"Exiles In Paradise"
Release Date: June 12, 2012 (CD/digital download)
"'Exiles in Paradise', the sophomore effort from Greenville, S.C.’s Aaron Berg, may tilt twangy, but it’s not your run-of-the-mill Americana record. Buoyed by Berg’s strong poetic narrative bent, the tight interplay between his band, the Heavy Love, crucial accents (pedal steel and Dobro from Mike Bagwell, and fiddle from Califone’s Jim Becker on one track), and a welcome variety of tempo-shifts make the moody Exiles an early contender for one of the Carolinas’ finest country-rock entries of the year. The 10 tracks were recorded virtually live in a two-day session in Chicago with just a few overdubs added later. The album pulses with energy as a result."
- John Schacht - Shuffle Magazine (January 19, 2012)
"Folk-rap troubadour Aaron Berg kicked it up a notch with a full-band show at the Lexington Avenue Brewery on Saturday. Berg has long been known as an introspective folk singer, but with the electric band he gets the freedom to stretch the songs a little and, ultimately, treat the listener to a different experience."
- Laura Blackley - Citizen Times (Asheville - January 25, 2012)
"We snagged a couple of CD’s to wrap and give to ourselves for Christmas but of course we were listening to one of them as soon as we got in the car. The new Scott H. Biram album is patiently waiting for his turn in the CD player but Aaron Berg & The Heavy Love’s Exile In Paradise has been in constant rotation since it hit our stereo. Aaron Berg is a local artist and this is an amazing CD; buy it or check him out live and if you are anything less than blown away, I will personally reimburse you for the efforts."
- Brett at Upstate Under Your Nose (December 25, 2011)
"Exiles In Paradise" is the second studio release by Aaron Berg. The album was recorded last November in Chicago at North Branch Studios on the windy city's tiny Goose Island. Berg was joined by a veteran line up of Southern studio players including Mike Bagwell (Pedal Steel & Dobro), Chris Garrett (Bass), and John Byce (Drums, Mallets, Percussion, Extras). Special guests include Jim Becker of Califone on fiddle and Tim Joyce of Lesser Birds of Paradise singing vocal harmonies. A scattering of overdubs, preliminary mixing, and other additions were made at the band's studio/practice space in Piedmont, South Carolina. Ultimately the tracks were given their final mix at Toy Box Studios in Nashville, TN by Stephen Jones before being mastered by John Baldwin. "Exiles In Paradise" was released on June 12, 2012 with regional and select performances to follow reaching number twelve on the WNCW's yearly Top Twenty Regional Releases.
"This recording has taken on both a pop and a country element I didn't expect," Berg says, "we ended up mixing in Nashville so ultimately over a year's worth of work found its way through three diverse cities." In contrast with its lighter polished moments are unapologetic waves of brooding darkness climaxing on 'Farewell Song' with a frantic pair of pedal steel solos and the live vocal snarl of Berg's . All ten of the songs were tracked live with all four core band members performing together producing a tight moody album. Berg continues, "we captured more room sound than you normally hear but still kept things quite sharp and clear. Having laid down most of the album live in Chicago when we returned to Piedmont we really took the time to build a few choice sections to some songs. There are definitely some Pink Floyd meets Big Pink kind of moments." The album features a wide array of instrumentation including fiddle, dobro, pedal steel, upright piano, Fender Rhodes, layered string basses, ambient pads, vintage pre-war drum machine, Hammond organ, various found percussion, and guitars of all kinds, plus a few other ghosts in the machine...
Exiles In Paradise:
Recorded by: Ryan Neuschafer at North Branch Studios - Chicago, IL
Additional Tracking: Aaron Berg & The Heavy Love at Big X Studios - Piedmont, SC
Executive Producer: Kristin Isgett (email@example.com) and Dubmaster G
Produced by: Aaron Berg & The Heavy Love
Mixed by: Stephen Jones at Toy Box Studios - Nashville, TN
Mastered by: John Baldwin - Nashville, TN
Release Date: June 12, 2012
1. Word That Rhyme
2. In The Garden
3. Love Did Shine
4. Hate Is Never Satisfied
5. Missing You
7. Peaceful Man Blues
8. Farewell Song
9. Sonnet For A Lone Dove
10. Until I See Her Again
Photographs taken during the recording of "Exiles In Paradise" - Chicago, IL
The Big X Studio - Piedmont, SC