Engineers are a British shoegazing/dream pop band. The band was formed in London in 2003 by singer/guitarist Simon Phipps, bassist/guitarist/keyboardist Mark Peters, bassist/guitarist Dan MacBean, and drummer Andrew Sweeney. After the release of their second album Three Fact Fader in 2009, MacBean and Sweeney left the band, and were replaced by Ulrich Schnauss, bassist Daniel Land, and drummer Matthew Linley. Engineers' sound has been described as "hazy, ethereal, and atmospheric," and the band often cites the works of Brian Eno, Cocteau Twins, Spiritualized, and Pink Floyd as influences.
Beginnings and debut album:
Engineers were signed to the Echo Records label in 2004, and the band recorded and released their first single "Home"/"New Horizons" in April 2004; both songs were re-recorded for the band's debut album the following year. The mini-album Folly arrived on 27 September 2004, preceded by the single "Come in Out of the Rain" a week prior. The mini-album also featured a cover of Tim Hardin's "If I Were a Carpenter", and the original recording of "Forgiveness". Their eponymous debut album followed in March 2005, preceded by the re-recorded Top 50 single "Forgiveness" in late February. The album was released to generally positive reviews; at Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received a generally favourable score of 81, based on 18 reviews. The album's second single was "Home", which was released in June 2005 but failed to chart. In early 2010, "Home" became the theme song for the fourth season of the United States TV series Big Love, replacing "God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys which ran from season one through three.
Later in 2005, Engineers recorded a version of Tim Buckley's "Song to the Siren" for the 2005 tribute album Dream Brother: The Songs of Tim and Jeff Buckley.
Three Fact Fader:
Whilst in the process of mixing their follow-up album, the band split with Echo Records and their future became uncertain. After a period of silence, bassist/guitarist Mark Peters posted a message on the band's official forum in February 2008 that the second album would be released digitally in the first half of the year, and that the band members had been working in various side-projects apart from Engineers. The digital release of the album never came to fruition. On 29 August 2008, Peters posted a new message stating that one of the tracks from the second album, titled "Sometimes I Realise", had been remixed by DJ Sasha for inclusion on his album Invol2ver.
By 2009, the band signed with Snapper Music sub-label Kscope, and their second album Three Fact Fader was released on 6 July 2009. The album was released to further critical acclaim, with Drowned in Sound awarding the album an 8 out of 10 rating, as well as 4-star reviews from Gigwise,The Skinny, and The Times.
On 1 February 2010, it was announced that Dan McBean and Andrew Sweeney had left the band, with Peters noting, "No arguments or disagreements prompted anyone to leave, but when we got back together to play after Three Fact Fader was released it was clear we had all moved on personally and professionally." Shortly thereafter, it was announced that Phipps and Peters would continue with a new line-up, and musicians Ulrich Schnauss, Daniel Land (of the band Daniel Land & The Modern Painters), and Matthew Linley (of the band Gilbert) were added to the official line-up.
In Praise of More:
Engineers' third studio album, and first album with the new line-up, entitled In Praise of More, was released by Kscope on 27 September 2010. The album was largely written and recorded by Mark Peters, with assistance from Dave Potter and Ulrich Schnauss. The album was released to generous critical acclaim; MusicOMH praised the album's "incredible melodies",SPIN magazine gave the album a 7/10 rating, and Clash Music called the album "a joy to behold" and stated that "In Praise of More has the band stripping back the density of previous releases, letting in a little warmth and allowing the songs to breathe, resulting in a broadening of their sound much to their benefit."
Simon Phipps (born 29 December 1974; Basildon, Essex, England) - vocals, guitar, bass (2003-present),
Mark Peters (born 21 July 1975; Liverpool, England) - vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards (2003-present),
Daniel Land - bass and vocals (2010-present),
Ulrich Schnauss (born 1977; Kiel, Germany) - keyboards (2010-present),
Matthew Linley - drums (2010-present),
Dan MacBean (born September 1973; Salford, Manchester, England) - guitar, bass (2003-2010),
Andrew Sweeney (sometimes known as just "Sweeney") (born November 1972; Ormskirk, Lancashire, England) - drums (2003-2010)