Vancouver Sleep Clinic – “All of the sinners, all of the saints, All of the beauty, all of the pain, In the loss, in the gain, I’m not afraid”: Bottom of the Hill in SF (April 17, 2017

Written by Erica Andreozzi

Vancouver Sleep Clinic‘s first show in SF at the Rickshaw Stop back in December had us begging for their return, especially with the release of their highly anticipated debut album, ‘Revival.’ A revival is surely what they spurred on last night at Bottom of the Hill. I could not help but watch everyone on the audience be lifted up by Tim’s angelic vocals and haunting howls as they stared up at him with eager eyes. Star struck by his fine, fierce falsetto, there was a sense of disbelief shared by the entire room. It’s hard to believe that he wrote his first song (‘Vapour‘) when he was only 17 yrs old, a song about realizing how short life is and how “you must find light and joy in the situations we’re put in.” Well we certainly find light and joy in the musical medicine he revives us with, one “rebirth” at a time. Tracks that had every hair raised on my body were Flaws, Lung, Living Water, Killing me to love you, and Someone to Stay, which was written about homelessness and homesickness when temporarily living in LA:

“You were alone, left out in the cold
Clinging to the ruin of your broken home
Too lost and hurting to carry your load
We all need someone to hold”   (SLAYED).

 Arguably my favorite Vancouver Sleep Clinic track released this year.

By the time the epic encore of Empire came around, I was completely lathered in chills. Empire stood alone with definitive power and command, keeping us on our toes as the capricious crescendos amplified our attention and wet our appetites. I’m already hungry for more and can’t wait until they return for summer festivals (best way to avoid winter in OZ!) All I know is that Vancouver Sleep Clinic won’t be frequenting small stages much longer. Recently on tour with the delightful Daughter, they are making a global footprint and hailing new fans far and wide. In fact, the kid standing next to me had flown all of the way from Phoenix just for the show! It won’t be long before this Aussie quintet will be headlining the legendary Fillmore. SF wants you back!

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So happy to have met Tim Bettinson of Vancouver Sleep Clinic this week at the Rickshaw Stop. After wrapping up tour with Daughter the night before in Vancouver (yes, he says it’s everything he’s dreamed it to be), these Aussies (Brisbane) decided to sneak a two extra shows in SF and LA before heading out (and boy are we thankful for!). I remember first seeing Vancouver Sleep Clinic at Green Man music festival (Wales, UK) in 2014 and being completely taken back by their beauty and talent. For those lovers of Bon Iver, Volcano Choir, James Vincent McMorrow (who he’s a I’ve fan of and whom he saw for the first time in LA 3 years ago), RYX, Matt Corby, Sohn, Youth Lagoon, Alex Vargas, and Jack Garratt, Tim is your man!

 

*Check out more videos on my YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/eandreoz

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse
Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

West Coast (playlist: Dec 10, 2015)

West Coast

Compiled Dec 10, 2015

Following up on my previous playlist — ‘Coming Home — I’ve launched a new playlist called ‘West Coast,’ as this title track by the Seattle-based band, Hey Marseilles, embodies the essence of WHY I moved back to California. This song reminded me of WHY it was ALL WORTH IT, and I can’t help but RAWR along with the catchy chorus, “Meet me on the west coast… We’ll make it our own.” I was lucky enough to see Hey Marseilles live for the first time in September, and I look forward to seeing them again at The Independent in March for their new album launch.

Aside from Hey Marseilles, other bands I’ve recently seen that inspired this playlist are Nathaniel Rateliffe and the Nightsweats, City and Colour, Boy & Bear, Doe Paoro, Little May (who’s song ‘Bow and Arrow‘ was another track I had on CONSTANT REPEAT),  Aero Flynn (as an opener for Minus the Bear), Of Monsters and Men, Youth Lagoon, and Penny and Sparrow.

New discoveries that I have yet to see live and are very much on my radar, are Tow’rs, King Charles (recently on tour with Mumford & Sons), Julien Baker, El Vy (I LOVE Matt Berninger from The National), Max Frost, Seoul (opener for We Were Promised Jetpacks at The Great American Music Hall last month), and This is Koa (recently featured on Noisetrade).

