Luke Sital-Singh: “I’ve got a 21st century heartbeat. It’s a dying voice, it still haunts me. 21st century heartbeat, holding on” – The Fillmore (12-3-17)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

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So lucky to have caught Luke Sital-Singh after his beautiful, non-“depressing” set opening for Angus and Julia Stone at The Fillmore last night. I remember first discovering him at Communion Music events back in 2013. Was a pleasure I was to hear his lovely tracks (especially ‘21st century heartbeat‘!) and to chat with him about touring with one of my other favorite London artists, The Staves. So glad that learn about his music journey since then and recent tour of the states. What a nice guy!

“I’ve got a 21st century heartbeat It’s a dying voice, it still haunts me 21st century heartbeat holding on”

Luke said this song as being inspired but all of the “f*cked up things happening in the world.” Such a beaut. Probably my favorite of his set. ❤

 

Nick Mulvey: “Cause you got lost in comparison Always pretending you knew When everything you were looking for Was already looking at you… This moment is a mountain to move…Wake up now” – Swedish American Hall (Nov 17, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

I couldn’t believe when Nick Mulvey said “I’ve seen you before!” after his Swedish American Hall show on Nov 17. He musta remembered the puppet face! I was hooked ever since that first night at Barfly and just kept showing up everywhere he played, from Green Man Festival to Shepards Bush empire (opening for Laura Marling) to O2 Brixton Academy (opening for London Grammar) to XOYO (where he played with the talented Fiona Bevan). His song ‘Fever to the Form‘ was legitimately my LIFE ANTHEM for most of 2013-2014, and that first verse “So whether music or madness, We live by one of the two… So Go on an fill your heart with gladness, not a moment too soon” will forever be my GUIDING LIGHT. It is a TIMELESS TRACK that I know will still bring me the same peace of mind and clarity (“cause the very thing you’re afraid, afraid of, It keeps you clean but unclear”) 20 years from now as it did back in 2013. ‘Fever to the Form’ was released alongside other tops tracks (First Mind, I Don’t Want to Go Home, Meet Me There, Juramidam, Cucurucu) on his debut album, First Mind, which was nominated for a Mercury Prize (well deserved!) in 2014. Nick has become a dad since the release of that album, and he considers this step to have had a positive influence on his music writing: “Putting music as a secondary priority to that (the challenge of making new music) was a really healthy thing for me.” Well, we are glad to reap the benefits of that positive influence, for his newest (sophomore) album, Wake Up Now, is freaking AWESOME. Standout tracks for me are: Mountain to Move, Remembering, In Your Hands, Transform Your Game, and Unconditional. In fact, Nick has a really cool story to go along with ‘Mountain to Move’ and I hope he continues to share it during his live performances. Cheers to the super talented British musician who studied music in Cuba and who continues to weave styles from all over the world into his musical quilt. ❤

 

More Nick Mulvey videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/eandreoz/search?query=nick+mulvey

*Check out full videos from the night on my YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/eandreoz

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse
Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

 

Local Natives – “Save me, from the prime of my life”: the Greek Theater in Berkeley (July 28, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi
(more pics and videos below)

Stoked to have FINALLY caught Local Natives on local land after last seeing them in Edinburgh (Electric Circus), Wales (Green Man Festival), and London (Brixton Academy) back in 2013. That year spoiled me silly, and the memories I have from those shows almost (almost) make up for the 3 ½ year hiatus. Seeing them in that tiny 250, venue in Edinburgh had me on cloud nine for WEEKS, and the fact that I bumped into Taylor (lead vocals/guitar), Ryan (guitar/vocals), and Nik (bass, keys, vocals) that same night for a “wee chat” was also pretty freaking amazing. Then they were announced to play Green Man, a super casual festival where it’s not too uncommon to spot bands hanging out in the crowd watching other bands (and yes, I was indeed lucky enough to find myself dancing next to them during one of the sets). A few months later was their London show at Brixton Academy, and although it was not nearly as intimate as the Edinburgh one, I was happy to have met Kelcey after the show with my best friend Amanda (who was visiting from Philly). Pics below.

