Manic Productions Presents:
Little Ugly, Golden Bloom
250 State Street
New Haven, CT, 06511
This event is 21 and over
Boston and Washington, DC based six-piece Kingsley Flood released their first full-lenth Dust Windows in 2010, generating both critical acclaim and a passionate fan base. In 2011, the band issued the six-song EP Colder Still, with tracks that were touted by NPR, Esquire, and Paste.
The band, described by the Boston Herald as a “Rolling Thunder Revue with a punk rock sneer,” has supported Grace Potter and Nocturnals, Angus and Julia Stone, Langhorne Slim, and Brett Dennen, among others, and is a two-time winner at both the Boston Music Awards and the Boston Phoenix Best Music Poll.
In 2013, Kingsley Flood has no plans to sit still. Battles, their latest full-length (released Feb. 5), is the band’s most honed, complex, and meaningful project to date. Anchored by Rolling Stone premiere "Down" and MTV Buzzworthy premiere "Pick Your Battles," the album was recorded with producer Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Langhorne Slim, David Wax Museum) at Great North Sound Society in rural Maine.
Battles amplifies the band’s pension for dynamics — rock songs that can fill music halls, quiet songs that sound two feet away. The resulting sound blends Dylan-esque storytelling, Kinks-inspired melodies, and the urgency of the Clash. With songs inspired by everyone from delusional dictators to spray-tanned politicians to laid-off workers trying to get back on their feet, Battles winds a deliberate path from self doubt (opener “Don’t Change My Mind”) to quiet determination (closer “This Will Not Be Easy”).
Little Ugly, (winner of "Best Musician/Band" in Hartford Magazine's "Best of 2012" and the 2011 Hartford Advocate Grand Band Slam's "Best Rock Band") the offspring of chief songwriter/singer/acoustic guitarist Michael Day and his collaboration with percussionist Nick Dickinson, and violinist/vocalist Kaia Pazdersky, is a band that authentically thrives in its defiance of classification. The mix of imaginative, introspective lyrics and classically trained musicianship has created arrangements that are connected with the eclectic works of artists such as Mumford & Sons, The Decemberists, Silverchair and Ray LaMontagne- yet they imitate no one. Delightfully unconventional at every melodious interchange, these four musicians have born a live experience that is a valuable reminder of how music can elevate, captivate, and broaden our minds, as well as move our feet.
Golden Bloom has always been known for their sharp melodies, vivid guitar work, and intelligent, energetic songwriting; pop music that wasn't afraid to ask listeners to think, as well as dance. Shawn Fogel launched Golden Bloom as a solo project, playing all of the instruments himself on 2009's debut full length Fan the Flames, and 2011's March to the Drums EP.
A cast of multi-instrumentalists joined Golden Bloom on tour, and in the process, they started becoming a band. "At first, I tried to have everyone recreate the sound of the records," Fogel says. He soon saw that letting everyone bring their own sensibility to the songs made things more interesting. The live arrangements reshaped the songs, moving them away from the album versions. "I realized we'd be a better band if we applied the live band vibe to the writing, arranging, and recording."
In June of 2012, Golden Bloom live band members Jeff Patlingrao and Josh Cohen travelled to Shawn's longtime vacation destination of Southwest Harbor, ME where they holed up in a cabin in the woods to work on a new batch of songs. Joined by newly added drummer Justin Hofmann, the quartet retreated to Tarquin Studios in Bridgeport, CT, a facility run by Peter Katis (The National, Interpol, Frightened Rabbit). They produced the sessions themselves with the help of engineer Greg Giorgio. "Many of the songs were arranged collaboratively in the studio," Fogel says. "The spontaneous energy we generated carried over to the music."
Golden Bloom's sparkling pop is still evident, but the EP also adds darker instrumental textures and lyrics that explore thorny emotions with keen insight and understanding. Chiming guitars and subtle percussion accents give "Flying Mountain" the jittery feeling of an anxious mind, but the sunshine breaks through with Fogel's bright vocal and an uplifting chorus. Stately piano and shimmering guitars fill a vast sonic space to contrast Fogel's quiet, down to earth vocal on "Deliver it for Me." "Shadow of a Man" drops a first person fictional narrative into a tight little garage rock tune that's a little bit twangy and a little bit trashy. "White Whale" shifts between dark but dreamy choruses and pounding power-chord verses. The EP comes to an epic close with "Lone Reporter", which begins with a single acoustic guitar and slowly builds to a beautiful chaos of blistering guitars and bashing percussion.
Over the lifetime of the band, tastemakers like SPIN, Magnet, Under the Radar, and Daytrotter have praised Golden Bloom's musical and songwriting prowess. Golden Bloom will be touring to support No Day Like Today for most of 2013.
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