Royal Teeth, X Ambassadors
1353 H St. NE
Washington, DC, 20002
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 7:30 PM
This event is all ages
If all music tells a story, then Royal Teeth's joyous, inspired songs spin an exuberant tale of possibility, each note conveying the youthful excitement of venturing out into the great wide world. The songs on the band's debut album, Glow, were penned around the idea of exploration and spirited adventures into the unknown, and its 12 tracks lay out a kaleidoscopic narrative of discovery.
The group came together in 2010 with Gary, Josh W, Poe, Josh H and Stevie, friends from all across Louisiana who'd gravitated to one another during their early days of playing out in New Orleans. It was with the discovery of Nora, the last piece of the puzzle, that the band began to truly hone in on what would become their sound. The aim was to have fun, with no master plan for the music at the outset. As they began to experiment, it became clear that the synthesizers they'd been playing around with elevated their effusive indie pop songs and best conveyed the buoyance and levity of being young and anxious for the world to open up for you.
The resulting album is a shimmering collection of indie pop numbers that revel in that idea of being young and wild. The songs vary in tone and aesthetic, but it all ties back to that overarching theme. "Vagabonds," is a soaring hook-laden tale of escapism, while the prancing "Hold Me" captures that moment before the end of the world. "Wild," the band's current single, contrasts with "We Can Glow," a moody anthem revealing the flipside of the band's live-in-the-now sensibility.
Royal Teeth, who have been featured on Last Call with Carson Daly and seen several songs placed in various TV spots, are really only embarking on their adventure now, with the release of this debut album. Joining forces with the team at Dangerbird Records has enabled them to more fully realize the vision of touring extensively and broadening their own inspired journey. The first chapters of that story are heard in the music, a soundtrack for the exploration and discovery, of bursting into a world teeming with possibilities.
Brotherhood - that's what defines Brooklyn's X Ambassadors, whose album Litost was just released digitally this January. Though the band officially started in 2006, three of the members, Sam Harris, his brother Casey Harris and middle school friend Noah Feldshuh had been playing together for years.
Ambassadors started as a college band. Sam, Adam and Noah were all attending the New School while Casey worked as a piano tuner. It wasn't until 2010 that they were able to completely commit full time to the band, with Noah on lead guitar, Sam on vocals and back up guitar, Casey on keyboard and Adam on drums. "When we first started up, we were looking for a bass player, and nothing clicked. We rely on each other and weren't going to give up the four- piece if it threatened the chemistry within the band." They immediately started work on their debut album, but a couple of months before they were slated to record, disaster struck.
Due to a medical condition that had plagued Casey since childhood, he needed to have a kidney transplant. His mother volunteered and gave him her kidney. Two of Sam's family members were in the hospital recovering. All members of the band had been hibernating in the winter, meditating over the experience. Casey was recuperating in a cabin upstate. While this was taking place, in an effort to deal with his surroundings, Sam started writing the songs for Ambassadors' eventual debut record, Litost. Adam and Noah would often join him in the process and they would work with their sound. What resulted is a record filled with both darkness and hope, songs that are groove based ("Unconsolable") and some that are truly anthemic ("Bodybag").
Once Casey had fully recovered it was time for the band to record. What came out was a phenomenal genre bending rock album, influenced by everyone from the Stooges and Phil Spector, to George Harrison and Ginuwine.
"I wanted to go all out with this record. We had written all of these songs in this sort of lax environment, but I didn't want the record to mirror that," according to Sam. "I wanted it to be big and bombastic, and right away you could connect to these songs, and I think that's what we achieved."
X Ambassadors' debut LP Litost is available now.