The sound of Memphis Pencils can be described as a combination of sophistication and accessibility. Fun and heady at the same time. Whimsically intellectual. This puts Memphis Pencils in a bind, however: too proggy for pop listeners? too poppy for prog listeners?
You decide, fella.
The song that appears on this EPK, "Aysenur," encapsulates those qualities. It is progressive in its manipulation of time signature and subscription to the ideas that a melody doesn't have to be divisible by four to be compelling, and that a song mustn't follow the verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus mantra of traditional popular music. And yet it is at the same time an accessible pop tune with funky rhythms and somewhat primitive hymn-like melodies. As if this couldn't get anymore literary, some of the lyrics are in Turkish (the song is about a long distance relationship with a beautiful Turkish girl named Aysenur).
It would be fair to call Memphis Pencils a Fayetteville supergroup, for the band is made up of members of several Fayetteville bands - Niall, Messy Sparkles, Skinny Jazz, Basement Brew, and Apartment Five.
Memphis Pencils have been playing together since 2007 and played CMJ in 2008 (after placing at the top of the Indie Pop category on OurStage) and SXSW in 2009. They were named "Best Indie Artist" at the Northwest Arkansas Music Awards in 2009, have opened for Mae and Slaraffenland, and have done regional touring.
Their album will be coming out in February, 2011. (Memphis Pencils were recently named by the Boston Phoenix as one of the best new bands in the U.S. You can read about that here: http://thephoenix.com/Supplements/2010/50States/Arkansas/