The White Ravens
The White Ravens profile pic
Genres
Rock, Pop, Indie
Location
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Labels
Unsigned
Website
http://www.thewhiter...
Social

The White Ravens

Purveyors of quirky, piano-powered tunes that take you to places that only exist in your imagination.

The White Ravens were born on long ago, on a radioactive panda far, far away, when bassist and vocalist Amy Bennett asked her keyboard playing brother, Will, if he wanted to start a rock band. Currently, they live in a bathysphere at the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Atlantic Ocean. They rise to the surface periodically to obtain fresh air, tasty snacks and to record and perform music.

Combining strange but melodic keyboard compositions with witty lyrics and distinctive vocals, their subject matter frequently includes elaborate mechanical contraptions and illuminating the 70% of our planet that is covered by water. Oh yes, and occassionally what goes on above the water when they periodically emerge from their bathysphere.

Winners of Best International/USA/Out of Province Band for the 2010 Toronto Independent Music Awards.

Discography

  • Discography Entry
  • Discography Entry
  • Discography Entry

Members

  • Amy
    Pic of Amy
    Role / Instrument:
    vocals, bass, lyrics
    Influences:
    Berhold Brecht, Lotte Lenya, Gilbert and Sullivan, H.P. Lovecraft, Monty Python, Neil Gaiman
    Favorite Bands:
    The Fiery Furnaces, Tally Hall, Amanda Palmer, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Doors,
  • Will
    Pic of Will
    Role / Instrument:
    keyboards, composer
    Influences:
    Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Bach, George Gershwin, Vladimir Horowitz, Scott Joplin, Fats Waller, Billy Preston
    Favorite Bands:
    The Beatles, The Who, They Might Be Giants, Lovin' Spoonful
  • Jeremy
    Pic of Jeremy
    Role / Instrument:
    drummer
    Influences:
    Liberty DeVitto, Ringo Starr
    Favorite Bands:
    Billy Joel, The Beatles, Ben Folds
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Media

Photographs

  • Will, Jeremy & Amy
  • Amy
  • Will & Jeremy
  • Amy
  • Amy & Will
  • Will & Amy
  • The White Ravens - Jeremy, Will, Amy

Audio

Saddle Up The WhalesSaddle Up the WhalesPlay →
Rube Goldberg MachineSaddle Up the WhalesPlay →
Informational VideoSaddle Up the WhalesPlay →
ConspiracySaddle Up the WhalesPlay →
Rain SongSaddle Up the WhalesPlay →
Spaaace!Saddle Up the WhalesPlay →
Mechanical WhalesSaddle Up the WhalesPlay →
World's Smallest Piece of PastaSaddle Up the WhalesPlay →
Bye Bye BlackbirdSaddle Up the WhalesPlay →
SparksGargoyles and Weather VanesPlay →
Tick TockGargoyles and Weather VanesPlay →
RubberbandGargoyles and Weather VanesPlay →
Atomic PandaGargoyles and Weather VanesPlay →
30 StoriesGargoyles and Weather VanesPlay →
RainstormGargoyles and Weather VanesPlay →

Video

  • preview
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Press

Every now and then, a wonderful bit of music just happens to cross your path and lighten up your day. Saddle Up the Whales has not left my player in over a week now. And I see no end in sight. The musicianship here is nothing short of amazing. Will Bennett's playing drives the band and this album to wonderful heights with his stunning piano work. He is a Major Talent waiting to be discovered. However, the White Ravens' secret weapon is vocalist/lyricist Amy Bennett, whose engaging waif-ish vocal inflections grab your attention with deceptive bite and a knowing wink on the side. To add some punch, somehow the Ravens got Billy Joel's former ace drummer Liberty DeVito to play on this and their previous album (“Gargoyles and Weather Vanes”, also worth seeking out), who is obviously well-versed in playing piano-based tracks. It's been a long time since an album this catchy, quirky, fresh, exciting, adventurous and fun has come along. The White Ravens are going places, and quickly. Saddle up, listeners...this is going to be a whale of a trip.

