Evolution: The gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more advanced form or identity.
Beautiful: pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically; alluring, attractive or fascinating.
Dream: visionary creation of the imagination; desired purpose or something that fully satisfies a wish.
The above three simple words are used in our vocabulary in referring to a multitude of people, places, ideas and things. The process of a band or musician getting their music written, recorded, released and into the hands of the public truly is the evolving of a visionary creation with a desired purpose to fully satisfy one’s self and their audience.
Della Memoria has been a band to consistently evolve itself from an idea and concept first developed in the mind of its lead singer and founding member, Emily Sholes. The band has gone through a remarkable transformation of appearances, band member changes and a balancing act with other music projects, though one thing has never changed – the purpose and continued forward progress of its music.
The Origin of Its Name
The naming of this band wasn’t an afterthought or ‘let’s just call ourselves this’. When asking Sholes where the name came from she told me the following: “Della Memoria’s name was inspired by the Salvador Dali painting, ‘La Persistencia de la Memoria’, meaning ‘the persistence of memory.’ She added, “it’s one of the most well known paintings of his – the Melting Clocks.” She goes on further to explain, “I took ‘de la’ and added an ‘l’ to make ‘Della’. I figured the phrase ‘of the memory’ was relevant in that I write my songs based on experiences I store in my memory.”
The songwriting has always been consistent and unwavering. A gifted songwriter, Emily Sholes has written quite a collection of songs with a selection that now appears on the new EP “Beautiful Dream”. The long-awaited and much anticipated EP will be arriving soon, so Della Memoria’s fans won’t have to wait long. The scheduled release date is Tuesday, November 25th and on the 26th of the month (A Wednesday night), the official release party will be held at Irish Coast Pub in Gulfport, MS. This venue is the ideal location for the event, because of its long connection with all the musicians who make up the band. Every band has a place with a deeply connected relationship, and in this case, Irish Coast Pub is most definitely at the top of a very short list. This too, is where The Southland Music Line has seen every transformation of Della Memoria from its beginning to the present.
So Who is Della Memoria?
Yes, we mentioned Emily Sholes, her songs and beautiful engaging vocals are heartfelt and inspiring, but do not be mistaken, Della Memoria isn’t a solo project, it is most definitely “a band”. Along with Sholes are Patrick McGinley on drums and providing bass is Josh Smith. A few years ago, Gulfport, MS and the rest of the Mississippi Gulf Coast saw an emerging of several young musicians developing an array of bands performing original music. Della Memoria was one such band and prior to joining exciting projects that took them elsewhere, they had formed with a unique concept and idea for making original and interesting music. Over the course of time, they would perform when possible and continue to develop the music they had been wanting to express.
Painting of Della Memoria by Robby Amonett
In discussing their history and present state, the members of Della Memoria said things have gone ‘full circle’. They are at a point where they are accomplishing what was first intended musically for the band.
McGinley is no stranger to the local music scene across the Gulf Coast, Having performed with a number of bands, his skills as a drummer have made him one of the region’s most sought after and appreciated musicians. He has performed with Sholes on various music projects over the course of time including the unforgettable “Innocent Bones”. McGinley was the backbeat to the much loved live performance of their song (and a personal favorite of mine) “Dangerous”. Including an appearance at Austin’s “South By Southwest”, he also spent several months touring the U.S. as part of Rosco Bandana.
Josh Smith is one of the most enthusiastic bass players you’ll ever see on stage. He proves that nice guys can rock! On bass, he is perfectly matched with McGinley’s powerhouse drumming. Smith, too, is no stranger to his local music scene and has performed across the entire country. His talent has been showcased and admired while performing with the likes of Rosco Bandana and other bands that take him back to his days in college.
Della Memoria has seen changes in its line-up, but one thing remains remarkably special: all have remained close friends while pulling for one another’s success, both artistically and commercially. All those who have performed as part of Della Memoria are most certainly an important part of the evolution of what we see today.
An Age of Self-Discovery and Identity
Della, as many fans called them for short, has seen some of its early on-stage imagery disappear to what now seems strictly about the music. Though the early stages were quite visual and uniquely different at the time, the chosen new direction was a positive step forward. I always felt the original stage concept helped separate Della’s musicians from what they were doing elsewhere. As the music matured and grew, the need for the extras seemed less important. Though I must admit, some of those early shows will always be remembered. (For old times sake, maybe occasionally they could still reappear for a song or two.)
The present live show has some core ingredients that makes it work. First of all, the sound is tight without blemish. It fits perfectly from song to song: each member delivering what is needed at the right time. It is a beautiful thing when that takes place for any band from any genre. Secondly, it offers promise – meaning you actually can see Della continuing to evolve. Musically speaking, Della Memoria clearly stands on its own and I’ve been observing this for several months now whenever I get the privilege of seeing them. And finally, as much as The Southland Music Line is a fan of each musician in the band, Emily Sholes has some special qualities about her – a warmth, a kindness and a gentle heart behind her music and stage presence. Her experience and growth as an artist has enabled her to become the performer needed in making Della Memoria work as it is rightfully doing.
