After making music for over 30 years, Lancaster, Pennsylvania’s The Innocence Mission has yet another hauntingly beautiful album to offer up to the public. The band, led by married couple Kerin and Don Perris, is set to release their twelfth studio album on January 17th via Thérèse Records. The alternative folk band’s newest project is eleven tracks long and includes a rich collection of instrumentation, with guitars, piano, pump organ, accordion, electric bass, melodica, drums, timpani, upright bass, mellotron, and an old prototype strings sampler keyboard all gracing the songs in clever and achingly beautiful arrangements in addition to Kerin’s unique and aching vocals and Don’s well-placed harmonies.
The album’s introductory track, “The Brothers William Said”, is one of the standouts on the album. Soft and sweet piano combined with Kerin’s airy vocals alone carry us through the first half of the song, and her beautiful lyricism could easily be mistaken for poetry. “The kindness of your face / Does not go unrecognized / Has not refused to shine / In this most difficult time” she sings, bringing hope and understanding to a song meant to shed light on those who are often misunderstood due to their quiet nature. “I’m drawn to titles that are phrases, especially ones that seem to be a fragment from a conversation. “See you tomorrow” is the phrase that turns the song around to possibility and hopefulness.” says Karen about the song that yielded the albums title. While the track starts off sparse instrumentally, it builds to include a myriad of beautifully arranged instrumentation before dropping back off to finish the way it started with solo piano.
“St. Francis and the Future”, like many songs on the album, deals with themes of change and the passage of time. In this track Karen sings of how a painting she viewed on a family trip with her children came to represent looming changes that she wasn’t ready to face. In “John as Well”, echoey vocal layering and heavenly background vocals flirt with the lead vocal as the song builds. This track, as well as “At Lake Maureen”, gently but firmly reminds us of the importance of getting to know the true selves of those around us and the necessity of being understood ourselves. The album’s conclusion, “Would be There”,is a twinkly blend of Karen’s light-as-a-feather vocals and skillfully arranged, thickly-textured sections skillfully building to the outro, where the album goes back to basics and ends the same way it started; with a charming piano outro that subtly lets the listener know that it’s time to slip back into reality.
Not even freezing temperatures and icy roads could stop Kansas City from showing up for their favorite hometown act last Saturday as indie-pop band The Greeting Committee returned home and took the stage for a sold-out crowd at Uptown Theater. The energy in the theater was absolutely electric as fans packed into the venue, eager for an escape from the cold and snowy night. It was delivered.
Addie Sartino, the band’s frontwoman and charismatic shining star, was, as expected by the eager crowd, a force to be reckoned with. It was a constant stream of highs as Sartino led the audience through a whirlwind of emotions throughout the night. The group played fan favorites like “Don’t Go”, “Pull It Together”, and “You’ve Got Me” as an ecstatic crowd danced and sang along with Sartino. She flawlessly demonstrated her talents on every one, not missing a beat and thriving throughout the spirited set.
A notable moment came fairly early on as a nostalgia-inducing “salute to our youth” saw the band bring on stage a large group of local Kansas City musicians for a cover of Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” that bordered on spiritual. But the homegrown band was just getting started.
About halfway through the show, Sartino asked the audience to respect her request “human being to human being” as she asked that everyone be completely silent while she performed “Call in the Morning”, a somber track that deals with tragedy off of the band’s new EP. Complete and total silence blanketed Uptown as Sartino traded her typical high-energy performance style for vulnerability and a powerful stillness as she stood center-stage while singing the track. Even in her stillness, her ability to connect to her material shone through. A completely mesmerized crowd couldn’t peel their eyes away from the frontwoman, who encapsulated what it means to put yourself into a performance. Sartino’s demanor shifted as she made it to the song’s spoken word portion, and she frantically ran around the stage as the lights went blue and she yelled out the monologue to a sea of teary faces. “Call the police, drain the bathtub, hide the bleach, call ‘em quick love. I think we’ve lost it” she screamed. “I cannot find another you”.
Sartino threw herself to the floor and pounded her fists along with the heartbeat-like drums as she screamed “Call the police!” over and over again. The song appeared to be pure catharsis for the young performer. The theater went dark as “1-800-273-8255” and “If you’re looking for a sign to stay alive, this is it” appeared on the screen and remained there as the band played the ending to the song softly in the background. 2,000 fans stood unmoving and silent, and many faces were streaked with tears as the audience stared at the dark stage, completely overcome by the power of the moment that they had just witnessed. Uptown was momentarily still as the crowd stood frozen, unsure of how or if the silence should be broken.