Fast forward to last Friday (7/28) at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, and I am grinning ear-to-ear as I wait to bask myself in the beauty of their Sunlit Youth (2016 album). I nearly DIED when they opened with ‘Past Lives,’ a song that slayed me from the start with it’s opening line, “Save me from the prime of my life” (which I am considering as a text tattoo). I love the capricious cadence to this song and the piercing percussion after the chorus of “Then you wake up.” YAAAAAS.  😀

Taylor had us smiling wide when he dedicated the next song (‘Villiany’) to his 1 ½ year old niece Emma, it being her first ever show – he said this one was her favorite! He even posted a clip of her shaking her booty to it in the crowd on Instagram the day after.

Kelcey then asks the audience if anyone is from SF state, and then laughs as he admits wanting to go to Berkeley but only getting into SF state. He then introduced their next song, ‘Airplanes,’ as one he wrote after leaving SF state and heading back to Los Angeles. He followed up with a special version of the hauntingly beautiful, somber tune, ‘Columbia’ (“Am I loving enough?”), that he said the SF Bay Area has never heard before. Tears def welled up in my eyes.

They then surprised us with a new song called ‘I Saw You Close Your Eyes,’ which is KILLER and one I connected with right away. Their new song, ‘The New Heirs’ is also pretty siiiiick too. Next came ‘Jellyfish’, ‘Heavy Feet’, ‘Dark Days’ (with Ryan filling in for the female vocal part and turning heads with his perfect pitch) and ‘Who Knows, Who Cares,’ a song that references “going down to Colorado” — pretty eerie considering that the band recently visited the Colorado river in Arizona to advocate water conservation in Episode 103 of the nature series, Earthworks. This was a project they felt very strongly about, considering that the Colorado river is the main sources of water for California, a state near in dear to their heart and one that is in the 6th year of the worst, most epic drought in modern history (compounded further by climate change and population increases). Aside from showing activism on the water conservation and green energy front, Local Natives have made it a point to show activism on the political front. In fact, Taylor was involved in a panel called the “Politicon” at the Pasadena Convention (July 28/29). That night, Taylor reminds us (during his intro to ‘Fountain of Youth’) that the power is in the hands of the future generation:

“This next song has the idea that it’s the new generation every single time that gets to decide where the world is going to go. It’s the new generation that can see it for what it is an i think pushes it where we want it to be and for us, we just wanted to say, especially being here where, that idea idea was birthed a lot for America, that we have a choice to choose unity and to choose love and respect and respect for everybody. And we would just like to push that forward, no matter what you can do, your influence on the world, we would just like to push for that. “

“We can do whatever we want… We can say whatever we mean…

And if we don’t change, Then who’ll change?

We’ve been dreaming of you, Drinking from fountains of youth.”

(Hell YES. Power to the people)

Cheers to a band that uses the stage to motivate change for the greater good. I have so much respect and adoration for these local natives Cali pride). Stay humble, stay hungry. Stay thirsty for that “Fountain of Youth.” Taylor, quenched by this fountain of youth, dives into the crowd for a bit of surf and then lies on his back, projecting peace and love to all like a prophet.

In true Local Natives fashion, they end the night leaving us in good hands – ‘Sun Hands.’ The energy and aura of this epic encore never fails to disappoint.

All Local Natives fans must check out Kelcey’s new solo project called Jaws of Love. His debut album, Tasha Sits Close To The Piano, named by his wife after their dog Tasha, is coming in the fall, and earlier this month. The lead single, ‘Jaws Of Love,’ is simply stunning — Kelcey’s falsetto vocals elevating over deep, brooding piano ballads. “The whole project is me trying to embrace my nuances and indulge in it,” Ayer explains. “It was such an awesome release making these songs, and that let me embrace who I feel like I am. It was wonderful to not have to explain myself to anyone. I have dark piano music in my heart and soul, and Jaws Of Love. is me at my truest self.” We certainly approve. ❤

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=fRukQSwDKP0

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*Check out more videos on my YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/eandreoz

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse
Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

Jake Morley: “Headstrong…Always used to be so headstrong…Now all I seem to do is falter…”

Jake Morley– The Lexington (May 24, 2014)

