Said The Whale
Royal Teeth, Wild Rompit
3025 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19104
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
Said The Whale
Vancouver's Said The Whale has been on a steady upward trajectory for the past six years, as relentless touring and a prolific string of releases have led to successes including a JUNO Award in 2011 for New Group of the Year and nationally charting singles. In 2013, the tireless five-piece — which includes dual songwriters Tyler Bancroft and Ben Worcester, drummer Spencer Schoening, keyboardist Jaycelyn Brown and bassist Nathan Shaw — will continue to break down doors by releasing its most adventurous and hook-filled batch of songs yet.
The band formed in early 2007 and, following some early EPs, released the debut-full length Howe Sounds/Taking Abalonia in 2008. Said The Whale began to amass a grassroots following through frequent tours, and they scored a string of Canadian radio successes with the albums Islands Disappear (2009) and Little Mountain (2012). These albums earned attention from media outlets like Spin, BBC 6 Music, and Consequence of Sound, and the band was profiled in the nationally televised CBC documentary Winning America. Said The Whale has been nominated for two more JUNO Awards in 2013 for Alternative Album of the Year and Recording Package of the Year (alongside art director Andy Dixon) for Little Mountain.
In keeping with this inexhaustible work ethic, the band is releasing another new collection of songs in the form of the four-song I Love You EP, due out June 18, 2013, on Hidden Pony Records. Once again teaming with longtime studio collaborator Tom Dobrzanski (We Are the City, the Zolas) at his Monarch Studios, the musicians pushed their musical limits and honed their love of fast, punchy pop-rock.
"In the past I've felt pressure to write 'radio' songs, or 'cool' songs or whatever, but this time I went into the writing process with mindset of 'Fuck everything, I'm just going to write what makes me happy,'" says Tyler Bancroft, explaining that the songs were written with a clean slate and no expectations. Ironically, what resulted are some of Said The Whale's catchiest, most accessible songs yet. The singer observes, "It turns out I just like pop music."
This affection for melody shines on I Love You's title track, which is led by a surge of post-punk guitars and careens between spiky choruses and a sunny, sock hop-inspired bridge. Elsewhere, the Worcester-sung "Barbara-Ann" is a buoyant blend of heartfelt romance and '60s-style vocal harmonies, while "Mother" is a synth-heavy new wave banger and the outdoorsy "Narrows" begins with acoustic strumming before exploding into hard-hitting rock. These upbeat songs were mixed by Canadian studio guru Gus Van Go (Hollerado, the Stills).
"I spend so much time chipping away at my thoughts, trying to get to the core, and right now I'm finding it easy," Worcester says. "I've never felt more creative." He adds that the love-struck mood of "Barbara-Ann" was inspired by a couple who own a hammock store in Vancouver. "It's a proposition to someone special, suggesting that we too can live together like this beautiful pair of chilled out lifers," he reveals.
The EP offers a taste of Said The Whale's fourth album, due out this fall. These latest sessions found Bancroft taking on the role of co-producer, and he guided each song in bold new directions without adherence to genre. "Rather than record in one big session, we used the 'hip-hop method' of doing two or three songs at a time," he reflects. "This let us focus all of our energy on each song without getting overwhelmed."
The new material was penned in a surge of creativity that found Bancroft and Worcester letting their guard down and following their instincts. "My songs on this album are the most vulnerable songs I've ever written," notes Bancroft. "Lyrically it's the most honest I've ever been."
I Love You EP is the sound of a band already on the top of its game breaking free from all expectations and boldly reinventing its identity. And with a new full-length close behind, expect to see more new sides to Said The Whale soon.
I Love You EP – Out June 18, 2013 (on Hidden Pony Records)
Royal Teeth’s new EP is called Amateurs, despite the fact that, after five years, three cities, two albums, various personnel changes, and hundreds of days on the road, the Louisiana pop quartet is definitely an ensemble of well-seasoned pros. The title is a literal etymological reading of the word: the French amateur from the Latin verb “to love”, applied in this case as a mission statement and a reminder of why they do what they do.
In 2011, the effervescent electronic pop of the band’s debut EP, Act Naturally, attracted the attention of Dangerbird Records, which re-released both that project and its full-length follow-up, 2013’s Glow. The spirited anthem “Wild,” driven by the sparkling vocal chemistry between singers Nora Patterson and Gary Larsen, propelled the band to multiple TV, film, and video game placements, guest appearances on Last Call with Carson Daly and American Idol (at the personal invitation of fellow Louisiana native Harry Connick, Jr.) and slots at festivals, including Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, Firefly, SXSW, CMJ, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and the Voodoo Experience.
On Amateurs, Nora Patterson’s passionate lead vocals are showcased front and center, emerging from the more layered production of earlier releases. “Kids Conspire”, the infectious lead single, buoys her up on a wave of ringing synths and propulsive, Afropop-inflected beats, as she demands, “take me all the way up, take me all the way up.” It’s a clear relative of “Wild”, an anthem of possibility, but with more muscle and urgency.
“Children have a wild imagination,” Patterson explains. “They make up a plan for what they’re going to be when they grow up. They don’t hold back in terms of what they feel like they can accomplish, which is something that a lot of people lose over time.” In writing the song, she wanted to channel that untamed joy, the feeling of unlimited potential and steadfast conviction. “It’s about going back to when you thought you could do anything,” she said. “It’s nice to remind yourself of that.”
Promoting Act Naturally and Glow, Royal Teeth averaged more than 200 live dates per year, earning a glowing rep for exuberant, sweaty, high-energy live shows as explosive as their signature confetti cannons. The addition of guitarist Thomas Onebane, an inveterate, crafty tinkerer, has also led the band to take more risks in the studio.
“Thomas was a game-changer creatively,” says drummer Josh Hefner. “He’s a secret weapon. We spent a little more time in the studio – more experiments, more fine-tuning. And it was more fun, with less pressure.”
Both the sounds and the overarching themes on Amateurs are tougher, more mature and more surehanded than Royal Teeth’s previous outings. They play like a band that’s honed itself down to its core chemistry, musicians who know what they want to do and how to do it. But they also play with pure joy, ease, and love of what they’re doing – like amateurs.
Over the course of two years, Wild Rompit's intersection of heart pounding indie rock and gritty vocals has helped them to establish a solid fan base in their hometown of Philadelphia. With two self-releases and subsequent national tours, Wild Rompit has been building a family of fans in clubs, warehouses, art galleries, fields and basements where the inspiring fervor of their live show has garnered them legions of loyal fans.
Brotherhood marked pronounced growth in the band's songwriting. Wild Rompit's homegrown roots sound reaches new heights in a youthful, yet wizened tone through songs filled with passionate, raw energy and lyrically honest portrayals of self‐discovery, friendships broken and mended. "You can learn a lot about yourself through your relationships with the people around you," explains lead singer Blair, "and the songs on Brotherhood are about how far you'd go for those people."
All Upstairs tickets are General Admission. Dining is available at World Cafe Live. Reservations are accepted for Upstairs Live, our full service restaurant; we recommend scheduling a reservation time 1½ to 2 hours before show time. For more information and to see menus, please read the Restaurant Info and Dining FAQ.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE SEATS are located on all seated levels of this theatre. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 215-222-1400.