RAILBIRD, Little Anchor (Record Release Show), Johanna Samuels
93 N. 6th St.
Brooklyn, NY, 11211
This event is 21 and over
Landlady is the songs of Adam Schatz (Man Man, Father Figures, Zongo Junction, Those Darlins) realized and made infinitely better by a crack team of superfriends (Ian Chang, Booker Stardrum, Ian Davis, , Mikey Freedom Hart). Tonight's show will feature a special appearance by the Brass Magic horn section.
Brooklyn-based musical collective Railbird recently released new single "Jump Ship" just ahead of a July residency at Pete's Candy Store. The brand new track features Sean Rowe (ANTI), whose Cohen-esque baritone is deeply soulful, and Sarah Barthel of Phantogram (Barsuk), whose breathy vocals are most often heard over booming electronic beats. It's no wonder this unlikely collaboration meets in the middle with Railbird – A band accustom to divergent thinking.
Railbird, the brainchild of bandleader Sarah K. Pedinotti (SKP), is a solid cast of multi-instrumentalists whose sound crosses many genres and encompasses complex rhythms and swirling bursts of guitars and synths around Sarah's angelic voice and truly unique style of songwriting.
After self-releasing their debut album No One in 2010, Railbird was invited to perform at SXSW, CMJ, and the 4th Annual Roots Picnic in Philly. No One, co-produced by Jeremy Gustin and SKP in Queens and upstate NY, is a conceptual album that took over one year to complete. The album is nuanced, dark, rhythmic, and haunting and draws comparisons to Bjork, Kate Bush, Grizzly Bear, and Dirty Projectors.
Railbird is currently recording demos and rehearsing in a cabin at Lake George. Catch the band for their summer residency each Wednesday in July at Pete's Candy Store. 10pm.
Little Anchor (Record Release Show)
Little Anchor blends the storytelling and simplicity of the Northwest with New York influenced pop sensibility.
The Brooklyn-based four-piece was initially conceived over a long weekend in a cabin on the Columbia River Gorge as the solo project of Pacific Northwest native, Alexa Cabellon in May 2009. Upon her return to New York, the small front-woman with big ideas shared her material with friends and former NYU classmates Kendrick Lo (guitar), Thomas White (bassist), and Ian Chang (percussion), who now complete the group.
Following their first gig at a tiny café deep within New York City's Chinatown, Cabellon finished writing the group's debut EP Sunland in the early winter of 2010. Self-released on June 17, 2010, Sunland combines heavy melodies, thoughtful lyrics, and sweet yet versatile vocals.
From the Sunland EP, Little Anchor redesigned, rerecorded, and re-imagined the song "Until Our Eyes Adjust" at Galuminum Foil Productions with recording engineer and producer, Gary Atturio. The hauntingly delicate first single off of Yellow Lights, "Until Our Eyes Adjust" was released in February and features four-part string arrangements written by Gabriel Gall and Ian Davis of The Relatives and performed by fellow NYU classmates Josh Henderson on violin and viola, and Kristine Kruta on cello.
Following the release of "Until Our Eyes Adjust," the band returned to the studio with Atturio to record the rest of the EP in the spring of 2011. Yellow Lights showcases Cabellon's smoothly rich voice amid a collection of songs that vary from the smart, rhythm heavy opening track, "Don't Be Scared to Move," which includes pots and pans recorded in the kitchen of Cabellon's Brooklyn apartment, to her strength as a ballad songwriter in the lush and dreamy arrangements of "A Sentimental Way" and "SEA/MD," to the hard-hitting, anthemic closing track, "When You're Looking."
Yellow Lights – a reference to the reflective moments held within each track that serve as reminders to slow down – will be released digitally on September 6, 2011. Limited edition 12" 45rpm vinyl with hand-drawn artwork by Barclay Douglas will be released at the Yellow Lights EP Release Party at Glasslands in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Wednesday, September 7, 2011 with Amy Klein (of Titus Andronicus) and Miracles of Modern Science.
Johanna Samuels reminds us that pop music isn’t so bad. That, despite its sometimes saccharine, sometimes structured outer coat, it is raw on the inside, and full of ache. Johanna grew up on pop music. Lennon and McCartney, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Paul Simon, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Van Morrison, The Band. Johanna would play these songs on repeat and rush to the piano to find the melody on the keys. Chasing out a beloved lick helped her capture what she loved about each song, helped her understand the feeling behind the chord progressions. To this day, Johanna still plays by ear, but this is hardly a handicap—she approaches songwriting without the logic of measures and keys and time signatures. The result is a wonderfully pure collection of songs, melodically uninhibited and lyrically generous.
You’d never know that Johanna, now a darling of the music blog circuit, was the quiet one. Always the accompanist, the rhythm section, the backup. She liked to blend in, a skill she honed in choir. For Johanna, harmonizing in choir triggered a new passion for contemporary pop artists who thrived on melody: folks like Elliott Smith, Ben Kweller, Jon Brion, and Aimee Mann. Even though Johanna felt more comfortable sussing out the songs of her idols on the piano, she began writing songs of her own while attending college in New York City.
During that time, she wrote and collaborated with friends in her hometown of Los Angeles as she pieced together her first two projects, A Little Bit of Both and Lemonade. Both of which were little more than a collection of demos, produced and recorded on Johanna’s laptop. Upon returning to Brooklyn, she wanted to produce something cleaner, thus Giant Fantasy Life was born. Recorded at a friend’s studio on Sundays for the better part of a year, the album is named after a line from one of Johanna’s favorite Elliott Smith songs. The songs deal with the discrepancies between the physical world and that of the mind, and the complications that come with reconciling the two. “That’s what the mind is,” Johanna says, “a giant fantasy life.”
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