Friends Records Touring Showcase

Friends Records is a record label based in Baltimore, MD. They've released records from artists such as:
Celebration, Future Islands, Microkingdom, Weekends,
Sri Aurobindo, Height with Friends, Soft Cat, & more!

Bond St. District

The duo comprised of rapper DDm and producer Paul Hutson, came together after a chance meeting one summer outside a local nightclub. After several conversations centering on the disillusionment of American life, music, and pop culture, the pair began working on a series of songs that would eventually become 'Everybody's So Sleepy'.

The result is a sound that fuses the aggression of hip hop, the heyday of Motown, and electronic elements, into something irresistibly familiar yet idiosyncratic. The group, who's moniker was taken from the street name of Paul's home studio in Baltimore, Maryland have already garnered local interest resulting in spots opening up for national acts such as Big Freedia, Spank Rock, and Ab Soul among others.

Since their debut EP Sixtape in 2014, Baltimore-based duo Blacksage has been possessing listeners with the devastating coo of folk singer Josephine Olivia and the bass heavy beats of producer Drew Scott. Melting gothic-tinged elements of modern R&B and 90s trip-hop with old-fashioned Pop, their 2015 full-length Basement Vows expanded on this dynamic. “It’s a bleak setting, but there’s inherent beauty in it,” wrote Brandon Weigel of Baltimore City Paper. Their songs tread on the darker side of love and lust while remaining aware of the experimental and danceable nature of the music scene brewing in Baltimore. Friends Records will release their second full-length Shivers in Fall 2016.

Hotline is a fresh indie-soul/neo-pop outfit founded around the lifelong collaboration between songwriter Ryan Trauley and synth auteur Tim Matthews.

The duo employs an ever-expanding network of friends and collaborators to cultivate a recorded repertoire and live show that bridges the gap between free-wheeling instrumentalism, and immaculate prepared sonics.

Their debut album was recorded with love at the legendary Fidelitorium in central NC by jangle pop godfather Mitch Easter (R.E.M., Pavement, Let's Active) and Missy Thangs (Birds of Avalon).

It was released two months later by Friends Records, a pillar of the Baltimore underground that has developed a reputation for spotless curation across all styles (The Snails, Peals, Other Colors, Wing Dam, Moss of Aura, Blacksage)

Jenny Besetzt

It’s been nearly four years since the release of Only, Jenny Besetzt’s debut record. After consistent lineup changes, shifting romantic relationships, and relocating to different cities, Jenny Besetzt’s latest album, Tender Madness, is the result of a simmering uncertainty as to where the present might lead. Where Jenny’s debut was a romantic and memory-filled love letter to the passing of adolescence, Tender Madness is writ with affirmations moving forward – comforting words to siblings, gratitude for new love, acceptance after grief.

The lyrics of lead songwriter John Wollaber carry the sonic weight of the album and emerge through a voice both melancholy and warm. The words penned for these songs are intimate, reflective, and place a great deal of trust in the listener. Each song carries a full narrative of its own, like a secret story marked on a bathroom wall or anonymously signed in a library book. The difference is that Wollaber had the temerity to author them on stage and on record.

Jenny Besetzt now demand their space. Recorded in a mere few days at Legitimate Business in Greensboro, N.C., the album is exact: a crystalized artifact formed from years of carving out every song in front of an audience. Structurally, the arrangements on Tender Madness exude a willingness to dig deeper for darker, rougher layers beneath the surface, trading pop verses and choruses for momentary instances that feel more life-like (“Authorless Speech”, “Black As The Night”). Drums and bass drive with intent to move, while guitars and keys surround and ensnare. The tension of kinetic and hypnotic energy on songs like “Lunar Talks” produce an addictive experience, alluring with every listen. But the most captivating are the record’s final two tracks, “Tender Madness” and “The Rabbit”, where spiritual forgiveness and meditative vulnerability act as a prayer and hymn, respectively, to close out a new chapter for one of North Carolina’s most rewarding bands.

$10 adv / $12 dos

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