Howard Kern "Howie" Day (born January 15, 1981) is an American singer-songwriter. Beginning his career as a solo artist in the late 1990s, Day became known for his extensive touring and in-concert use of samplers and effects pedals in order to accompany himself. He self-financed and self-released his first album, Australia, in 2000.
Day eventually signed a recording contract with major label Epic Records in 2002 and has since re-released his debut as well as producing a follow up, Stop All The World Now. Despite initially sluggish sales, Stop All The World Now was certified gold in early 2005 and has produced a number of singles, including "Collide", Day’s most successful to date, and the hit "She Says". The track became Epic Records’ first platinum single, eventually selling 1.5 million downloads.
After a five year tour before the release of Stop All The World Now followed by a three year tour, Day took some time off and focused on writing music. Since then Day released his Be There EP in May 2009 which will be followed by Sound The Alarm in September 2009.
Stop All the World Now (2003–2008)
After the EP’s release, Day relocated to London, England to record Australia’s follow up, which was provisionally titled From a Northern Sky. The album, which would eventually become Stop All The World Now, was recorded in London’s famous Olympic Studios with Martin "Youth" Glover, the bassist for British band Killing Joke, whose previous production credits included The Verve’s Urban Hymns, one of Howie’s favorite albums.
While certain tracks on Australia had featured session musicians, Stop All The World Now saw Howie joined for the first time by a permanent backing band, consisting of multi-instrumentalist Les Hall, drummer Laurie Jenkins and ex-Verve bassist Simon Jones. In addition, the majority of the album’s songs were co-written with either Better than Ezra frontman Kevin Griffin or Jump Little Children’s Jay Clifford.
A full band tour to promote Stop All the World Now began on September 27, 2003. Due to other commitments, Simon Jones was unable to tour with the group and was replaced by Jeremy Curtis. The album was released one week and three days later on October 7 to tepid critical reactions. Rolling Stone’s Pat Blashill referred to Stop as "not bad" but "indistinct", but Popmatters’ Devon Powers noted that though Australia had been an album one falls for passionately, "Stop All the World Now is an album you have a crush on, not one you fall deeply, complexly, and foolishly in love with. And crushes have a way of disappearing suddenly, without a trace."Stop
Sales of Stop were initially sluggish, but slowly began to rise beginning in late 2004 with the single release of ballad "Collide", which became a popular radio hit and was featured on TV shows such as Scrubs, Grey’s Anatomy, Bones, and One Tree Hill as well as soundtracking a promotional trailer for the 2005 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Stop was finally certified gold in early 2005. Fan favourite "She Says", which was first released on 1998’s White EP, was released as a follow-up to "Collide", although as of 2006 it has not achieved the same success, it became a mid-level hit.
Boosted by the slow burning success of Stop All the World Now, Epic released the Live From… EP on December 6, 2005. The 7-track EP contains live renditions of songs from Australia and Stop All the World Now as well as a cover of Crowded House’s "Don’t Dream It’s Over". The EP has not been widely reviewed, though Allmusic referred to the release as "holiday market product," "tepid", and "directionless".
Sound The Alarm (2009)
Howie Day released his third full length, "Sound The Alarm", under the Epic music label on September 8, 2009. After an extensive tour schedule following the release of "Stop All The World Now", Day decided to take some time off, during which he sorted through his emotions by writing songs, many of which have made their way onto Sound the Alarm. “I toured for five years straight before Stop All The World Now came out, then for three years non-stop after it was released," Day says.
To get his desired range of sounds and moods, Day recorded in a variety of locations, including Los Angeles, New York, London, Minneapolis, and Bloomington, Indiana, between the spring of 2006 and fall of 2008. He also collaborated with several musicians and producers, including Martin Terefe (Jason Mraz, KT Tunstall), Mike Denneen (Aimee Mann, Fountains of Wayne), Mike Flynn (The Fray, Augustana), Warren Huart (The Fray, Augustana, Better Than Ezra]) and Better Than Ezra frontman Kevin Griffin — each one of them an expert in pulling superlative performances out of the artists they work with.
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