— Steampunk Chronicle (May 20, 2013)

The White Ravens keep you on your toes and ultimately charm your socks off. The musical depth and breadth of what they are doing here before legal drinking age speaks to a pair of distinctive musical talents, and a special chemistry that simply doesn’t come along every day. A dynamic combination that is responsible for a wonderful tuneful, effervescent pop/rock sound. Will Bennett shows his compositional skills run somewhere between those of the Beatles and Ben Folds, blending rock, pop and classical components into an amazingly cogent bit of writing. Amy Bennett backs it all up with lyrics that are wonderfully twisted and full of the simply joy of making music.

— Wildy's World (Jan 8, 2013)

The White Ravens craft sparkling, irresistible pop music that invites us on a vacation from the ordinary. As its title suggests, Saddle Up the Whales promises a fantastic and unpredictable ride to places strange and imagined. Amy is a charming chameleon of a singer. This collection of upbeat, keyboard-propelled songs finds the band in the familiar waters of their 2010 release, Gargoyles and Weather Vanes, which earned pianist-composer Will favorable comparisons to Ben Folds and Billy Joel.

— Ann Arbor Observer (Sep 1, 2012)

"The White Ravens aren't quite like anything you've come across before. Amy's voice is reminiscent of Amanda Palmer. Ms. Bennett also strums a bass as she sings - an unusual but pleasing combination in a band that is all about unusual combinations. She is buoyed along by her brother Will's bouncy, synth and soaring keyboards. With titles like, "World's Smallest Piece of Pasta", "Rube Goldberg Machine", and "Great Pacific Garbage Patch", and songs about a literal food fight in a grocery store, how could you not be curious?"

— I Spy Magazine (Nov 1, 2012)

Although Ann Arbor-based brother and sister indie rock team Amy (vocals, bass, lyrics) and Will (keys, guitars, music) Bennett are still teenagers, they've already been playing together as the White Ravens for more than five years. Despite their tender ages (Amy is 18; Will is just 17), they write remarkably sophisticated tunes with inventive arrangements that span the entire history of modern pop. They produced this outing themselves with the help of engineer Jim Diamond, the man behind the boards on the first two White Stripes albums. The Ravens are a bit more polished than the Stripes, with a pop ethic that gives their music a playful feel, balanced by dark lyrics that are as erudite as all get out. "Tick Tock," a bouncy boogie-woogie tune, references Peter Pan, the Sphinx, and various nautical themes. Its melodic shifts of time and tempo bring the Beatles "A Day in the Life" to mind, but the song stands on its own with its clever wordplay and Amy's knowing vocal describing a problematic love affair. Album-opener "Sparks" is the brightest tune here, a rocker with a stomping beat supplied by Billy Joel's drummer Liberty DeVitto, a memorable vocal hook, and a sparkling lyric with just a hint of mortality. Piano and spooky organ fills complement "Broken Halves," a lighthearted look at a love/hate relationship with Amy delivering an arch vocal. Diamond provides some metallic guitar on "Detritus," a song sung by ghosts upset by the developers who are digging up their graves to provide housing for the living, and "Eulogy" ends the album on a melancholy note as Amy sings of faded love and disillusionment while Will plays a piano mixed down to sound like it's coming from a fever dream.

— All Music Guide (Dec 1, 2010)

The White Ravens’ music is an intricate, toe-tapping sunburst; it sandwiches instantaneously arresting Brit-pop hooks with a head-spinning melodiousness. Amy’s literary/playful lyrics with William’s classical-influenced writing conjures a baroque-inflected rock. Live, it’s like bubblegum blended into inverted ragtime, disarmingly thick on grooves with refreshing surfy jazz rock brushes, simmered under the swift articulations of their well-read wordsmith/bassist. Maybe singing about Plato and monstrous teachers under beds buoyed by synthesized harpsichord or piano would welcome a ‘geek-pop’ label, but the kids are pure talent and they know how to write irresistible pop songs. They're set to take flight.

