The Oh Hellos: “Nothing lasts forever, Some things aren’t meant to be, But you’ll never find the answer, Until you set your old heart free” – The Fillmore in SF (March 29, 2018)

Compiled by Erica Andreozzi

The Oh Hello’s surely HAD US AT HELLO last night at their headline show in San Francisco back in March. This high-octane, Texas-bred folk-rock octet delivered an explosive, high-energy performance that SHOOK The Fillmore like a level five earthquake. Their energy was BEYOND INFECTIOUS, and watching ALL 8 members go APE SHIT on their instruments just had you instantly flailing your arms and stomping your feet to join the madness. I remember from first seeing The Oh Hellos back in 2015 at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and being BLOWN AWAY by extra-expressive fiddle, banjo, and bass players who were jumping around stage like pogo sticks while still managing to shred their strings in mid-air. This band first stole my heart back in 2010 when I came across ‘Hello My Old Heart,’ a song that would pretty much revived my pulse an had me staying calm during very, VERY trying times: “Nothing lasts forever Some things aren’t meant to be But you’ll never find the answer Until you set your old heart free.” Other songs like The Truth is a Cave, Eat You Alive, I Was Wrong, I Have Made Mistakes, Trees, Constellations, Grow, and On the Mountain Tall, Eurus, and Hieroglyphs, have also hammered on my heartstrings and instilled timeless messages that I continue to revisit (especially this one): “The sun, it does not cause us, The sun, it does not cause us to grow… It is the rain that will strengthen, The rain that will strengthen your soul. It will make you whole.” I was so happy they played this song (‘I Have Made Mistakes’) last night, cause Tyler and Maggie Heaths’ brother-sister harmonies absolutely SLAY, and you will be lathered in chills by the end. I would have LOVED if they played ‘Hello My Old Heart,’ but their set was chock full of string-saturated songs (YES) from their new EP, Eurus (a nice EP follow up to ‘Notos‘ released just last year), and this band would not have had time unless they played for 3 hours straight (an actually request by someone in the audience to which Tyler facetiously said would “lead to their demise”). Playing for 3 hours at their pace and their intensity would definitely require serious endurance, but I have no doubt they will get there someday. Even the bango player/percussionist had enough energy at the end to leap onto a high-rise speaker and bang on his drum from 6 feet in the air. EPIC ENCORE. You had me at hello, and you had me at goodbye. COME BACK SOON!  ❤

Climbing Trees‘ is one of my FAVORITES from this incredible folk rock ensemble. Coincidentally enough, yesterday (the first time I saw this song played live) was the birthday of my good friend Hillary who ALSO loves this song and loved CLIMBING TREES and other things (mountain, walls, etc.) Wish she could have been here with me!

LOVE THIS ONE. This timeless track (‘I Have Made Mistakes‘) will forever hammer on my heartstrings with lyrics that bring light even in the darkest of times.
“I have made mistakes, I continue to make them. The promises I’ve made, I continue to break them. And all the doubts I’ve faced, I continue to face them. But nothing is a waste if you learn from it… And the sun, it does not cause us to grow It is the rain that will strengthen your soul (OMG YAAAS)… And it will make you whole.” TRUTH BE TOLD.

I love the honestly and life wake-up-call element to this one. SO FREAKING GOOD:
“I’ve seen the true face of the things you call life
The voice of the siren that holds your desires
But death, she is cunning, and clever as hell
And she’ll eat you alive

Oh, she’ll EAT YOU ALIVE.”    YAAAAAAS>

The lyrics to this ‘This Will End’ just absolutely SLAY. Wow. So heart-wrenchingly beautiful:

“Heartache, I’ve heard, is part of life   ❤
And I have broken more and more

But I can hope how this will end
With every line a comedy
That we could learn to love without demand   (if only it were so easy)
But unreserved honesty

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Previous videos from their 2015 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass performance:

Make it out Alive (Playlist: Jan 15, 2018)

