City of the Sun
Leon of Athens, Nana Adjoa
901 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA, 90012
This event is 18 and over
City of the Sun
New York’s genre-bending trio City of the Sun have been breaking instrumental-rock norms since their inception in 2011. The band’s sound has an array of influences including indie rock, American folk, flamenco, and blues; it’s been called worldly, cinematic, a mix between Rodrigo y Gabriela and Explosions in the Sky. City of the Sun features guitarists John Pita, Avi Snow, and percussionist Zach Para. Having honed their signature sound as buskers in NYC, they gained wider attention playing TED Talk conferences and Sofar Sounds sessions across the US, and posting live videos from exotic locations around the world.
COS has since been established as a powerhouse group in the post-rock sphere. They’ve sold out New York’s top indie venues Irving Plaza, Bowery Ballroom and Gramercy Theater; toured with Peter Bjorn & John, G.Love, STS9, and Thievery Corporation; were featured emerging artists at Billboard’s Hot 100, Firefly, and Bottle Rock Napa music festivals; and scored “The C Word” documentary soundtrack (directed by Meghan O’Hara and narrated by Morgan Freeman).
In 2016, City of the Sun released their first live album “to the sun and all the cities in between”, debuting at #12 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart. Lead track "Everything" hit #2 on Spotify's US Viral 50 chart and #5 on the Global Viral Chart; it has over 11 million streams to date on the platform.
The band completed their first European tour in 2017 and released UNTITLED EP, with lead track “Perfect Instance” garnering over four million streams on Spotify in the EP's first month.
Leon of Athens
London based indie-pop star Leon of Athens channels the flamboyant beauty of Sufjan Stevens, Perfume Genius and Grizzly Bear alongside a similar widescreen pop sensibility as Tame Impala, Foster The People and Phoenix. His brand new album Xenos is a beautiful, thoughtful piece of work. It showcases just why he has become a huge live draw in Greece – where he plays to audiences in their thousands – his ever-growing fanbase across Europe and his rising profile in the USA where he has just been confirmed to appear at Okeechobee Festival and SXSW .
The album follows the highly acclaimed release of his debut album Global, championed by the likes of The Guardian, NME, Q, New York Times and more. It is produced by David Kosten (Bat For Lashes, Everything Everything) and is informed lyrically by the refugee crisis, the rise of fascist groups in Europe and the US, but also personal upheavals: fractured relationships, lost faith, youth, freedom and death.
From the uplifting indie-pop of previous singles ‘Aeroplane’ and ‘Fire Inside You’, to the dark creeping electronics of the title track and ‘Xenos’, Leon Of Athens proves himself an intriguing and exciting force. There are delicate moments on the stark piano-led ballads of ‘Letters To My Father’ and ‘Final Moment’, while the album closes with the joyous ode to his favourite place in the world ‘Corfu’.
Born in Amsterdam, Nana spent a portion of her childhood in the concrete environs of working class neighborhood the Bijlmer. "It's not the nicest part,"she says with trademark modesty of an area described by the local chief of police as a 'national disaster area'. Her father was a Ghanaian who'd came to Amsterdam in the 1980s, her mother Dutch ("very Dutch"). She describes her upbringing as fairly liberal until her parent's divorce and their subsequent embrace of Christianity. " The second part of my growing up was with some Christian values, but by this point I was getting to the age of making up my own mind," she says. " It was a bit 'too late' for me." She speaks of a rift it cased in her family, with the Christians (Nana's father, mother and brother) on one side and the non-Christians (Nana, her sister and the rest of the family) on the other.
Religion, along with questions about her own gender identity as well as growing up a half black person in a pretty white environment were all benchmarks that really shaped who Adjoa is and in turn her songwriting. "In fact, I think I still unconsciously use a lot of Christian ideas and metaphors in my music," she adds.
Nana was accepted to study jazz (electric bass and double bass) at the prestigious Amsterdam Conservatory, however the reality wasn't quite what she'd imagined."It was very much like school," she says, today. "We thought we wanted to go to the most difficult department, that we wanted to be the best, but it wasn't a very fun experience." A divide began to grow between the restrictive, theoretical compositions she was studying and the more melodic, free-flowing music she was playing outside.
Soon after she realized pursuing her own solo career and not academia was the direction for her she she formed a band and for the first time started recording her songs. The results are Down at The Root (Part 1) and Down at The Root (Part 2).
"It's a really nice feeling when people actually listen to the music you created somewhere," she says of an ever-growing fan base. "It's still crazy.”
Nana will release her latest collection of songs this November when she drops her anticipated A Tale So Familiar EP.