Doylestown’s Balance and Composure just announced a late summer / early fall headlining tour with Seaheaven and The American Scene that will wrap up with a homecoming show at the TLA on October 4th. (EDIT: While The American Scene is on earlier dates of the tour, Creepoid joins the tour for the latter half, and will play the TLA show.) Tickets go on sale Friday at noon via Live Nation. The heavy emo five-piece released their sophomore album, The Things We Think We’re Missing, last fall and have been touring it hard ever since. They stopped in for an acoustic Key Studio Session in October; check out an acoustic performance of “Reflection” from it below, and download the entire set here.
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.
Doylestown natives Balance and Composure are offering a New Year’s gift to their fans: a free download of an acoustic version of “Tiny Raindrop” from their latest LP The Things We Think We’re Missing. The original is already excellent, but there’s just something special about a great song being completely stripped down to its bare bits and being delivered just as beautifully. It’s emo at its finest and brings to mind Sunny Day Real Estate. Watch the video for the original “Tiny Raindrop” below and download the new version below.
Today we bring you our latest Key Studio Sessions compilation, pulling together the best of what we’ve recorded in the final four months of 2013. I’m always psyched about these comps, but The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 9 in particular presents a tremendous variety of musicians from around the Philadelphia region that I’m excited to showcase for you. Bucks County has a healthy showing, from the acoustic alt-punk swagger of Balance and Composure and the retro-grunge of Daylight to the booming Americana of Levee Drivers and the flower child folk stylings of Lily Mae. We trip away into a spacious, 12-minute jam by Chris Forsyth and his Solar Motel Band, rock out to Amanda X and get chillingly meditative with ambient musician and filmmaker Michael James Murray. A Christmas selection from Jersey’s The Classic Brown makes the cut, sultry new jammers from Delaware’s Mean Lady and Central Pa.’s Kate Faust, a fierce bass-backed rap by Curly Castro, an Afro-Cuban jazz rocker from Toy Soldiers, and more. Special thanks to guest engineers Steve Poponi and Mike Kennedy, to Tom Volpicelli at Mastering House for his post-production help, and to production assistants Dan Hutton and Dan Malloy as well as photographers Rachel Del Sordo, Megan Kelly, Laura Lynn, Caitlin McCann, Ally Newbold, Kellie O’Heron, Tony Oppenheim, Matthew Shaver, Mike Trutt and Tiffany Yoon, and videographers Bands in the Backyard and Bob Sweeney for sharing their work this fall. Listen to the 17-song set and get a free download below.
Want more? Get a roundup of our previous free-downloadable Key Studio Sessions compilations after the jump. Continue reading →
Doylestown rock outfit Balance and Composure recently released a half hour documentary on the making of The Things We Think We’re Missing. Featuring interviews with all the band members and Studio 4‘s Will Yip, the video takes you through every aspect of the album creation process. From writing the songs in a remote Pennsylvania cabin to recording them in Conshohocken, Balance and Composure fills us in on how the album was formed alongside their goofing around. According to the doc, guitarist Andrew Slaymaker almost lost his mind, and Bailey Van Ellis couldn’t stand drumming in the morning, but the result was more than worth it. Check out the documentary below, and keep an eye out for an upcoming Doylestown area show. Pick up The Things We Think We’re Missing via No Sleep Records here or stream it below.
Kingston, Pennsylvania crew Title Fight marked its ten-year anniversary this fall, and threw a big celebration in true punk rock style: with a sold-out five-band all-ages bill at an American Legion hall in nearby Glen Lyon. Joining them were fellow local noisemakers Balance and Composure and Daylight, along with Wilkes-Barre hardcore band Dead End Path and touring act Justice (a punk band from Belgium, not the dance band from France). In addition to their ten years and dozen or so releases together, Title Fight also had a forward-thinking cause to celebrate: the new Spring Songs EP 7″, available now via Revelation Records. Check out photos from the show in the gallery below.
Before heading off to tour Australia and Japan, Daylight put together a quirky music video for “No One’s Deserving”. The video opens with a man singing along to the lyrics “Afraid / to be myself / alone / I can’t be loved” as he puts on a mouse mascot head. Watch the physical and personal journey this mouse-man takes below, and listen for Daylight on The Key Studio Sessions on tonight’s Philly Local show on WXPN.
The punk rock guys from Kingston and Doylestown, PA put on a phenomenal hometown show at a sold out Union Transfer last week. Both Title Fight and Balance and Composure displayed just how heavy they can be, and how tight they are, even with stage divers running by them for almost the entirety of the show.
After opening sets from poppy Lehigh Valley duo Slingshot Dakota and Portland, Maine’s Cruel Hand, Balance and Composure kicked off a set of songs mostly from their second album The Things We Think We’re Missing. These tracks sounded huge, and even better than they do on the record. The grittiness in the music came through very well, especially as Jon Simmons poured his heart out in every way from melodies to all out screams. As they played “Parachutes” and “Notice Me” it was as if the band transcended into a space between beautiful and grungy, bringing the chanting crowd along with them. With all the explosions and layered guitar grooves in their powerful music, Balance and Composure has continued to progress as one of the best bands in the area.
Title Fight is a band that has not only put out great records in the recent past (see Floral Green), but has risen to prominence in the national punk rock scene for their intense live shows. Title Fight came out as hard as they always do, head banging and thrashing all over the stage, dodging the multitude of fans that had made their way on to the stage. They did not skip a beat the entire time (except for an injury that caused the show to be put on halt for some time), and picked up one song right as the previous one had ended. Playing old favorites such as “Symmetry” among newer songs like “Secret Society,” they kept the crowd on their feet and in the show. Of course, the crowd was yelling lyrics right back in the band’s face and they seemed to know every single word. The performance was heartfelt, and the ecstatic reaction from the crowd only reinforced just how good this band is.
This week, Folkadelphia presented a special Philly-centric session with Rosu Lup. The chamber folk group recorded a Kickstarter-funded EP called Currents earlier this year, complete with orchestral arrangements, at Miner Street Studio. A small orchestra joined Rosu Lup for this Folkadelphia session; stream and download the recording below.
Monday’s My Morning Download featured a new song from Jeremy Messersmith. The singer-songwriter was recently signed to Glassnote Records and will release his label debut in 2014. ”Tourniquet” is a new song from the Minneapolis native that you can stream and download below.
Under normal circumstances, Doylestown’s Balance and Composure is pretty loud. Or, no – that’s an understatement. It’s crushingly loud. Amp-shorting, ear-blistering, string-rattling…and so on. You can draw your own metaphor. So it was kind of unexpected and a cool surprise when lead vocalist Jon Simmons and guitarist Andy Slaymaker showed up with acoustic guitars to record their Key Studio Session late this summer. Their album The Things We Think We’re Missing was wrapped up and about to drop on No Sleep Records, a tour was due to begin shortly. And beneath their trademark layers of roaring distortion and massive instrumental arrangements – which, make no mistake, were artfully crafted by Conshohocken uber-producer Will Yip – the guys were eager to show that that one could find songs at the core. The performance you hear below is gripping: Slaymaker’s guitar is in the right headphone, Simmons’ is in the left, and their playing is complimentary and interlocking. Sometimes they’re both fervently strumming the same chords, creating a heavy surround of low-end tones; sometimes they’re playing distinct parts that ebb and flow into one another. And Simmons’ vocals are tough and yet tender as he works through free-associated thoughts about faith, heartache, loneliness, abandonment. Listen below and download the performances for a side to these alt-punk heavyweightsyou won’t see this weekend when they play a sold-out Union Transfer.