In 1996, two friends who were passionate about melodic, thoughtful music and meaningful, creative lyrics, started Ovaleye Records. While in the band Acedia (formerly Hummingbird) with their friends Christy Brown-Kwaiser, Jeremy Stoll and Jesse Caruthers, they honed their song-writing skills and built their musical libraries.
Their first two solo albums, written with a wild yearning for independence and a place to belong, were completely recorded on 4-track tape recorders and only shared with close friends.
The following solo albums were products of moving to Chicago, studying art, and falling in love. These two albums were carefully crafted and focused like never before. Brave New World (2003) was a huge feat for Billy production-wise. After downloading a free version of pro-tools, a meticulous sound engineer was born and Hibernation (2006) reached a new level of quality and sound that Ovaleye Records had never seen before.
Song creation continued and the two decided to collaborate on their next project, The Common Loon. Featuring Tara, Billy, and Jesse (the drummer from Acedia), the album Flight (2010) surpassed everything it was supposed to be. The band reached new levels of song and sound quality through timeless rock and roll tracks. With achingly honest lyrics and stories from the high desert plains of Wyoming, this album touches a wide spectrum of human emotion in the midst of personal growth, change, and survival.
Billy also started a side project called Ventriloquist with his friend Kevin during this time. They enjoy recording original and cover songs together, as well as long, spirited jam sessions.
In 2013, the founders of Ovaleye Records, Tara Marolf and Billy Reiter, came together for their first complete collaboration on The Common Loon’s second album, Gravity. Gravity’s meticulously crafted tunes are filled with honesty, heartache, and hope, and find the band in a place it hasn’t been before – with a new recording style that sounds better than ever, and with a new lease on life. Good ol’ rock and folk melodies carry the thoughtful lyrics along while the array of guitars, violins, pianos, drums, (just to name a few instruments) showcase the amazing talent of both members. Gravity is the most incredible album yet for this homegrown record label where art, truth, and raw talent reign supreme.