Bastille

Bastille

Grizfolk

Mon, January 20, 2014

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Royale

Boston, MA

$20 advance / $22 day of show

Sold Out

This event is all ages

Tickets available at TICKETMASTER.COM, or by phone at 800-745-3000. No service charge on tickets purchased at The Sinclair Box office Tuesdays-Saturdays 12-7PM. Please note: box office is cash only.

Bastille
Bastille
Only the brave and original survive the indie music maelstrom which either sucks new guitar bands down into the depths or produces identikit sounds capitalising on trends of any given time. Bastille have moved away from the common output being churned out by indie bands to create pop songs that are absorbing and genre defining without ever being formulaic. The origins of Bastille lie in the creative mind of singer/song writer Dan Smith, whose embracement of multi-eclectic musical styles have led to one of the most exciting sounds in new music today.

Despite playing the piano and dabbling in instrumentation, Dan did not initially gravitate towards music when he was young. Growing up, he listened to Simon & Garfunkel, The Beach Boys and Fugees, all of which gave him the requisite understanding of harmonies and hooks. However, films were his obsession, with a pertinent affinity to the horror genre, particularly art house fare such as that of Dario Argento and his work in the Giallo sub-genre. This was the gateway to commonly cited influence David Lynch and then onto the more existential work of Terrence Malick. Dan's appreciation of metaphysical cinema is complimented by his literary leanings. Having studied English literature at university, the work of Ian McEwan, Hubert Selby and Brett Easton Ellis were of particularly note with their themes of human thought, sense and sexuality. Compositions like "Oblivion," with its voyeuristic empathy, are the offspring of these themes. Dan is predominantly looking on within the songs. He is the narrator, rarely taking centre stage.

Music allows Dan to explore the darker side of the human psyche. Underneath the layers and beeps of the music are characters; sometimes archetypes, going through their own emotions and existing solely in the universe of each song. Dan shares the ability of the directors he admires, to create atmosphere, feeling and tensions; this is prevalent in the music of Bastille. Their songs are bathed in the sunlight of sorrow and the rumination of emotional folly. Songs such as "flaws" and "overjoyed" resonate with fans of the band who find a personal element to the music but they are projections rather than introspections. Each song has a certain mood, but if they have a definitive meaning, then they cease to breath. People assume that many of the songs are relationship orientated, but they were not intended to be. Like Regina Spektor, Dan's songs are his stories; vehicles to muse on things he wants to talk about. He has the latitude to write tales with broad brush strokes, encapsulated in four minute pop songs, each being soundtracks to their own cinematic microcosm. Their resulting music is enigmatic, but accessible.

The music of Bastille was brought to life by one, but on stage the songs are emancipated by four band members, each dabbling with vocals, keyboards and percussion. Chris Wood on drums and bassist, Will Farquarson, are old musical acquaintances of Dan's. Kyle Simmons, completing the line-up as keyboardist, is a friend of Dan's who initially crossed paths with him at a party. Each has their main role in Bastille; however, confining them to a particular instrument would be as narrow as pigeon-holing Bastille to a certain musical genre. It is sonically that they are united, with vocal cohesion creating a live sound that transcends Dan's more autonomous creative approach to recording the music.

At the end of 2010, Dan was able to congregate the guys into the existing incarnation of Bastille, with their live journey beginning at Brighton's Great Escape the following April. They have only ever existed as a performing entity in band form and have become known for producing great performances; multifarious experiences to match the complexity of the songs Dan writes and records alone. The four members effortlessly interchange, harmonise and create a musical tapestry interlaced with texture and experimentation. Bastille manage to do what many peers of theirs sometimes forget to on stage: they have fun, and the music and experience will always be the beneficiary of this. The songs are full of rhythmic melodies and sweeping, haunting vocals, which coexist together in an atmospheric soundscape. Their Loyal and vocal fans, who have followed them from that very first show in Brighton, are hung on every word and invigorate Bastille's cacophony of sound and atmosphere.

As the band's reputation has grown, so have the venues, while the sound and endeavour of the band are ever evolving and expanding. The foursome will add the Leeds/Reading and Secret Garden festivals to their portfolio this summer with a further London Koko date. The upcoming show at Koko will see Bastille utilise a screen, incorporating the video footage which so seamlessly compliments the music, creating a wholly audio-visual experience. Perhaps this is the way the music should be absorbed and it brings the band full circle from when Dan was making videos cut from cult films in his bedroom. They were meant for bigger stages and grander gestures to match their justified ambition.

