Kansas City, Missouri-based rock and roll indie band Listener is soon to release their full length album, Being Empty : Being Filled on February 2nd. Kansas City is home to a growing community of local indie/alternative artists, encouraged and supported by like-minded people, thanks in part to Kansas City being home to the largest revenue-making alternative radio station, 96.5 the Buzz. Thus, Listener couldn’t have a better place to call home and expand musically. However, they are by no means limited to the Midwest. Listener has been in the game for awhile, and has toured all over the world. A band of friends comprised of vocals and bass from Dan Smith, Kris Rochelle on drums, and guitar player Jon Terrey, Listener is a unique rock and roll band that pairs strong instruments with direct, bold lyrics.

From the first resonating notes of “Pent Up Genes”, you know that Listener is not a band that plays around. Already around for over a decade, the bandmates of Listener know their sound and own it unapologetically. Smith uses more spoken word than singing – what Listener calls “talk music” – in many of the tracks, which pairs well with the rock and roll tone of the band and allows for Rochelle and Terrey to sing through their instruments. While this idea of lack of singing in music may be something new for many, Listener makes it work. Focusing on the emotion and overall sound, at times, words are not even necessary, like in “Add Blue”. Aside from the clever title, already released single “Shock and Value” lives up to its name, filled with brash guitar and emotional vocals that at times surprise the listener (no pun intended). Place-themed tracks set right next to each other, “A Love Letter to Detroit” and “Manhattan Projects” encompass the feelings associated with those places. You can also view the video for “A Love Letter to Detroit” here. One of the most tender tracks on Being Empty : Being Filled is “Window to the World”, while maintaining Listener’s sound, with the simple yet touching repetition of “buddy, she was beautiful” and “the lights have to be bright to see anything at all”. Every track on Being Empty : Being Filled will leave with something to think about and hungry to hear more.

Listener is gearing up for a UK/Europe tour in March of 2018 with support from: Levi the Poet. Be sure to look for Being Empty : Being Filled, out February 2nd, 2018.

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Veronica DeFeo