CT5 - Five Years of Captured Tracks Day 2 w/ Wild Nothing, Beach Fossils
Widowspeak, Soft Metals, Alex Calder
272 Meserole Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11206
Doors 3:00 PM / Show 4:00 PM
This event is 18 and over
Nocturne is the follow up release to Wild Nothing's critically acclaimed debut 'Gemini'.
Ask Jack Tatum what 'Wild Nothing' means and he'll answer: 'a contradiction'. In 2010, 21 year old Tatum released one of the finest cult pop records of the summer whilst ensconced in his senior year of college in Blacksburg, VA, a small mid-atlantic town better known for producing football fans and engineers than musicians. Tatum lives in contradictions. You'll often hear Wild Nothing referred to as a 'one man pop band'. Jack creates in the studio, alone. On the road, he's with a band. There are two Wild Nothings.
The critically acclaimed debut 'Gemini' was underpinned with summery childhood longings, and shot through with the instant dichotomy of anxiety and almost whimsical paranoia. The album, which was home recorded by Tatum and rooted heavily in 80's indie-pop, quickly gained popularity throughout the internet. Tatum assembled a band of Virginia friends and hit the road for the first time. 'Gemini' showed a promising future for a songwriter who wore his influences on his sleeve while still approaching pop craftsmanship in his own way. When asked about it in regards to 'Nocturne', Jack states:
I don't think it's going to be a secret to anyone that I care about pop music, but it's definitely more my sense of what pop music used to be or even what pop music would be in my ideal world.
The new album 'Nocturne', is a window into Tatum's "ideal world" of pop music. Written largely while living in Savannah, GA during 2011, the songs that became 'Nocturne' speak to a new Wild Nothing where the lines between Jack's influences and personality have been further blurred. The album features some open references to past music just as 'Gemini' did, but it's also an album that feels much less rooted in anything in particular and, well, more adult.
'Gemini' was written before there were Wild Nothing fans or even a live band; 'Nocturne' is different. With an unexpected fan base to turn to, Jack spent more time perfecting his craft. The obsessiveness of 'Nocturne' is inherent in it's gentle harmonies, orchestrated synths, wandering voice, and songs that speak of his post-Gemini experiences as he explores new paradoxes of pop.
And yet Nocturne' isn't obvious, it is a strange and distinctive musical beast, the product of an obsessive pop vision that creates its own reality.
Beach Fossils began in 2009 as the solo project of Dustin Payseur. Before and after the 2010 release of the S/T debut LP and 2011's What A Pleasure EP, they performed around the world with a lineup that once featured Cole Smith (DIIV) and John Peña (Heavenly Beat). They quickly became known for their highly energetic stage show, bringing the recorded work to a volume and tempo that would make even the indie-est of crowds wind up in a frenzy. With the exception of drummer Tommy Gardner, that lineup dissolved to pursue their ambitions with the aforementioned projects. Wanting to bridge the gap between the live and recorded aspects of the band, Dustin began writing Clash the Truth determined to capture the urgency, human flow and spontaneity of the live performance.
Now with a full time drummer (and co-writer of two tracks on the LP) Beach Fossils entered the studio in the fall of 2012 with producer Ben Greenberg of The Men. Instead of merely going from a "bedroom DiY" project to a "better fidelity studio project" the deliberate decision to work with Ben was determined to capture, if not in style, the spirit and enthusiasm of punk and aggressive music in general. To ensure that dynamic, the drums were recorded live in a room with Dustin on bass to give the album a driving and energetic force. Consider the titles "Generational Synthetic," "Caustic Cross" and "Burn You Down," it's easy to see how the record, while not a punk or post-punk record by strict definition, certainly nods to the first major influence of Dustin's creative spark. The first two notes of the title track that kick the LP off are a clear indicator of where his head was at.
The LP also sees Dustin stretching his songwriting muscles, with the acoustic Lennon-esque "Sleep Apnea" and the dreamy "In Vertigo", which features the vocals of Kazu Makino (Blonde Redhead). During the recording period, the studio was flooded and destroyed by hurricane Sandy and the band had to relocate to another studio to finish the LP in earnest. It all came together when the work of legendary video artist Peter Campus was finalized to be featured throughout the release and on the striking cover. Clash the Truth marks a clear progression in the ongoing story of Beach Fossils. Drawing from the previous works' melodic strengths and uncanny guitar textures emboldened by a sound closer to their energetic and cathartic live set, it's the clear next step in the trajectory of the band and the dis-association from the home-recording boom from which it originated.
