White Reaper, Spirit Animal
6 Delancey St
New York, NY, 10002
Doors 6:30 PM / Show 7:30 PM
This event is 18 and over
The Struts, a four piece pop rock band, formed in Derby, England, in 2010
Luke Spiller - Lead Vocals
Adam Slack - Guitar and Vocals
Jed Elliott - Bass and Vocals
Gethin Davies - Drums
Nurturing arena-sized ambitions, Louisville, KY's White Reaper remind us that "fun as hell" is a primary purpose of music. Equal parts glam and grit, White Reaper's forthcoming Elektra Records debut finds the band packing classic rock with grinning twin guitar leads into masterly crafted pop songs. Expected later this year, the album will follow 2017’s critically acclaimed The World’s Best American Band, which was praised by Pitchfork for having "more riffs than you can fit into the trunk of a Camaro". White Reaper recently treated fans to an early taste of new music with the release of their brand new single “Might Be Right”.
Tony Esposito (guitar/vocals), Ryan Hater (keyboards), Sam Wilkerson (bass), Nick Wilkerson (drums), and Hunter Thompson (guitar) have been living on the road, performing headline shows and supporting some of their idols - The Killers, Spoon, and Weezer. The band has also been making rounds in the festival circuit with stops at Lollapalooza, ACL, and CalJam. This summer, the Kentucky boys will embark on a run of U.S. headline dates and perform their inaugural sets at the UK’s Reading and Leeds festivals. In the fall, the band will hit the road on their largest U.S. headline tour to date.
As much as music should outlast the times, it should also speak to them.On Spirit Animal’s 2018 full-length debut, Born Yesterday, the band not only proves808s and guitars can coexist in harmony, they also craft airtight songs that woulddelight in any era. Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, singer Steve Cooper, guitarist CalStamp, drummer Ronen Evron, and bassist Paul Michel make music that both bottlesand transcends the moment.“Something special happens when you dump a bunch of genres into a blender andjust let it rip,” says Cal. “We want our songs to move in unexpected directions. We’lltake what we love about Arctic Monkeys or Kendrick Lamar or James Blake and pullthe pieces together into something cohesive, new and fun. Nobody listens to just onekind of music anymore, so why write that way?”“Songs come together from every angle,” adds Steve. “Sometimes it’s four guysjamming in a room. Sometimes it’s one person producing on a computer. Sometimesit’s two of us, a co-writer and an acoustic guitar. We lean into not knowing what willcome of a session and take every risk we can. If we don’t do it, who the fuck will?”Spirit Animal as we know it, though, nearly never happened. Introduced by a mutualfriend, Cal initially passed on the opportunity to join the group as a guitarist. But aftercatching the band’s bombastic live show one night at Pianos in downtown Manhattan,he changed his mind. “I wanted to have as much fun as they were having on stage,”he admits with a laugh.A “poptimist before the word existed,” the guitarist’s sensibilities dovetailed nicely withthe other members’ eclectic tastes. Although Paul’s roots were in the D.C. hardcorescene, Ronen studied at Berklee College of Music, and Steve grew up on a strict dietof rap music, the guys bonded over a shared desire to push boundaries. “We’vechanged each other drastically,” Steve says with pride.The group’s efforts began with the single “The Black Jack White,” which quicklytopped a million plays on Spotify. Building a buzz, the band landed looks fromConsequence of Sound, Entertainment Weekly, and The Washington Post. 2016’sWorld War IV EP yielded the staple “Regular World,” which clocked over 2.9 millionSpotify streams. They toured relentlessly along the way, developing a diverse anddevout audience. Signing to Atlantic Records in 2017, the band wrote and recordedwhat became Born Yesterday at Steve’s apartment, as well as studios in New York,Los Angeles and Nashville.
“We want this album to stick with you, but we also want it to be fun,” Cal says. “It’smore than just a good time, but it shouldn’t feel like more than a just good time.”The first single, “YEAH!” pits sparse pop verses against a wild, distorted chorus.Punctuated by fingersnaps and an oft-repeated chant that lends the song its name,lyrics veer from plaintive irreverence (“All I wanna hear you say is/You put me on yourlove songs playlist”) to disorienting commentary (“Give ‘em all a raise/Give ‘emMarvin Gaye/Give ‘em Michael Bay”).“It’s about fame’s relationship to the real and the fake,” says Steve. “This tornado ofpop culture touchstones -- similar to Billy Joel’s ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ or the bridgeto Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ -- makes it all mean something, but you’re not sure what.You’re supposed to question it, the way the modern world makes you questionyourself.”Elsewhere on Born Yesterday, “Karma” opens with a punchy bass riff beforelaunching into a gleeful, stadium-sized ode to underachievement (“What do you wantme to say?/I’m the Jordan of making mistakes!”).For the piano-driven “JFK,” Spirit Animal teamed up with producer Ricky Reed (JasonDerulo, One Direction) for a more bass-heavy sound. “It’s a little more serious andcontemplative,” Steve says. “‘JFK’ explores the gift-and-curse of having power andattention, but being a target as a result. You carry that around. You live with both. It’snot all good and it’s not always predictable.”Unpredictability is Spirit Animal’s bread and butter.“We went from losing our indie deal to signing with Atlantic and working with ourfavorite producer,” says Steve. “In this game, anything’s possible. Our music showsthat.”
Tickets on sale Fri, 7/20 at 12pm EST
Lower Level Lounge and Bar Open at 7pm