BOOT & SADDLE

1131 S. Broad Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Arc Iris

Arc Iris

Superhuman Happiness, Birdie Busch

Wed, September 14, 2016

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Boot & Saddle

Philadelphia, PA

$10.00

This event is 21 and over

Arc Iris
Arc Iris
After releasing two ambitious studio albums and relentlessly touring for the last three years, Providence, RI art-pop power trio Arc Iris is ready to unveil its next project to the world: a complete re-imagination of Joni Mitchell's seminal album Blue. Whereas acoustic guitars and minimal arrangements are some of the hallmarks on Mitchell's original recording, Arc Iris' interpretation of the music is bold and modern. The band mixes the sounds of symphonic analogue synths, heavy drum beats, and sampling, while the iconic songs themselves are never swallowed up by the tide of these inventive arrangements

Arc Iris broke musical ground with the release of their acclaimed self-titled debut in 2014. The Providence, Rhode Island-based band quickly won over audiences in the US and Europe, supporting artists such as St. Vincent, Jeff Tweedy, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. The group performed at the London Palladium and festivals including Bonnaroo, End of the Road and the Rolling Stone Weekender.

Released on Bella Union in Europe and ANTI Records in the US and, Arc Iris drew admiration for its innovative style and distinctive sound. “It’s hypnotic,” said the Boston Globe. The New York Times wrote of “songs that seesawed between the elfin delicacy of Joanna Newsom and some brassy raucousness.” The Guardian talked of “a shape-shifting treat” while new music site The Line of Best Fit proclaimed, “Arc Iris is traditional music thrillingly positioned at the nexus of the old and new."

“Moon Saloon,” due to be released on Bella Union in August 2016, constitutes a natural progression from the first album’s whimsical explorations and energetic diversity. Produced by the group and mixed by electronica producer David Wrench of FKA Twigs and Jamie xx fame, the album showcases beat-heavy melodies and textural, groove-riding rhythms. It developed from the band’s distillations of musical influences, combining traditional elements with percussive structures and dense, beguiling harmonies.

In many ways this second album captures Arc Iris’ musical odyssey as a band. “It has a heavier sound, more intense,” says Arc Iris keyboardist Zach Tenorio-Miller, who makes liberal use of sampling in many of the songs. The group matches an unusual array of organic acoustic instruments with layered electronic sounds.

Lead singer and lyricist Jocie Adams, Tenorio-Miller, and drummer Ray Belli form the core of Arc Iris, all virtuosic musicians in their own right. Adams spent eight years as a key member of indie darlings The Low Anthem, effortlessly zipping from hammer dulcimer to clarinet to bass to vocals, sometimes barely pausing to take a breath. Her 2011 solodebut, Bed of Notions, sparked a musical beginning that became Arc Iris. Joining Adams on Bed of Notions was cellist Robin Ryczek, a conservatory-trained musician who toured with Jethro Tull and founded a rock school in Afghanistan.

To help launch Arc Iris in 2012, Adams teamed with Ryczek and the musically agile Tenorio-Miller, an established indie-rock keyboardist for well-known talents from Gene Ween to the New Pornographers’ A.C Newman. Later that year Tenorio-Miller brought in his longtime friend Belli. The two toured with Jon Anderson of Yes when they were just 16.

Arc Iris has attracted numerous fans around the world as the group’s stage performances become storied events themselves. Space domes reveal giant golden wings in flight while montages light up the backdrop with evocative images. Above all, the group’s love of music is a shared passion that comes alive with each song. As diverse as their musical interests and influences have been, the band members find avenues for producing a blend of soul-satisfying sounds that are truly their own.
Superhuman Happiness
Superhuman Happiness
Superhuman Happiness create music for a dance party inhabited by the emotionally complicated. Led by Stuart Bogie—a perpetually in-demand songwriter, arranger and performer whose resume includes stints with Arcade Fire, David Byrne, Iron & Wine, TV On The Radio and Antibalas—the Brooklyn-based ensemble construct instantly infectious and relentlessly rhythmic records that makes bodies move. Underlying the groove, however, are lyrical concepts that take a long look at the human condition. Their latest LP, Escape Velocity, is a seven-track effort that explores how human made technologies inversely shape our internal emotional landscapes. Songs like “VHS” and “Super 8” merge broad influences like ‘80s dance pop and ‘70s prog, while lyrically examining how various media used in storytelling and communication impact how we see our own memories and derive a sense of meaning as people. The damaged art disco of “Date & Time” addresses the addictive aspects of social media with the refrain “we’re going nowhere clicking on those pretty pictures.” If this sounds overly heady, the album’s soaring vocal harmonies, celebratory handclaps, lush synths and crisp rhythms let it be known that joy and contemplation can be mutually inclusive.
In the writing and recording of Escape Velocity, Bogie and founding member Eric Biondo reconstructed the band to feature vocalist Andrea Diaz, whose vocal approach take the songs to new heights of expression. They also called upon old friends saxophonist Colin Stetson, violinist Sarah Neufeld and drummer Joe Russo to contribute. Once described as “physical cinematic dance rock,” Superhuman Happiness push the proclamation even further on these seven songs. In physics, escape velocity is the speed at which the sum of an object's kinetic energy and its gravitational potential energy is equal to zero. It is the speed needed to "break free" from the gravitational attraction of a massive body. Superhuman Happiness subscribe to the idea that music and art, when brought into our hearts, minds and bodies can provide human lives this same propulsive force.

Superhuman Happiness' latest releases are a series of extraordinary singles the band has been unveiling, once a month, since the beginning of summer, including “Well, Well, Well,” “PowerMasters” and a reworking of The Shins’ “New Slang.”
Birdie Busch
Birdie Busch
Thunder Bridge marks Birdie Busch’s 5th full length release. The title is a nod to a line from one of her favorite Sun Ra poems, “We Must Not Say No to Ourselves”. Recorded in Germantown, the same neighborhood in Philadelphia that Sun Ra spent a lot of his musical journey, Thunder Bridge is an album by kindreds for kindreds. The original plan was to make songs for fellow friend and Philly visual artist Alison Dilworth at the oncoming dawn of motherhood. It was meant to help cross a threshold between here and there while also keeping a sense of the everywhere and always intact. But this isn’t a “lullaby” record, although Birdie’s spirit and intention can often infuse things with a sense of a night’s closing mantra. And this isn’t a “kid’s music” record, although children can often be found singing a line from her songs, in the kind of way that children always seem to be tapped into genuine truth telling. In the end, this record became an album for not only a single friend, but for many in Birdie’s inner fold who had needed cathartic release and a gathering round of the wagons.

Thunder Bridge was recorded with her close-knit band, featured on her last effort Birdie Busch and the Greatest Night and added to the mix Jaron Olevsky (Amos Lee) as a collaborator in both playing and production. The result is an 8-song affair that marries Birdie’s inclination for melodic and sonic meandering with conciseness of form and feeling-distillation. The record features 3-string busted cellos, vintage drum machines, and a rainbow-keyed Gibson organ whose distinct tones create a very particular soundscape for the body of work. A record of brevity, much like classics were in the golden age of vinyl, you can find yourself listening to this several times over fairly quickly. The many listens feel non-repetitive, more like a cyclical exercise in re-centering yourself.
Venue Information:
The Boot & Saddle
1131 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19147
http://www.bootandsaddlephilly.com