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|Genres||dream pop, electronica, electropop|
|Labels||V2 Records, The sound of everything|
Birthmark are a pop electro band from Athens, initially formed in 2001 under the name Cuore Nero.
Birthmark were formed in 2001 in Athens, Greece by Argyris Tsoukalas, Elias Goulas and Adamantine Arvanitis, who had met in 1999 in a local school's graduation concert. They started jamming together, and two years later, Kostis Pirenis developed into the band's lead guitarist. After a year Alexandros Trampas became the band's bass player. They adopted the name "Cuore Nero". The band recorded some demos and began live performances in Athens, where there was a small but active indie scene in the early 2000s.
As the band's live bookings increased, music producers began to show interest in them and suggested they should record an album. Later, in early 2004, after Alexandros Trampas left the band due to musical differences , Mampre Kasardjian became the band's bassist.
Shortly after, the band changed their name to "Anima". Soon, Panagiotis Delinikolas, a violin player was added to their line up. They produced a demo CD, which featured six songs, one of which was featured in Spinalonga records' first IN THE JUNKYARD compilation that featured Greek indie bands. Two of the demo tracks, "My Ecstasy" and "So Confused" were sent to the pop-rock contest festival of the "Philippos Nakas Conservatory", an Athens-based music school. The band qualified in the finals of the contest, where they performed live, winning the competition in 2004. They won a recording contract with V2 Records, an album recording contract and an appearance on the local music magazine "Rock & Roll". Shortly after,they changed their name to "Birthmark". Birthmark started rehearsing in Oropos, a small provincial city near Athens, where they also recorded their debut album. Birthmark did a number of live shows, including support acts to Diorama, Nina Nastasia, Holly Golightly,Iron Butterfly a.o.
Several months after winning the pop-rock contest, Birthmark started recording and producing their debut album themselves. The recording sessions began in the spring of 2005. By October,Birthmark had finished recording the album. It was mixed and mastered by the end of 2006. The artwork was designed by visual artist Demitri Delinikolas, while the album's cover was a photo by Greek photographer Takis Tloupas taken in the mid-1940s.
Birthmark released their first album on May 21, 2007. Mostly composed of rock/ progressive songs. The album "Product of Black Days" featured nine songs.
Product of black days (2007) Tracklist
1. My Ecstasy 2. Lonely Ride 3. Lust in Love 4. Sacred 5. All the Lovers 6. Angels 7. Blackhearted 8. So Confused 9. Product of Black Days'
During the promotion of their first album, Birthmark toured and performed live either on their own or supporting artists such as Iron Butterfly and Ypogeia Revmata (? ?). They built a new studio, located in Nea Erithraia, in the northern suburbs of Athens, in which a new era begun for the band. In 2008, Mampre Kasardjian, Birthmark's bassist decided to pursue further musical jazz-oriented studies in New York, where he got accepted at the N.Y. Collective School of Music, so the band recruited a new bassist called Jacob Siaparinas (former Katrin the Thrill), who had an altogether different style. Panagiotis Delinikolas, the band's violin player also left the band due to musical differences and started his own projects. Birthmark, a 5 membered band now started to rediscover their sound experimenting and trying out all sorts of new material. In October 2009 Birthmark performed live on Mad TV for the "Mad Day Live" show and continued touring and performing around Greece.
Birthmark's second album with the title "Boogeyman", was released in 2012. The album's artwork was designed by visual designer 'crosti. It came out on June 18, 2012, and with the exception of the songs "Faces", "Ignorance" and "Bad Fairy", it generally had a rock character and sound. During the recording of this album, Argyris (guitars, synths, production) and Elias (drums, percussion, beats)first began experimenting with electronic beats and sounds and at the same time Jacob Siaparinas joined the band,contributing his own influences to this new formation. This signaled changes for the band's future style.
1. Prey 2. Faces 3. Animal 4. Gone Too Far 5. Animals Whisper 6. Safe from Harm (cover) 7. Messing With Danger 8. Boogeyman 9. Sunday Morning (first version) 10.Bad Fairy 11. Ignorance
After 2012 Birthmark started taking a different turn in their musical style. Kostantinos Peyos( guitar, synths, production) joined the band and brought his own influence to a sound that had already been forming. More synths, electronic beats and more minimal orchestrations. Finally, in 2015 they made an album release. The album, Subtract, was released by 'the Sound of everything', an indie alternative label. The album's artwork and cover were created by visual artist and architect Marietta Varnavas. Subtract is characterised as a synth/ dream pop album.
1. The Beat' 2. 2.000 Lies 3. Kid 4. Happiness 5. Got To Go 6. Sunday Morning 7. Everyday 8. Uncompromised 9. Make You Mine 10. Past 11. Summer 12. Dance 13. Everyday
In July 2016 they made another release, a single featuring their song Rainbow, followed by a b-side remix of their song Everyday by electronic producer 'Formal Groove'. The cover and artwork were created by visual artist and architect, Marietta Varnavas.
Rainbow (2016) tracklist:
1.Rainbow 2.Everyday ( remix by formal groove)
Among Birthmark members' earliest influences were artists such as Radiohead, The Cure, Björk and others. By the mid-2000s, around the release of Product of Black Days, Birthmark began showing an interest in electronic music, such as that of trip-hop acts Massive Attack, Portishead. While working on new material, the band have continued to mention alternative rock, electronic, and rock musicians as favourites--particularly Radiohead, Tori Amos, Kate Bush, DJ Shadow, Björk, Röyksopp, The Knife a.o.
The band started off (2001-2003) as a rock/ progressive rock band. After 2008, the changes in the band's line-up and their changing influences, progressinely made Birthmark's style more electronic and pop. These influences were already obvious from the songs Faces andignorance included in the album Boogeyman, although the album is mainly a rock album. That was the point when they began forming the idea for their current sound, although still undeveloped at the time. After 2012-2013, Birthmark made a final turn towards electronic pop music which is maintained until today. All members of Birthmark have an essential songwriting role. All the band's music is officially credited to Birthmark and the lyrics mostly to Argyris Tsoukalas and Adamantine Arvanitis.