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Different Eyes CD Cover
Image op(iii). October Project 2003

October Project
Julie Flanders, Emil Adler, Marina Belica
Photo Steven Lowy 2003

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Marina Belica decembergirl Interview

(05 April 2003) October Project is back, with a new six-song CD entitled Different Eyes. 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 a half million copies of their two albums (October Project and Falling Further In). The albums 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.

October Project has headlined sold-out shows across the United States 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 the 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 O'Donnell Show, Baywatch and One Life To Live.

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.

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 the indie movie The Adulterer featuring several Flanders and Adler songs, and was used as the closing credit music in The Spirit of St. Paul's, a documentary about the World Trade Center disaster and its aftermath.

Different Eyes. The EP includes five new recordings plus "If I Turn Away" previously released on the band's limited edition "Three" EP. The songs were all written by Julie Flanders and Emil Adler earlier in the band's career. A tender and melodic ballad entitled "The Mind's Eye" (1995) is the opening recording. Marina's lead is supported by Julie's backing vocals and lush instrumentals comprised of keyboard and light percussion. Listeners will be enthralled to hear October Project's return.

Lovely string-styled arrangements support Marina's lovely lead vocal in the sensitively sung ballad "Long After Tomorrow" (1992). Light strings and woodwind sounds provide the instrumental backing for Marina's soaring lead in "See With Different Eyes" (1995), a gently rocking tune. Her crystalline voice is perfectly echoed by flute.

"If I Turn Away" (1989) is the most lushly arranged tune with thick keyboard arrangements filling the gaps between the lyrical passages. Clearly one of the standout tracks on this EP is "Forget You" (1991), a rich and somewhat Latin-styled piece with ultra-crisp percussion perfectly punctuating the melody and multi-layered vocal harmonies. The EP concludes with "When The Wind Blows" (1984), an evocatively sung ballad with lush arrangements featuring guitar, percussion and light keyboard textures. Vocal harmonies are classic October Project and everso enticing.

Having completed this six-song EP, October Project will immediately begin work on a full-length recording. They plan to include Sabatino and Sanchez in the upcoming recording and in select concerts. Different Eyes is available from October Project's website. Be sure to return soon to read our interview with Marina, Julie and Emil.

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