The Echo Presents
StaG, Turnbull Green
1822 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, California, 90026
This event is all ages
The son of a genetic engineer, Dave Hartley has eschewed his father’s profession but decidedly inherited his analytical proclivities and love of “the lab.” As Nightlands, Hartley is a scientist trying to create and understand art through analytical process. Here, with sophomore album Oak Island, his follow up to 2010’s superb Forget the Mantra, new questions are explored: what happens when the human voice is layered exponentially? Is the sum more man, or more melancholy machine? In seeking these answers, Nightlands takes us on a spirit quest through lush forests down into The Uncanny Valley. Each distorted, silver-voiced melody is wrapped in the sounds of 70s AM gold — plucked acoustic guitars, trumpets, dulcimers and hand percussion. In using these pop touchstones, the songs become something close to memories, the faded feelings that tide in and out of you when conjuring the past. To this end, virtually every chord played on Oak Island is a major-7th, the most nostalgic harmonic grouping. Seals & Croft produced by mid-70s beetle-voiced Brian Eno. Crosby, HAL and Nash.
Beneath the analytics and technical experimentation lie 10 pop songs about sadness and love; this silvery robot has learned what it means to be human and paid a great cost. The elegant, lunar bossa-nova of album standout “So Far So Long,”with its distant trumpeted satellite signals, offers a slow, confident lilting and wilting, as Hartley considers traversing space and time.
Hartley is a prolific sideman in many notable bands in and around Philadelphia and the extraordinary bassist of The War on Drugs (he played bass on Sharon Van Etten’s epic, in Sondre Lerche’s touring band, and sings in The Silver Ages). Listeners expecting a simple side project, however, will be surprised by the boldness and scope of his vision–Nightlands is the Chuck Close painting to the The War on Drugs’ De Kooning.
The creative brainchild of Matt McGuire and Will Walden, StaG combines pop hooks with danceable electronic beats and subtle atmospherics that culminate in their live shows as a non-stop set of catchy, rhythmic indie-pop and finely tuned musical interludes, all building to an epic emotional climax.
Matt and Will met in a tee-ball league when they were both 5 years old and have been best friends ever since. They went to high school and college together and both moved back to their native Los Angeles, California to pursue StaG full-time. StaG recorded its second full-length record, Difference, in the beginning of 2013, and with the addition of Matt Hampar on guitar and Casey Baird on drums, has taken the record out of the studio and onto the L.A. scene.
Difference takes life’s emotional complexities and turns them into a beautifully uplifting piece of art that you can also dance to. At its heart is the deep bond of friendship between Matt and Will – a couple of kids who couldn’t be more excited about turning the sounds in their heads into the songs of the future.
Behind the fuzz and distortion you'll discover a very clear, incisive message: Your freedom isn't a gift, it's a necessity. Follow your own path and the destination will find you. For Turnbull Green that definitive path began somewhere deep in the woods of Connecticut. It meandered its way along the rocky Long Island Shore coastline, before looping, lapping, & backtracking throughout the idyllic days of late 90's NYC. It eventually resurfaced from the Bay Area fog before a Hawaiian exile preceded a return to Brooklyn which led to his current Los Angeles encampment. The archived experiences & influences gathered along the way were later subconsciously curated into the album you hear today. The result is a distinct sound that defies the pigeonholed limitations of conventional gentrification. Throbbing baselines and deliberately degraded synths blend seamlessly with melodic hymns and frenzied outbursts. Filled with equal parts bliss to despair, peace to paranoia, it's as mechanical as it is organic and its a headfirst dive into the cavernous mind of Turnbull Green. With an approach all his own, this one-man-band has created an album that knows no rules yet bears no ego as a result. It's as if that recluse in the woods you wish would surface more often finally reemerged and had been hard at work all the while