Yonatan Gat And The Eastern Medicine Singers at Polaris Hall

Yonatan Gat And The Eastern Medicine Singers

"Unforgettable chaos. One of the most incredible performances you'll ever see." —NPR

“A type of bodily experience that transcends mere observation." —Exclaim!

"You’ve never seen anything like it before.” —SPIN

Yonatan Gat is a genre all to his own. The NYC composer was featured prominently in the NY Times, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The New Yorker, The Guardian, Nowness, The Wire, SPIN, Uncut, VICE, NPR and more. Exclaim described Gat’s performances as “a master class in genre-defying improvisation, allowing the audience to see every move in exquisite detail.” In 2013, The Village Voice voted him “Best Guitarist in New York”.

Looking back on 15 years in the nexus of experimental music and performance art, Gat was born in Tel Aviv. He first came to the international spotlight as founder of Monotonix, which SPIN hailed as “the most exciting live band in rock’n’roll”. The group got banned from playing shows in their home country and following its dissolution, as a conscientious objector to its military service, Gat left Israel and based his career in New York, collaborating with some of the experimental’s scenes finest musicians such as Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) and Thor Harris (Swans).

His billboard-charting sophomore LP, 2018’s Universalists was a psychedelic opus that PopMatters called “a bold new idea on what to do with rock”. Upon its release, Gat introduced the career-redefining performance of Medicine, which features up to 9 musicians and integrates the hypnotic drumming and chants of mysterious Algonquin pow wow group the Eastern Medicine Singers into a collaborative powerhouse hellbent on further redefining the concert experience.

The collaboration started in a chance encounter at SXSW where Gat saw the Eastern Medicine Singers playing in the street. In his own words:

“First time I saw the Eastern Medicine Singers they were playing outside the venue just before we went on. I loved their music and asked if they wanted to join us. We never met before, and they immediately replied – ‘no’. I suggested they can decide after they hear the music, and by the second song I noticed them hauling their gigantic drum inside. My trio performs on the floor, so we formed two circles inside the audience – their group and ours with the audience surrounding both bands. The crowd were banging on the musicians’ backs – crying, dancing, trancing. Chief Daryl Black Eagle, Artie Red Medicine, Dean Running Dear, Ray Two Hawks, Harry Grey Owl and me remained close friends, and our collaboration took on a life of its own.”

Candace infuses their music with a sense of mystery and brooding atmosphere. Psychedelic and shoegaze influences emerge throughout the catalogue: the atmospheric tones of early Verve, a droning pulse reminiscent of Loop. Some songs bounce gleefully forward with a pop sensibility, while some keep a cool distance and move with a language distinctly their own.

Candace began as Is/Is in late summer of 2009 with Sarah Rose, Sarah Nienaber, and Mara Appel DesLauriers. The early days brought about "This Happening" EP (2010) and the "Vowel Movements/Blackest Beat" 7" (2011). Mara moved cross-country to Portland, OR, and in 2012 the band released their debut full-length LP "III," so named for the three drummers who played on the album. The two years following found the band cycling through drummers, with every lineup feeling more like an approximation of what the band was supposed to be, and never what it was. "Is/Is (Manimal Vinyl, 2014) would be the last to feature any drummer but Mara. During the coldest and darkest Minnesota winter that nobody wants to remember, Sarah and Sarah recorded the wistful, ethereal bedroom-pop tape "Shadow Days" (Moon Glyph, 2015). The following spring, they also moved to Portland OR.

The reunion was nothing short of propulsive. Writing and demoing became life. In the spring of 2015 the band spent a week at Jackpot! Recording Studio with longtime friend and co-producer, Neil Weir of The Old Blackberry Way. The following fall, three of those songs were self-released on a limited-edition cassette, "Return to Zero," coinciding with a West Coast tour and brief stint opening up for King Khan & The BBQ Show.

2016 brought about another transition, as necessary as any. On the surface, it's an update of a moniker. But beneath the surface, the band's maturation has been constant. Sarah, Sarah, and Mara are ready to debut Candace. "New Ruins" is due March '16 on Found Object Records.

$13 ADV / $15 DOS


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