Terminal West and Tight Bros Presents
887 West Marietta St. Studio C
Atlanta, GA, 30318
Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:30 PM
Defining of Montreal is impossible. There are too many perspectives to consider, angles to explore, layers to uncover. Just when you think you have a concept of what kind of creature they are, they transform into something unexpected and new.
As a result, each album holds the opportunity for re-discovery, re-immersion, re-appreciation.
On Lousy with Sylvianbriar, this paradigm holds true once more. The record was created with a new songwriting approach, a different recording method, and a fresh group of musicians.
Seeking creative inspiration, Kevin Barnes re-located to San Francisco where he spent days soaking in the strange surroundings and channeling the city’s energy into his writing. After a very prolific period there, he returned to Athens, GA, and assembled the cast of musicians to begin the sessions.
Barnes eschewed computer recording -- with its pitch correction, limitless effects plug-ins and editing possibilities -- and instead, with the help of engineer Drew Vandenberg (Deerhunter, Toro y Moi), he recorded Lousy with Sylvianbriar in his home studio on a 24-track tape machine.
With no computer tricks to fall back on, the band -- Kevin Barnes (guitars,bass,vocals), Rebecca Cash (vocals), Clayton Rychlik (drums,vocals), Jojo Glidewell (keys), Bob Parins (pedal steel,bass), and Bennet Lewis (guitars,mandolin) -- could only get out of the recordings what they put into them. Most of the tracking was recorded live with the band in the same room together. They worked quickly, with the band members composing their parts on the fly and with little second guessing. The album was recorded in just three weeks.
“I knew I wanted the process to be more in line with the way people used to make albums in the late 60s and early 70s,” reveals Barnes. “I wanted to work fast and to maintain a high level of spontaneity and immediacy. I wanted the songs to be more lyric-driven, and for the instrumental arrangements to be understated and uncluttered.”
Opening track and lead single “Fugitive Air” feels like a Stones-y anthem, with sparks of Philip K. Dick’s psychedelic prose, Ralph Bakshi’s cartoon violence, and William S. Burroughs’ hyper-paranoia.
“Belle Glade Missionaries” finds Barnes lyrically at his most political, backed by a soundtrack that is pure Dylan circa Highway 61 Revisited.
Female vocalist Rebecca Cash makes several appearances on the album, taking the lead on the plaintive “Raindrop in My Skull,” where her and Barnes share a Gram Parsons/Emmylou Harris-inspired duet.
“She Ain’t Speakin’ Now” ranks among of Montreal’s all-time great songs, transforming its brooding acoustic guitar intro into a visceral angst-ridden rocker that sounds like the best moments of Neil Young & Crazy Horse.
The album’s closer, “Imbecile Rages,” a caustic and doleful epitaph for a crumbling relationship, is one of Barnes’ most raw and personal statements.
Like the classic albums that inspired it, this is an album to be explored, to be lived with, to be listened to in happiness and in darkness, to be dissolved into. To be played very loudly at parties and with eyes closed, in headphones, alone. It should become dog-eared and dirty with use and it should lessen the blow of our enemies, in all their forms.
Eight years into being a band and Little Tybee has only scratched the surface in their path of constant creation, experimentation and treading musical waters in between genre and genus. They blend together psych-folk, prog-rock, jazz, Motown, and general aural wizardry. However, the more you try to thread together a clear and concise narrative, the more blurry it gets — so it’s just best to sit back and enjoy it.
To describe little Tybee is to describe an atmosphere — something that’s more felt than heard. Their dense tapestry of sound surrounds and hits all the senses. This stellar lineup consists of singer/songwriter Brock Scott, the expansive eight-string guitar virtuosity of Josh Martin, Ryan Donald’s heart soul-inspiring bass grooves, Nirvana Kelly’s stirring and shining violin and viola flares, the lush yet driving keyboard arrangements from Chris Case and Dallas Dawsons’ percussive prowess. These are six musicians who bridge together taste and talent, bringing a comfortable virtuosity with their instruments. Yet it’s not about being as a perfect as possible in their playing, it’s about growing their talents to play what’s in their collective heads create. When you listen to Little Tybee, you listen to a universe expanding.
Composing in a fluid and democratic process of songwriting, whether on the road or at home in Atlanta, GA.. Each song stems from one idea and the band then writes (and rewrites) without ego to create something larger than themselves. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Hiatus Kaiyote, D’Angelo, Rufus Wainwright, Fionn Regan, Tame Impala, Here We Go Magic, Radiohead, and Junip, their music bounces from one musical landscape to another with ease.
Part of what makes Little Tybee’s music so powerful is that there’s a sense of mystery in it for musicians and non-musicians alike. There’s a seventh voice created when they play together. Their notes create an aural overtone that’s special only when they’re in the same room performing. And this is the true magic of Little Tybee; audio experiences steeped in creativity and love, that are not only hypnotic in nature but truly inviting to anyone who is in earshot.