He Is we
Deas Vail, Plug In Stereo, South Jordan
1652 W. Lincoln Avenue
Anaheim, CA, 92801
Doors 7:00PM / Show 7:30PM
This event is all ages
He Is we
He Is We is an indie pop band formed in Tacoma, WA. The duo consists of Rachel Taylor and Trevor Kelly. The band's first full length album, My Forever, was released November 2010. Their OLD DEMOS album can be downloaded at http://heiswe.bandcamp.com.
"I don't know what love is . ."
Despite the humble admission that opens the self-titled new release from Deas Vail, the album sizes up the emotion with some beautifully poetic and eloquent metaphors. Over the course of twelve songs, love takes the shape of a fiery dragon, a closed doorway, a distant tower and an unpredictable ghost.
While these kind of open-hearted imaginings have long been the lifeblood of poets and artists, for lead singer and songwriter Wes Blaylock it was a foray into uncharted territory. "It's definitely new for me, because I haven't written a lot about love in a straight-ahead way, at least not consciously," he says. "My writing has been more conceptual and visual. But a lot of these songs are inspired by interactions I see between people I know.
"On a more personal level, I've been married for four years, and I love it," he continues. "It's the greatest. So I didn't want to ignore that right now in my life. I think those feelings give the record a lightheartedness. In the past, I've had a tendency to be a little dark, so it felt really good letting go a bit on this album."
There is indeed a positive uplift in the sweeping contours of the openers "Desire," "Sixteen" and "Summer Forgets Me," with Blaylock pushing his sky-scraping wonder of a voice up, over and around jangly guitars and head-bobbing grooves. This tender buoyancy is the sonic thread that runs throughout the record. Even when the mood downshifts, from the spaghetti western-flavored "Towers" through the pensive "Common Sense" to the stunning closer, "Meeting In Doorways," a sense of optimism beats beneath the surface. Or as the singer describes it, "a cautious optimism."
"There's always the fear that you're going to be cheesy when you're writing love songs," Blaylock admits with a laugh. "So I try to temper my lyrics by looking at all sides of relationships. But really, on this album, I tried not to think about that too much. I just tried to run with the songs and let them come effortlessly. I didn't want to overwork them. My strategy was to stick with the ones that came naturally, without all the sweat and effort."
That organic approach is in keeping with the band's evolution. When Deas Vail formed in 2003, Blaylock says the goal was to back his own acoustic singer-songwriter project, with no bigger picture in mind than friends having fun. "We didn't think we'd be doing it professionally yearslater," he says. But three albums, two EPs and a few member changes later, the band has matured into a formidably tight unit. "The rapport and chemistry has gotten deeper," he says. "We've gotten braver, and we felt like on this album, we weren't in any boxes and we could just do whatever we wanted. Be experimental and try different ideas, move forward and do new things. We're still growing, still writing better songs."
Deas Vail write their songs together, and Blaylock is quick to praise his band mates for what they bring to the table. "Our drummer Wes Saunders is the newest member of the group. He's totally solid and really creative. Justin our bass player definitely brings more of a rock element. It gives us a little more energy, and helps me from being overly dark. My wife Laura plays keyboards and helps a lot with melodies. Both she and our guitarist Andy are the best at being constructively critical. They always have a broader perspective on the songs. There's just a beautiful amount of grace and patience among the members of our band. We all help each other."
And helping the band on this album is first-time producer, Relient K guitarist Matt Hoopes, who captures a live spirit and immediacy throughout. Blaylock says, "All of our records sound very studio, so we kind of wanted to do something that sounded a little grittier and more stripped down. What you're going to hear is what you'll hear on stage. As for Matt, he's a longtime friend, and he was working with us in pre-production, and at a certain point, we said, 'You know what, Matt? You get this music more than anybody else. You understand exactly what we want to do and you have some pretty amazing tools to get it done. We really took our time and had a blast making this record."
As Deas Vail look ahead to a fall release and getting back on the road, Blaylock says that he hopes the new record might "encourage and inspire" listeners in their own lives.