Although the Staves are not a new discovery — as I have LOVED THEM ever since watching Communion’s Austin to Boston music documentary —I have YET to be SEDUCED by these SOOTHING SIREN SISTERS in the flesh, and I can’t wait till they come back for another US tour (hopefully for US summer festivals!). Having been produced by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and Volcano Choir, their new album — If I was — is a MAGICAL MASTERPIECE and was one of the only things keeping my sane during recent rough times. ‘No me, no you, no more,’ was a standout track for me, and was one I frequently sang to in order to calm my nerves and soothe the soul. Finally, I’m excited to see one of my FAVORITE ICELANDIC BANDS — Kaleo — again this spring after first discovering them at Iceland Airwaves last year. It’s SUPER EXCITING to see them breaking new ground with their new songs and becoming quite a INTERNATIONAL HIT, just as I thought they would. Now, if you shall MEET ME ON THE WEST COAST… 🙂

Here’s a Spotify playlist with most of the songs (some still missing):

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You can download all of the songs (out of order) from my link on Box.com

https://app.box.com/s/fccew2dnpyvacio4xfrps8d2fpj3qhhv

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No Me, No You, No More-  The Staves
Wasted Love- City And Colour
Helm- Tow’rs   
West Coast- Hey Marseilles   
Where’d You Go- Boy & Bear  
Bow & Arrow- Little May   
Return To The Moon- El Vy  
Hypotheticals- Doe Padro   
I Need Never Get Old- Nathaniel Rateliff And The Night Sweats   
Killing Time- City And Colour   
Dk/Pi- Aero Flynn   
No Good-  Kaleo
Hollow Ground- Boy & Bear   
Northern Blues- City And Colour  
Love Lust- King Charles   
Home- Little May   
I’ve Been Failing – Nathaniel Rateliff And The Night Sweats   
Walking Backwards- Doe Padro   
Just Dumb- Boy & Bear   
White Lies- Max Frost   
Everybody Does- Julien Baker   
Woman- City And Colour   
LoveBlood- King Charles   
Paul Is Alive- El Vy   
Trying So Hard Not To Know- Nathaniel Rateliff And The Night Sweats Twist- Aero Flynn
Breakdown Slow- Boy & Bear  
The Brightest Lights- King Charles  
Damn It All- The Staves
Highway Patrol Stun Gun- Youth Lagoon  
What Now- This is Koa
Stay With Us- Seoul
Wolves Without Teeth- Of Monsters And Men  
Duet (Feat. Stephanie Briggs)- Penny And Sparrow 

Aero Flynn: “I Can Feel the Moonbeams”

Aero Flynn– The Great American Music Hall, San Francisco
*opening for Minus the Bear*  (November 22, 2015)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

Glad I made it to the Great American Music Hall (GAMH) last night early enough to catch both openers — Aero Flynn and Murder By Death — for Minus the Bear‘s 10th Anniversary Menos El Oso tour. Although Aero Flynn‘s set was short (only 30 min), it was certainly SWEET and SEXY (yes, I went there). Led but Josh Scott, former front-man of Amateur Love, this talented trio (base/vocals, guitar/keys/vocals, drums) dishes up a satisfying mix of spine-tingling tunes that remind me of a cross between Radiohead, Radio Dept., Low Roar, Prefuse 73, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, and Volcano Choir. It also reminded me of a recent artist (Doe Paoro) that I saw open for Little May at the Independent earlier this month. I later learned (although could have guessed it considering her album producers) that Doe Paoro and Aero Flynn are good pals. Everyone’s connected!

The parallel to Volcano Choir makes perfect sense considering that Josh Scott and Justin Vernon (of Volcano Choir and Bon Iver) are close buddies that both hail from Eau Claire, Wisconsin and have been making music together off-and-on for over a decade. In fact, Justin produced Aero Flynn’s debut album, recently released in March 2015. I was lucky enough to get my hands on this treasure chest last night after the show and in doing so, got to meet Aero Flynn‘s friendly drummer, Dave Power. I quickly learned from Dave that Aero Flynn was in the UK twice this year — first to tour with big wig Ben Howard, and a second time for a headline tour of their own where the played at my former London stomping ground, the Lexington,  as well as the End of the Road music festival (which I heard was awesome but never made it to). When Dave asked who I’d seen play at the Lexington, the first band that came to mind was Wye Oak. Little did I know — until he pointed to his chest — that he was WEARING a Wye Oak t-shirt and we both laugh at the coincidence.

I then mentioned how I saw Sylvan Esso open for Wye Oak that Lexington show (right before Sylvan Esso BLEW UP), and he chimed in to say that he first met Jenn Wasner (of Wye Oak) when in Durham, NC to see Sylvan Esso. Small world! I then talked about Jenn touring with El Vy (Matt Berninger of The National and Brent Knopf of Menomena), and he said that his friend was actually managing that tour. Haha crazy odds.

BUT, even CRAZIER ODDS was that Aero Flynn’s recent US tour was with GIVERS, one of my FAVORITE southern bands that I was lucky enough to discover back in 2011 during their infancy stages (when they opened for Ra Ra Riot at Gundlach Bundschu winery). I’m sad I had to miss GIVERS when they played The Independent last month (I was out of town for an interview), but I’m at least glad I got to catch their amazing set (videos on my youtube) at Outside Lands music festival in August. Speaking of music festivals, Dave of Aero Flynn said that I should definitely come to the Eau Claire music festival this summer (started last year by Justin Vernon), and that if I do, I’ll should stop by and say hi. I will DEFINITELY follow up on this invitation, as I have wanted to go to this ever since I first heard about it, and I’ve got a few close friends dying to go as well. Hopefully we can get tickets!

