Early Show


Spirit Animal

Tue, December 18, 2012

Doors: 6:30 pm

Mercury Lounge

New York, NY

$10 advance / $12 day of show

This event is 21 and over

Churchill - (Set time: 7:30 PM)
Tim Bruns - lead vocals and rhythm guitar
Tyler Rima - bass
Bethany Kelly - vocals and keys
Joe Richmond - drums
Mike Morter - mandolin, banjo, lead guitar, uke and crowd-pleasing

Churchill singer/guitarist Tim Bruns and mandolin player Mike Morter have been making folk-infused rock songs with delicate bluegrass flair together since the first day they met. In 2009, Bruns and Morter added bassist Tyler Rima, drummer Joe Richmond, and keyboardist/singer Bethany Kelly to their lineup, a move that vastly expanded their sound and birthed the high-energy alt-country/pop-rock hybrid that is Churchill.

As with all of Churchill’s releases so far, Change EP is entirely self-produced and self-recorded by the band to truly capture the raw, frenetic energy of their live show. Their upcoming debut for A&M/Octone, offers up a selection of songs that flaunt their supreme skills in blending hook-laced pop with soulfully charged, lushly textured rock. From the freewheeling country swing of “Ark in a Flood” (a sprawling anthem marked by soaring, sunny harmonies) to the Motown strut of “Change” (a gorgeously pained love song on which Kelly’s tough but tender vocals take the lead), Change EP enlists Churchill as an outfit that’s both classic in sensibility and undeniably fresh in sound.

Always honored to be on stage, Churchill's live experience is a major part of how they effectively leave their audience feeling hopeful and ready to change the world.
Spirit Animal - (Set time: 6:30 PM)
Spirit Animal
It started with a homemade computer. Filled with dust and dirty beats, the machine hadn't connected to the Internet since Silicon Valley was a private practice in Beverly Hills. Yet from it emerged Spirit Animal: a chaotic combination of rock and pop, fueled by the unruly aesthetics of psych and funk.

Explosive singer Steve Cooper, drummer Ronen Evron, bassist Paul Michel, and guitarist Cal Stamp created a stir with their debut EP, 'This Is A Test,' and a pair of tracks -- “The Black Jack White” (which surpassed 1 million spins on Spotify) and “BST FRNDS” -- that appeared on mtvU. While hype rolls in from NYLON, Bullett, USA Today, Prefix, and Consequence of Sound, the band returns with 'World War IV' via Wind-up Records, set for a February release.

“It’s like…much bigger,” Cooper says of the forthcoming release. Spirit Animal has re-imagined its sound with body-rocking riffs and contagious choruses that burst at the seams. “Everything that was wild is more wild. Everything that was heavy is heavier.” The ultimate message, however, still serves the same purpose: to bring the party to the people. “It’s always supposed to feel good," Cooper adds. "It’s always moving towards euphoria."

Drawing on a range of early rap and trip-hop influences -- think Tricky, Outkast, El-P -- and the songwriting of greats like the Talking Heads and Tom Petty, Spirit Animal tears apart what you know and love about your favorite style and rearranges the pieces. Their new track, “Regular World,” kicks off with soaring "ooh’s" and a poignant funk verse before crashing into a climactic chorus that celebrates our insatiable thirst for the not-so-regular. “It’s the plotting and scheming for the next thing -- and doing everything in your power to get it -- that inspires us,” says Cooper.

Spirit Animal is a dish best served live, with the boys flashing moves like Jagger that demand audience participation. The arena-ready antics of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the personality of James Brown, and the modern pop charm of The Killers combine to make your inhibitions disappear quicker than ten tequilas.

“Big Bad Road Dog,” another 'World War IV' standout, sums up Spirit Animal to a tee, painting the picture of a nebulous force that leaves a fun-fest of destruction in its wake. You don’t know whether to run for your life or try to hitch a ride. We suggest you do the latter.
Venue Information:
Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002