Hatchie at the Turf Club – TICKETS
Giving the World Away, the sophomore album from Hatchie, is the truest introduction to the songwriter at the helm of the project, Harriette Pilbeam. Although her sound arrived fully-formed, a dazzling dream-pop and shoegaze tangle, it’s here that Pilbeam fully distills the core of herself into a record. “I’m capable of writing more than just nice dream-pop songs, and there’s more to me than just writing songs about being in love or being heartbroken — there’s a bigger picture than that,” Pilbeam explains. “This album really just feels like the beginning to me, and scratching the surface – and even though it’s my third release as Hatchie, I feel like I’m rebooting from scratch.”
For Pilbeam, that bigger picture explored here includes confronting her anxieties after decades of compartmentalization; realizing her own self-confidence and self-esteem; taking control of her own narrative, and her place in both her professional and personal life. On Giving the World Away, she held herself to higher standards, especially with personal lyrical precision. At the time she started working on it, she was caught in a strange headspace.
Dijon at First Avenue – TICKETS
Dijon is from a small county outside of Baltimore, Maryland. Influenced by the freedom and lo-fi approach in the DIY music scene, he began producing and experimenting with collages of R&B, Folk, and Dance music as the musical duo, Abhi/Dijon. Having since established himself as a solo artist, he released his debut EP, Sci Fi 1, in March 2019, followed by the release of his critically-acclaimed second EP, How Do You Feel About Getting Married?, in May 2020.
Since then, Dijon has collaborated with Charli XCX on the lead track off her most recent album, “pink diamond”, and went on to release more tracks of his own including a cover of Chaka Khan’s “sweet thing”, and “The Stranger”, a posse cut of a folk song featuring John C. Reilly, Tobias Jesso Jr., and others. Most recently Dijon has released two singles ⏤ “Many Times” & “Rodeo Clown” ⏤ from his debut album, Absolutely
S. Carey at the Fine Line – TICKETS
S. Carey is the moniker of Eau Claire, Wisconsin-based multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer Sean Carey, commonly recognized as the drummer, backing vocalist, and second longest-serving member of Bon Iver. Over the past decade, Carey has fostered his flourishing solo career via themes of nature and sustainability, songwriting built from jazz beginnings, and heartfelt, emotive lyricism. His latest and fourth album, Break Me Open, adds to a discography of three full-length releases, two EPs, and countless collaborations.
As S. Carey developed his songwriting and producing talents, he was commissioned by Will Arnett to write the track “Rose Petals” for his Netflix series Flaked, co-wrote “Hold The Light” with Dierks Bentley for feature-length film Only The Brave, contributed to Sufjan Stevens’ album Carrie & Lowell, and has produced for and written with the likes of Low, Mike Kinsella, Pieta Brown, and Ed Tullett of Novo Amor. Carey and his adept band of longtime friends and collaborators celebrate their 12th year of touring everywhere from international headline shows to intimate living room performances to theater stages.
ADULT. at the Entry – TICKETS
With over 23 years working and a sprawling discography to show for that labor, Adam Lee Miller and Nicola Kuperus have spent their entire career as ADULT. obscuring any defined genre or style, writing and recording albums as art for life’s sake. On their latest album, the group are back at it with some discordant, doom dance sludge to mark their 9th studio album, Becoming Undone. Written between November 2020 and April 2021, the album might be the band’s most non-conformant yet. Sure there’s plenty of dance bangers, but ultimately the album is riddled with impermanence, loss, and looping dissatisfactions.
Chris Castino at the Icehouse – TICKETS
Chris Castino is known for being one of the main vocalist/guitarist/songwriters in The Big Wu but Christ Has created his first debut SOLO release brazil and its something to remember and oh so heartfelt. I feel so lucky to be able to promote a album like this.It’s incredibly well done from the production to the lyrics. Chris deliversvocally and his songwriting feels so effortless. Track 5 Someway is aboutsuicide (dedicated to a friend) and I love the sweet Fifties vibe in track 2 Fire and Stars. It’s rich with harmonies and melodies. Track #1 ChineseWhispers is a song about what it feels when you are worried about someone you love, but you are physically distant from them. ‘Chinese Whispers’ is actually a game of ‘telephone’ where info or a story is passed along from person to person and by the time it gets to you it doesn’t totally make sense. And in this case only adds to the concern. The album is dedicated to Chris’s cousinSonny Castino who died from mental illnesses. His name is the first word of the song. There are so many amazing songs on this album. I am eager to hear what YOU think.
Valerie June at the Pantages – TICKETS
The latest full-length album from Valerie June, “The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers” emerged from a long-awaited revelation on the part of the Tennessee-bred singer/songwriter. “With this record, it finally became clear why I have this dream of making music,” June says of her third album for Fantasy Records. “It’s not for earthly reasons of wanting to be awarded or to win anybody’s love—it’s because dreaming keeps me inquisitive and keeps me on that path of learning what I have to share with the world. I think when we allow ourselves to dream like we did when we were kids, it ignites the light that we all have within us, and helps us to have a sort of magic about the way we live.”
The follow-up to her widely adored “The Order of Time,” a 2017 effort that earned the admiration of Bob Dylan and landed on best-of-the-year lists from the likes of Rolling Stone and the New York Times, “The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers” is a potent catalyst for that kind of magic. With her spellbinding vocals and infectious sense of wonder, June gently eases the listener into a far more charmed state of mind, one that quickly restores a powerful feeling of joyful possibility.
