HAERTS - New Compassion Tour

There is something decidedly mystical about HAERTS' story and it's reflected in their sound, a kind of elegiac but warm electro-pop, which is showcased on their debut EP, "Hemiplegia." Fittingly, you can almost narrate the band's entire trajectory via the personal astrology charts of its members -- an international constellation composed of Nini Fabi, Ben Gebert, Garrett Ienner and Derek McWilliams. Every time something major has happened for HAERTS, it seems to center around the birthday of a band member or someone close to them.

HAERTS began in a small Greenpoint apartment in the early fall of 2010. Long time musical collaborators Nini Fabi and Ben Gebert hoped to locate that emotional and sonic spot between the familiar and unknown. If this all sounds a bit romantic, like the fantasy of many young musicians who seek out Brooklyn as the backdrop to their musical love affair, it's because it is.

"Ben and I have known each other since we were fifteen," Fabi explains. "But at first I was hesitant to make music with him because he was a little further along and I was secretive." Fabi, who was born in Ohio before moving to Germany, was raised in a family where music and art was extremely important and at the core of everything. "I sang with my sister," she says. But Gebert, a native German, had been playing piano since he was three and was composing his own music by age ten. "I studied formally in high school and we all went to college for music as well," Gebert recalls. "He came from that crazy classical schooling," Fabi says.

The formality of that schooling initially seemed to contrast with what music was to Fabi, namely, a kind of interior, intimate, emotional thing. "It was so important I almost didn't want to share it with anyone because then I could lose it," she explains. The first song they wrote was a birthday present for a friend. "It was utilitarian," Fabi says, laughing. "We didn't have a gift for him so we wrote him a song!" They were only 15 years old at the time but the productive tension they discovered still animates HAERTS' creative core. "Benny is still the guy that's the foundation in the songwriting, he's on that composition element and I'm still the one more interested in melody and words," Fabi says. Gebert agrees. "I would literally never write lyrics. It wouldn't occur to me." Fabi laughs. "Basically, I was always more concerned with what we're trying to say and Benny was more concerned with how we're saying it. That's still exactly how it is."

A few years later the pair moved to Boston to study. There, they met and began collaborating in other projects with HAERTS bassist Derek McWilliams. The general flavor of the music Fabi and Gebert made at the time could loosely be described as Americana; they wanted to intimately understand the nature of songwriting and melody, how to build something elegant and efficient and pure. Eventually, though, the pair began to get a bit restless; they craved expansion. That's where Brooklyn came in. "We both love it here and would live here regardless," Gebert says, "but we wanted to be here in part because there was a lot of music that we liked being made here."

Vera Sola is a poet, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist.

A drifter performing her own songs alone in and out of dark bars under various pseudonyms, Vera Sola toured and recorded with a variety of artists, for a long while accompanying singer-songwriter Elvis Perkins on the road. She has in turn collaborated on film scores and provided original music for theater and performance art.

In early 2017, she experienced a total shift in relation to her voice and musicianship, and only then was she finally compelled to record and release her own songs. In the days following, hiding out in a studio in St. Louis, she wrote, arranged and performed all the parts on her upcoming LP 'Shades.'

Sound making, for her, has always been like mediumship. A channeling. There is no template for what it should be...no genre other than the strange night music within her, born more from intuition and surrender rather than any formal construction.

Vice Reine is an SF electronic band that melds synthpop, electroclash, & sci-fi into an exciting live show that glides the line between OUTER SPACE & IN YOUR FACE.




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