I go to A LOT of gigs (everyone knows that), but last night was one of the first times I ever came across a singer/songwriter (Jake Morely) with such breadth- a true amalgamation of various styles. Every song of Jake Morley‘s set had it’s own unique flavor, from funk to folk to gospel. Funny enough, he elaborates on why this is: “I set out to write varied songs because I’m a varied person. Also – I’m only just getting started, so I wanted my first album to act as an introduction. The songs on Many Fish To Fry are just like me – in parts heavy, light, elated, confused, serious, funny, random and whatever else. In isolation they might just be fragments, but put the fragments together and they hopefully form a coherent whole. That’s the idea anyway. After we’re best buds I can always make other albums that look at certain areas in more depth.”  I especially like when he laid his guitar flat across his lap, combining fingertaps with percussive slaps. The only artists I’d ever known to do that were Andy McKeeBen Howard, and Daniel Champagne, and I remember being utterly amazed. Jake’s set our to record some more new songs this summer, and from the ones he played last night, I don’t think I’ll be disappointed. One of my favorites was a song called Falter (aka ‘Headstrong’), where he unveils yet another bag of tricks: “Flicking your fingers across all the strings one after the other to make a harp-like sound.” https://vine.co/v/M9TWzVb5EzM  I remember thinking this was THE COOLEST THING because I’m a huge fan of the harp, and a it’s rare to find many harpists these days. I can’t wait to hear the full song and the FULL ALBUM. xxx

PICTURES:

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Mogwai: “Music is so powerful that it’s quite beyond my control…and when I’m in the grips of it I don’t feel pleasure and I don’t feel pain.”

Mogwai– KOKO, London

(July 29, 2014)

I had always heard that Mogwai was an incredibly SOLID BAND and one of Scotland’s FINEST, but for some reason, I let them slip under my radar (which is pretty surprising considering my hearty appetite for Scottish bands: Frightened Rabbit, The Twilight Sad, Admiral Fallow, Three Blind Wolves, Washington Irving, We Were Promised Jetpacks, RM Hubbert, Fatherson, Bwani Junction, CHVRCHES). I remember I was going to see Mogwai at Sasquatch music festival back in May 2012, but they cancelled last minute due to visa/travel issues. Looking back, I can’t even IMAGINE hearing/watching their ethereal music emanate over the Gorge’s siiiiiiiiick celestial skyline. MY GOD. Seeing them and Explosions in the Sky on one weekend might have shattered my brain to bits, and maybe it was for the best…NOT. If it wasn’t for The Twilight Sad (one of my favorite Scottish bands) announcing a benefit concert with them to honor the loss of Julia Brightly, I might not have traveled down MogWAY (thankfully I did). The benefit was the idea of Stuart Braithwaite from Mogwai and Daveid Phillips from KOKO, and the message they posted on their ticket page was:

“On Saturday 3rd May, ​we were devastated to learn of the passing of our beautiful friend Julia Brightly who lost her struggle to sudden illness (cancer). To say all of us were in shock is a huge understatement.  Anyone who knew her from the days of the Mute Drivers to any artists she did sound for, from Mogwai, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, Caribou to Slint and her friends & family will all agree, she was one of the bravest and most talented people we were lucky enough to call a friend. We all miss her dearly, and although sadly departed she will never be forgotten. In her honour we are staging a benefit to donate all the proceeds to one of Julia’s favourite charities, Gendered Intelligence – something very close to Julia’s heart…All proceeds from the concert will be donated to GenderedIntelligence.co.uk.” SUCH an amazing idea and generous offer by both bands, and I’m so glad I was able to be a part of it.

After a brilliant set by The Twilight Sad (they keep getting better and better every time I see them), I anxiously anticipated this “post-rock instrumental band” that I had been hearing alot about. I recall meeting a guy at The Twilight Sad’s Bandstand Busking event (June 21) telling me that Mogwai was his FAVORTE BAND OF ALL TIME and that he’s seen them 11 TIMES NOW (including traveling to Primavera Sound Music festival every year they’ve played). Well, let me tell you…I can TOTALLY see WHY he’s seen them that insane amount of times, and whey he’s harnessed an addiction for their hypnotic concoction of music. I am STILL LEVITATING from Tuesday night’s performance at KOKO, and my EYES HURT (literally, I’ve had sore eyes since) from how long I’d kept them WIDE-EYED (buggin out!) during the entire set. I was lucky enough to soak up all the magic from the very front, and might just have collapsed if the railing was not there. Serious adrenaline. Serious numbing. Serious loss of motor control.