But just like that, Sartino was back on stage and better than ever, and the crowd rallied along with their fearless leader. The band took what could easily have been a hard moment to recover from and kept the wonderful moments coming, and it was impossible not to latch on to their infectious energy. The crowd’s spirits climbed through the roof as the show continued to escalate. The back half of the night included a mosh pit during fan-favorite “Hands Down”, and crowd-surfing by literally everyone in the band. The final song of the night, “Gold Star”, got intimate as the band got off stage and played amongst the very crowd that helped them make their largest show to date possible before exiting (while still playing of course) out the front door. It was a full-circle kind of night for the band and fans alike, and, in the words of the guy in front of me who couldn’t stop crying, “That was just special”.
If there is a time of year that leaves us longing for an escape, it’s now, trapped in the midst of another endless winter. Matt Messore has delivered the very portal to another world that we’ve been craving with his new bedroom-pop project Cathedral Bells and their debut LP, Velvet Spirit.
Messore recently traded in touring to set up shop in his hometown in Central Florida to record this ethereal DIY project in his bedroom. They just dropped their new single, “Disconnected”, a hypnotic track heavy with layer after layer of ethereal vocals and bright and shimmery guitar.
This dreamy track slowly and smoothly entangles the listener into an echoey lo-fi fantasy that will be sure to make you forget all of your pesky real world troubles. I personally get the urge to lie on the floor of a cool-toned, neon-filled room and stare at a disco ball for several hours. While that may seem like an oddly specific fantasy with major Euphoria vibes, so is this track. As the title suggests, it will leave you feeling almost disconnected from the real world as you become in danger of falling into a shoegazey alternate dimension that you may or may not ever pull yourself out of. Did Messore slip something in my coffee this morning? Guess we’ll never know.
Velvet Dreams is out everywhere on March 6th. Hide your disco balls, folks, and until then, check out “Disconnected”!
British Indie-Rock quartet CircaWaves have started out 2020 by hopping on the exciting bandwagon of experimental album release with their new 2-part album Sad Happy. The group is dropping their new record A/B style, with Happy premiering in January of 2020 and the Sad dropping in March.
In anticipation of the first part of the release, CircaWaves premiered the second single from the Happy side of their album on Friday with dreamy pop single “Move to San Francisco”.The single was released with a charming self-shot video of the four piece group quite literally frolicking around the Bay Area, the west coast haven that the song’s subject toys with escaping to with his partner. Romantic California imagery of everything from palm trees to dive bars pairs smoothly with the hopeful track.
The song employs warm and optimistic images of escapism and sunshine as vocalist/guitarist Kieran Shudall sings about freedom and the uncertainty that comes with it. “Oh I wanna live like this / For another dozen years / We could live so free” Shudall repeats throughout the bridge and outro, reminding us what it’s like to feel the temptation of getting lost in an idealistic world where running away to greener pastures can save a fading relationship.
With bright and shiny lead guitar and dreamy mellotron that would make Paul McCartney proud, this gold-toned single is a strong precursor to the upcoming album and a welcome break from this dreary January.
(Two Door Cinema Club support)
Jan 17 – Columbiahalle, Berlin, Germany
Jan 18 – Docks, Hamburg, Germany
Jan 20 – Carlswerk, Cologne, Germany
Jan 21 – Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Jan 23 – Olympia, Paris, France
Jan 24 – Den Atelier, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Jan 26 – TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, Netherlands
Jan 27 – Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, Belgium
(UK 2020 tour)
March 27 – O2 Academy, Glasgow
March 28 – Keele University SU, Keele
March 30 – The Tramshed, Cardiff
March 31 – O2 Academy, Leicester
April 2 – The Waterfront, Norwich
April 3 – O2 Academy Brixton, London
April 4 – Liverpool Uni, Mountford Hall, Liverpool
Still haven’t decided on that perfect music selection for the quiet moments amidst the madness of the holidays? That’s OK.London-based singer/songwriter Ollie Trevers has swooped in with a win for you, boasting five incredibly beautiful tracks on his new EP Cordelia. Each song is dripping with emotion, Trevers’ vocals acting as the main instrument. Sincerely, if you haven’t experienced this man’s vocal talent, it’s absolutely time.
Take first track “Dispassionate Love”, for example. There are points in that song that sound like he is weeping. And then he’s singing at the top of his lungs like a ballad. Not to mention the mellifluous sounds he makes between lyrical stanzas, and the gorgeous note changes while drawing out words. “Can’t Make It Up” follows suit, beginning slower and progressing to a cacophony of sound at points during the track. What I love about this one is that it builds to a head, and then slows down again several times. It leaves you slightly unsatisfied throughout in that regard, though disappointing it is not. It edges more on the side of intriguing.
“Stage of Fools” might be one of the most gorgeous songs we have ever encountered, and the album gets no more upbeat in topic from there. The entire EP details loss in love, emotional wreckage, and the relatable thoughts brought on by heartbreak. “I Need Someone” magnifies this, definitely written in a poetic — albeit low — moment. “Lost Alone” rounds everything out with an audio atmosphere that feels very Queen-inspired, a love rock anthem to its core.