Ten Million Lights are the juxtaposition of beauty and noise. Existing to fulfill their need to get loud and a craving of catharsis, they create epic psychedelic soundscapes combining heavy guitars and rhythms with beautiful melodies and harmonies. This “noisy dream-pop and psych-tinged shoegaze,“ as The Portland Mercury calls it, is set to explode with their latest release, Shine So Bright in the fall of 2020.
The Portland, OR quartet made up of Ryan Carroll (vocals), Eric Block (guitars), Russ Ellis (bass) and Paul Hardie (drums) have a unique chemistry fueled by their shared love of motorcycles, guitar pedals and building things (like their practice space, personalized recording equipment, and lights!).
Ryan and Eric have been performing together since 2003. The duo launched Ten Million Lights in 2009 after the implosion of their band Saturna during a west coast tour with Bob Mould. Soon they welcomed Emily Logan (Urban Wildlife) into the fold and in 2010 the trio debuted their self-titled. They began regularly gracing stages of the Pacific Northwest like Doug Fir, Wonder Ballroom, and The Star Theater in Portland, as well as Neumos and The Sunset Tavern in Seattle opening for bands like The Shivas, Pete International Airport (Pete from The Dandy Warhols), The High Violets, and shortly thereafter enlisted Russ Ellis (The Scotch Greens) on bass and drummer Scott Smith (The Pink Snowflakes).
In 2015 they went into Revolver Studios (Ty Segal, King Tuff, Joel Gion, David J) to begin work on their follow up LP, Sour Oranges which was mixed by Russ’s brother Brian Ellis (Astra, Black Moth Super Rainbow) and mastered by Timothy Stollenwerk (Wooden Shjips, Crocodiles, Moon Duo). Ten Million Lights released Ephemera, an EP compiling remixes and covers from the three-piece era and in 2018, the five-piece released the Bellicose EP, the Sour Oranges full-length and the Drummer’s Dream EP featuring covers the band performed at Nuggets Night. Later that year, Scott returned to his native Olympia, and Emily decamped to Seattle. Ten Million Lights responded by recruiting Paul Hardie (The Separatists); a drummer with the gusto to help take the band in a heavier direction.
In the spring of 2020, sequestered in the shadows of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the progressive movements brought on by social injustice, 10ML finished the Shine So Bright EP, showcasing an emotional roller coaster of desperation, rage, hope and finally peace.