Purr Residency ~+ Night Two

Purr began in 2017 as the side project of Eliza Callahan and Jack Staffen who have been songwriting partners since childhood. Callahan, then a student at Columbia and Staffen at NYU, set out to expand the sound of their project, Jack and Eliza, which simply comprised their two electric guitars and vocals.

Purr takes cues from a lineage of dual-lead-vocalist bands with roots primarily in the late 60s and 70s. The pair fluidly oscillates between singing in harmony and unison. Their vocals often blend and meld together to forge what at times can eerily sound like a single voice before separating out again. Their songwriting style too makes nods to the past as do their tones, washed with the warmth and warble of tape. Though in their arrangement and with their distinct vocal sound Purr evades pastiche and throwback, creating a sound that is both contemporary and their own.

In the summer between their junior and senior years of college, they enlisted Sam Glick, a friend of Callahan’s from Columbia to record their first songs as Purr which took place in Callahan’s kitchen. Glick then stepped in on bass and brought along his childhood friend Max Freedberg, the drummer from their band Plums. Purr released the first two songs they recorded together, “Bad Advice” and “Painted Memory,” in  February 2018.

field trip

It’s not easy for people with strange, sometimes puzzling minds to control the sounds in their heads and effectuate them into meaning through sound. Noah Champ, Los Angeles native expatriated to New York, has one of those elusive minds: neither here nor there, but somewhere in between, constantly building and re-building upon the expanses of thought. His music, penned field trip, exposes a deeply-altered perspective, horrified and charged by new environs and feelings. Unlike many, Champ has successfully been able to materialize the emotional voids at the core of his person, and has etched them on tape for us to indulge in.

Champ moved to New York in what proved to be a deeply-altering time not only for him, but for his new home’s music scene. The beau monde-induced demise of dominant venues like Death by Audio and 285 Kent prophesied the inevitable extinction of the tight-knit, music-first rooms that incubated records the band regarded as scripture.

Wishing to experience these space’s ephemeral legacy and mythos, Champ (singer/drums), joined by Nico Geyer (guitar), Phillip Braun (synthesizers), sprung on an opportunity to play at Palisades in late 2014, having since been joined by Will Sacks (guitar) and Claire Gilb (bass). Another year of playing and ambling in New York finds field trip tapping into further reaching sounds, connecting the dots between the likes of Factory Records alums, early trip hop, and space-age California. The band released their debut LP, Horror Vacui, on 11/11/16.

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