Royal Canoe

Late Show

Royal Canoe

Little Scream

Thu, September 14, 2017

Doors: 9:30 pm

Mercury Lounge

New York, NY

$12.00 - $14.00

This event is 21 and over

Royal Canoe - (Set time: 10:30 PM)
Royal Canoe
Almost three years have passed since the release of Royal Canoe’s sophomore album Today We Are Believers (2013). Those years were full. The band played 200 shows, which included tours with the likes of Alt J and Bombay Bicycle Club, and stops at major festivals like Bonaroo, Iceland Airwaves, and Osheaga. The hard work paid off: Today We Are Believers received critical acclaim, was nominated for Alternative Album of the Year at the JUNO Awards, and won Best Independent Album at Western Canadian Music Awards.

After two years of writing and recording between tours, Something Got Lost Between Here and the Orbit surfaced with a unique and intensified voice. It was co-produced and mixed by Ben Allen (Gnarls Barkley, Animal Collective, Deerhunter), who concentrated their sound-crafting attention on two fundamental elements: drums and vocals. Royal Canoe has always had an intensively rhythmic heart and that is more the case than ever. Their lyrics grow organically out of an addictive percussive flow and the unique topography of each track. Reinforcing their vocal and percussive core allowed them to be more adventurous with experimentation; more determined in their ongoing pursuit of the elusive musicality that can be found in collisions between digital and analogue worlds. In addition to their their usual buffet of synthesizers, effects pedals and homemade samples, late nights lead to to rabbit-holes of attaching contact mics to water bottles to play them like percussion instruments and convoluting synths through beluga whale field recordings.

In addition to its sonic focus, Something Got Lost brings an emotional clarity. But it’s a particular kind of clarity: one you experience when what’s most clear is that you’re really unsure about what’s happening with your life or, unsure about what happened to the life you once took for granted, while you were off experiencing stuff, being busy, accomplishing things. Life, and especially the life of musicians, tends to be shaped by an ebb and flow of leaving and returning, cycling between an extroverted, transient mode of being and one of introversion and staying put. Within the broader cycles, even our most important relationships can shift, morph and drift, no matter how much we try to hold them steady.
Little Scream - (Set time: 9:30 PM)
Little Scream
When Laurel Sprengelmeyer began performing as Little Scream in 2008, she played her first shows in Montreal using only a battered Stratotone guitar, a cigarette amp, and a mic on the floor so her feet could serve as percussion. "That's why I always wore high heels. They made the best stomping sounds." She would wail and coo, imitating the sounds of missing instruments that ended up as siren calls on her 2011 debut The Golden Record (Secretly Canadian/Outside Music), which Pitchfork called "a perfectly mixed bag of graceful folk, coiled pop, and expansive art rock" and NPR dubbed "absolutely captivating." If that album was Little Scream's searching, enchanting first step into the world, then Cult Following is the badass landmark cementing her place there.
Little Scream says she began conceiving of Cult Following while visiting a friend in a small intentional community in northern Brazil that was on the verge of becoming a cult. "People were running around reading auras, interpreting each other's dreams, and 'living on light' instead of eating-which was as compelling as it was absurd. I became very aware of the entropy of belief. You could feel the magnetism of ideas take shape and pull people into their center like a black hole a thing so filled with light that its own gravity means that none of it can escape."
That experience laid the groundwork for Cult Following, a lush, expansive, retro-leaning gem that straddles intimate fragility with bombastic dancefloor-ready songs. Listening to it is like reading an epic novella-part fairy tale, part ecstasy, and part human folly. Right from the start, you know you've entered a universe with its own rules-dazzling, dark, and whimsical, not unlike Willy Wonka's gated factory. From the candy-filled ballroom of "Love as a Weapon" (which is as accessible as it is emotionally complex), you are invited onto the comforting ship of the warm ballad "Evan," only to find that "the waves are falling/they're falling in faster, and the ship has no master here comes disaster!" When the shipwreck subsides, you find yourself in the dark depths of the song "Wishing Well," where Mary Margaret O'Hara makes a stunning, subtle vocal appearance. Mary Margaret is one of several guests to appear on this record, along with Sufjan Stevens, Sharon Van Etten, and Kyp Malone. Encountering them is not unlike having cameo stars within a film, but the world they inhabit is entirely Little Scream's, and her voice acts as a tour guide through lush and sometimes terrifying sonic landscapes carefully constructed with her creative partner, Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry.
Willy Wonka is perhaps analogous to Little Scream herself. A relative social media recluse, she seems to spend most of her time hiding out in a creative utopia. A fourth-generation painter (one of her pieces appears on the cover of The Golden Record), her works are layered and carefully rendered with pathos and magic realism. For the cover of Cult Following, she constructed a three-dimensional model of one of her paintings to be photographed within-a gesture that illustrates her dedication to creating a complete contextual world for herself and this album to exist in.
Cult Following is a record that deserves to be listened to from start to finish, with each song having been constructed to meld seamlessly into the next. There may be those who listen only to the record's obvious catchy hit, but they would be missing out on the depth of stunners like "Wishing Well" and "Someone Will Notice." Like a classic novella, you must pass through all of the record's stages to fully experience a triumphant hero's journey.
Venue Information:
Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002
http://mercuryloungenyc.com