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

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Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

Day Wave- “So just close your eyes and I’ll close mine Let me close your heart, it just takes time And we’ll be alright”: Rickshaw Stop (Feb 25, 2016)

The Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco
Written by Erica Andreozzi

SO STOKED that I got to catch the DREAMY Day Wave for their first ever headline show at The Rickshaw Stop last week as part of SF’s NoisePop festival. It was no secret that Day Wave was to be playing NoisePop this year, for the musical mind behind Day Wave – Jackson Philips– was actually featured on the cover of this year’s NoisePop magazine. In fact, it was my friend -the incredibly talented and very much in-demand music photographer, Paige Parsons– that took the awesome photo. Initially trained as a jazz drummer at the prestigious Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA) from the age of nine, Phillips eventually found himself trapped in a Whiplash (yes, the movie) kind of world where people were “very competitive” and “not very nice to each other.” During college especially, he realized that he was more interested in making songs than in perfecting his drumming technique, and this epiphany inspired him to learn piano and song production. By the end of junior year, he was already creating his own synth-based songs and releasing these through his first band, Carousel.

Fast forward a few years, and Philips decides to leave Carousel to pursue his own solo project, Day Wave. This pursuit involved him teaching himself guitar (for which he learned all by ear) and moving away from synths. By July 2015, he was ready to release his debut “lo-fi guitar-based indie rock EP”Headcase – that was recorded entirely by himself at his home studio. I can definitely see him as a music hermit (similar to Trevor Powers of Youth Lagoon) that spends ALL DAY in his bedroom crafting different arrangements without leaving the house for hours on end (I learned from Powers that this was indeed the case for him). All of that intense introverted-ness and die-hard devotion eventually paid off for Philips (and Powers too of course), for the five tracks on his Headcase EP prove to be a unique brand of dreamy, lo-fi surf rock that is CATCHY AS HELL. With influences of New Order, Joy Division, and The Beach Boys/ Brian Wilson, Day Wave’s wistful, melancholy lyrics are perfectly matched with happy hooks (guitar) and persistent percussion (you can tell he was a drummer). This EP is MY JAM right now, and a SOLID CHOICE for your summertime playlist!

Only 26 years old, Philips has a COLOSSAL career ahead of him, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins “best breakout band” (or something along those lines) at this year’s The Great Escape Festival​ in Brighton, UK (just outside of London). I went to this festival both years that I lived in London, for it reminds me of Europe’s mini SXSW and is a SERIOUS stomping ground of international music talent (3 days = 400+ bands/artists from 30 different countries). I’m still shocked by all of the budding bands I was lucky enough to see there before they BLEW UP (including two recent Brit award winners, Catfish and the Bottlemen​, Jack Garratt​, James Bay​ and a Australian Recording Industry Association winner, Courtney Barnett). I’ve already given a heads up to my music pals in the UK to make sure they check out Day Wave– they are a MUST SEE!

Although Dave Wave hadn’t sold out their show at the Rickshaw (would have been pretty impressive for their first headliner), they were surely greeted by a roomful of dedicated fans hailing from Oakland and the surrounding Bay Area. The guy standing next to me was just one of many, and he kept raving on about how Day Wave’s Headcase EP was his favorite album right now.

Kicking off full force, Day Wave started the set with Nothing at All, one of my favorites from the EP and arguably the CATCHIEST of their collection. Nothing at All was the first song Philips wrote for Day Wave, and the first time he put himself out there with such open, honest lyrics:

“What am I good for?
Somebody tell me
Cause I don’t know anymore
What am I good for?
Somebody tell me
Cause I don’t know anymore.”   SO GOOD.

Next up was Total Zombie, the track that I must admit to having the strongest connection with the first time I heard it. Like a “total zombie,” I fell numb to this dreamy ditty and was instantly lured into joining the catchy chorus: “So just close your eyes and I’ll close mine.. Let me close your heart, it just takes time… And we’ll be alright, we’ll be alright.” Apparently, this song was recorded all instrumental before the lyrics came. Whatever the process… it worked well!

Then came Drag, a sweet gloom-pop melody that was apparently a drag to finish (Philips’ “most tedious song to write”) but we are sure glad he didn’t give up on it: “I’m stuck in my head.. I don’t wanna let you in.”

Soon after was a song called I’ll Be Fine (I think?), another gloomy ditty that just WORKS and is undeniably addictive: “I’ll be fine on my own, as long as I’m waiting
I’ll be fine alone, so leave me alone.”

Similar to that was Wasting all my time (I think?), one that again lures you in to a certain gloomy-but-gleeful state: “I’m wasting all my time… I push it all away.”

