BOOT & SADDLE

1131 S. Broad Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Young Statues

Young Statues

Slaughter Beach, Dog

Fri, April 28, 2017

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

The Boot & Saddle

Philadelphia, PA

$10.00 - $12.00

This event is 21 and over

Young Statues
Young Statues
Young Statues are what occurs when the right elements combine to create a naturally occurring chemical reaction. For lead singer and songwriter Carmen Cirignano, those elements include friends, chance encounters and turning life's unexpected turns into an intimate sound that is equally inviting to all those who hear it.

Their story began in the winter of 2010 when Cirignano and a group of friends holed up inside of the Chase Park Transduction Studio in Athens, Georgia amidst an impromptu road trip. At the time, it wasn't entirely obvious that Cirignano's travels would inspire something permanent and meaningful in the long run, but upon returning home, the promise he heard in those songs led to the assembly of Young Statues with lifetime friends throughout the Philadelphia music scene in bassist Tom Ryan and drummer Daniel Bogan. Together, they would loyally bare the finger prints of these sessions through introspective lyrics entwined around earnest indie rock when they released their eponymous debut in 2011. Guitarist Matt Weber would join the group on 2013's Ace Enders-produced Age Isn't Ours EP, this time maturing their style into sophisticated indie-pop that spoke well beyond their years.

Four years after that chance journey to Athens changed everything, Young Statues have returned to Chase Park Transduction Studio to record their sophomore full-length, The Flatlands Are Your Friend. This time, they entered it with a plan to challenge themselves as artists more so than ever before. "Part of the motivation behind coming down here to do this is that we had nothing else to focus on while we were here. There aren't any distractions," says Cirignano.

The result of this self-imposed solitude is a stunning duality in which the band expand on their roaring intricacies and have made their richest collection of music yet. Andy LeMaster, a name synonymous with recording classics from Saddle Creek Records, alongside Athens scene studio staple Drew Vandenberg, worked with the four-piece to develop their best performances. A bare bones assembly of instruments recorded with all bodies in the same room were tracked and mixed to tape, leaving the album free of unnatural production tricks and gimmicks. You would not be able to guess it in the way keyboards swell, cymbals crash or how Cirignano's vocals dim seamlessly into the dark textured instruments, complimentary to the lyrical themes throughout.

Allusions to the dark side of American life in modern times permeate the record's core until its last breath. Album opener "Natives" spirals out of sync with gravity through spindling fingerpicks and a wash of atmospheric synthesizers mimicking the path toward self-destruction filled with hopeless figures and the weight of the world sinking you deeper into the void. "Run The River Dry" is a guitar-driven battle between life and death circling around the drain cycle of drug abuse. It leads into the lush composures of "Don't Fight The Mirage" and the haunting epic "Got The Knife," which concludes with an anthemic tale of "the personal barriers that can strangle the life out of a relationship as we struggle to toe the line in compromise." "Further Away" is both a lavish and brooding love song featuring beautifully arranged synthesizers and keyboards until the band collectively cracks the night sky wide open.

Throughout it's entirety, the album seems to be cleansing one's self of their past ghosts. "The flag we wave has burnt away," sings Cirignano on "Flatlands Pt. 2", a reference to how everything we do defines who we are and fabricates the metaphorical flag we wave. In this moment, the demons are exorcised through the crack of a lighter meeting the open air and sparking a flame that catches the flag's corner. Life begins anew, just as Young Statues do as artists through their dark prism catharsis, The Flatlands Are Your Friend.
Slaughter Beach, Dog
Slaughter Beach, Dog
Few bands can say they were born out of necessity, but Slaughter Beach, Dog can. In 2015, Jake Ewald, in the midst of trying to write songs for his other band Modern Baseball (which has since gone on hiatus), hit a patch of writer’s block. To get himself back in action, Ewald decided to move the focus off of himself, stitching together a loose narrative surrounding a motley cast of characters. Before he knew it, he’d written an entire album, and Slaughter Beach, Dog was no longer an exercise, it was a full-fledged band.

“When I gave myself the specific goal to write these kinds of songs and figure out how to do it, it just broke me open in a way I really needed.” What came pouring out of Ewald was Welcome, a 10-track debut that showed his ability to create a world of his own making, all the while blurring the line between fiction and reality. At times, he’d be singing about people and situations he invented, but the songs were still personal, often informed by experiences deep in his past, excavated for the purpose of expanding his songwriting vocabulary.

Slaughter Beach, Dog’s new album Birdie (October 27 on Lame-O Records) expands upon the framework Ewald built on Welcome and the recent EP Motorcycle .jpg, retaining the hallmarks of Slaughter Beach, Dog while pushing into brave new territories A single listen to Birdie shows how much Ewald has grown as a songwriter, embellishing every detail in his songs without losing his homespun charms.

Where Welcome felt based in rock’s grand tradition, Birdie is at once more expansive and more intimate. Songs ebb and flow in the way of The Weakerthans, still rocking, but in a more scholarly way. “I took [Motorcycle .jpg] as an opportunity to get a little bit weirder than usual,” said Ewald, and it’s clear that the EP was a signpost for where he’d be taking Slaughter Beach, Dog on Birdie. “Gold And Green” sees Ewald skirt the lines between half a dozen genres, creating a song that’s able to mine vintage genres like folk and country in order to make something contemporary. Strumming an acoustic guitar, Ewald spins a narrative flush with details, boasting lyrics that are, depending on your reading, either wildly impressionistic and or plain as day.

Ewald plays into this ambiguity expertly, offering songs that use a lilting bounce to obscure the darkness of the world he’s building. “Fish Fry” is a prime example, utilizing a simple backbeat, a chugging guitar riff, and a ruminative vocal melody, the song allows Ewald to toss out references to his past work for those paying close attention. Much like on Motorcycle .jpg’s “Building The Ark,” Ewald once again finds himself dreaming of a convenience store, inviting fans to dig into his lyrics to unfurl every subplot running beneath his gooey melodies. Similarly, “Acolyte” closes the record but simultaneously opens a door, showing Ewald at his most introspectively ambitious. The song sprawls out, expanding slowly and deliberately, completing Birdie’s arch without providing any definitive answers.

Though Slaughter Beach, Dog may have started as a project for Ewald to get past a mental block, it’s grown into something more. Under this moniker Ewald has built a rich, vibrant world, one that invites thoughtful analysis from fans, and continues to expand past its initial intent. Birdie is bountiful in its scope, with songs that pile on layers of instruments and suck you into the world of Slaughter Beach, Dog. And once you’re there, you never want to leave.
Venue Information:
The Boot & Saddle
1131 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19147
http://www.bootandsaddlephilly.com