Ought

Ought

Cold Specks, Katie von Schleicher

Sat, April 7, 2018

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

The Sinclair

Cambridge, MA

$15

This event is 18 and over

The Sinclair is general admission standing room only. Tickets available at AXS.COM, or by phone at 855-482-2090. No service charge on tickets purchased in person at The Sinclair Box office Wednesdays-Saturdays 12-7PM.

Ought
Ought
Ought’s 2014 debut More Than Any Other Day brought the Montreal quartet sudden and universal critical acclaim – including high praise from Drowned in Sound, Exclaim, Rolling Stone, NME, and a Best New Music nod from Pitchfork. They have been riding a wave of furious productivity ever since, spending much of the past year on the road – where their channeling of passion, politics and charisma consistently connects with and galvanizes each and every audience.
Based in Montreal, Ought are a thrilling and adventurous quartet, delivering an earnest and exuberant post-punk: dextrous and exacting while bursting with propulsive and fluid energy, as indebted to Cap’n Jazz as to Talking Heads. The band shifts adeptly from sharp angles and stuttering counterpoint to softer edges and chiming flow, the instrumental interplay consistently whipsmart, supple and deceptively simple. Guitarist and vocalist Tim Darcy’s declarative, observational style ranges from stately, composed oratory to ragged, impassioned yelp, by turns wide-eyed and worried, but never submitting to cool irony or emotional detachment.
Their new album, Sun Coming Down, maintains the band’s tight, twitchy and economical sound, with the unfussy, understated rhythm section of drummer Tim Keen and bassist Ben Stidworthy anchoring Tim Darcy’s electric guitar and Matt May’s fuzzed-out keys (sounding, as often as not, like a second guitar). Ought pursue an artistically apposite austerity in committing these new songs to tape, referencing the arid and unvarnished production of no-wave and early indie rock while balancing carved-out angularity against an evolving comfort with textural coalescences and measured pacing. It makes for an album that’s consistently, insistently propulsive but also feels unhurried and pleasantly unhyped. Songs like “Beautiful Blue Sky” (already a fan favorite from live shows) and “Never Better” unfold with gradual and deliberate ebb and flow, where scratchy guitars play like dappled shards of light on gently roiling waves of bass and organ; “The Combo” and “Celebration” keep things crisp and concise. Darcy’s voice and lyrics continue to distinguish and define the personality of the band: his blend of ironic detachment, declarative insistence, fragmentary stammering poetics, and the occasional direct aside to the listener, finds various ways to weave within or drive through the mixes.
Sun Coming Down confirms the distinctive vitality and purposive naturalism of this band; Ought resists facile primitivism and overhyped dynamics in equal measure, keeping things hermetic but never airless, ascetic but never dispassionate, literate but never prolix. The band’s steady and subtle charms don’t make them the cool kids or the iconoclastic freaks - just a satisfyingly unrefined and substantive rock band that eschews indulgence or aesthetic bandwagoneering to seek a humble, thoughtful corner from which to articulate a position within and contribute meaningfully to a 40-year continuum of indie, punk and DIY tradition.
Cold Specks
Cold Specks
Ladan Hussein, known on stage as Cold Specks has returned with her most personal work yet. The artist recognized for her twistedly enthralling lyrics and distinctive soulful voice, has dug deep and returned to her roots. In this masterful body of work, Cold Specks intimately explores her identity as a Somali-Canadian woman. She's unveiled and allowed herself to stretch her palette thematically. The rawness that's deemed Cold Specks a dark soul, has revealed itself to be a cathartic after glow, illuminating the sort of light born through healing.
Like waves thrashing in a chaotic sea in the middle of nowhere, Fool's Paradise encapsulates the naturalness of existing during difficult times. We find Ladan rejoicing the survival of those she loves while mourning for the sorrow that continues to linger after it has beckoned its doom. Far gentler than her electrifying sophomore Neuroplasticity and her midnight debut I Predict A Graceful Expulsion, Cold Specks has honed her artistic agency and has invited you to bear witness.
Katie von Schleicher
Katie von Schleicher
Katie Von Schleicher rose from intern to artist on Brooklyn label Ba Da Bing with Bleaksploitation, a self-recorded 2015 mini album of irreverent, fuzz-laden tunes. On her debut full-length, Von Schleicher strikes again on the magic that comes from her warped and uncompromising sound. Shitty Hits channels the bright, sunny radio burners of the 1970’s, songs you drive to, carefree, and songs you can cry to, which The Guardian describe as “Portishead meets the Beatles,” and NPR’s Bob Boilen calls “one of those constant repeat records for me.”

Conjuring the home recorded sound of Paul McCartney’s McCartney or Jeff Buckley’s Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk, Shitty Hits was created on a tape machine at Von Schleicher’s childhood home in Maryland. Where Bleaksploitation courted a kind of sonic nihilism, Shitty Hits shows confidence, growth and unflinching self-realization. Inhabiting the roles of producer and engineer, Von Schleicher cements her voice as one to be reckoned with, parsed and pored over, on an album that is “never less than beguiling” (Pitchfork).
Venue Information:
The Sinclair
52 Church St
Cambridge, MA, 02138