… as well as another track for which I don’t know the name:

Nearing the end, Day Wave plays Gone, an unreleased track that has already gained a lot of popularity on SoundCloud: “I feel this way alone and i feel this way… I feel this way alone and you’re gone, you’re gone..”

It’s no surprise that Philips saved Headcase for last, as he once noted in an interview that this track was his “favorite of the bunch” and his “favorite to play live.” He described it as “summing up the whole theme of EP” (hence the title track). Cheers to the ‘headcase’ in all of us: “Cause I don’t feel right anymore… so bury me alive… this time.” EPIC ENCORE.

I definitely left the Rickshaw on “cloud nine” that night, and thanks to the EP,  have been keeping my headcase self “in the clouds” ever since. 🙂

Bands they’ve played with: Rogue Wave, Blonde Redhead

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 

Youth Lagoon: ‘When I was seventeen, my mother said to me…Don’t stop imagining…The day that you do is the day that you die.”

Youth Lagoon– Islington Assembly Hall

(Nov 1, 203)

Moving from gentle “bedroom-pop” on his first album (‘The Year of Hibernation‘), Trevor Powers (aka Youth Lagoon) expanded his sound to include bits of psych, shoegaze, experimental and electronic on his second album (‘Wondrous Bughouse‘). He then realized he needed a live band to take this sound on the road, and spend a few months working to translate it. Man was it WORTH THE WAIT…

Of the entire set, Cannons was one of my favorites (see video below). The live electric guitar trailing the beautiful keyboard intro makes this Youth Lagoon track even more powerful than it already was. Wow. Chills, the ENTIRE TIME.

Another standout was Seventeen, my favorite track on the first album. The main verse SLAY MES every time:

“When I was seventeen, my mother said to me
Don’t stop imagining
The day that you do is the day that you die.”

The “don’t stop imagining” lyric is so simple but SO FREAKIN’ POWERFUL, I it’s something I was even thinking about getting tattooed. Anytime I’ve felt down and depressed, it’s usually because I’ve lost faith in my own imagination. Sometimes our “dreams are the only things that save us.” (spoken from the wise folk of Arcade Fire)

One of the major standout tracks from the newer album was Dropla, and although it came a bit later in the set, it was well worth the wait. The whirling keyboards leave you with a heightened sense of anxiety/anticipation as Powers sings “You’ll never die” over and over again. He then lashes out, “you weren’t there, when I needed…” revealing inner vulnerabilities that you can’t help emphasize with. A creepy song that whirls your emotions like a merry-go-round!  “But you’ll never die, you’ll never die, you’ll never die…”

Aside from Cannons, Seventeen, and Dropla, other favorite tracks include: July, Montana, Mute, and Daisyphobia.

I enjoyed the show so much that I wanted to stick around and say thank you to Trevor, who actually happens to be first cousins with my friend Tyler from Austin, TX. I’m so glad I waited, because not only did Trevor laugh at the inside joke that Tyler told me to tell him, but he was SO appreciative of my support and spent time talking to about his musical beginnings. Not only was he one of the nicest and most engaging artists that I’ve met, but his CINDERELLA STORY is one of the most fascinating I’ve heard. Raised by a very sports-driven family (except his grandma who he said he used to rock the keys with), he was quite keen on making a career out of baseball (who knew?), his first love. But during high school, he started getting more into music (already had 6 years of piano lessons), and decided to pursue that love full force. With the purchase of some loops pedals, a synthesizer, and a guitar (which he learned to play himself), the brilliant, organic solo project of Youth Lagoon was born. Endless hours of experimentation and a “year of hibernation” (pun intended) led to the birth of his first album, which was never meant for selling records. He writes music for “himself first,” because he “has to.” “Writing music is how I sort my thoughts, as well as where I transfer my fears,” he says. With $1000 in hand, he set out on a northwest coast tour, most of which was a bust (especially in Seattle, where not one person walked into the coffee shop he was playing at). Sometime later, when he was enjoying Sasquatch music festival with his gf (now wife), he told her, “I’m gonna be up there on stage one day. I promise you.” Well, NOT ONLY did Trevor perform at Sasquatch this year, but he’s performed many other famous festivals all over the globe. Three years ago he was busking for money TO SURVIVE, and yesterday he played PITCHFORK, one of the largest and most prestigious music festivals in the world. How about that for a CINDERELLA STORY.  ❤

Scroll to the bottom to see me kicking it with Trevor Powers (aka Youth Lagoon) after his INCREDIBLE and far out (yes, it certainly took me to another dimension) on Friday night.  😀

VIDEOS:

Cannons:

Seventeen:

Dropla:

PICTURES:

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Kicking it with Trevor Powers (aka Youth Lagoon) after his INCREDIBLE and far out (yes, it certainly took me to another dimension) on Friday night. He was SO NICE!