The seven members of TNL belong to what has been called the “Oregon Trail Generation.” They watched MTV rise from its infancy, and then lamented its ultimate transformation. As children of the 80s and 90s, they witnessed first-hand the rise of personal computers, the invention of the Internet, and the emergence of a global community. As adults, they also bore witness to the global cultural shifts that happened after 9/11, and then faced the financial crisis of 2008 as they were beginning to build their careers, families, and livelihoods. In the modern age of music, TNL straddles the divide between analogue and digital in their minds and hearts. And their songs are also about straddling a line between youth and adulthood; they write about becoming an adult in the modern age, navigating waters that stretch into an ever-expanding universe.
Sonically, TNL is a unique blend of guitar-driven songs, layered with intricate piano, pop-rock vocals, and powerful yet sophisticated drums. It’s American heartland rock for the modern era, for Xennials who miss guitars in Top 40 music, who recognize the familiar echoes of 1960s girl groups, and who seek out today’s rootsy indie-rock.
TNL was founded by songwriters Liza Zitelli Grabowski and Jon Ryan Grabowski, who began playing together in New York City in 2009. When childhood friend Paul began to join them for shows around NYC in 2010, along with Zitelli siblings Diana and Andrew, TNL was born.
In 2013, TNL independently produced and released their first EP, Less Radio (recorded at Sweet Sounds Studios in NYC). Less Radio is a rock record that expresses the inspirations and frustrations of the city and its satellites. Navigating urban and suburban landscapes, the characters of Less Radio are always in motion—on stages and subways in “Skyline Blues” and “Time Out, New York,” on ghostly trains in “Penn Station,” and on lonely highways in “Dead End Rock.” They even move in and out of the nostalgic past in “Charlotte Arms” and the dystopian, radio-less future of the haunting title track.
The blog RockNYC Live and Recorded named Less Radio #22 best album of 2013 and the song "Timeout, New York" as the #16 best song released in 2013. Blog founder and NYC music critic Iman Lababedi wrote, “Imagine Ronnie Spector fronting the E Street Band singing Springsteen-Goffin-King songs, and you will have an idea of what they are going for...It is like they are the last band in town writing new, young, classic rock worth a damn."
With the additions of Nick, Petros, Colin, and Amy over the next few years, TNL expanded its sound and released its first LP, Signals, on Feb 24, 2017. Recorded at Water Music Studios in Hoboken, NJ, Signals is a collection American stories set in the new millennium, as told by characters who consider the redeeming powers of community, love, music, and spirituality. The 8-song LP features an American heartland-rock sound—lush and spirited piano, a big full drum sound, and driving guitar and bass, with crisp vocals and harmonies. A record-release show for Signals was held on Feb 25, 2017, at the legendary Maxwell's in Hoboken, to a sold out crowd.
In his review of the Signals, Jersey Beat music blogger Joe Wawrzyniak wrote, “The robust vocals project a winning blend of strength and vigor. The harmonic arrangements boast everything from meaty guitar riffs to rousing horn lines to mighty rolling drums. Whether it's the fist-pumping anthem ‘American Summer’ or the tremendous headlong rush of ‘Into the Night,’ there's plenty to relish on this hugely enjoyable album.”
For their 2020 release, Say It Out Loud, TNL paired up with producer Chris Badami, who harnessed the growing rock sound of TNL like never before. Strong songwriting paired with Badami’s gift for capturing the heart of a band’s authentic sound resulted in 6 fresh, high-energy songs. The EP featured the lead single “How It All Went Down,” a powerful, up-tempo rock song driving guitars, a powerful rhythm section, crisp vocals and harmonies, and lush piano. It touches on themes of loss, motherhood, and storytelling, working towards a cathartic emotional ending.
Now, TNL & Badami have joined forces again for their latest EP, Pleasant Valley Flood, released September 22, 2023. Pleasant Valley Flood builds on the sound established in Say It Out Loud, celebrating the intersection of lush heartland rock sounds with storytelling songs. PVF explores themes of change, the passage of time, and the impacts of catastrophe on the story of our lives. With Pleasant Valley Flood, TNL looks to help carry on the story of American songwriting in the millennial age.