Birdie Busch, Heatwarmer
3025 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19104
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
Ahead of the release of his new forthcoming album Out Her Space, which is due out November, 17th, 2017 through Bella Union, Karl Blau is please to share new track "Beckon". Collaborating alongside a number of musicians from Matthew E. White’s Spacebomb label as his backing band, you can listen to the track HERE.
Sequestered away in rural bliss, 90 minutes north of Seattle on the Washington state coast, Karl Blau has been making records for 20 years, but never with European distribution. So, when Bella Union released Introducing Karl Blau in 2015, it shone a belated and deserved light on “one of the great hidden treasures of music,” claimed album producer Tucker Martine.
But given Introducing’s specific agenda - a set of gorgeous, lush cover versions drawing mostly on vintage Nashville’s country-soul with Blau concentrating on his rich, reverberating voice – his latest album Out Her Space is so different that it could be titled Reintroducing Karl Blau.
Out Her Space features Blau’s own material, production and multi-instrumental skills, and forges a gorgeous, languid and hook-infested gumbo of soul, funk, some jazzy blowing and Afro-pop, to arrive somewhere else entirely.
The album also testifies to Blau’s studio skills, as he captures the glimmering, humid depths of those sweltering southern influences, despite his north-western heritage. But then Blau has engineered and produced a heap of records for himself and others, often at his home in Anacortes, releasing records on Washington’s favourite indies K and Knw-Yr-Own, as well as through his own Kelp Lunacy Advanced Plagiarism Society subscription service. But Out Her Space comes from another place, with another story to tell.
In 2009, Blau had been asked to record Richmond, Virginia country-psych band Great White Jenkins, fronted by Matthew E. White. In 2012, when White started a new label, Spacebomb, based around a house band in the style of the old Stax and Motown ventures, he called on Blau again. The album that came from this partnership was White’s solo album Big Inner (snatched up by Domino Records), which The Guardian called, “a genuine revelation.”
Having heard Blau’s own demos, White ensured that Spacebomb’s hot-to-trot backing band - centered around (now Fleet Foxes) bassist Cameron Ralston and drummer Pinson Chanselle – supported Blau too, and he came away with an album’s worth of tracks, which also featured Blau (guitar, percussion, synth, sax), White (guitar, synth), Phil Cook of MegaFaun (piano) and a wider cast of horns, piano, viola and backing vocals. It’s partly where Out Her Spacegot its name: “It’s a cousin to Big Inner,” says Blau.
The album plays with humanitarian themes, against a backdrop of self-immolating American politics. For starters, the title Out Her Space was equally inspired by Blau’s, “overwhelming feeling to point out that men, in general, need to listen, to stop being so assertive and to get out of her space, let her balance again. Chill out dudes, rather than lead us over the cliff.”
The opening "Poor The War Away" was written during the George W Bush era, “and it’s more relevant than ever. We’re steamrolling down the mountain side.” ‘Slow Children’ is a request for mankind to slow down, with a “rigid truth chorus” and “free association” verses, says Blau.
The speedier "Where You Goin’ Papa" also works better in 2017 than 2012, since Blau’s youngest daughter is no longer a baby, and he can think about touring again - it’s another reason, he says, why it was worth delaying this album. "I Got The Sounds Like You Got The Blues" addresses the same scenario – “as the family breadwinner, I’m telling my kids, don’t worry, I’ll be back” – while both tracks feature some mighty jazzy extemporising. “Some songs have long tails,” he says. “I thought maybe we should cut them off, but they grew on me.”
The world is out of control, but Blau’s life is anything but. Introducing Karl Blau did its job, as a great record and an introduction to a wider audience. Given Matthew E. White was voted a ‘breakout artist’ of 2012/13, then Blau, on this evidence, is unquestionably a ‘breakout artist’ of 2017/18. No one this talented should glide under the radar, no matter how much they’ve set things up that way (“the bane of Karl Blau records is that you don’t know what’s coming next!” he reckons). If Out Her Space has finally found the right time to emerge, so too has its creator.
“Noisy when she might’ve hushed up, nervy when most are relaxed, funny when others stay forlorn and dressy when she could be buttoned-up...both opulent and genuinely odd." - City Paper
Birdie Busch has been making and recording independent music from her home base of Philadelphia for a solid decade. A combination of loyal radio support across the US, live touring, and solid albums - both self-released and released through adventurous independent labels like Bar None Records - has created a constellation of connect-the-dots of loyal listeners.
Five full albums and a Philadelphia-themed EP has found her creating sonic soundscapes with some of Philly’s finest musicians, producers, and engineers. Critics from American Songwriter to The Village Voice have described her as a "kindred spirit" to artists that run the gamut - from Syd Barrett to Eudora Welty - and seem to appreciate her unique voice and style and the strange place from which her creativity springs.
David Lynch, Beethoven, and Michael McDonald walk into a K-Mart commercial. Things get a little wild and nine months later, Seattle-based DIY band Heatwarmer is born. Jazz-brained, cheeky, and new wave-nostalgic, Heatwarmer is the absurdist darling of Luke Bergman, Aaron Otheim, and Evan Woodle, three music school cherry pickers who’ve spent a lot of time with their grandparents. Reclaiming dad funk and yacht rock as their own, Heatwarmer spans the whole sonic gamut: combining west coast smooth jazz, eerie Twin Peaks synth-pop, with the humor and hoke of a 70’s gameshow.
Heatwarmer formed in 2009 after Bergman and Otheim met in a jazz combo class at the University of Washington. Both obsessed over their music school diet of jazz and classical, but also for extra-curriculars like Disney soundtracks, John Williams, and Enya. Bergman was also inspired by Otheim’s dedication to writing originals and followed suit. As they started to collaborate, they found shared fascination with meticulous orchestration, complex harmony, and an eerie-vintage vibe a la X-Files and Twin Peaks. As soon they added virtuosic drummer Evan Woodle into the mix the deal was sealed.
Called “a favorite on the Seattle DIY scene” by The Seattle Times, Heatwarmer is a beacon in Seattle’s creative music community—a scene that's birthed other notable bands like Lonesome Shack, God’s Favorite Beefcake, and La Luz. Following their 2013 release of the kaleidoscopic debut EP “Dessert Menu,” and self-titled debut full-length, they garnered acclaim from Seattle Weekly and went on to record Daytrotter and KEXP Audioasis sessions.
$15 ADV - $17 DOS