The Crocodile Presents


The Luyas, Campfire OK

Fri, January 10, 2014

8:00 pm

The Crocodile

Seattle, WA

$12 Adv.

This event is all ages

There are many kind of stitches: seams to secure sleeves into armholes … sutures closing wounds and deep incisions … loops or crosses of embroidery floss … a sudden pain in the side. Stitches, the new album from Califone, touches on all these definitions, its episodes of discomfort and healing rendered with exquisite beauty and craftsmanship.

Intimate timbres—garage sale drum machines, slack guitar strings, hushed vocals—offset the album's cinematic inclinations. The listener moves through a landscape of Old Testament blood and guts, spaghetti Western deserts and Southwestern horizons, zeroing in on emotions and images that cannot be glanced over. Motes of dust dance briefly in afternoon sunlight.
The Luyas
The Luyas
The Luyas went into the studio on a February morning with the plan of getting some drum sounds to start writing songs for a new album. As the mics were going up, the band received a phone call. There had been a sudden death. The incomprehensible event left the band in an existential daze. The mics put themselves up that morning.

The resulting LP, Animator, opens with "Montuno," a 9-minute account of a hallucination about the repetition of days, the split seconds that define us, and the strangeness of the certainty of death.

There's something almost supernatural to the feel of the record. "Animator is supposed to be some weird resuscitation. The animator's job is to create the semblance of movement in things that cannot move themselves. The musician's is to make us feel like something is happening with a sound" explains singer and multi-instrumentalist Jessie Stein.

Recorded and produced at the Treatment Room by band member and experimental brass player Pietro Amato and mixed by Jace Lasek of the Besnard Lakes at his Breakglass Studios in the band's hometown of Montreal, Animator is a cathartic sophisticated collection of songs. As melodically compelling as it is artistically rich, Animator is intuitive, seductive, moody and textural. It slowly unfolds its beauty and trusts the listener to stay with it.

Just as dance pioneer Loïe Fuller, whose image graces the album cover, beguiled the world with the Dance Serpentine, the songs on Animator have a hypnotic effect. Sarah Neufeld and Amato's arrangements of string and horn float throughout, fragile and fleeting. Stein's gentle vocals have an eerie insular feel. Mathieu Charbonneau and Mark Wheaton's rhythm section put you in a trance. Fleets of strange noises dot the horizon. Like Portishead or the Silver Apples, the Luyas exist in the world to communicate something original yet fundamentally relatable without resorting to nostalgia.

The band's riveting live show has been charming fans since the release of 2011's Too Beautiful To Work, and they've toured the world with the likes of the Antlers, the Dodos and Blonde Redhead. The Luyas are ascending a trajectory of artistic vision and creativity, and asking if we, too, are curious.
Campfire OK
Campfire OK
“I couldn’t stop thinking of Mariachi bands,” confesses Mychal Cohen of Campfire

OK, “we wanted to find a way to perform for people where there wasn’t a commitment, a ticket, a formal venue. We just wanted to introduce ourselves… and the only thing I could think of was a Mariachi band.” Fast-forward a few weeks and the band (comprised of Cohen, Andrew Eckes, Brandon Milner, Aaron Huffman, and Zarni De Wet) is circling dinner tables at restaurants, serenading surprised diners with their just-as-appetizing tunes. Pretty soon they would grow a reputation as the band that famously performs pop-up shows, strumming and harmonizing while roving around tables and evading restaurant managers.

Not only does their youthful spirit and risk-taking tenacity exhibit itself in action, it’s a great representation of their music: their playful notes surprise you, their spontaneity and willful risk engage you, and their performances won’t leave you.

Campfire Ok is not easy to forget.

They were quickly shooed into the Seattle music scene by way of festivals like Doe Bay, Bumbershoot, and The Capitol Hill Block Party. Their first album, Strange Like We Are, drew a large and empathic fan base quickly. Inspired and in awe of their supporters, Cohen and co. began creating what would become their sophomore album, When You Have Arrived.

When You Have Arrived takes a large leap forward from their first album, both thematically and instrumentally. The album demonstrates who the artists are and where they’re going, in what Cohen says is “a good representation of where we’ll be in ten years.” Whether it be instrumental lilts and cannonades or silk-like serenades,

Campfire Ok does well honing in a cohesive sound while standing apart from any other music out there. Making the decision to release not one or two, but five singles, the band didn’t want to make their fans wait to hear their matured sound.

It’s a pop record unlike any other.

“We aren’t afraid to be the odd one out. We don’t fit into a niche, and we’re proud of that,” owns Cohen.

The album, steeped in colorful showers of synth and horn, unassailable harmonies, and catchy melodies, gladly replays in the mind long after it’s been heard. Some tracks present themselves in a sprightly, electro-pop manner, some introduce romantic and vulnerable lullabies, and others dance between rhythmic intonations that remind you just how unique Campfire Ok is. All artists in the band are of varying ages and musical backgrounds – a perfect mix of eclectic talent that pools and produces the unique sound the band so proudly claims as their own.

For instance, “Our Hearts Beat Light (To an Orange Grove)”, stripped down to soft instrumentals and rich vocals, waltzes tenderly between poetic verse and serene piano. The lyrics “You are a puzzle and I am a riddle / each of us know how solve / I am an island and you’ve been flying /right where we both wanted to go” transparently portrays individuals interweaving with one another. This process, of which we can all identify, truly touches the listener as Cohen croons the authentic and relatable emotions of feeling close with someone.

Equally as captivating is the track “When You Have Arrived”, which candidly discusses the struggle and search for success. The song tells the story of a man who breaks into a home for the sake of knowledge, asking “Do you know who I am / do you know what I want? / Tell me what it’s like to rise / Tell me how it feels to be admired / tell me how you know when you’ve arrived.” The song is a musical mélange of surprises; from solo piano, fluorescent bursts of the trumpet, to a chorus of backup vocals, the track inhales like a breeze and exhales like an eruption.

“Wishing You The Best”, “Pretty and Kind”, and “2+3” embody the same spontaneity, with animated outbreaks of banjo, horn, and harmony that make Campfire Ok’s music both appealing and impossible not to move to. The incandescent, matchless sound they produce has created a genre unto itself.

“Listeners are afraid to get into things they don’t know,” explains Cohen, “but when they take those risks, and when we’ve taken those risks, it’s always really gratifying.”

You know what they say: big risk, big reward.
Venue Information:
The Crocodile
2200 2nd Ave
Seattle, WA, 98121