”With a voice that garners comparisons with Goldfrapp, Tori Amos, Kate Bush and even Freddie Mercury, and a virtuoso command of the keyboard, singer Lainey Schooltree is a strong frontwoman who becomes two or three times actual size on stage. Believe it. Guitarist Brendan Burns, while capable of pyrotechnics when called for, really shines in this band for his subtlety.” –Andrew Wilson // Boston Band Crush
"Schooltree (the woman) is a painstaking crafter of sound, if not an outright artisan of sound..."- Cambridge Day
"Ladytron on Broadway" - Dig Boston
"There’s something to be said for an artist who manages theatricality without sounding overwrought, who can self-identify as an “art-rock” musician and then deliver without pretension – and that something is simply, yes. Yes, I would like to listen to Schooltree’s debut album, Rise, on repeat, because yes, I am a huge fan of stylists in any medium, and yes I think frontwoman Lainey Schooltree has the songwriting goods to justify her formal risks. The album’s mix of Broadway showmanship and lyrical pathos is a bit of a throwback, because each of its nine tracks insists on your full attention: Far from coffeeshop din or radio noise, Rise was made to be attended to. Which is not to say the record is a difficult listen, but an unapologetically immersive one. Is it worth the consideration it demands, this album that gets both artistic experimentation and accessibility right? Yes - you better believe it."- Anna Storm, SeatGeek.com
Cabaret Rock for nerds and weirdos and everyone else too, Schooltree's music weaves together elements of power pop, 70’s era progressive rock, classical era music, and theatrical storytelling in the sonic tapestry of their debut album Rise, which conjures elements of rock-opera in a highly crafted, dark pilgrimage into the concept of revolution and rebirth. A song cycle of sorts, the tracks of this album function more like suites, with piano-driven, guitar-laden rock arrangements that explore both gritty, melodic riffs and ambient textural detail. The album offers a modern spin on classic 70’s era AOR, with big, multi-tracked guitars and vocal harmonies, compelling lyrical content, subtle humor, and majestic gravitas.
At the helm of this project is composer / vaudevillian / audio producer Lainey Schooltree (The Steamy Bohemians, Jerkus Circus, Bent Wit Cabaret), whose quirky wit, deep emotion, and sophisticated musicality combine creating a larger-than-life “master of dynamic shift” (Bill Copeland) on stage, capable of delivering animated and passionate performances. Citing influences from Queen to Steven Sondheim, her writing is suffused with unpredictable changes and an unorthodox tonality; listeners often find a Schooltree song immediately recognizable as such. Lainey has performed to sold out crowds in Boston, Providence, and New York and received press in The Boston Globe, The Herald, The Weekly Dig, The Boston Metro, The Boston Phoenix, The Noise Boston, Northeast Performer Magazine, Comedian Magazine (NYC), Somerville Times, Worcester Magazine, The Worcester Telegram and Gazette, Black Canvas, and others. Rise personnel features the extraordinary talents of Jordan Ross (drums), Brendan Burns (guitar), and Derek Van Wormer (bass).