Now GO CHECK OUT and get the electronic-tinged-folk-psych album that is Aero Flynn, (Ooh La La Records).  Dave and I agreed on this genre description of their “mystery sound,” although you’ll have to to listen for yourself to decide!

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Asgeir: “I lift my mind to the sky, and I let it take flight…The wind carries to my ears, precious sounds of life”

Asgeir– Bush Hall (December 11, 2013)

Meet Asgeir, a new, up-and-coming Icelandic musician who’s debut album sold more copies in Iceland than that of Bjork and Sigur Ros (apparently 1 out of 10 Icelanders own his album), and I CAN DEFINITELY TELL WHY. Let’s just say..umm… SPELL-BINDING?…Ethereal folk layered with beautiful harmonies (almost falsetto sounding), warm electronica, and adroit guitar picking. His delicate, falsetto voice reminds me a bit of Justin Veron, and the band’s sound overall is similar to both Bon Iver and Volcano Choir. It was such a treat to hear some of the tracks sung in Icelandic, for which they were originally written and only later translated by John Grant (another great artist) in English to reach more people. My first encounter with the Icelandic language WAS through Asgeir, and I have so much more of an appreciation for this beautiful language because of his music. And to think that they also kicked off their December show at Bush Hall in London with some Icelandic Christmas carols. (Merry xmas to you). I just wish they didn’t have the entire show in the dark! See videos/pics from that show below.

Fortunately I was also able to catch Asgeir again in the spring when they played at the lovely Union Chapel in Islington. Head In the Snow has always been one of my favorites, so me eyes IMMEDIATELY LIT UP when they kicked off their set with this gem. I distinctly remember listening to this one on the bus ride from Keflavik airport to Reykjavik, and suddenly my mind became flooded with flashbacks from that magical place. I am whisked away to stunning landscapes of giant glaciers and mighty waterfalls that breathe life into the tree-less mountainside. “Hope and faith, Don’t you fail me now…Hope and faith, Come and warm my heart…Hope and faith, Fill me up with strength.” (It’s not uncommon that I daydream at least ONCE when listening to their album)..Next up was In the Silence, another favorite for which I first heard in Icelandic at their Bush Hall gig. It was such a treat to see how a song that you ALREAD THOUGHT BEAUTIFUL could capture even more beauty when sung in a different language (especially one as lovely as Icelandic!): “Come, take my hand, Let’s undo the knots of the past…Watch the mind run far away…and everything that will be and was here and now.”

Asgeir then took us on a detour to dark waters, playing a new song called The Ocean (see video below).

From the ocean to the sky, he soon takes us higher and higher into another dimension with the beautiful soft electronica and gentle vocals of Higher: 

“I lift my mind to the sky, and I let it take flight
The wind carries to my ears, precious sounds of life…
Higher HIGHER…I must go…
Higher HIGHER…Far away….    
And the glare of this world is more than humbled…”

After taking flight with Higher and HigherAsgeir brought us home with Going Home. Of all this songs on the album, this is the one that changed most drastically from its initial release, and I really enjoyed witnessing the evolution. “Home, I’m making my way home….My mind’s already there.” (last phrase always slays me)…Summer Guest was to follow, and the last line of this song SLAYS ME even harder: “You made a shelter for my soul if your language I could speak..I would weave a song for you of my own.”

Asgeir then surprises us all with a tribute to Kurt Cobain on the week of his death anniversary (can’t believe it’s been 20 years), performing a heart-wrenching over of Nirvana‘s Heart-Shaped Box:

“She eyes me like a Pisces when I am weak
I’ve been locked inside your heart-shaped box for weeks
I’ve been drawn into your magnet tar-pit trap
I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black..”

I’m pretty sure every inch of my body was covered in goosebumps. Kurt was def smiling that night. x

A few tracks later came Asgeir’s notable King and Cross, a beautiful song laced with catchy beats and cool keyboard/synth elements. This lyrics always speak to me: “Death cannot take hold, if I can keep momentum…I’ve found my strength now.” LOVE. Then came Torrent, my FAVORITE on the album (although it’s very hard to choose). When I first heart this track, it kinda reminded me of a Christmas carol, and its uplifting aura gets more and more intense every time I listen. So many magical sounds weaved into this musical masterpiece, especially the percussion (and the drummer’s intensity is hilarious to watch). No wonder they saved it for the encore! (Also, you MUST out the original version in Icelandic: Nýfallið Regn.STUUUUUUNING.)