Compiled by Erica Andreozzi

“I felt the music hit my bones and I fell back
I fell into the clouds
My feet weren’t touching the ground
We started to float around” Angus and Julia Stone (‘Make it Out Alive‘)
FRESH NEW PLAYLIST (82 songs!) inspired by some of my TOP PICKS of Iceland Airwaves music festival (Nov 2017) for which I’ll post individual reviews: Mammut (winner of the 2004 Annual Battle Of The Bands (Músíktilraunir)), Kiriyama Family (whose track ‘Innocence‘ has been #1 in Iceland for the past 3 months), Omotrack (2nd prize winner of the 2017 Annual Battle Of The Bands (Músíktilraunir)), Mani Orrason, Hórmónar (1st place winner of the 2016 Icelandic Music Experiments), Songhoy Blues, Keto (my talented friend Le Hah!), Axel Flovent, Hatari (Grapevine music award‘s 2016 and 2017 ‘Best Live Band of the Year‘), GDJYB (Gai Dan Jane Yuk Bang), Rökkva, Valdimar, One Week Wonder, Rythmatik (winner of the 2015 Annual Battle Of The Bands (Músíktilraunir)), Captain Syrup, Hogni (Grapevine music award‘s ‘Album of the Year‘), GDJYB (Gai Dan Jan ), Mosi Musik, Asgeir (fastest-selling debut album in Icelandic history, ‘Album of the Year’ winner at 2012 Icelandic Music Awards), We Made God (3rd prize winner of the 2006 Annual Battle Of The Bands (Músíktilraunir) ), and I am Halo.
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Mammut is by far one of my FAVORITE ICELANDIC BANDS and have been ever since I first discovered them at the Great Escape music festival in Brighton back in 2013. I am somewhat OBSESSED with their newest album, Kinder Versions, especially after getting hooked on ‘Kinder Version‘ (“I’m bringing all my stories back, erasing all the kinder versions of my past”) ❤ ❤ ❤ , ‘The Moon Will Never Turn On Me‘ (“I want to make this right but I don’t feel right, Cause sometimes life tries to eat us up… but then I take a look around and see how dust turns into gold and I embrace this world, embrace the world, embrace the world and I love it all”), and ‘Pray for Air‘ (“Taste the dirt of the water… you know you’ll never be pure.”) *Note: Air in water unfortunately would mean less blue ice when that water freezes!* Not only did National radio and television RÚV chose Kinder Version as the best album of 2017, but it was The Line of Best Fit selected it at #18 for 2017. Mammut was also awarded performers of the year (Krókurinn 2017, Menningarverðlaun Rásar) and selected to be on KEXP‘s top 10 list of the YEAR. They definitely had a REMARKABLE 2017! Can’t wait to post my review on them! I got some epic videos of their first set of Airwaves in Reykjavik, especially during ‘Kinder Version‘ when Kata pointed to me about a 1 min in and asked “Have you been excited?” with a gaze that stared into the depths of MY SOUL. If I wasn’t excited before, I certainly was after.:)
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Other sources of inspiration for this playlist were drawn from recent shows that I really enjoyed (see reviews by clicking on link) — Henry Jamison, Angus and Julia Stone, City of the Sun, Overcoats, Nick Mulvey, Jaws of Love. (Kelcey Ayer of Local Natives), Caroline Smith, Tune-Yards, Ben Sollee, Emily Scott Robinson, Luke Sital-Singh, Henry Jamison, Gracie and Rachel — as well as new releases by Geographer, The Boxer Rebellion, Trevor Hall, Caught a Ghost, Black Pistol Fire, The Oh Hellos, Sharon Van Etten, Amber Coffman (of Dirty Projectors), Cosmo Sheldrake, and Van William.
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City of the Sun was one of my TOP FIVE PICKS OF 2017, and their EXPLOSIVE, GENRE-BENDING sound (post-rock blended with and flamenco guitar and unique percussion) will SWEEP YOU TO THE SKY. It’s only a matter of time before these guys shine their vibrant tunes ‘To the Sun and All the Cites In Between‘ (name of debut album).
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Previous Playlists: Up All Night, Capsized, Creature Comfort, I Know You Know, Feeling Electric, Wake Up, Oceans Away, I Want it All, Standing Rock, Jungle, When Things Fall Apart, and more…

(In order to access the playlist, you have to press the 3 vertical dots in the upper right hand corner and select download. You can then cancel the download immediately and still have access to the playlist. If you are still having uses, let me know and I can send you a link to download the tracks!)

