Savoir Adore, Polina Kourakina
224 S. Blount
Raleigh, NC, 27601
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 8:30 PM
This event is 18 and over
Watch & Listen
On September 11 Sea Wolf will release it's third album, Old World Romance on Dangerbird Records. Old World Romance is the highly anticipated follow up to Sea Wolf's successful sophomore LP, White Water, White Bloom.
Sea Wolf's founder and leading man, Alex Brown Church (writer/guitar/vocals), shares "After the last record, which was written and recorded far from home and was more of a group experience, I really wanted to stay close to home, be in my own space and give myself room to explore and write and record on my own schedule," Church continues, "I just felt I needed to bring Sea Wolf back to me, to my world," Church produced and recorded Old World Romance in the comfort of his home studio, with mixing by Kennie Takahashi (Broken Bells, The Black Keys, Jessica Lea Mayfield).
While the gorgeous full-band arrangements coupled with often dark, yet buoyant lyrics are sometimes reminiscent of White Water, White Bloom, Church delves into new territory with Old World Romance. The songs are stripped back and lean, simply melodic and brightly propulsive, leaning away from White Water's indie-folk epics. Left unchanged is Church's propensity to draw inspiration from his personal situations. One particular theme that pervades throughout the collection of songs on Old World Romance is Church's return to California. He explains, "This record is about a lot of things, but some of it is about coming home after being away and facing the realities of one's life, and life in general. Things you may have run away from, and things you are ready to embrace. Reconnecting and growing up."
Leading single "Old Friend" is a bittersweet heart tugger centered around a minimalist drum beat and calculated acoustic plucking that highlights Church's vocals, and perfectly pulls at the albums' theme of confronting reality as well as the past. More upbeat tunes such as "In Nothing" will make for the perfect soundtrack to your 2012 summer nights, with its meandering strings and bright snare beat. Slow burner "Blue Stockings" on the other hand, is a gentler, softer flashback to the days of Get to the River Before It Runs Too Low EP, Sea Wolf's 2007 debut release on Dangerbird Records.
Joining Church on Old World Romance is Lisa Fendelander (keyboards), Joey Ficken (Drums), Ted Liscinski (Bass) and multi-instrumentalist Zac Rae.
On "Dreamers," the dance-laden lullaby and lead single from Savoir Adore's new album Our Nature, Paul Hammer and Deidre Muro invite listeners into a magical dream world. Such worlds are nothing new to the fantasy pop duo, who inadvertently became a fixture of Brooklyn's indie scene as the result of a dare. In 2007, as disheartened solo artists, they whimsically retreated out of the city to a rural studio with two rules: "48 hours. No acoustic guitars." They returned with The Adventures of Mr. Pumpernickel and The Girl with Animals in Her Throat (Cantora), a concept-driven EP set in a fairy tale land that narrates the tragedy of Gloria and her unrequited love. On 2009's full length In The Wooded Forest (Cantora), they expounded on the EP's mythical landscape. But where Savoir Adore's previous releases have surveyed these worlds at a distance, Our Nature zooms in, putting our inner landscapes and relationships at the core of every track. In that vein, the recordings themselves are intentionally more crisp, aurally expansive and intriguing.
Our Nature itself is both a collection of catchy indie pop songs and a dramatic narrative. "Dreamers" functions as its prologue; on it, Muro insists her subject not worry and "keep on sleeping," while Hammer confronts the inevitable transience of dreaming: "Where we are isn't just a place where everything remains." And so Our Nature thrusts into its tenuous drama: the unlikely love story of Girl and Monster ("Loveliest Creature"). At times as fantastical as its premise ("Regalia," "Sea of Gold"), at others as accessible as radio pop ("Sparrow," "Anywhere You Go"), the album seamlessly blends '60s invasion, '80s new wave and '90s alternative with a more contemporary, digital creative process. Others have recognized Savoir Adore's sound as "musically and lyrically brave" (NME) and "irresistibly melodic indie pop" (Nylon). In 2009 and 2010, The L Magazine and The New York Post both named the band to their top bands to watch lists. So now, look no further. After two years of finding inspiration in a wide range of experiences, from neuroscience lectures to tales as old as time, Savoir Adore is back with Our Nature.