The photo used for the cover Della Memoria’s EP “Beautiful Dream” (To be released Tues. Nov. 25, 2014) Photo by Mallisa May
Beautiful Dream: The Music
For several months at each and every show, the obvious question has been, “When is Della going to release something?” Now, the wait is over. The new four song EP was recorded and engineered by Justin LaFramboise at Music Shed Studios in New Orleans. LaFramboise, a one time member of Della Memoria, was the perfect man for the job. Not only was he part of Della, his skills and knowledge of music serves him well. (LaFramboise is a top-notch guitarist and has performed and recorded with some of the Gulf Coasts’ best.) He was very much a part of the vision the band had laid out for themselves. He knew what Emily, Patrick and Josh were aiming for, so when the time arrived to finally record some music, he arranged for them to record at the studio in New Orleans.
On the evening of Oct. 29th, Stephen Anderson and I sat down with Della Memoria to listen to the newly recorded music and discuss the writing and recording of the EP “Beautiful Dream”. The four songs recorded each provide something uniquely special and original. The title track, “Beautiful Dream” really sets the stage for what’s to follow. To quote, LaFramboise, “the first song really set the tone for the sonic landscape of the EP.” After having the privilege of hearing it, I can’t agree more. “Beautiful Dream” is followed by an almost Fiona Apple styled song called “Basement”. Emily Sholes, a fan of Fiona Apple, said they wanted this song to really show a different side of Della Memoria and well…. it surely does. I have heard this band many times and this track is quite different from the previous track and it flows perfectly. Track Three, “Morphine Heart,” is a sound most Della fans are more accustomed to, which fits perfectly within the mix. Each member and its producer, said “Morphine Heart” is the more traditional and hallmark Della song on the EP. Finally, Track Four and quite frankly the most beautiful song on “Beautiful Dream” is “Something to Prove”. Sholes said this song was written following a difficult time on the road while on tour. Prior to being sent to McGinley and Smith, the song was recorded while Sholes sat at her grandfather’s piano. (Sholes comes from a family of musicians that included her grandfather, George Sholes, who was a jazz pianist with the Port City Jazz Band. He wrote several songs too).
The Southland Music Line met with Della Memoria to discuss new EP. My favorite part of this photo – Justin LaFramboise’s choice of hats. The mood of the evening was one of fun, friendship and excitement over the new music. (Photo by Stephen Anderson)
When Della Memoria finally entered the studio, they had rehearsed and envisioned exactly what they were wanting to achieve with their EP. One of the things we learned on the night of our recent visit, was just how connected musically these three musicians are and also how producer LaFramboise fully understands what ticks about Della. When thinking of each song, all seem to know exactly how the others will tackle certain parts of each song. It’s almost as if they are musically and mentally linked together when it comes to their music.
When studio times are officially set up, in most cases, no one knows exactly how it will all turn out. It can work or lead to total disaster. Thankfully, Della Memoria’s strong vision and preparation paid off, because the recording went especially well. The entire EP took only a day of recording and in one case, “Something to Prove,” being beautifully done in only one take. Since then the project has been in the completing stages, but from what we heard during our recent visit, it seems perfect to us.
Looking to the Future
Now that the EP is complete and a release date set, what’s next for Della?
Della Memoria has some huge decisions ahead, but my hope is when scheduling can be arranged that they bring their live shows to a wider demographic. Thankfully, social media, iTunes, Amazon, You Tube, etc can help others learn about Della.
Everyone at The Southland Music Line has a long history of following musicians with high hopes. We’ve seen some go from total obscurity, performing at places such as CBGB, 40-Watt Club to Maxwell’s to later becoming known the world over, often to our surprise. No one knows who or what will actually click with the public and marketplace. I recall once telling a friend, “This band performing tonight is good, but doubtfully won’t go much further than this New York City venue”……well, I got that one wrong by a mile. Months later, that band had the biggest album in the world. This was Oct. 30, 1987 at CBGB Record Canteen (next to CBGB). The album was “Appetite for Destruction” and the band – Guns n Roses.
The music industry is one of the most difficult and competitive jobs there is, but can also be most rewarding to those who do it for the right reasons. Della Memoria has a love for what they do and what they’re striving to achieve, and it’s a pleasure to join them on their musical journey.
The beautiful dream continues…….
Della Memoria is:
Emily Sholes – Guitar, synth and vocals
Patrick McGinley – Drums
Josh Smith – Bass
Click Here for Photo Album.
Click Here for Official Website for Mallisa May Photography
To Purchase Della Memoria’s Music:
Online distribution for “Beautiful Dream” is soon to be announced.
Wed. Nov. 26, 2014 “The Official EP Release Party” at Irish Coast Pub (Gulfport, MS)
More dates are soon to be announced.
Assisting with editing on this article: Connie Gibbs (MS Gulf Coast Contributor), Patsy Cheek (Texas Contributor) and Sandra Cole, NBCT, Med
© The Southland Music Line. 2014. All rights reserved