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  1. So Low- Geographer
  2. Love Yourself- The Boxer Rebellion
  3. Chateau- Angus & Julia Stone
  4. Moon / Sun- Trevor Hall
  5. Kinder Version-  Mammut
  6. Before The Hurting Lands.- Jaws Of Love.
  7. I Don’t Believe In Us- Overcoats
  8. Mountain To Move- Nick Mulvey
  9. Make It Out Alive- Angus & Julia Stone
  10. Chemistry- Kiriyama Family
  11. Second Sun- City of the Sun
  12. Right & Wrong- Caught a Ghost
  13. Trying Not to Love You- Caroline Smith
  14. Pray For Air- Mammut
  15. Speak Of The Devil- Black Pistol Fire
  16. Snow- Angus & Julia Stone
  17. The Wires- Ben Sollee
  18. Remembering- Nick Mulvey
  19. Wander- Trevor Hall
  20. Kai’s Song-  Overcoats
  21. Firefly- City of the Sun
  22. Blind Spots- Omotrack
  23. The Moon Will Never Turn On Me- Mammut
  24. 21st Century Heartbeat- Luke Sital-Singh
  25. Magazine- Caroline Smith
  26. Transform Your Game (We Remain)- Nick Mulvey
  27. Light Years Away- Kiriyama Family
  28. Fed All My Days- Mani Orrason
  29. Baudelaire- Angus & Julia Stone
  30. Torches- The Oh Hellos
  31. Dark Night- Amber Coffman
  32. Wake The Riot- Black Pistol Fire
  33. Love Me Like I’m Gone.- Jaws Of Love.
  34. I Can’t Quit- The Vaccines
  35. Bloodstyle- Caroline Smith
  36. Ekki Sleppa- Hórmónar
  37. Sahara- Songhoy Blues
  38. Time- City of the Sun
  39. Overalls (Live)- Emily Scott Robinson
  40. Imaginary Mountains- Omotrack
  41. We Tried Love- Mammut
  42. Mechanical Advantage- Ben Sollee
  43. Superstar- Keto
  44. Hawaiian License Plates.- Jaws Of Love.
  45. On the Mountain Tall-  The Oh Hellos
  46. Apart- Kiriyama Family
  47. Walls- Mammut
  48. City Dream- Axel Flovent
  49. Ódýr- Hatari
  50. Heart Attack- Tune-Yards
  51. Nothing Stays The Same- Luke Sital-Singh
  52. Up There- Trevor Hall
  53. In Your Hands- Nick Mulvey
  54. All To Myself- Amber Coffman (of Dirty Projectors)
  55. Come Along- Cosmo Sheldrake
  56. Where It Goes-  雞蛋蒸肉餅  GDJYB (Gai Dan Jane Yuk Bang)
  57. I Want You to Know- Rökkva
  58. Revolution (Ft. First Aid Kit)- Van William
  59. Læt Það Duga- Valdimar
  60. Mars- One Week Wonder
  61. Carrie Bell- Ben Sollee
  62. Blackened Pool- Keto
  63. Young Folks- City of the Sun
  64. Geiri á Sjoppunni- Captain Syrup
  65. Angel Eyes- One Week Wonder
  66. Soubour – Songhoy Blues
  67. Bed I Made (Bonus Track)- Allen Stone
  68. Ryðgaður Dans- Valdimar
  69. Time Is A Riddle- Luke Sital-Singh
  70. Traveling Mercies- Emily Scott Robinson
  71. What the Fuck- The Boxer Rebellion
  72. For You- Sharon Van Etten
  73. Peace Has a Pencil in Her Hair – Rythmatik
  74. Kynsvelt- Hórmónar
  75. Queen Of Queens – i Am Halo
  76. Crash- Hogni
  77. I Am You Are Me- Mosi Musik
  78. Trust- Asgeir
  79. The Start is a Finish Line- We Made God
  80. Sunlit Juice- Henry Jamison
  81. (Un)comfortable- Gracie and Rachel
  82. Goodbye- Mosi Musik

Tow’rs- “Just Because We’re Breathing Doesn’t Mean We’re Alive”: Neck of the Woods (Feb 12, 2016)

