Foggy Notions main dude Leagues O’Toole has teamed up with Aiken Promotions to organise Harmonic, a one night event in Cork featuring Grizzly Bear, Midlake, Camera Obscura & Villagers.
Grizzly Bear, Midlake
Camera Obscura, Villagers
Live @ the Marquee, Cork
Friday, June 25th
Tickets €35 incl. booking fee
Forerunners of American independent rock music Grizzly Bear & Midlake return to Ireland to headline the inaugural Harmonic event live @ the Marquee in Cork with support from Scottish indie-pop quintet Camera Obscura and Domino Records first ever Irish signings, Villagers. This will be Grizzly Bear’s only Irish show in 2010.
Harmonic was put together byAiken Promotions and independent promoter Leagues O’Toole, with a view to forming a mass gathering of independent music lovers in Cork City. This event is an opportunity to witness four very current world class artists at the peak of their abilities at the one event without having to pay festival size ticket prices.
Last seen lighting up Vicar Street in November 2009, Brooklyn’s Grizzly Bear return to Ireland still high on the momemtum of their lush and ambitious third album Veckatimest. Their layered, incandescent harmony-rock caught the imagination of the music world in 2009 with the release of Veckatimest, from Radiohead to Jay-Z, from Pitchfork to Letterman. In a huge leap in exposure from their magnificent 2006 album Yellow House, Veckatimest debuted at number 8 in the Billboard Album charts in what marked a triumphant coup for Warp Records and independent music in general.
Three years between albums might seem like a long time. But given Grizzly Bear’s hectic touring schedule, including stints with Radiohead, TV On The Radio and Feist – as well as several performances during a five-night tribute to Paul Simon at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, a co-headlining show with the L.A. Philharmonic, and the release of Friend, a 10-song EP of re-recorded and re-worked songs, collaborations and covers – all this seems reasonable. They’ve been busy.
Texas band Midlake have witnessed a similar ascension into the hearts and minds of music fans. Their second album, The Trials of Van Occupanther was released on July 25, 2006, on Bella Union Records; a suite of lush, heavily melodic songs laden with multi-part harmonies, evocative lyrical imagery set in woodlands, boats and log cabins, telling oblique but moving tales of pioneering, travel and isolation. The sound of the album has been compared to classic ’70s rock outfits such as Fleetwood Mac, Crosby Stills and Nash and America, but there is still a heavy reliance on analog synthesizers carried over from their first album Bamnan and Slivercork.
Midlake’s third album The Courage of Others reveals further dimensions, a love of 1960s British folk, particularly the enchanted sounds of Pentangle and Fairport Convention. When the band took their new tour to Dublin’s Vicar Street venue in February of this year, they were practically given a hero’s welcome. Like Grizzly Bear, the Irish clearly identify some integral affinity to crafted songs and anti-glamour persona of Midlake.
Harmonic’s supporting cast of Camera Obscura from Glasgow and Villagers from Dublin will generate their own ripples of excitement. Fronted by the master-melancholist Traceyanne Campbell, Camera Obscura are a very Scottish entity, connected in spirit to the lineage of Orange Juice and Postcard Records, Belle and Sebastian, c86, and the hey-day John Peel, one of their great advocates. In 2009 they made their 4AD debut with their fourth album, the supremely lush My Maudlin Career, following on from 2006’s Let’s Get Out of This Country album featuring radio breakthrough hit “Lloyd, I’m Ready to be Heartbroken.” Having sold out Whelan’s, the Village and Andrew’s Lane Theatre in previous visits to Ireland, this Cork appearance will be a welcome treat to indie-pop fans.
Anyone who follows the highs and lows of the Irish independent music world will be acquainted with Villagers, the vehicle of Dublin-based songwriting maestro Conor J. O’Brien, who has already toured Ireland, the UK and US and opened for Neil Young, Wild Beasts and Cass McCombs amongst others. Becoming a Jackal, the debut album released May 14th on Domino Records (interestingly Domino’s first ever Irish signing), introduces us to Villagers’ vivid narratives, gripping poetry and melodic depth. Conor J. O’Brien’s clear and distinctive voice weaves a remarkable spell, delivering an album of rare, alarming beauty. From restrained to unleashed, from a whisper to a literal howl, Becoming a Jackal mutates, intrigues and beguiles in equal measure.
Tickets are on sale from 9am Friday March 19th from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide and www.ticketmaster.ie.