Aldous Harding

Johnny Brenda's Presents

Aldous Harding

Shadow Band

Tue, June 6, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

$10.00 - $12.00

This event is 21 and over

All shows are 21+ Proper I.D. required for admission

Aldous Harding - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
Aldous Harding
An artist of rare calibre, Aldous Harding does more than sing; she conjures a singular intensity. Her body and face a weapon of theatre, Harding dances with steeled fervor, baring her teeth like a Bunraku puppet's gnashing grin.
Her debut release with 4AD, Party (produced with the award-winning John Parish; PJ Harvey, Sparklehorse) introduces a new pulse to the stark and unpopulated dramatic realm where the likes of Kate Bush and Scott Walker reside.
Igniting interest with her eponymous debut album released just two years ago, Aldous Harding quickly became known for her charismatic combination of talent, tenacity and shrewd wit. The album drew attention and accolades from some of the most illustrious corners of the music industry, receiving 4 stars in MOJO and Uncut, while UK blog The 405 hailed her a “toweringly talented song writer”.
Comprising a formidable clutch of songs, 2017’s Party sees Harding shape-shift through a variety of roles: chanteuse, folk singer and balladeer - all executed with her twisted touch of humour, hubris and quiet horror. In other words, she’s having a good time. Stretching her limbs with playful cunning; every note, word and arrangement posed with intellect and inventiveness.
Created in Parish’s hometown of Bristol, Party saw Harding depart her New Zealand base in the antipodes for an intensive two-week immersion in the studio. Articulating her ambitions for "Party" to Parish was a galvanizing process for Harding, met with stunning results. The pair developed a near non-verbal shorthand, audibly evident in a raft of musical contributions from Parish. Alongside such special guests as Perfume Genius’ Mike Hadreas (having worked with Parish and toured with Aldous, it only took asking once), there is an exhilarating sense of risk throughout the record as Harding’s muscular wingspan extends. Teased out with inflections of experimental instrumentation and arrangements; Party is always anchored by Aldous’s intimidating command of her own songs.
First single “Horizon” is a lover’s call to arms, powerful for its brutal simplicity and rawness of feeling, love and loathing colliding to devastating effect. “Aldous Harding repeats the line as a mantra, as a truth, as a reality. It's as if the gift of life is right here, with all its beauty and its limitations”, said NPR.
“Imagining My Man” commands an air of delicacy as Aldous explores the curiosity of a lover’s idiosyncrasies; steering listeners into a state of intense intimacy laced with hyperactive shots, dirgey saxophone and Harding’s aching voice. The track is one of two that Perfume Genius Mike Hadreas lends his inimitably sultry vocals to, the other being the intimate Party closer ‘Swell Does The Skull’.
“Blend” sensitively ushers the mood of Harding’s flourishment throughout Party. Its opening lines a nod to the mood of Harding’s last record; sameness is quickly quashed with an electronic drumbeat and the announcement of Aldous Harding as an artist of stirring ambition and trajectory.
The album’s eponymous single “Party” harks to Aldous’ earlier work; delicately pulling at the threads of a seemingly late-night love affair. Again, it’s not long until the rug is pulled out, with a searing chorus - Harding’s electrifying vocal accompanied by a choir of women and waves of percussive bass clarinet - piercing the balloon of expectations around Harding's new record with effortless vigour.

Renowned for the captivating state of possession she occupies in live performance, Aldous Harding has won crowds the world over playing alongside Deerhunter, Frankie Cosmos and Perfume Genius, as well as to hoards of eager crowds at SXSW, Festival Les Indisciplinées, Rolling Stone Weekender, Visions Festival, The Great Escape, Golden Plains and more. Aldous’ 2017 touring schedule spans Europe, the US and the United Kingdom for much of the year, with Green Man, End of the Road Festival, Latitude Festival, Nelsonville Music Festival and more on the horizon.
Shadow Band - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
Shadow Band
Shadow Band make sounds that move like foggy dreams from fantastical lands. Their patient but powerful songs set in motion a series of refracting echoes that call forth images of medieval battles, spirits unseen by human eyes and the gentle, constant pulsing of the universe

The band formed organically around the songwriting of Mike Bruno, a quiet figure whose vibrant mental landscape is the center of the group’s orbit. Growing up in New Jersey, Bruno immersed himself in a self-made world of gloomy sonic alchemy, honing his songcraft as a solo act in New Brunswick’s small-but-dedicated freak scene. The early years saw Bruno attracting a rotating cast of area heads around his growing arsenal of songs and dubbing it Black Magic Family Band. The sprawling web of artists varied with every gig and recording session, but the roots of Shadow Band started here.

After moving to Philly, a few blurry years passed and key players of the Family Band solidified into a steadfast lineup. Drummer Matt Marchesano and multi-instrumental zoner Sean Yenchick had both played with Mike for years in various formations, as had bassist James Christy. Also in the mix full time was Jacob Brunner, who’d been a long time part of the Weyes Blood crew. The ensemble was rounded out by Michigan-to-Philly transplants Jules Nehring and Morgan Morel. As this core membership developed, the group continued playing on, joined sometimes by auxiliary players when the situation called for it, but now less frequently.

Earlier iterations of the project were only captured on grainy, hiss-heavy four track cassette recordings during all night rituals, leaving a trail of fuzzy, rough-hewn small scale releases. In the beginning stages of working on music for a proper album, the Shadow cohorts entered a studio for the first time to capture a higher-end rendering of their incantations. This quickly proved impossible, and after only a few days, both the band and the label agreed to reverse course.

Progress was made by moving backwards; Brunner, Nehring, and Morel began capturing the sounds of the band as they retreated into their lair. Recording at home over the course of many moons and seasons, Morel gathered the sounds and wove an outpouring of songs that would make up the Shadow Band’s debut album Wilderness of Love.

The result is a fully congealed and creative wave that crests somewhere within the gentle vibrations of the natural world, an ominous psychedelic dream state and the world’s highest game of D&D. Shadow Band sets forth on a journey into the next world, taking their songs of golden sunrise folk and death-knell blues on tour and always cultivating new sounds in their self-made and seemingly limitless world.
Venue Information:
Johnny Brenda's
1201 N. Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA, 19125
http://www.johnnybrendas.com/