"I love music because it speaks to people in such different ways," Blaylock says. "You have words, melody, dynamics, volume. There's so many changes. Where people may look at a painting and not really understand what they're looking at without having to dive in and learn about it, with music, it's more natural to grab hold of something and not even know why. So I hope that the record reaches people in all different ways. I feel like that's a whole lot to ask but then we've gotten feedback from fans over the years, and they say, 'I was going through a rough time in my life, and your song really helped me get through.' I can't even describe what an amazing feeling that is - that this little band from Arkansas can put these songs out there and then somebody can be encouraged or feel like it's little easier to get through life because of this music."
Plug In Stereo
Behind all great musical projects lies an artistic puppeteer that orchestrates the strings – for Plug In Stereo, it's 18-year-old wunderkind Trevor Dahl. Trevor is a jack of all trades, a multi instrumentalist with a talent for easy-going and down to earth acoustic melodies.
Trevor grew up in Portland surrounded by music like Bob Marley, Jack Johnson and The Shins. Listening to his family play music while he grew up, it was something that was always part of Trevor's life. Writing poems and lyrics since elementary school and picking up a guitar in the 6th grade led to Trevor recording tracks in his bedroom and the start of something great.
"Music has always been a big part of my life," says Trevor. "Ever since I started playing guitar, I've only ever wanted to play music."
Even after being in countless bands as a kid, nothing felt as right to Trevor as the creation of Plug In Stereo. When one of the band's he was a part of took a break, he decided to borrow a friend's microphone and recorded some solo tunes. He threw them up on MySpace and when the reaction was bigger and better than he expected, Plug In Stereo became his new driving force. While other teenagers were finishing their junior year in high school, Trevor had already toured the country with the likes of Dashboard Confessional, Never Shout Never and The Ready Set, self-recorded and self-released two EPs, and has just finished recording his first full-length album, Nothing To Something. Plug In Stereo can be perceived as already living out the long career of an established musical veteran, when in reality, they've only just begun their journey. Plug In Stereo's first full-length Nothing To Something is an album filled with acoustic pop jams that will have music listeners tapping their feet and clapping their hands. A masterpiece in the making, the album was produced by several musical pros such as Kevin Gates (Never Shout Never, Cady Groves, The Ready Set), Jeff Bond, and Christofer Drew of Never Shout Never and Jordan Witzigreuter from The Ready Set. Along with being produced by some generational pop heavy hitters like Christofer and Jordan, the album's first single, "Oh Darling" features guest vocals by Cady Groves.
With influences such as John Mayer, The Shins, and Jason Mraz, Plug In Stereo's new album takes a different route, straying from his older more synth heavy sound. This time around, Trevor focused on providing his fans with more genuine melodies and lyrics brought on from experiences in his own life.
"Now, I'm more interested in the natural sounding music with more thoughtful lyrics," says Dahl. "The upcoming album is the first batch of professional recordings for me, so I'm really excited for everyone to hear them."
After recording and releasing two prior EPs, Trevor's management sent them to Triple Crown Records, who fell in love with the tracks. Triple Crown and Trevor met and before long, a beautiful relationship had evolved and Plug In Stereo was signed. Plug In Stereo's first full-length Nothing To Something will be released on their new label, Triple Crown Records, and they couldn't feel more at home.
"Getting signed was really crazy to me. It was a dream come true," says Trevor. "I feel like we fit together so well so it really worked out!"
Talk about coincidence… that's exactly how the members of South Jordan met. Thanks to a song writing competition at Indiana University, where a tune written by Michael David Hall attracted the
attention of upcoming producers Mike Chan and Bobby Campbell. Chan and Campbell, who then were writing music themselves and in need of a vocalist, invited Hall for a jam session, and in March 2008, South Jordan was formed.
The demo's by South Jordan attracted the attention of Farm Fresh Studio owner Jacob Belser, who invited them to his studio to record their 'Only Halfway' EP. (Coming out late July on iTunes and Amazon Music)
Mike hails from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Bobby from Hagerstown, Indiana and Hall from Chicago, Illinois. Given their various backgrounds and influences, each member brings something of their own to the group. This is demonstrated in their 6 track EP, where songs deviate from upbeat to epic.
South Jordan has a rigorous performing schedule ahead of them in the Fall. They will perform both acoustic and full-band shows within the MidWest region and fulfill their dream of bringing their brand of music to the masses.
Mon, May 20
Thu, May 23
Fri, May 24
Sat, May 25
Sun, May 26
Wed, May 29
Thu, May 30
Fri, May 31
Sat, June 1
Wed, June 5