Western Haunts

Western Haunts

Fueled by uprising and in the spirit of the folk revival music tradition, Western Haunts’ moody, psych-tinged fourth release, The Ambassador E.P., follows in the footsteps of its predecessor’s expansive, anthemic song craft, the Utøya E.P.(2011). Recorded and produced by the band in a collection of storage units along a dilapidated stretch of Seattle highway, The Ambassador E.P. (OUT JULY 2012) is a collection of songs penned for the disenfranchised and a sonic wash of populist zeal.

Western Haunts’ musical progression from reverb drenched, Americana into a driving, psychedelic rock outfit continues to evolve on The Ambassador E.P. The band’s knack for layering lush organ and vocal soundscapes with pulsing, percussive, rhythms and spiraling guitar lines, blanket the listener in sound on the new release. Ominous lyrical themes weave a cautionary tale of living in a rich eats poor world of talking heads, crooks, cronies and inequity. On the eve of Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday and the twilight of a turbulent period of global unrest, Western Haunt’s latest work poses the question of what do we do the morning after.

Western Haunts released their 2nd full length album Shed Your Summer Shell in the fall of 2010, receiving critical praise and national CMJ radio airplay. The following summer stirred by the tragic events that took place in Norway and Japan, Western Haunts returned to the studio to record new material and release the Utøya E.P. in honor and celebration of their friends and family whose homes were impacted by tragedy.

With lazy melodies, lush guitars and thundering toms, Western Haunts' Alt-Country sound is a call to Midwestern revival, drenched in reverb and the ambience of shoe-gaze music. Western Haunts’ music and lyricist Jake Witt’s songs about lost summers in the rural Rust Belt and ghost stories from his Midwestern roots recently caught the attention of music attorney Gillian Barr (Arcade Fire, The National, The Decemberists) and tastemaker John Richards (KEXP 90.3FM).

Western Haunts music can be heard across the nation on CMJ radio stations and programming on MTV and FUEL TV. Live, Western Haunts have been playing bills with artists the likes of Jessica Lea Mayfield (Nonesuch Records) Moondoggies (Hardly Art) Frontier Ruckus (Ramseur Records) and Motopony, as well as in-studio performances on KEXP and currated shows by Seattle's City Arts Magazine and Seattle Weekly.

the Soft Hills

Seattle indie group The Soft Hills were formed in 2007 by singer-songwriter Garrett Hobba. The current line-up consists of Hobba on guitar and vocals, Randall Skrasek on drums and moog, Matthew Brown on lapsteel and guitar, and Brett Massa on bass and vocals. With an appreciation for experimentation and harmony, their songs draw from a wide range of influences from folk to psychedelic to ambient, drawing on literary influences, and incorporating experiences from dreams and visions. The Soft Hills released their debut album The Bird Is Coming Down To Earth on Tapete Records in January 2012, which was followed by a European tour in May.

Their new record Chromatisms is a study in contrasts – of light and shadow, yin and yang, birth and death. The album combines the delicate immediacy of folk with the power and majesty of post-rock, arrangements that nod to the classic era of 60′s rock while looking forward with intertwining synths where beautiful harmonies sit on top of layers of feedback, and lyrics dig deep into the unconscious, trying to make sense of the magical and the real, the place between madness and euphoria.

Compositionally, the band utilizes a diverse palette of colors, blending together reverbed guitars with moog textures, fuzzy riffs with mellotrons, lyrical bass lines against thunderous drums and delicate lapsteel weaving around vocals to create lush collages of sound. The music reveals a band in transfiguration, a group moving towards darker realms of sonic and lyrical exploration. The record was mixed by Erik Blood (Thee Satisfaction, Moondoggies, Shabazz Palaces) and produced by Matthew Brown (Trespassers William, Memphis, The Walkabouts).

Rags and Ribbons

Rags & Ribbons play melodic rock anthems driven by classically-inspired piano. Progressive and post-rock influences by way of Queen, Muse, Arcade Fire and Sigur Ros color these intricate pop songs, expressing desire, yearning, regret and joy like only pop can. This Portland, Oregon band's debut album, "The Glass Masses" features elaborately structured songs with rich harmonies and dramatic hooks.

$10 Adv.

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Western Haunts with the Soft Hills, Rags and Ribbons

Friday, May 31 · 8:00 PM at The Crocodile