Muro and Hammer were both born into musical households. Muro's father is an electronic music writer and performer, her mother an organist, and her brother a composer. Muro herself learned to play the piano and violin and trained as a jazz vocalist while also in her mother's church choir. When she arrived at NYU, she joined a songwriter's club, which is where she met Hammer, who grew up with famed keyboardist and composer Jan Hammer (Mahavishnu Orchestra) as his father. While Savoir Adore often keeps their music playful, it is also serious work akin to keeping up the family business. Nowhere is this reverence more resonant than on ITWF's "Wonderlake" and its complimentary number on Our Nature, "Sea of Gold." On both tracks, Hammer and Muro ask big questions about family history and identity: How did I get here? Who am I now?
As an ambivalent reaction to their years spent in the Greenwich Village songwriter scene, 2007's eccentric and unexpected The Adventures of Mr. Pumpernickel and the Girl with Animals in Her Throat was the beginning of the duo's creative response to these questions about musical identity. After their two-day dare was complete, they posted some tracks to a MySpace page under the hastily forged moniker Savoir Adore, a French phrase that grammatically fails to merge "knowing" and "love." The name stuck and the project gained momentum. Cantora Records released the EP as the band began to work on a full length. With the release of 2009's In The Wooded Forest, the New York music press embraced Savoir Adore and set them on a path to expand their audience nationally and internationally. Band members Tim McCoy (drums), Gary Atturio (bass) and Alex Foote (guitar), who took part in Our Nature's recording process, rounded out the band's live show as Savoir Adore shared the stage with MGMT, Los Campesinos, Oh Land, and Toro Y Moi.
In the summer of 2010, the band toured the UK and France, including shows at Koko/Club NME and The Secret Garden Party. Their songs have been featured in various commercials (Almay, Citi, Yoplait), TV shows (Pretty Little Liars, Drop Dead Diva, Huge) and video games (Kinect Adventurer). During the 2012 Academy Awards, Tide premiered its new Tide Pods campaign featuring Savoir Adore's cover of Men Without Hats' "Pop Goes the World" (available on iTunes).
In late 2011, Savoir Adore offered a sneak peak of Our Nature, releasing "Dreamers" as a 7" on Neon Gold Records. In 2012, Savoir Adore invites lovely creatures the world over to join in their epic saga as they take Our Nature over the river and through the woods, down interstates and beyond!
Polina Kourakina fundamentally embraces the absolute power of the here and now. As an artist her music provides the listener with a tool to experience the intimacy of the present. Her ability to bring souls together, evolve, and create art on the spot is what makes her so very unique.
Perhaps it was her childhood move from Moscow, to Northern Virginia that provided Polina with a wealth experiences for which she used to hone her craft into something that could effortlessly be embraced by so many people from seemingly endless walks of life. Or maybe it was her mother’s skillful interpretations of Russian piano music that enveloped her consciousness and wove itself into the very fabric of her existence. Or maybe, to put it simply, she is just that good.
For the last six years Polina Kourakina has been developing a sound. It’s a sound that when played solo has the power of a cannon or the softness of down, but when arranged for a small group has the intimacy of cabaret and the intricacy of a Faberge egg. Aptly title “Wanderlust,” Polina’s most recent offering is a musical journal of her travels through DC, San Diego, Dallas, Manhattan, and her home base of Cleveland, Ohio. At each stop she plays her music, never the same twice, and always in a state of evolution. With each performance her music grows just as all living art does.
Polina Kourakina masterfully combines jazz stylings and soulful vocalizations with intimacy of a folk singer. She captivates, impassions, arouses and excites. Either alone or with accompaniment, she has the power to grasp hold of the present moment and shape it like an artist does to clay. While philosophers may dispute the importance of events in our past or future, no one can argue that anything is more crucial or pertinent to each individual than the absolute present. For it is within the present that we reside exclusively. No one knows this more than Polina Kourakina.
For fans of: amy winehouse, norah jones, janis joplin
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