SEA WOLF / ELEANOR FRIEDBERGER (of The Fiery Furnaces)
308 N. 2nd Ave.
Phoenix, AZ, 85003
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is 16 and over
Taking its name from novelist Jack London's 1904 seafaring adventure, Sea Wolf has evolved organically from its hermetic origins in Alex Brown Church's living room into a muscular, fullbodied musical entity with passion to burn. After adopting the sobriquet, Church burst onto the music scene in two-fisted fashion with the EP, Get to the River Before It Runs Too Low, and the subsequent full-length debut album, Leaves in the River, about which Interview magazine observed, "His music is both erudite and unvarnished, a blend of swirling melodies, literary balladry and damaged art-rock composition."
You probably think you know everything there is to know about Eleanor Friedberger. "She's that girl from The Fiery Furnaces," you're thinking. "She is a great singer, I think she plays guitar….does she play guitar?" you're asking. "She has a really great haircut," you're musing. And yes, you'd be right about all of these things.
But what you likely don't know is that Eleanor Friedberger is not just the enigmatic mouthpiece of one of music's most interesting, dynamic and constantly exciting bands. In fact, Eleanor Friedberger is an exceptional songwriter herself, playing a variety of instruments and crafting the very sorts of choruses that made you fall in love with The Fiery Furnaces in the first place. (Their song "Tropical Ice-land" supports this statement very well if you're somewhat doubtful, which you shouldn't be.) She's a lover of Led Zeppelin and Jorge Ben; she's a fearless performer, as comfortable fronting a band as she is playing alone on a stage with an acoustic guitar; she's one of the sweetest alto voices in music. Nowhere is all of this more apparent than on her very first solo album, Last Summer, out on Merge Records on July 12th, 2011. And to give you a taste of what's to come, the album's first single, "My Mistakes," can be heard HERE now.
Last Summer, which was written, well, last summer, and recorded in fall 2010, was born out of Take Me Round Again, a collection of cover songs from the previous Fiery Furnaces album. Both Eleanor and Matthew did their own inspired versions of songs they'd written together for their last LP I'm Going Away. Matt's were otherworldly affairs, while Eleanor's were lo-fi and lovely, all recorded in her home, the sound of an artist kicking off her shoes, settling into a big comfy chair with an acoustic guitar, a glass of scotch, and a four-track. She enjoyed the experience so much she decided to move forward with recording songs she had written in her spare time, songs that hadn't been included on any of The Fiery Furnaces' nine incredible albums. This, of course, begs the question: does Last Summer sound like a Fiery Furnaces record? No. It sounds like Eleanor Friedberger.
And what you don't know about Eleanor Friedberger, Last Summer is able to teach you. You learn Friedberger has an effortless ear for melody and arrangements, as evident on songs like "Scenes from Bensonhurst" with echoing piano pulses and gorgeous vocal washes that sound half-human, half-keyboard. You understand that Friedberger doesn't shy away from that oh-so-complicated genre "pop," wrangling Phil Spector harmonies and 60's girl group shimmers, as seen on amazing, instantly-stuck-in-your-head first single "My Mistakes," and the clavinet disco of "Roosevelt Island." You know Friedberger is a surveyor of the scenes around her in her home of New York City, naming songs after Brooklyn neighborhoods and describing whirlwind New York moments within her narratives. You hear Friedberger's more forthright emotional side, something first revealed on I'm Going Away, in the breakup rocker "I Won't Fall Apart on You Tonight" with its plaintive chorus "I won't fall apart on you tonight / but I don't know what tomorrow may bring." You get that Friedberger is a connoisseur of classic rock, peppering her songs with dashes of Donovan, Carole King, Todd Rundgren and more. You understand that she truly is a masterful wordsmith, mashing up colorful, complicated lyrical lines into beautiful refrains, one of the only people capable of singing about riding her bike through Coney Island without, well, sounding like she's singing about riding her bike through Coney Island. It's a testament to her passionate vocal phrasing and manipulation of melody that she can combine things like earthquakes and heart shakes without sounding trite, contrived or like she's bitten off more than she can chew.
We're pretty confident that when you know all this about Eleanor Friedberger, you will agree wholeheartedly that she continues to be one of the best damn songwriters we've got, never ceasing in her explorations of sound and constantly setting herself apart from her musical peers. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the dazzling Last Summer.
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!
$15.00 - $17.00
Tickets Available at the Door
Sun, April 30
Sun, April 30
Mon, May 1
Tue, May 2
Wed, May 3