coalition).
After completing a 6-song EP planned for release this October, they will immediately begin work on a full-length release. They plan to include Sabatino and Sanchez in the recordings and in concerts this fall.
The first release to emerge from this reunion is a three-track sampler intended to give fans a taste of what they can expect from the new incarnation. Gathered together under one roof are the decembergirl recording of "Return To Me" (feature), "Always a Place" from the Kosova Relief Fund benefit album Refuge, and a brand new track entitled "If I
Turn Away." All three tracks are produced by Adler. Affectionados will find the sampler especially enticing.
The last cut on the sampler, "If I Turn Away" is the first all-new recording by the trio and will be included on the EP due out this October. The rich and dynamic orchestral arrangement offers the listener an insight into the direction the band is going. Evocatively soaring vocals and lush
instrumentals contribute to the superior quality of the track. Watch for our forthcoming feature article on October Project 3.
In the meantime, click on either of the images above to visit the band's website; read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order their earlier albums at amazon.com