A week of contrasts – the early end of the week will appeal to those of us who feel like dancing, while the end of the week brings a Seattle singer-songwriter showcase at Neumos. Check out the videos below to get a taste of this week’s best musical offerings.
Much like Damien Jurado‘s drastic evolution with Maraqopa and J. Tillman’s creative rebirth as Father John Misty, tonight’s Neumos headliners had grown so tired with the over-abundance of “folk” references from critics, fans and everyone in between they decided to try something new.
According to Delta Spirt‘s press materials, the pigeon-holing was especially jarring to the band as they never set out to be a band who would attract broad descriptors like “rootsy Americana” or “twangy folk.”
The band, fronted by “former unabashedly vocal busker,” Matt Vasquez, just released their third album that attempts to thoughtfully and gradually strip away those elements that attracted such terminology in the first place. According to lyricist and multi-instrumentalist Kelly Winrich, “the intention was to introduce the album with something that hints at what we used to sound like. We wanted to ease people into it.”
If the mostly positive reviews are to believed, they’ve certainly succeeded. As Consequence of Sound aptly puts it, “Delta Spirit’s breadth still demonstrates a natural quantum leap from their earlier work, and the band itself is stronger for it.”
Whether you’re a fan of their older sound, are curious about the new one or are just up for a night of high-energy rock that walks the fine line between unbridled passion and control, head over to Neumos tonight for what will promises to be one of the best Seattle shows of the month.
5/4 Delta Spirit, Waters, Tijuana Panthers @ Neumos, Doors at 8 pm, $13
Soon after hearing Damien Jurado‘s new album Maraqopa, we thought to ourselves at what point would, or more likely had, Jurado tired of hearing some variation of the line “it turns out, old dogs can learn new tricks.” It is a sentiment, which is no doubt an overwhelmingly positive one, that has shown up in just about every article/post, conversation or off-hand critique we’ve seen, heard or witnessed, respectively.
Taking off from the comparatively subtle shift to baroque pop in his last album, Saint Bartlett, Maraqopa takes the surprise and wonder of unexpected reinvention a few flights higher by embracing a darker, psychedelic sound. Though not available to purchase until next Tuesday, the album is available as a stream on The A.V. Club. For the live experience, head over to the U-District tonight for the highly-anticipated album release show.
Jurado has enlisted the support of some pretty amazing openers, too. Grant Olsen’s Gold Leaves combines lush orchestration and quite possibly “one of the most flat-out pretty voices in contemporary indie rock.” As we said in our Gold Leaves interview from a few months back, Olsen and his fellow collaborators manage to create a sound that recalls simpler times with enough flourishes to firmly root itself in the here and now.
Bryan John Appleby, the Seattle-based purveyor of “indie-folk tinged Americana” and star of what is quite possibly Christian Sorensen Hansen’s most visually stunning video yet, will be kicking off the evening.
2/17 Damien Jurado / Gold Leaves / Bryan John Appleby @ Neptune Theatre :: Doors at 8:00 PM :: Tickets are $15 :: All Ages