Ásgeir‘s solo encore of One That Day was one of my highlights of the night. It’s the only song he played by himself, showcasing the pure, organic, spiritual quality to his voice (as his range hits the upper echelons in flawlessly fluctuating falsetto). He was clearly in his element, and you couldn’t help be whisked away to a mystical place (maybe the glacier lagoons of Iceland) and drowned in the fluid sound of his atmospheric, folk-laced tempos. And to be heard in a high-ceiling Gothic church with subtle lighting?…Dying.

“Just one look at you
and then I knew
On that day…
Serendipity smiled down on me.”

I am so glad I discovered the ICELANDIC PROPHET that is Asgeir when I did (back in December) because is HUGE now and has globe-trotted all over the world, covering lot of ground and hitting big festivals in the states and in Europe. His music has been the musical medicine for my soul, and I can’t stop dreaming of my future adventures in Iceland when I GET BACK THERE in November for ICELAND AIRWAVES. So stoked to see him again, along with other Icelandic artists (Low Roar, Lay Low, Samaris, Mammut, SOLSTAFIR, Low Roar), and to explore his magical land with one of my best friends from California! I would have moved to Iceland in a heartbeat if they had work for me there. It’s UNREAL in so many ways, and EVERYONE needs to travel there (and soak up the local music) at least ONCE in their lifetime. Check out the documentary video that my friend Marissa (super-talented) made from our trip there back in March. SO looking forward to ROUND 2 of this trip in the next few months! ❤

(Setlists for both gigs are post below. I made sure I was lucky enough to be in front both times.)

Asgeir– Union Chapel (April 8, 2014)

VIDEOS:

Going Home:

The Ocean:

Heart-Shaped Box:

Torrent:

On That Day:

PICTURES:

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Asgeir– Bush Hall (December 11, 2014)

VIDEOS:

Torrent:

King and Cross:

Head in the Snow (Icelandic version):

In the Silence:

Higher:

On the Day:

PICTURES:

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James Vincent McMorrow- “Sometimes my hands they don’t feel like my own, I need someone to love, I need someone to hold”

James Vincent McMorrow– Rough Trade East, London

(Jan 16, 2014)

Had to sell my James Vincent McMorrow tickets for the Barbican on Jan 26th because of the Grand Canaria marathon I ran that weekend, so I was SUPER LUCKY to have caught him at his in-store gig at Rough Trade East. This Irishman has pipes that could make the gods weep, no joke. HELLOOOO FALSETTO! (see the videos below if you don’t believe me) He’s also really goofy and made the audience laugh plenty of times with his stories of insomina, fear of flying, and joggin’ at 5 am in the morning when “all the weirdos are out.” It was really cool to meet this awesome human being, and to have him sign my album (although I almost took his sharpie by accident, haha). DO YOURSELF A FAVOR and get tropical, Post Tropical The first song (Cavalier) of this album is INCREDIBLE, as it Red Dust and Lookout. Thank gosh I had the speakers to lean against because I nearly FELL OVER when James hits that INSANELY HIGH NOTE during Red Dust at 3:30 in.

“Sometime my hands, they don’t feel like my own
I need someone to love, I need someone to hold…”

Another favorite, Look Out, sent me on cloud to far away places. A perfect song for the occasional day dream. 😛

“You’ll be lucky once, when the fall listen to send around.
When the sun comes, dry tears from my eyes.
So you come around as the weather starts to change,
and you settle in. And the best has yet been made.”

Then there was one of my favorites from his first album, Down the Burning Ropes, which has so many twists and turns and is bound to keep you engaged.

“Down the burning ropes
Past the places where the steal beams meet concrete skies
You make your bed under the moonlight
I think it’s time we said goodbye.”

Then came the EPIC We Don’t Eat track that I had fallen in love with 2 years ago and could not get enough of the beautiful piano into…(so much anticipation/emotion conveyed through those simple chords!)…This one speaks so much truth, and send shivers crawling down the spine (especially the third verse when the tempo picks up and James goes at it on the drums). My favorite line (“I’d rather be working for something, than praying for the rain“) builds up to the chorus that we all know by heart:

“We don’t eat until your father’s at the table
We don’t drink until the devil’s turned to dust
Never once has any man I’ve met been able to love
So if I were you my friend, I’d learn to have just a little bit of trust.” (TRUTH)

Unfortunately James only had time for one more, and I think we all knew it would be Cavalier, the star of his new album.

“I remember my first love..”

Such a stunning (yes, I said it) song. Very much for the sexy time. Reminds me of bit of Volcano Choir‘s (side project of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon) new album, Repave (also one to check out!)

 

VIDEOS:

Red Dust:

Cavalier:

We Don’t Eat:

Look Out:

Down The Burning Ropes:

PICTURES:

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