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
From the increasingly fertile Louisville, KY, DIY scene emerges White Reaper – an incandescent four piece who is ready and willing to blow out eardrums far and wide.
After signing to Polyvinyl in early 2014 and releasing a self-titled EP that blasts through six tracks in a breakneck 15 minutes, the Reapers — guitarist Tony Esposito, keyboardist Ryan Hater, bassist Sam Wilkerson, and drummer Nick Wilkerson — followed suit in 2015 with their debut full-length, White Reaper Does It Again.
With national tours supporting Deerhoof, Twin Peaks, together PANGEA and others under their belts, it's safe to say the Reapers aren't slowing down anytime soon.
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