Dan does not see the path as set with his music; the songs are flows of consciousness, taking Bastille to more ethereal pastures. He has been working with singer-songwriter Jay Brown and US Rapper F. Stoke and in trying to innovate, he has learnt new production techniques. His burgeoning appreciation of soul and the American hip-hop scene have heightened his musical sensibilities, giving his output a unique sound which is attuned to his style. The group now stands on the cusp of releasing their debut album, set for early 2013. Usually, bands start to experiment when their style grows static, but Bastille's music has never followed the normal route into Indie territory. Their debut album is devoid of guitars, instead being more reliant on vocals, beats and strings. The influences of such different sounds and feels have given the four the potential to look towards any creative direction in the future. They are not restricted by any musical straight jacket and that is what makes them one of the most exciting young bands around at the moment.
Grizfolk
Grizfolk
The story behind the band Grizfolk unfolds like a richly episodic Beat novel: it’s a collection of character-driven vignettes that give way to one another with ease, with songs like chapters in a traveler’s cherished diary, suspended in time and space above an aural landscape of blue-collar romanticism and electro-inflected folk-rock.

It’s the story of a small-town songwriter from the South who leaves the Bayou on a wanderlust whim and heads West across the desert toward California, bending his course to the bohemian back-roads of old Americana with a jazz-like, improvisational fluidity.

It’s the story of two bigger-city producers from Sweden who decide to trade the snowdrifts of Stockholm for the palm trees of SoCal, bringing with them a haunted, dreamlike moodiness to the artificial, electronic paradise of pop music.

Above all it’s a story of five musicians who meet in Los Angeles as strangers, finding inspiration and comfort in the emotionally barren yet mysteriously enticing sands of Venice Beach’s “ghetto by the sea,” eventually making it their home. Alongside the vagabonds and bottled blondes of Venice legend, Grizfolk’s music is a casually-indefinable, artistic paradise of its own, built upon a bedrock of lush electronic tones and analog textures, stomp-and-clap guitars and heart-swelling vocals.

The band’s sound layers glittering synth harmonies atop barn-burner rock hooks, mixing America’s country music heritage with that of an electro-pop persuasion. The result is an undeniably catchy collection of pop songs that sound both futurist and revivalist at the same time, drawing upon the digital of today as much as they do the organic, decaying reminders of times past.

Evoking a sense of both sentimentality and conquest, Grizfolk’s music paints the picture of a vivid folktronic world in which listeners can fully immerse themselves, drifting in and out of different eras and places, much like escaping down a literary rabbit hole and getting caught-up simultaneously within the tangled futuristic narratives of Philip K. Dick and the timeless Bunker Hill dreams of John Fante.

Grizfolk’s music is where folklore meets four-on-the-floor; where tumbleweeds meet turntables. Imagine a Head First Alison Goldfrapp making out with Tom Petty in a dimly lit, Prohibition-era speakeasy while The Knife’s Deep Cuts spins somewhere in the background on a loop.

“In Los Angeles you don’t have to seek out pop music. As long as you’re listening, it’ll find you,” says Grizfolk’s frontman Adam Roth. Both casually and confidently, he explains how despite growing up on different continents and possessing vastly different musical backgrounds, each band member at his core is really just a pop-purist at heart.

Although they’d technically met once before on the sidewalks of Abbot Kinney two years prior, it wasn’t until late 2012 that Adam Roth, Fredrik Eriksson, Sebastian Fritze, Bill Delia, and Brendan Willing James truly connected as a band. The five were ultimately brought together by an intense, shared appreciation of pop music and the intoxicating thrill of discovery that only a never-before-heard, truly great hook can provide.

“Pop can be country, grunge, dance, blues, indie-rock, funk, hip-hop—anything and everything, you name it,” Roth says. “But for us pop isn’t a genre; it’s a way of thinking. It starts with ditching the connotation of pop being a dirty word, and starting to treat the songs with respect as they try and define new things. One reason to love pop music is that it’s totally fearless in the way it accepts or even embraces an artist’s urge to experiment and push boundaries. Whether we’re talkin’ The Beatles or Queen, Michael Jackson or Lady Gaga, or even Amy Winehouse for that matter, pop celebrates and rewards those who take exceptional artistic risks. Period. For me and the guys, pop comes down to less about whatever the mainstream is doing, and more about allowing ourselves develop in new directions as artists.”

Like Roth, for the other four members of Grizfolk, Eriksson, Fritze, Delia, and James, the choice to become professional musicians wasn’t actually a choice at all; it was a destiny. The art is simply in their blood. The desire to make music and learn their music came at an early age for all five, but whereas Grizfolk’s New Orleans-born singer-songwriter grew up in the Southern sticks on a steady Cajon diet of folk, blues and rustic Americana, the multi-instrumentalist Swedes that make up Grizfolk’s production backbone were both reared from the sparklingly clean and pretty city streets of Stockholm, where their musical upbringing was inescapably influenced by Europe’s prevailing fascination with super DJs and the culture of electronic dance music. Although seemingly disparate on paper, in the studio it’s their musical differences that actually ignite the spark that cracks Grizfolk’s collective creativity wide open, resulting in a truly synergistic band much greater than the sum of its parts and without a doubt one of this year’s most intriguing new acts to follow.
Venue Information:
Royale
279 Tremont St.
Boston, MA, 02116
http://royaleboston.com/