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Folk/Country





We Danced the Night Away with Ezra Bell, The Bevelers and Fanno Creek

Music like the music that Ezra Bell makes is living proof that not all musicians need to hide behind heavy effects: fuzz, distortion, reverb, and even auto-tune to make music that people really enjoy listening to, and that was very apparent at their EP release last Wednesday. They played alongside the Bevelers and Fanno Creek, gracing Mississippi Studios with some deeply beautiful, danceable and heartfelt tunes.

The Bevelers played first as the crowd filtered in, and although the two-piece group has a soft demeanor, it was impossible not to pay attention. The foundation of their whole set is their two beautiful voices creating harmonies so sad and lovely at the same time that you want to get lost in the world that their voices create.

Ezra Bell played second in the evening when attendance was at its peak, kicking off their set with a few familiar songs. Ezra Bell is such a complex machinery of humans and instruments and it seems like having 7 people on stage, something shouldn’t work about their set-up. But everything works. Their music is complicated yet not cacophonous, focusing more on interesting sound pairings than everyone fighting for focus. Even the bass and drums took turns being the lead rhythmic force of a song, which felt uncommon, but was just one of many facets of their music that sets them apart from other folk-pop bands around Portland and beyond.

The audience at Mississippi Studios was stoked to see them, cheering loudly between songs and singing along with their older music, which sounds every bit as tight as their recordings. It’s rare that a local band can get an entire audience to dance along rather than stand stoically, arms crossed, but it’s really hard not to dance when you listen to them.

Fanno Creek ended the night with a surfier, and less folk influenced set by comparison. Ezra Bell was the ideal middle point between Fanno Creek and the Bevelers because unlike the previous bands, Fanno Creek is heavier and more bluesy. They were the perfect choice to end the night though, because, despite a big chunk of the audience leaving, those who stayed were ready to dance and Fanno Creek is dance-y as hell.

Together, all three bands were a match made in lineup heaven, giving the crowd a solid range of folk and pop music to groove along to all night long. You can check out Ezra Bell’s new EP, We Came by Canoe here:

- Photos and story by Sarah Eaton





Lysten Boston presents: Le Roxy Pro, Elison Jackson, Strangeways and Jack O'Brien @ TT the Bear's TONIGHT

TT the Bear's time in the local Boston/Cambridge music scene may be coming to an end, but there's still plenty of great shows to see before the doors close for good on July 25. Tonight, Lysten Boston presents a bill that will appeal to fans of upbeat, surf-inspired indie rock--just in time for the warm weather. Join Le Roxy Pro, Elison Jackson, Strangeways and Jack O'Brien in paying respects to a long-standing pilar of the Cambridge music community. Show starts at 8:30 PM. $10 cover, 21+ with proper ID.

For more info about the show, check out the Facebook event.

-Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)





Premiere: Owl Paws – Eyes Of The Prey

The San Francisco based avant indie-folk rock band, Owl Paws has given us the opportunity to share their new ballad, Eyes Of The Prey from their upcoming debut full length album, Reservoir. Our recent coverage of Rin Tin Tiger’s new single and upcoming album ties into the endeavors of Owl Paws, as the bands are celebrating together with a double album release show at The Independent on July 10th with Growwler.

Owl Paws' sound and rhythms veer more towards indie rock and less towards folk and country, giving them a crisp and contemporary feel. Their new single, Eyes Of The Prey is a sentimental and honest ballad that sounds airy, but is also mixed with a tinge of loneliness that seems to reflect a bit of the isolating element of modern times. The lyrics are somewhat abstract, but they do reflect the band’s understanding of the depth of human emotion and experience.

The band’s full length album, Reservoir will be released digitally via Bandcamp on July 7th. We’re excited for their new album and hope you’ll support this local band’s art and efforts.

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Jenn Wasner (of Wye Oak and Flock of Dimes) schedules Baltimore show for 9/26, is working on a new record, and is releasing some stellar collabs

Baltimore's Jenn Wasner doesn't need much of an introduction, she's made quite an impact both locally and internationally with her experimental electo-lyrical duo Wye Oak and solo project Flock of Dimes. Wye Oak's "Shriek" was one of the standout indie records of 2014 - since then Wasner has been touring with the fantastic Sylvan Esso, getting her next solo release ready, and working with Andy Stack on new band material. None of her new songs are available online yet, but if you make it to one of her live shows you'll most certainly hear what's in the works. Flock of Dime's next Baltimore show isn't until September 26th at Druid Hill Park, but if you're as impatient as we are you might enjoy some sonic treats to tide you over. Warner has been releasing some killer collaborations, one being a dark pop song called "Automatic" with producer Alan Wilkis on his project Big Data. Wasner brings her dream-gloom magic into a more traditional pop set up, delivering cryptic hooks like "Here I am, Don't you want me to do it again?". Sylvan Esso's lead Amelia Meath, having started her career in the primarily a cappella trio Mountain Man, is no stranger to finding haunting harmonies. When Wasner and Meath get together to take in and take on Gillian Welch's "Everything is Free" in a video for The A.V. Club's cover series, they cast a spell. This can't really be described. I hope you'll give it a watch, especially if it's been a while since you've gotten shiver-skin from hearing something beautiful. - Leora Mandel

Song starts at 0:30





Premiere: Rin Tin Tiger - Dandelion Dream + News on Their New Album

The San Francisco based avant country rock band, Rin Tin Tiger is gearing up to release their third full length album entitled, Burial Grounds. There’s something very charming about the music Rin Tin Tiger makes. You don’t see and hear a lot of country music coming out of the Bay Area as of late, but RTT has a way of using light reverb, and alternative rock compositional styles that probably draws you in a bit more than a traditional country band's music would.  With that said, country is at the very forefront of their sound and it’s great that they’re not afraid of that. You can hear elements of Sonic Youth and meanderings of shoegaze and folk music in their songs as well.

We’re lucky to be able to premiere a fresh track from Rin Tin Tiger's upcoming album called Dandelion Dream. Not all music has to be thrashy or pop oriented. Dandelion Dream is a simple love song that shows no false pretenses of trying to be something it’s not. If you’re looking for a RTT track that is faster paced, check out their first single, Small Cuts that Bleed A Lot. Their music is confident, fun and a bit different. Make sure you pre-order Burial Grounds in CD or digital format via their bandcamp or Itunes.

Rin Tin Tiger will be performing live at their double album release show with Owl Paws plus Growwler at The Independent on July 10th.

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