The Bylines--the Art Pop band fronted by Reece Marshburn and Marianna Thielen--creates soul-stirring music, driven by story and delivered through dynamic melodies and lyrics that stay with listeners long after the songs end. Marshburn and Thielen's finely-crafted songs reflect a brilliance borne out of a tension of opposites seeking balance: Reece, trained in classical and jazz composition and arranging favors cardigans, dress shoes and cozy nights at home and writes with an ear toward form; Marianna, a student of musical theatre, composition and voice, questions tradition, has night owl tendencies, prefers jeans and hoodies and challenges conventional songwriting rules. This collaborative tension results in the Bylines Art Pop sound--at once familiar and refreshingly new, spontaneous and carefully mapped out, melodically hum-able and harmonically sophisticated.
Marshburn and Thielen's songwriting skills were recognized and paid high compliment by the Johnny Mercer Foundation in 2011, who invited Reece and Marianna to participate in their songwriter's intensive--an exclusive gathering of 16 of the nation's finest young songwriters. Here they received instruction and support from several of the music industry's notables--Craig Carnelia, Lari White, and Marcy Heisler. Career and life-changing, the two embraced tools offered through the intensive and applied them to the creation of their first full-length album.
The Bylines’ self-titled debut album, produced by Bob Stark of Kung Fu Bakery Studios, illustrates the broad influences that inform the Bylines' work--catchy upbeat pop, jazz harmonies, and Latin-inspired rhythms complement their signature charismatic lyrics.
Marshburn and Thielen have put together a band of accomplished and like-minded musicians. Kira Krueger and Angela Baldino Thomas provide crisp and tight back-up vocals; Ken Ollis, drummer, and Brett McConnell, bassist, drive the rhythm section; horn player Willie Matheis adds character and color to Marshburn and Thielen’s compositions.
One thing that sets the Bylines apart from other songwriting teams is their ability to deliver powerful performances. Their live shows are entertaining, tight, professional: the lyrics are intelligible, the melodies memorable, the arrangements sophisticated, engaging and refreshingly unique. Marshburn and Thielen’s goal is to entertain and to have each and every audience member going home feeling better than when they arrived. Their fans attest to just that and leave inspired, energized, and humming a Bylines’ song.