— Ecurrent Magazine (Feb 1, 2010)

Will's been compared to Ben Folds and Billy Joel, and his killer keyboarding merits the comparison. He pounds the hell out of the instrument, but he keeps to himself on stage, letting Amy be out front. Playing a bass that's bigger than she is, Amy looks like a pristine marzipan model of cool girl rock 'n' roller. There are at least six poptastic hits on their new album, Gargoyles and Weather Vanes, that range from the quirky "Atomic Panda" and "Tick Tock" to the utterly irresistible "Sparks." The delightful oo-ee-oo chorus of the latter can give you a Friday high on any day of the week. Though they never abandon their amazing pop sensibility, they do tackle the occasional subdued subject. "Broken Halves" is all about disillusionment with a romantic relationship, but the sentiments don't feel trite or angsty. There's a certain tongue-in-cheek maturity to their lyrics that, blended with their genre-expanding sense of what's possible in pop, could make the White Ravens your new favorite band.

— Ann Arbor Observer (Sep 12, 2010)

Toronto Independent Music Awards - Best International/Best USA/Best Out-of-Province: The White Ravens

— Exclaim.ca (Jul 24, 2010)

The latest gem to crawl out of Jim Diamond‘s Ghetto Recorders is Saline brother and sister duo the White Ravens. Their songs come on like Ben Folds and Billy Joel taking turns sitting in with They Might Be Giants and that's not irony!

— Detroit Metro Times (Jul 6, 2010)

"If all rock records sounded this good no one would buy anything else. . .Incredibly catchy and quirky tunes that add a new pastiche to geek rock. . .Reflects both the best and darkest intents of humanity. . .You won't be able to get The White Ravens out of your head.

— Wildy's World (Jun 6, 2010)

At Ghetto Recorders, legendary producter/engineer Jim Diamond aided the duo’s juxtaposition of naiveté and wisdom, by honing Amy’s voice with wunderkind composer Will’s (who is only 17 by the way) vast talents. The White Ravens rounded out their sound with drummer Liberty DeVitto (Billy Joel’s long-time drummer) who recorded with the pair at the studio. With a whirl of complex but catchy arrangements and layers of instruments and sounds, each one of Gargoyles’ songs tells their own story. While each song on Gargoyles could be stripped down to a simple keyboard, it’s the smartly placed sounds and arrangements that make the album soar. “It represents two years of our creative lives growing as musicians and performers. It has our genetic imprint on it,” quips Amy.

— Motor City Blog (Jun 7, 2010)

Amy Bennett's vocals are what kicks this over the top. Right now, this stuff is simply great.

— Aiding and Abetting (Jun 1, 2010)

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Gigography

  • July 2013

    • 27thdetails ↓Beatles Tribute Show

      Saturday @ 12:00am

      THE BEATLES' INCOMPARABLE SONG CATALOG
      INTERPRETED BY ANN ARBOR'S PREMIER MUSICAL TALENT:

      *** LAITH AL-SAADI * GEORGE BEDARD & THE KINGPINS * ANNA LEE'S COMPANY * THE WHITE RAVENS * SPENCER MICHAUD * DAVID NEFESH * ALEJANDRA O'LEARY & THE CHAMPIONS OF THE WEST * ORPHEUM BELL * WOLFIE COMPLEX * GWENYTH HAYES * NICOLE P'SIMER ***
      208 S. First St., Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
      https://www.facebook.com/events/389338121178502/
  • August 2013

    • 2nddetails ↓Ypsilanti Crossroads Summer Music Festival

      Friday @ 9:00pm

      Annual outdoor summer music festival in downtown Ypsilanti, Michigan.
      N. Washington Street
      Tickets: Free