Released in 2005 and considered a complete departure from all my previous work, Lemonymous was an experimental album that fused a wide range of influences, from U2 to Passengers, Smashing Pumpkins to Bowie (for starters), and featured entirely instrumental tracks (some dancy, some meditative) up against more conventional pop pieces. It was full of vibrant colors, soaring sonic sounds and infinite textures.
In 2015, the album was remixed and remastered for release on digital platforms (iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play etc) and as a physical CD with a brand-new 16 page full color booklet and fold out wallet, just as had always been intended. It was accompanied by a brand new companion CD of remixes, alternate takes and acoustic versions called Lemonymix.
"I quite like being able to look back and see not only where I succeeded but also where I fell flat on my face."
Release Date: March 15, 2005 | Reissue Date: September 29, 2015
By Keith Pro (Original URL)
There is something to be said for an artist that still drives forward after years in the trenches. Even when successes come and create high hopes only to come crashing down you must continue to hold onto your dream. A good example is our recent discovery Ender Bowen.
The songwriter and producer now based in Nashville, Tennessee has been through a long cycle of ups and downs but is now back up moving ahead with real motivation. The rock star bug bit him early when he first heard “Jump” by Van Halen in 1984 and knew that was for him. Ender had some experience with high school and early college bands as a drummer/guitarist but soon realized that his best chance for success was on his own. Over his last 2 years at St. Lawrence University in upstate New York Ender Bowen focused on getting it done and had an album that caught the attention of some radio stations and was a hit on MP3.com. It was 2001 and he was a little ahead of his time. The next step was a move to Nashville to be in the epicenter of new music. His Euro Pop sounds may have been different from the prevalent country sound but this could be used as a way to set himself apart in a crowded scene. Quickly an indie label came onboard to jump on the rising star but the results never panned out and Ender Bowen was back to square one. A break was needed and it seemed as if the dream may die. In 2014, his daughter was born inspiring him back on his path to prove that with passion and dedication anything is possible.
The current project by Ender Bowen was born back in 2005 but with a new spin and drive the album Lemonymous is back with a mission. The 12 track record blends soaring big sounds with experimental and somewhat electronic tones to create something very fresh for today’s music scene. The electro noise of the opener “Hide And Seek” show off some new wave influences as a piece of the Ender Bowen style. There is a dark vibe that creeps in on “March Of Thieves” with his brooding vocal presence dragging the listener along for a ride hanging on every word. The darkness continues with some more experimentation on “Not For Lack of Trying” which brings in an almost theatrical feel that would fit well in a large scale broadway show. The dance party come in on “Fate” with a strong beat grinding ahead forcing any listener’s head to bop along. It all comes together on “Reverse Psychology” with a large collection of noises coming together in one complete unit of music. This is thinking man’s music.
This is an album made for a complete listen from start to finish to truly take it all in.
By Rick Jamm (Original URL)
Ender Bowen, a recording artist in Nashville, has reissued his third album, “Lemonymous” following a crowd-sourcing funding campaign. The album was originally released 10 years ago. Bowen, who started out as a drummer, says he knew he wanted to be a rock star when he saw Van Halen’s “Jump” for the first time at four years old. At the age of 16 Bowen got into his first band, but felt that as a drummer he could not contribute as much as he wanted to in composing the songs. So he left the band and taught himself to play the guitar. He started another band, but when that eventually fell through he finally felt it was the time to go solo.
In 2006, after releasing the original “Lemonymous” album, his third, Ender Bowen moved to Nashville, quickly signed a record deal and waited for things to happen…nothing did! Two years later he asked to be released from his contract and had to play catch-up with everyone else who had already moved into the digital downloading era. In 2014 after the birth of his daughter, Bowen realized he needed to continue to pursue his dream, no matter how hard it was. And now he is back on track!
