Lapland, Yost, Eksi Ekso

Lapland

The beginning of Lapland started before it even had a name. It was born in a tiny half-bedroom in Brooklyn, where songwriter Josh Mease began recording a new batch of songs in early 2011. Mease has always found comfort in the solitude of his own thoughts, often preferring the landscapes within his mind's eye over the bustle of the city that surrounds him. So it seems fitting that in making Lapland's self-titled debut, he worked alone using whatever was within reach – only rarely using other musicians.

Perhaps this self-imposed isolation is why Lapland has such an introspective tone. Themes of separation and loss are woven throughout the album, as Lapland moves fluently through different styles and genres while maintaining a uniquely personal sound. From the percolating electronic gallop of the opening track, "Unwise", to the blue-eyed soul of "Aeroplane", to the acoustic haze and layered harmonies of "Overboard", Mease always keeps things interesting. One can hear the effect of the myriad of music styles and genres that informed Lapland – Early synth pioneers of the 60′s and 70′s, French Impressionists like Ravel and Debussy, and 1970′s staples like Fleetwood Mac.

Mixing styles is not new for Mease. He grew up in Texas where his childhood love of rock and country evolved into studying jazz guitar. After moving to New York, he eventually shifted his focus from playing jazz to singing and writing songs. This transformation gives Mease a unique approach to songwriting, and his work has earned him fans not only in indie circles but also in jazz, R&B, and classical music as well.

The name Lapland only presented itself after the album was completed, when Mease picked up a book from the $2 stacks at a used bookstore called "Lappland Wanderland." The book contained photos of other-worldly landscapes and vast open spaces which seemed to connect with Mease's new recording. It was not a difficult decision to adopt the name Lapland for this new phase of Mease's career. The scope of his work deserves a moniker of symbolic significance. And so, Lapland began.
Press from Josh Mease's previous album Wilderness

"Josh Mease has put together one of the strongest debuts I've heard this year….Wilderness is beautifully crafted with some lovely melodies and harmonies. Mease has a warm and distinctive voice, and a real ear for arrangements that sound lush without becoming too cluttered. It's the kind of album I can fall in love with from the opening notes of the first track."
- NPR All Songs Considered

"Some very good music went down…And Mr. Mease, who seems to love the intimacy and chord changes in Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson's work, made his case with music that kept alternately settling you and waking up your ear through harmony."
- New York Times

"In such work, arrangements are crucial, and Mease resists the temptation to add clutter. Even when the setting seems fancy, with clavinet and backing choirs, the recording is spare—he is confident in his songs."
- TimeOut New York

"Heavily reverbed piano, guitar arpeggios, fluttering synths, walls of wordless backing vocals and jazz-inspired chord changes produce a heady brew….[D]ebuts this promising are rare"
- Paste Magazine

Yost

Yost break, borrow, ferment, and misinterpret. They're the underwater lovechild of kraut-rock and slow-jam. They are singer-guitarist Colin Killalea, keyboardist Frank Locrasto, bassist Jordan Brooks, drummer Robby Sinclair. They are all sensitive men, which is likely why they've been packin since '09. They also come from a studied jazz background, which might also explain the guns. Their car smells of ginger candy, coconut, and Bugler. Yost have been told their music "shakes hands with love," which has since inspired them to go out and find real love. Go to http://yostmusic.net/ for a view and a listen.

"Brown Shark, Red Lion is the most interesting and challenging pop album I've heard so far this year."
- My Old Kentucky Blog

"Quite different from the previous album, this one is less post-rock, more of a combination of chamber pop, indie, and other similars, but nevertheless incredibly beautiful."
- Caffeine and Music

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Lapland, Yost, Eksi Ekso

Thursday, June 13 · Doors 7:30 PM at The Rock Shop