It’s hard to describe the beauty of the compositions that Mogwai create– their music steal snippets of magic from genres like shoegazing, math rock, art rock and occasionally instrumental metal. It was once stated in an interview that “the band do not like the categorisation of post-rock” because they believe it “over-analyzes everything.” I definitely agree, and many times I’ve found that the most beautiful things in life are often the hardest (and sometimes impossible) to describe. What I CAN SAY it is seems to me like symphonic music made with rock instruments, similar to Explosions in the Sky, but with alot more distorted guitar (which I LOVE). I was lucky enough to see Explosions in the Sky both at Sasquatch music festival (2012) and at the Palace of Fine Arts theater (sick, I know). More recently, I’ve seen 65daysofstatic and sleepmakeswaves, two other bands who I can draw some parallels to Mogwai.

I was so BLOWN AWAY by how adroit and technically-sound all of Mogwai‘s band members were, and how flawlessly they would exchange instruments like they were PLAYING A GAME OF CATCH.  In the absence of lyrics, it’s obvious they all communicate through their unique instrumental dialogue: raging riffs, piercing percussion, tantalizing trill, disturbing distortion, bellowing base…(You get the picture). Having formed in 1995, Mogwai (…MogWAY…MogWOW) has craft their craft into the music scene for nearly two decades now, and their talented cast includes: Stuart Braithwaite (guitar, vocals), John Cummings (guitar, vocals), Barry Burns (guitar, piano, synthesizer, vocals), Dominic Aitchison (bass guitar), and Martin Bulloch (drums). The spot I chose to stand (front left facing the stage) just happened to be directly across from John Cummings, who is one to stand the farthest out on stage (and I’m not complaining). BUT, the COOLEST THING about this band is that there IS NO FRONTMAN. They ALL alternate in taking “center-stage,” and it’s not like all the focus is can be on the singer (cause they don’t have one!). I love this concept.

The entire set was MIND-BLOWING (did I mention that already?), but the first song to strike a chord in me was White Noise, (see video below) off their 2011 album, ‘Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will.’ I loved being right in front of John Cumming’s guitar greatness, especially for this song, where you can’t help but sink into the mellowing monotony of his undulating riff. You then find yourself sinking deeper into this wave at 2 min in, when Stuart layers on an additional guitar riffs that stagger John’s in all the right places. I wish all WHITE NOISE sounded THIS GOOD. But, we must be honest with ourselves…this “noise” is “in fact the brilliant music of a genius.” It’s fusion of complex sound is guaranteed to stimulate a level of curiosity that is beyond our control.

I also recall the 5th SONG being one of my FAVORITES of the night, and I’m a bit upset I didn’t get it on video. I hadn’t realized it at the time, but I found out later (from that guy I met who’s seen them 11 times) that this 5th song is called Christmas Steps, and that it’s one they HARDLY EVER play live. Well then…I must have a pretty DAMN GOOD FILTER, cause I put this on the top of my list without ever haven’t listened to their albums (although now that’s definitely changed now). I just remember gentle guitar melody in the beginning suddenly become devoured but a BABBLING BASELINE at about 4 min in, and the clashing contrast was just freaking phenomenal. The plucking of the base strings in that one was like something I’d never seen before. BRUTAL ATTACK. (So good).

Nearly right after Christmas Steps was Autorock, the piano powerhouse off Mogwai’s 2006 album, ‘Mr Beast.’ The piano riff starts out soft (well, For Mogwai’s standards), and slowly builds volume and intensity throughout, keeping us VERY MUCH on our TIPTOES the entire time. Barry Burns banging on those keys was definitely a “MR BEAST” in this one. xx

Then came Remurdered, a popular gem off Mogwai’s newest album, ‘Rave Tapes’ (released October 2013). This album, by the way, entered the UK album charts at #10 and as of April 2014 has been the best selling UK album released in 2014 in terms of vinyl sales. WELL DESERVED. I currently can’t get enough of Remurdered, and it’s def going to be the title track of my next playlist.