Widowspeak is an American band comprised of Molly Hamilton and Robert Earl Thomas, known for its dreamy, western-tinged take on rock and roll. The outfit formed in 2010 and released two singles in 2011 (Harsh Realm, Gun Shy) followed by a debut album (self-titled) in the summer of that year, all on Brooklyn label Captured Tracks. Widowspeak was praised for its reverential spaciousness, Hamilton's haunting voice, and Thomas's spindly, Morricone-esque guitar lines; both drawing on 1950's pop ballads and 1970's psych, creating languid call-and-response melodies. The band then toured extensively, wearing in their warm, nostalgic sound.
Widowspeak began to write what would become their second record, Almanac, at the start of 2012, as popular fears of the apocalypse became imminently close to realization. Though not totally convinced of catastrophic disaster coinciding with the year's conclusion, Hamilton nevertheless began writing lyrics seeped in doomsday imagery, darkness and dread, inspired by the idea of such a universal experience of the end. The two started making demos in their practice space. Thomas shaped the ideas into songs, experimenting with denser arrangements and grander gestures. Black and white became Kodachrome, subdued became saturated. Widowspeak explored Appalachian melodies and desert rhythms, Saharan to the Southwest, as well as incorporated acoustic instruments and slide guitar, stemming from a shared love of Neil Young.
As the compositions were brought to life, they became something new, something unlike the fatalistic seeds from whence they'd grown. These songs were no longer concerned with the end of the Earth, but with the life and death of seasons, youth, love, and the cyclical nature of all things. The band chose the name 'Almanac' in tribute to those annual tomes which have eternally provided predictions of weather patterns, lunar and solar movement, and astronomical phenomena. But the songs are also about the changing times we find ourselves in: "the good old days" at odds with the hyperactive present, and the sense of loss, but also adventure, which that provides.
The album was recorded by Kevin McMahon (Swans, Real Estate) in a hundred year old barn in the Hudson River Valley of New York State during the transition from summer to fall. Producing with McMahon, Thomas expanded on the band's demos, crafting layers of guitar, Rhodes piano, organ and harmonium.
Almanac will be released by Captured Tracks on January 22, 2013.
If Widowspeak's first record serves as a collection of postcards, sent from destinations traveled to in that first transformative year, then their second is the guidebook written after they'd found their sonic home and inhabited it fully.
LA's Soft Metals formed in 2009 after Ian Hicks and Patricia Hall met at a DJ night and connected over their obsession with analog synthesizers and the shadowy, sultry, untamed expressions of underground electronic music. Their early collaborations paired Patricia's delicate vocals and introspective lyrics with Ian's solo sketches. Soon they moved on to writing music together, building songs from wild, improvised sessions in Ian's home studio. Their genre blurring brand of voltaic pop draws inspiration from a spectrum a sources including krautrock, synth wave, and techno. They've won over audiences in situations as varied as experimental noise shows in dingy basements, to sleek, modern nightclubs, to clandestine after hours warehouse parties, to dimly lit dives where post punk and synthpop records fuel the dance floor.
Soft Metals found a home on Brooklyn's Captured Tracks with the 2010 EP The Cold World Melts. The following year Hicks and Hall presented us with their debut self-titled long player; an album steeped in driving beats, maximalist textures, and the perfect placement of Hall's atmospheric vocals.
July 2013 will see the release of Soft Metals' next installment, Lenses; a continuation of their ethos aiming directly at your body and subconscious mind with an intimacy that only lovers can bring. The song "Lenses" describes the experience of shifted consciousness with the lyrics "breaking through my perception of you, breaking through my concept of life". It celebrates the feeling of escape from a mind imprisoned with lack of presence and stuck in habit all set to an earnest beat and lush enigmatic melodies that entwine and seduce. "Tell Me", "No Turning Back", When I Look Into Your Eyes" expresses that nervous, vulnerable feeling of falling for someone, but questioning the reality of the situation asking "Is this love true? Or are we just lost in lust?", "when you said you loved me, I laid my whole life down", "When I look into your eyes, I wonder if we'll meld". "In the Air", perhaps the most movement inspiring track of the album, is a dense, pulsating piece about the power of nature, the effects of seasonal changes on all living things that rule over sexuality, productivity, and inspiration- the basis of man's various forms of mysticism.
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