If you’re a total sucker for soaring, grandiose, borderline overly-soundscaped and over-the-top melodies “Lemonymous” is for you. The songs have depth and personal meaning on a variety of levels that I appreciate more and more with each listening. These songs hit a nerve and take you places whether it is general troubles we all go through in life or relationship problems. Much like Bono of U2, Ender Bowen’s far-reaching voice fills up the album with so much emotion you can taste it. To my mind, “Lemonymous” requires multiple listens because you catch things – snippets of lyrics, a turn of a note, etc. on every listen; having said that, the music lends itself to ‘superficial’ listening too. So if you need to do something else, but need am enveloping sonic backdrop, “Lemonymous” will certainly oblige.
The writing, playing, and singing on this album is that of an artist firing on all cylinders, and every song has a hook. Bowen’s voice is strong and assured as he works his way through standouts such as: “March Of Thieves”, “Like A Dream”, “So Can’t I”, “Fate” and “Alive”. There’s a sort of majesty to a lot of Ender Bowen’s songs here. They sound bigger and more epic than most of the mainstream songs out there. The songwriting is passionate without being cliché. Bowen delivers it with power, and the tasteful electronics included in his arrangements create a dream-like, wondrous background behind his voice for most ears to revel in.
After a substantial absence from the spotlight, Ender Bowen makes his fabulous return to music with this highly versatile tour de force. “Lemonymous” not only brings the artist into full force creativity, but showcases a superb kind of compassionate musicianship, where every single note matters!
By Chris Brock (Original URL)
Russell native Ender Bowen, a recording artist in Nashville, has reissued his third album, “Lemonymous” following a crowd-sourcing funding campaign.
The album, which will be released Sept. 29, has one track, “So Can’t I,” that will be available through iTunes as an “instant gratification” track beginning Sept. 15.
“Lemonymous” was originally released 10 years ago. The new version of the album, which includes a 16-page color booklet, has a separate companion CD of alternate takes and remixes called “Lemonymix.”
Ender Bowen, the stage name of Joel D. VanBrocklin, graduated in 1998 from Edwards-Knox Central School, where he was a member of the concert, jazz and marching bands. He graduated in 2002 from St. Lawrence University. Canton, with a bachelor of arts degree in music.
In response to emailed questions, Mr. Bowen said he decided to release the remixed and remastered “Lemonymous,” originally recorded in 2005 in Canton, for several reasons.
“At the time I started the process it was the only one of my albums where I owned the rights to all the music,” Mr. Bowen wrote. “It was the most eclectic collection of my work so it allowed me to ‘reintroduce’ myself in such a way that I could show all of the things I can actually do ... In general I just think it’s my most colorful and interesting of my work.”
As an iTunes instant gratification track, the song “So Can’t I” will be able to be heard immediately beginning Sept. 15 if people pre-order the “Lemonymous” album.
“It’s my favorite song on the album, and one of the songs I always envisioned as being one of the singles, despite it being mostly instrumental,” Mr. Bowen wrote. “I feel it best reflects the nature of the album, which is a little unconventional and out there, by typical radio considerations.”
Mr. Bowen performs solo on all his albums. He describes his music as similar to the soaring, big sounds of U2 mixed with the heavier eclecticism of such groups as The Smashing Pumpkins. His music, which ranges from party music to introspective songs, also has elements of electronica. Some of his themes are drawn from literary elements, such as the works of author C.S. Lewis.
His other albums are “Neon Apocalypse,” released in 2001 and recorded at St. Lawrence University; “Scarlet Dawn,” released in 2003; and “Middle Aegis,” released last year. That album is a compilation of EPs and singles released from 2009 to 2013.
Mr. Bowen, who moved to Nashville a decade ago, is rehearsing and programming music for live gigs that he’s hoping to book in and around the city next spring. He’s also preparing to make a few music videos to go with his new release.
He is the son of Vickie Strate of Russell and Larry VanBrocklin, originally from South Russell but now of Hendersonville, Tenn.
The CDs “Lemonymous” and “Lemonymix” are available on Mr. Bowen’s website for $20 and $15 respectively. His website is at www.enderbowen.com.
The albums and songs from both albums will be available online at such sites as iTunes, Spotify and Amazon on Sept. 29.
