If you recall from our interview with Andrew Mars of Settled Arrows, he had two versions of his debut solo album fighting for space in his head – one that was a more traditional recording experience and one that captured the atmosphere and dynamics of life and music in a piano bar. Saturday, February 24th marked the second recording of Settled Arrows’ Public Privacy, this time in front of a live audience at Buckeye Recording Studio.
After playing through the album, banter and audience chatter included, Mars settled into a set of covers that was also recorded and is now available for free on his Bandcamp as Taking Hits. He dips into some standards, a classic Elton John song, a Madonna, Kelis and Lady Gaga medley, a rousing “Werewolves of London” and more. Check it out below and stay tuned for the live Public Privacy release.
Local hip hop artist The Bul Bey performs at Kung Fu Necktie tonight. It’s been about a year since the West Philly native released his latest LP Shaking Hands and Kissing Babies, but we got another nugget of Amir Richardson’s talent on producer Rolled Gold’s debut effort earlier this week. Check 2014’s “Where I’m From” below and pick up tickets for tonight’s 21+ show here.
When Andrew Mars went into his grandparents’ basement to record during the winter of 2015, it was an act of catharsis.
The Philadelphia singer, songwriter and composer had been going through a rough patch in his life; a long-term relationship was ending, loved ones were dying. And he turned to something that had always been there as a source of comfort: music.
The wonderful thing about Public Privacy, the resulting album under his stage name Settled Arrows, is that it doesn’t wallow in grief-driven melancholia like so many records born out of similar circumstances. It’s got feeling, no doubt, but it’s nuanced, delicate, poetic – and quite beautiful.
Mars’ prior work had veered more in an experimental songwriting direction; this album, decidedly, was his more pop-oriented affair, though pop as filtered through an artful prism. Moments on the record recall songwriters like Scott Walker, John Grant and last year’s Mercury Prize winner Benjamin Clementine – artists who begin from a more traditional starting point and then re-imagine the possibilities of where it can lead them. Continue reading →
Settled Arrows headlines Bourbon & Branch tonight. Leighton, PA native Andrew Mars began recording under the moniker just last year, making his debut with Public Privacy. He’s no stranger to performing live, though; now living in Philadelphia, Mars has appeared on stage with BalletX, Pig Iron Theatre, and sometimes plays piano at Tavern on Camac. His experienced showmanship shines through on the record, while the lyrics could have been ripped straight from a diary. Listen to “Jimmy Desert” below and pick up tickets to the 21+ show here.