Neck of the Woods, San Francisco
Written by Erica Andreozzi

Ever since I first stumbled upon Tow’rs from a promotional sampler on Noisetrade, I DROPPED MY JAWS in disbelief. HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS BAND? Where are they hiding?! Well, turns out they are hiding in Flagstaff, a small town in Arizona that I (oddly enough) know quite well after spending a summer there in 2007 (internship with W.L. Gore & Associates). I felt an instant connection with them, and was incredulous over the fact that they came from a place I was so deeply fond of.  I soon learned that the band was born out of husband and wife duo, Kyle and Gretta Miller, who had been playing music with their best friends — Emma Crislip, Kyle Keller, Kory Miller — for many years (six to be exact) before finally realizing that they needed to bring this music beyond their local Church scene and into the general public. Just like that, the foundation of Tow’rs was laid down- a foundation of folk roots, soothing strings, and happy harmonies that would build one of the BEST BREAKOUT indie/folk bands of 2015 (in my opinion). I guess it’s true when they say that BEST FRIENDS truly make the BEST MUSIC, and I was happy to find “a place at their table” last Saturday night. 🙂

“Through our music, we explore the questions that haunt us, the pain that marks us, and the hope that redefines everything for us.  We invite you into the conversation, build with us, find your place at the table.” -Tow’rs

HUGE THANKS to Tow’rs for coming out west to captivate us with their live set, slaying us with songs like The Kitchen and Circles, both from their newest (and my most favorite) album, The Great Minimum. I really enjoyed meeting the beautiful people behind this beautiful music, and hope that they leave a bit of their heart in San Francisco and come back soon. When they do, I seriously hope they tour with one of my other new favorite folk artists, Zach Winters (who I think would be perfect compliment). For those fans of The Head and the Heart, Horse Feathers, Of Monsters and Men, Blind Pilot, The Oh Hellos, and Typhoon, you HAVE GOT to check them out.

Fresh off their win (‘Emerging Artist’) from the 2015 Viola Awards, Tow’rs released a new album (The Great Minimum) in June 2015. It follows up their well-received debut self-titled album from 2014.

 (see below for videos and more detail from the show)

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Tow’rs had me FREAKING OUT when they kicked off their set with my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE, The Kitchen. The captivating cello intro hooks you HARD and soon has you swaying with every stoke of the bow. Once it does, you can’t help but fall into a reverie imagining how this next verse would play out:

“You made me dance in the kitchen with you
If I was the night then you were the moon
Expectation is the currency of fools   (LOVE)
I spent it on you, I spent it on you.”

This one is another favorite from their collection, and I especially enjoy the plead of electric guitar that perfectly compliments the “pleeeeeease come home” plead throughout.

The beginning of this next one initially reminded me of an old Bombay Bicycle Club song (acoustic) but then came into its own when the perky percussion picked up the pace at the first chorus (“It’s not black or white but in between”).

This next one was major crowd-pleaser and obvious favorite from their debut album

Loved the staggering call-and-response vocals from husband and wife, Kyle and Gretta.

This next one is a definite favorite from their recent album, and I can’t help but belt out the chorus of “Just because we’re breathing doesn’t mean we are alive.” TRUTH BE TOLD. Turns out that Helm is also a favorite of Kyle and Gretta, for it was inspired by the birth of their first son (now almost 1 year old) and about the nervous anticipation that often accompanies such big life changes.

Was really impressed to learn the this one was written by the cellist, Emma, who I was lucky enough to flag down after the show. Cello players hold a very special place in my heart, for cello had come to be my favorite string instrument. I can’t quite pin down what about this instrument makes me melt, but it DOES. Props to Emma for hammering on my heartstrings all night. Also mad props to Kyle for alternating between electric guitar, harmonica, and trumpet throughout the set- a modest multi-instrumentalist who was as pleasant to chat with as he was to watch!

Loved this STUNNING version of Circles as their encore. This here is perfect proof that BEST FRIENDS really do make the BEST MUSIC. I was grinning EAR-TO-EAR as I watched them exchange smiles and laughs while they serenaded the crowd with their dreamy harmonies and soul-stroking lyrics: “Circles are the perfect shape…to describe the hearts of man.” Hands down my favorite part of the night. ❤