Produced by June and Jack Splash (Kendrick Lamar, Alicia Keys, John Legend), “The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers” achieves that transcendent effect thanks in no small part to the splendor of its sound, an exquisitely composed tapestry of folk, soul, gospel, country, blues, psychedelia, and time-bending symphonic pop. In bringing the album to life, June and Splash stayed true to the spirit of wide-eyed exploration by working with an eclectic lineup of esteemed musicians, absorbing themselves in a prolonged period of free-flowing experimentation and playing with a magnificently vast palette of instruments (flute and banjo, mbira and Mellotron, saxophone and synth, to name just a few.) The result is a selection of songs both ornate and elegant, each moment crafted with a profound awareness of what’s most essential in creating enduring beauty.
Sunflower Bean at the Fine Line – TICKETS
Sunflower Bean is an indie rock trio out of NYC. Formed in late 2013 with singer/guitarist Nick Kivlen, singer/bassist Julia Cumming, and drummer Jacob Faber — all in high school at the time — they quickly earned attention for their alternately rock-edged and dreamy guitar tunes, after their first EP, Show Me Your Seven Secrets, arrived in January 2015. Later that year they were invited to open on tours for the likes of DIIV, The Vaccines, and Best Coast.
Their debut album, Human Ceremony, was issued by Fat Possum in early 2016. They toured Human Ceremony internationally for the next year and half, playing heavily in the UK, Europe, Japan, and China. In 2017, they were the direct support for both the Pixies and Wolf Alice. The band also managed to find time off in their hometown of NYC to write and record their sophomore album, Twentytwo in Blue, which was co-produced by Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Jacob Portrait and Matt Molnar (formerly of Friends). Twentytwo in Blue was released on March 23, 2018 via Mom+Pop Music and Lucky Number Music, almost exactly 2 years and 2 months from their debut album. All members were 22 years old when the record was created and released.
TOMERLIN at the Entry – TICKETS
People are not doing well. People are struggling—with work, and with living together, and with loneliness. People keep calling and forgetting what they were going to say. People have a lot to grieve. People are going to love the new Tomberlin album, i don’t know who needs to hear this…, because it is all about their pain and yet is pleasant as well as interesting to listen to, resonant with the sense that in these times it’s best to be uncertain.
“The theme of the record,” she explains, “is to examine, hold space, make an altar for the feelings.” Hold space: Tomberlin’s songs do it literally, making it heard space. Her full-length debut, At Weddings (2018, Saddle Creek), was widely praised for the sparsity and delicacy of its instrumentation, especially in contrast with the emotional heft of her lyrics.
Here, the space feels larger and holier, built to echo. Pedal steel. Old acoustic guitars, freshly plucked. A drifting synthesizer. Chill, brushy percussion. Ambient, expansive clarinet and saxophone. Aleatory piano trills, a lot of piddling with the occasional splash. The looseness and wideness of the arrangements convey a tender regard for their parts, as though each arpeggio, loop, scratch is a found shell or feather in the hand. Then there is the instrument of her voice, which has the endearing quality of being perfectly tuned but reluctantly played. “I’m not a singer,” she sings on “idkwntht.” “I’m just someone who’s guilty.”
Bitch at the Icehouse – TICKETS
BITCH makes witchy poet pop. She does it with violins and synthesizers, and the songs she writes are spectral, heartbreaking, political, and beautiful. The longstanding queer music icon has been performing for over 20 years. She grew up with a tap dancing studio in the basement of her childhood home, and began playing the violin, her first love, as a young child. Bitch first achieved notoriety as one half of the queer folk duo Bitch and Animal. The band went on to tour with Ani DiFranco, whom they caught the ears of while playing a gig at a pizza shop in Provincetown on Cape Cod. In the mid 2000s, Bitch went solo, and shared stages with the Indigo Girls, acted in the film Shortbus, co-wrote a song with Margaret Cho, produced two albums of her elder folk hero Ferron, and licensed her music to The L Word. Eight years ago, she began to weave together Bitchcraft, her latest record.
Bitchcraft was born in a move from New York City, where Bitch had lived for 15 years, to a log cabin in the woods. There was all the time in the world to make art, and it was there, in the cabin, that Bitch began to write some of the songs that would appear on Bitchcraft. “It gave me space to think about the biggest version of myself that I could be,” she says of those early days in the cabin. The songs she wrote were a departure from anything she’d ever written before, and she began to craft huge pop tracks with the help of her trusty violin. Then, she moved to LA and Bitchcraft began to shapeshift again.
In the years that followed, Bitch assembled a coven to complete it. She called on Anne Preven (Beyonce, Madonna, Demi Lovato) and God-des who helped her crystalize her vision in terms of writing and production. She called on Roma Baran (Laurie Anderson) to produce the violins on “Polar Bear.” She called on Melissa York (Team Dresch, The Butchies) and Faith Soloway (Transparent) to co-write a couple of the songs.
The resulting record is one that is full of glorious pop tracks that go in unexpected directions. Just take opener “You’re the Man,” as one such offering. Here, a strident synthesizer crashes into a drum machine, and Bitch sings about owning your own power. The song started as a poem, one that Bitch first wrote as part of a New Year’s ritual with Ferron where she wrote about things she wanted to let go of and ripped them from her notebook and threw them into the fire. Meanwhile, on “Hello Meadow,” electric violins coalesce with birdlike synths, and Bitch recounts industrial capitalist hell, and the attempts to find beauty outside of it. It’s a song about mother nature as well as the onslaught of capitalism and its obsession with destroying the natural world. And on “Easy Target,” written during the Bret Kavanaugh trials, she explores what it means to find your sense of self worth when people try to bring you down.
Bitchcraft is like Joni Mitchell set to a click track, it’s queer Cyndi Lauper. It’s neon pink, in your face, ready to hex you with its brilliance. It’s an unbelievably fun record that is extremely capable of breaking your heart a little bit. It also makes you think: about the state of the world, about evil politicians, about what it means to exist as a woman, and how to find joy along the way.