Immediately following this one was Helicon 1, one of Mogwai’s best from their debut album, ‘Ten Rapid.’ I knew this one was gonna be SOMETHING SPECIAL when Stuart took a seat. It reminds me so much of an Explosions in the Sky song, but more distorted guitar (as I mentioned before). YAAAAAAAS. Grip me with that kinda distortion any day. A flood of adrenaline at ~4 min in, and everything becomes numb. xxx

With only two more songs left, my brain could NOT EVEN HANDLE all of the stimulation/euphoria I was experiencing. My eyes were bugging out of my head and tearing (thank gosh cause I’m sure they would have dried out), and I was left speechless. SPEECHLESS (and anyone who knows me knows that I ALWAYS have something to say!)…It was so cool to later share my REVELATION with the girls standing and me, including someone I had met previously at a Twilight Sad gig (see our huge smiles below). Then, I later saw that Mogwai music buddy (who had seen Mogwai 11 times) on the tube that night and basically let our ENTIRE TRAIN CART know how I felt about the life-changing gig. (I tried to subdue my squeal and number of “holy shit”‘s…)

Since that gig (see set-list below), I have downloaded all Mogwai albums and been listening non-stop. This new discovery truly came at an ideal time, and with an insane amount of scientific data to soon tie up, their music offers the perfect mindscape. I was all excited to analyze my 100+ brain images yesterday, knowing that I had this MogWOW feast to dig into. Just like they state in their Postpunk song, “Music is so powerful that it’s quite beyond my control…and when I’m in the grips of it I don’t feel pleasure and I don’t feel pain, either physically or emotionally…when you just couldn’t feel anything, and you didn’t want to either.”  YES….I know EXACTLY what you mean. And although you might not be conscious of how Mogwai’s music is making you feel WHILE listening, you later realize that it’s seeped into your subconsious will all sorts of healing powers.

I’m on such a Mogwai kick right now that I’m vacilating between the decision of seeing them (or not) at Richmond Park in Glasgow as part of East End Social’s ‘Last Big Weekend.’ Not only will it be one of their last announced gigs of the year, BUT, it will be IN THEIR HOMETOWN. I can’t EVEN IMAGINE that musical “MogWOW” madness…. (I’m most likely GONNA GO)  🙂

VIDEOS:

Helicon 1:

Autorock:

White Noise:

PICTURES:

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Little Green Cars: “It’s easy to give it to, When there’s more people out there to love…Than people who love you”

Little Green Cars– Sebright Arms, London
(August 22, 2013)

After first being blown away by this Dublin-based indie/folk quintet (Little Green Cars) at The Great Escape back in May (see pics below), I HAD to see them again when they were playing at one of my favorite tiny venue (Sebright Arms) in London. Even though the gig happened to be the night before I needed to head out early on a bus up to Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival, I still put on the champion face and powered through (not at all packed, exhausted from lab). It ended up being SO WORTH the diehard effort because this year’s best. Not only was I able to grab a spot RIGHT in front of Faye and feel the energy of her freaking INCREDIBLE PIPES first hand, but I was able to get a good chat in with her afterwards. That night, she told me that she notices EVERY ONE IN THE ROOM– the wide-eyed, bobblehead (me) in the front mouthing along to the vocals, the asshole in back talking to his friend during the song, etc. She said that she SEES EVERYONE in that audience, and that the vibe from the fans really influence their performance and can make/break the gig. She was also telling me that they were exhausted from a recent tour in the states (including festivals like SXSW, Coachella, Bonnaroo), and that they would be heading back there again soon for another round. They are signed to an American label called Glassnote Records (Temper Trap, Mumford & Sons, Two Door Cinema Club, Vampire Weekend) and thus they have a larger fanbase in the states because their debut album (Absolute Zero) was released their firt. I gave and Chris (the keyboardist) some suggestions about San Francisco and the Pacific Northwest, and in exchange they gave me some tips about Ireland. Faye told me I needed to visit again and needed to go back for the ‘Other Voices‘ music event in Dingle in June.  Little Green Cars played there for the 2012-2013 series, along with Daughter, Laura Marling, John Grant, Villagers, Neil Hannon, Savages, and Beth Orton.