By MusicCityNashville.net (Original URL)
Nashville's prolific Ender Bowen isn't your typical Music City fare as exemplified on his 2015 releases Lemonymous and its partner remix album Lemonymix. This double disc project is actually a crowd-sourced funded re-release of a decade old record refreshed with some new beats and insight. Not one to bow to the local pressure and expectations from being in the Country Music Capitol of the World Bowen builds his Nashville sound on a mixture of soaring melodies, haunting lyrics, danceable beats and layered instrumentals that would probably be more at home in Europe than Middle-Tennessee.
But, in Bowen's case being so drastically different than the standard offerings from Music Row plays in the artist's favor by providing a competitive advantage. He's got the supply of emotive and emotional atmospheric anthems. The question is - is there a demand? We think fans will drink up songs like the U2-esque "Reverse Psychology" with its dreamy analysis and the shuffling "Autumn" that descends with a somber and wistful warning. All served with a tart shot of lemon to perk things up.
By Emma Cummings-Krueger (Original URL)
Turn up the volume: Joel VanBrocklin '02 has just released his fifth musical collection online and in stores. A native of Northern New York, VanBrocklin began composing and recording music independently in his dorm room as a sophomore. After a career of nearly 15 years under the pseudonym Ender Bowen, he dropped his latest Lemonymix last Tuesday.
VanBrocklin released his first collection Neon Apocalypse while still a student at St. Lawrence, and his second album dropped the year after his graduation. The initial music reviews may be found in 2001 and 2003 editions of The Hill News, respectively. This SLU support is contunued through the sale of his 2015 album, now available at the Brewer Bookstore. In the years since graduation to date, VanBrocklin has released five albums, three EPs and one single.
Lemonymix is, according to VanBrocklin, "a remastered 10th anniversary reissue of my third album, Lemonymous, along with Lemonymix, a completely new companion CD of remixes and alternate takes." As an electronic and synthetic compilation, Lemonymix is comprised of 12 full-length songs.
Following his graduation from SLU, VanBrocklin relocated to Nashville in 2006 to pursue his dream of music production. After a record deal leading into 2008, he tired of the industry and shifted his focus away from music toward television. But, with the birth of his daughter in early 2014, VanBrocklin decided to revisit his dream.
"I felt a renewed sense of who I am and what I wanted to do - primarily to show my daughter that you should never give up on your dreams no matter how hard it gets or what's stacked against you," he said. "At 35, with a child and a mortgage, the table is stacked against me and it will be harder than it ever was to make this happen, but I'm not giving up, and I'm going to show my daughter that no matter what she's passionate about, you stick through it to the end."
In reference to his most recent release, VanBrocklin said: "I chose to reissue Lemonymous before anything else because I feel it best exemplifies what I am capable of. It's dancy and electronic in some places, experimental and ambient in others, and just plain pop/rock in areas, too. In many ways, it's the best of what I have done and a precursor to what's to come."
Those here at The Hill News agree with VanBrocklin. The mix of sounds and genres featured in Lemonymix is quite striking. Starting off on a dark and emotional track in "Hide and Seek," the playlist progresses quickly toward upbeat tunes and low heart-pumping beats.
"I could definitely study to some of the tracks, the instrumentals take a front seat in some of my favorite songs," said Elizabeth Lucas '16.
VanBrocklin's Ender Bowen releases are available online (via iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and others) and on shelves at the Brewer Bookstore... Learn more of his story [on his website].
When I decided to do a 10th Anniversary edition of Lemonymous, I thought it would be a lot of fun and something a little extra to do a remix album. Initially, I wanted to send the songs out to different DJs and producers and have them do all the mixes, but then I decided it would be really great practice for me leading into my first real album in over a decade, so what I ended up with were some pure remixes, some acoustic versions, a rock performance of a dance tune, and two alternate takes of songs with different lyrics.
It also gave me my first music video in six years in the form of "Reverse Pyschology" (above), filmed entirely on iPhone 6.
In a way, Lemonymix is the perfect companion to Lemonymous, but I also think it could stand on its own if it wanted to. I actually like some of the versions of the songs here more than on the actual album.