Baby Alpaca

When trying to identify the music made by NYC trio Baby Alpaca, it's perhaps easier to try and figure out what the music is NOT. Judging by the music on the band's first proper EP, it's easy to say that this is definitely not your standard indie rock fare: an autoharp is involved, as well as both live and programmed beats and a smattering of guitars. The music eschews any musical tropes typically assigned to wispy bedroom electronica, beardy folk music, or the new wave of alternative R&B, but it could perhaps exist as a distant cousin to all of those things. Buoyed aloft by the winsome vocals of front man Chris Kittrell and shaped by the guitar styling of Zach McMillan, Baby Alpaca make music that is both romantic, vaguely tropical, and sufficiently futuristic—music that seems born of a million dramatic road trips that might provide a suitable soundtrack for a million more.

"I've been making music for about five years now," says Kittrell, "It just takes a while to really hone in on your sound and figure out what you're doing. I think this music really does that. This is really what we mean to say, what we mean to be as a band. I do love rock and roll and the freedom that it stands for. Musicians are forced to worry so much about genres—about trying to figure out how they are gonna sell their music—that they get distracted sometimes from the real soul of it. I just wanted to make music that people could really connect with in a genuinely human, emotional way."

The four songs on the Baby Alpaca EP—which is a precursor to a full-length Baby Alpaca record slated for release later this year—make for a striking, remarkably blissed-out statement of intent. The EP's first single, "Sea of Dreams" (whose Dada-esque video premiered earlier this year via NPR.org) is as fitting an introduction as any band could hope to have: all echo-chamber vocals that seem to be haunted by reverby guitar lines and gently-played piano notes that drift through the song like ghosts. Tracks like "Wild Child" and "On The Roam" evoke a palpable sense of modern restlessness, something that permeates all of Baby Alpaca's music. It's a feeling that Kittrell attributes to his own meandering youth—a time spent experimenting, studying, travelling, and trying to locate his own creative voice.

The gentle, humane quality of Baby Alpaca's music is deeply indebted to Kittrell's adventurous youth. "I've always been torn between tradition and total wildness," he says, which explains the rather circuitous path he took before settling on music. Having studied a variety of subjects in college—everything from psychology to art to economics—to dipping his toes into the world of fashion working with Marc Jacobs and at The Row with the Olsen twins, Kittrell picked up a support system and a family of creative souls that help support him on the journey. "I've lived on rooftops in Bushwick and brownstones in Chelsea. I've traveled around the world. At some point I just threw caution to the wind. It was rough at times and it lead me to experience a variety of hardships, but it also brought to the place I was meant to be—which is playing music."

"A lot of this music is about running way," explains Kittrell, "I don't mean that in a escapist kind of way, but more in terms of exploration. So much of my life has been about running away from tradition and traditional ways of thinking, which seeps into the music we make together. It's about discovery. It's not so much about running away from something bad, but rather running towards something really beautiful."

Ablebody is the solo project of the former Pains Of Being Pure At Heart and Depreciation Guild guitarist Christoph Hochheim. Hochheim has been releasing music under this moniker since 2011, dishing out an EP of covers, crafting remixes and demoing original material via Bandcamp and SoundCloud.

Like playing percussion jazz tapes in a Chinese garden or walking half-awake through an Eastern Emporium; Hochheim presents sentimental trails of creative resolve. Christoph’s brother Anton takes on the drum arrangements while the world of indoors is explored, “with the blinds shut, with nothing to hide from,” that finds that special and certain-central comfort above mattresses, cruising into the covers while winter rains down outside…everywhere. Ablebody’s ‘All My Everybody’ EP was released on January 29 via http://www.ablebody.bandcamp.com

Cobalt Cranes

Cobalt Cranes blend elements of desert, psychedelic and shoegaze sounds, taking a modern approach to classic California rock. Like many great rock bands before them, Cobalt Cranes have found California to be a big inspiration to their sound.

Hailing from Los Angeles, Cobalt Cranes began when Tim Foley and Kate Betuel bonded over 60's garage punk, 90's shoegaze, and psych rock. The duo began making demos in Tim's apartment, and recorded an Ep titled 'in Media Rez'. The resulting sound was a dynamic mix of primitive, raw garage rock and heart-on-sleeve, lush slow burners. In early 2009 they assembled a live band, began playing locally and embarked on several Southwest and Pacific Northwest tours.

In 2010 they released a single with Atlanta based Zap! cassettes as well as a 7" with French label Frantic City. They continued to tour and play locally in 2011, and released a single on the London based label Tuck shop v. Leg Guitar as well as a single on their own Anticc Records.

This past year Kate and Tim have been writing and recording their debut album, 'Head in the Clouds' while continuing to play local shows. The record is heavily influenced by hard rock album narratives of the early 1970's, versatile shoegaze rock of the early 90's, as well as modern sounds. They also explored and expanded upon what is considered the 'California sound'.
Cobalt Cranes want to assure you that this is not a retro act, in fact far from it. From the vantage point of the modern era, Cobalt Cranes have compiled their influences into a sound all their own and have elaborated upon what they consider Rock 'n' Roll.

Cobalt Cranes released their debut album 'Head in the Clouds' in early 2013, and embarked on national tour.

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Baby Alpaca with Ablebody, Cobalt Cranes

Wednesday, July 24 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM at Bootleg Bar

Off Sale