Kicking off the set with Harper LeeLittle Green Cars then moved on to Angel Owl, one of my favorites from the album. “Only at night, does my angel sing…Ooooh…Oooooh.” Such a siiiick vocal arrangement for this one. Please is another make you plead for more of Faye’s vocals (maybe it’s not a coincidence that it’s called ‘Please’): “Please believe my lies…At least I know you gave it your best try.”

They then shocked the audience with a cover of Bruce Springsteen‘s ‘I’m on Fire’, for which the vocal arrangement was so awesome. It really captured the breadth of Faye’s pipes, and I think Bruce would approve. Not only did they cover one of my favorite songs (“I’m on fire”) by THE BOSS, but they covered a song about my hometown (‘Philadelphia‘) written by the legend non other than Sir Neil Young (he might as well be music royalty). Crazy odds!

Next up came ‘My Love Took Me Down to the River to Silence Me, and Faye’s voice SOARS on this one. Such powerful pipes for her lil’ frame! I’m so glad I was parked right in front of her for this one, cause the power of those pipes COULD BE FELT!

Even though this gig was specifically set to be an “acoustic set,” Stevie stripped it down EVEN MORE by going into the crowd with his guitar unamped and leading the rest to follow with no mice. The band ended the intimate, acoustic set by playing The John Wayne in the center of the crowd and encouraging everyone to sing alone. A very heartfelt encore (see video below):

“It’s easy to fall in love
It’s easy to be alone
It’s easy to hate yourself
when all your love is inside someone else
It’s easy to take it all
It’s easy to give it to
when there’s more people out there to love
than people who love you.” (TRUTH.)

That was a hard night of music to top, and I look forward to more unexpected treats like this. ❤

VIDEOS:

Harper Lee:

Angel Owl:

Please:

I’m On Fire (Bruce Springsteen cover):

Philadelphia (Bruce Springsteen cover):

My Love Took Me Down to the River to Silence Me:

The John Wayne:

PICTURES:

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Little Green Cars– The Great Escape, Brighton
(May 16, 2013)

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Ben Howard: “So happy hearted in the warmth…Free as a bird that flies.”

Ben Howard– The Independent (May 31, 2013)

Ben Howard, one of my FAVORITE singer/songwriters of all time who I discovered waaaaay before (from my buddy in the UK) he was known in the states (now a global icon). So glad I got to see him twice (Sasquatch music festival and The Independent) before he blew up in the states. His story is very much a Cinderella one, and it’s cool to think the he was a hard-core surfer (Cornwall’s coast) that never thought his campfire guitar sessions with friends at the beach could ever lead to global RockSTARDOM. We have London’s independent record label, Communion, for scooping him up early and helping him develop international success. He’s now already headlined many major festivals (Bestival, Latitude, Green Man, GLASTONBURY…) and has won many critically acclaimed awards all over the world. His fan base has grown IMMENSELY since seeing him back in the states (May 2012), and so seeing him a year later at Summer Stampede (London) and Green Man (Brecon Beacon, Wales) was a much different experience. In fact, I met two girls up at Sumer Stampede who came all the way from SWEDEN to see Ben (since their Peace and Love festival was cancelled). People from ALL OVER THE WORLD to become “so happy hearted in the warmth….free as a bird that flies.”

VIDEOS:

Only Love:

Promise:

Black Flies:

Old Pine:

PICTURES:

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Ben Howard– The Independent (May 31, 2013)

Ben Howard had been on my radar for over a year and so to see him TWICE IN ONE WEEK at Sasquatch and The Independent was absolutely SURREAL. He is seriously one of the most TALENTED and unbelievably HUMBLE musicians I’ve seen. Last night was even further confirmation that I am in love with his music, and everything he represents. And better yet that I got to share it with Jen!  🙂

He opened the show with Depth Over Distance, an unreleased song that showcases his lap top percussion-style guitar skills. (SO GOOD, and wish I got a video!)….Another unreleased song that I love of his is called Soldier. MAGICAL, just magical…

VIDEOS:

Old Pine:

Only Love:

“Untitled”:

The Wolves:

Everything:

Black Flies:

Keep Your Head Up (Part 1):

Keep Your Head Up (Part 2):

Promise:

The Fear:

PICTURES:

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