If you were already super pumped for the Manchester Orchestra show this fall after catching its Free At Noon Concert, then you might want to sit down for this news. Not only will the Atlanta five-piece’s soaring sounds echo through The Fillmore in October, but they’ll be joined by Scranton duo, Tigers Jaw, and St. Louis post-rock outfit, Foxing. Holy emotional angst-fest. Continue reading →
If there’s one thing that Manchester Orchestra showed the packed Free at Noon crowd today, it’s that they have an insane superpower to effortlessly travel through moments of stripped, aching softness to hard-hitting, soaring volumes of power.
Being that it’s been ten years since their debut album, I’m Like I’m a Virgin Losing a Child, Manchester Orchestra’s sound has understandably morphed and grown along with them over time. Playing a few new tracks from their upcoming album, ABlack Mile To The Surface, the Atlanta five-piece demonstrated a shift from heavy guitar jam builds to a more atmospheric kind of grandness. Continue reading →
Over four to five albums, Manchester Orchestra, led by Andy Hull, has continued to hone their sound and vision, existing somewhere between indie rock experimentation, arena rock magnitude, and the catharsis-laden chorus chanting of alternative rock. I hate to boil any artistic group’s output into such easy genre boxes, but it does help us as a reference point for the band’s latest two albums Cope and Hope, both released in 2014. I wrote over “four to five albums” because Cope and Hope are essentially two takes at the same set of songs, albeit coming at them from different directions. Cope is a “turn the knob to 11” type deal – anxious verses leading to big payoff choruses, unrelenting power, and lots of muted guitar strumming. Hope amplifies the emotion and moodiness at the cost of overall loudness and force. Hope is the twilight to Cope‘s daylight – dark, transient, and elusive. Hope is not quite a “stripped down” album, an afterthought appendix to Cope; Hope can stand on its own and it certainly showcases the range that Manchester Orchestra is capable of achieving. Listening back-to-back, it’s a real trip to hear what the band was thinking of bringing out to the forefront in the reinterpreted version. It’s great to hear that even at the larger rock-and-roll scale that Manchester Orchestra is at these days, they are still enthusiastic about experimenting with their own sound. Continue reading →
Purling Hiss head down to Delaware’s Arden Gild Hall tonight with Thunderhawk and St James & The Apostles. The local rockers released Weirdon earlier this year, their second effort for Drag City. Hiss frontman Mike Polizze spoke with The Key last week in the inaugural “Gearadelphia” feature, discussing his live gear set-up, his ambitious dream studio and the times when things go wrong on stage. Read the full interview here and pick up tickets for tonight’s show here. Continue reading →
Last month Atlanta-based indie rock band Manchester Orchestra released their fourth studio album, Cope, via Favorite Gentlemen, the band’s own independent label. To support their new record, the band has been on an extensive spring tour of the US and Canada with Doylestown’s Balance and Composure as well as Kevin Devine (who’s also in Bad Books, band with Manchester’s frontman Andy Hull).
The tour sold out two nights at the Theater of the Living Arts well in advance, and as soon as the doors opened on night two, the crowd rushed inside and two the front. Devine appeared on stage first, dancing and clapping his hands, getting the crowd pumped to songs such as “Cotton Crush” and “I Could Be With Anyone”. Throughout his set, Devine jumped up, down and across the stage, always rushing back to the microphone to make sure he didn’t miss a lyric. He closed his set with “Brother’s Blood,” performed full band, leaving the crowd in awe.
Next to take the stage was melodic indie-rock band Balance and Composure, on tour in support of their second LP The Things We Think We’re Missing, which was released last year via No Sleep Records. Opening their set with “Quake” off of their first LP, Separation, Balance made a perfect entrance. A majority of the set drew from their newest record including singles “Reflection” and “Tiny Raindrop.” On stage, the band used fog machines which might have made it difficult to see the band members, but it did enhance their set aesthetically. Closing with two new songs, Balance and Composure played a powerful set championing their latest material.
Manchester Orchestra opening their headlining set with the acoustic track “Deer”, the first song off of their LP, Simple Math, and the crowd was instantly covered with goose bumps. Playing a different set than the night before, the band played an interesting array of songs, including a Bad Books song with Kevin Devine. Promoting their new record, Cope, Manchester Orchestra performed “Top Notch,” as well as album title track, which the crowd enjoyed (based off of the crowd surfing and the mosh pit). The set closed with slower songs “Virgin” and the title track from Simple Math (which they did not play the night before). After their set, the crowd cheering “one more song” for several minutes chanting for an encore that never came – the sound engineer announced after fifteen minutes that the show was over and asked the crowd to leave. Even so, Manchester Orchestra played a tremendous set that left me and the audience speechless.
Local jazz ensemble Fresh Cut Orchestra perform at World Cafe Live tonight. The ten-piece band is celebrating the release of their debut record From the Vine, out on Ropeadope Records yesterday. LP features nine original songs that show just how tightly these musicians vibe together. They move from contemporary jazz to Latin-influenced arrangemetns and abstract hip hop beats. Listen to “Sanguine” from the record below and pick up tickets for tonight’s all-ages show here.
Fans of Manchester Orchestra know that Andy Hull’s voice is sometimes at its most powerful when it’s quiet. Sure, he can push his volume and power over the sailing, distorted guitars, but it’s when he’s at his quietest where he lets much of his emotion come out through trembling melodies and rich harmonies. You can also hear it in his solo project—Right Away, Great Captain. Now, along with Manchester Orchestra bandmate Robert McDowell, Hull used the power of the voice, and the voice alone, to score the film Swiss Army Man, which stars Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano. And it was not easy. Continue reading →
Roger Harvey is a Philly-via-Pittsburgh artist who has a definitive and almost instantly likable style, one which many have compared to bands like Bright Eyes, Neutral Milk Hotel and Manchester Orchestra (yeah, not half bad).
Harvey’s debut LP Twelve Houses was a beautifully written and expertly produced output full of intricate arrangements. But for local video series Static Sessions he decided to take one of the album’s more impressive moments, “Halloween,” and strip it down to its core. Continue reading →
Let’s face it, the adult Halloween is only really fun if you get to get boozed up, listen to some music and dance while dressed ridiculously. Or is that just me? Regardless there are some rockin’ shows this weekend where all of the aforementioned are encouraged – and pretty much required. Continue reading →