Sir Sly, Wolf Gang
Kansas City, MO, 64111
This event is 21 and over
The mysteriosos behind Sir Sly are dark knights in the truest sense. Since first making their presence known last summer, the LA outfit have been running the tastemaker underworld with their monochromatic blend of vigilante pop, leaving onlookers with nothing more than a pair of explosive tracks and a hero-shaped shadow to go on. So it's with great pleasure that we're able to pull the curtain back today and unveil our next release, as we bring Sir Sly's debut 7" into the world on Neon Gold next month in conjunction with our UK sister label, National Anthem.
Sir Sly is not one sir but three - Landon Jacobs, Jason Suwito, and Hayden Coplen to be precise - who have been hard at work for the past few months writing, recording and producing all aspects of their debut offering in Suwito's studio. From the arresting cold open to the ever-restless denouement, lead A-single "Ghost" doesn't just pass our every litmus test, it passes right through it, swimming through a fog of wartorn synths and floating with timeless melancholy in an ocean of unforgotten pasts. Elsewhere, the vinyl's AA-side "Gold" - for which the band have put together the perfect visual accompaniment (below) - jangles with moody desperation and reckless abandon, while digital-only B-side "Where I'm Going" delves deeper into the depths of the trio's doom-and-gloom pop noir.
-Neon Gold Records
As strange as it may sound, you could say that Wolf Gang's career in music began at The London School of Economics and Political Science. A few years ago, the Scottish-born Max McElligott was finishing up a degree at LSE when he decided that he was ready to throw it all away in order to follow his first passion: Music. "I'd always grown up playing and writing music but I never really considered it being a possibility to pursue professionally," McElligott recalls, "but when I came to London to study and saw people doing gigs every day of the week, I thought 'if they're all giving it a go why don't I?' and it turned out that felt quite natural once I committed myself to the idea."
Six months after quitting school, Wolf Gang was born and McElligott had a record deal as well as the songs that would become his self-titled EP. The 5 song collection culls a pair of tracks recorded with producer Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, MGMT, Mercury Rev) -- "Lions In Cages," Dancing With The Devil" -- along with self-produced demos of songs that will appear on his forthcoming full length debut. "I'm not actively trying to make songs that sound different from each other, it's just the way I write," McElligott responds when asked about the inherent variance of these tracks. "I might wake up one day and write an upbeat guitar riff and then the next day I'll write a piano ballad; it's not like there's any kind of master plan," he continues.
McElligott attributes his diverse musical output to being raised listening to his parents' record collection and honing his taste from an early age. "Growing up I was always listening to what they were blaring in the living room which would be David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac or the Talking Heads," he says. Additionally McElligott's mother, who is a classical violinist also helped instill a love for classical music. "The chord progressions used by Mozart and Bach are the same progressions that get used daily by all sorts of musicians so there's a lot of inspiration you can bring in from that genre," he explains when asked how all of these seemingly disparate influences figure into his own musical palette.
Correspondingly, from the infectious electro-pop of "Lions In Cages" to the atmospherics of "Back To Back," McElligott -- who plays all the instruments in the recording studio but performs live with a full band -- has been able to create music that isn't specific to any scene and is extremely refreshing in today's increasingly homogenized musical landscape. Already a fast-rising star in the UK with a debut full length due there in June, Wolf Gang recently played his first shows in U.S. with several standout performances at this year's SXSW Music Conference. "It's a steep learning curve going from a social anthropology degree to being a frontman so I'm glad that I've had the last couple of years to try to perfect my craft," explains McElligott when asked about Wolf Gang's live show. "I just can't wait to get out on the road and share all of these songs with people all over the world."
Secret Someones is the new project from NYC singer/songwriters Bess Rogers, Lelia Broussard, Hannah Winkler & drummer/multi-instrumentalist Zach Jones. Drawing inspiration from bands like Weezer, Talking Heads, and the entire Tom Petty catalog, the band is pure songwriting excellence. Loud, fun, and catchy as hell, Secret Someones are collectively bringing it, and they're just getting started.