1940 9th St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 7:30 PM
This event is all ages
Jordan Lee has spent the last few years moving from Ohio to Austin to Boston, and most recently Brooklyn, running the wonderful Kassette Klub label, touring with friends' groups, and leading an amorphous project called Mutual Benefit: a one-man-band or a sprawling collective, depending /on where he is and who is around that day.
After several cassette EPs and split releases, and playing scores of house shows, Lee completed his debut album Love's Crushing Diamond, a record of lush, watery, pop songs, pieced together over the past several years and inspired by the kinetic energy, goodbyes, and blurred landscapes of life on the road.
The songs are heartfelt and powerful with Lee's fragile and beautiful voice as the centerpiece, and the recordings are an instantly engaging blend of high and low fidelity, mixing lush studio productions, featuring keys, guitar, violin and banjo, with clattering homemade percussion and found sounds. While the album is certainly Lee's brainchild, the recordings are very much a collaborative effort featuring contributions by friends and others met along the way.
Love's Crushing Diamond was initially going to be a cassette-only self-release. Then some friends offered to start a label and press a limited edition 250 LP run. However, as the Bandcamp posting of the album received growing recognition, Other Music Recording Co. offered to take the reigns for the proper release this record deserves. Not a moment too soon, as Love's Crushing Diamond became the first-ever Bandcamp release to be named "Best New Music" by Pitchfork, and earned a "Band to Watch" feature on Stereogum.
Empty Me , Gabrielle Herbst’s second album as GABI and first for Double Double Whammy, is a celebration of discovery, collaboration and community - and a leap into bold new territory for the singer and composer.
After releasing her debut album, Sympathy, on Software in 2015 and touring North America and Europe, Herbst found herself in an intense, transformative time. She’d often wake up in the middle of the night needing to write new songs, improvising while half-asleep at her keyboard. In the years to come, these ideas, feelings, and experiments would lead her to a new sound, to healing, and the most direct music she has ever made – including “Sleep,” Empty Me’s statement of purpose.
“I was not interested in virtuosity, really. I was drawn to music that had that element of necessity to it. I wanted to find that in myself and strip everything else away.”
When she wasn’t applying to the Yale School of Music, where she will be pursuing a Master of Music degree in composition this fall, writing classical pieces for the Nouveau Classical Project, or working on her newest opera, Ashes, commissioned by Roulette and the Jerome Foundation, she was exploring her new songs in sessions with Dale Eisinger in the spring of 2017, focused primarily on piano and voice. However, when she began arranging the songs with harpist Marilu Donovan and bass clarinetist Mara Mayer, she made a major breakthrough. “It was like finding a new sound - and I got really, really into it.”
Herbst and producer Eric Littmann then worked tirelessly between full-time jobs to bring the songs to life over the next seven months, constantly finding new paths along the way. She describes moments like the choral harmonies on “Let’s Not Exist” as the result of being on the verge of heatstroke on a deathly hot summer day in Littmann’s bedroom studio.
She details how lead single “Whole With You” changed many times before becoming what it is now: “It has an element of loss to it. A searching for something. It’s about coming into yourself and fighting back for yourself. It’s come from an intense, personal place, and has been transformed through collaboration. Eric and I put the love in.”
It’s a record of ecstatic moments brought into the world through experimentation and openness. Contributions by violist Jacob Falby, flutist Laura Cox, percussionist Matt Evans, and synths by Steve Hauschildt aren’t just frills. These parts, like multi-instrumentalist Aaron Roche’s horns on “Wild Sunflowers,” are sources of power in their own right. “Everyone put their stamp on it in a really meaningful way. Everyone wanted to give to it.”
Herbst sees Empty Me as a hopeful record – the sound of charting her own path, pop music on her terms, and the beginning of a new chapter in her multifaceted career.
Empty Me will be released by Double Double Whammy on 10/05/2018.