Mon, November 26, 2012
Doors: 7:30 PM / Show: 8:00 PM
($8) Advance – ($10) Day of Show
This show is 21+, proper I.D. is required for admission
Chills climb spines when sound is given room to unfurl. The Deep Dark Woods’ unflinching pursuit of steadiness between decadence and minimalism is guided at every turn by their intuitive ability to balance grit, clarity, drive and restraint with a sure focus on experimentation.
Winter Hours (2009), caught critics’ ears across the country. The album, a solemn ode to darker themes of seclusion and detachment, could yet warm even the bottomless, frozen nights of hometown Saskatoon, SK. With Winter Hours, The Deep Dark Woods won Best Roots Group at the 2009 Western Canadian Music Awards, and Ensemble of the Year at the 2009 Canadian Folk Music Awards. The band also had the runaway winner in CBC’s Great Canadian Songquest with “Charlie’s (Is Coming Down)”, a song about Good Time Charlie’s in Regina.
The Deep Dark Woods frame their music with subtle orchestration; songs are trimmed with minimal embellishments of banjo, piano, with subtle mellotron flutters. Drummer and multi-instrumentalist Lucas Goetz’s layers heartbreaking arches of pedal steel under the clarity and warmth of Ryan Boldt’s voice. Newest member, organ-player Geoff Hilhorst furnishes the songs’ edges with slurred polyphonies, while surefooted, danceable basslines and rich second vocals belong to Chris Mason. Burke Barlow’s clarion guitar tone and lead lines are focused and impeccable.
Their new album, The Place I Left Behind, finds continuity in themes of temporal and geographic alienation, neglected inward trails, and the scars of abandoned intimacies. The album opens with a song about Saskatoon’s rougher edges. “West Side Street” is a study in contrasts – finespun vocals and a gently rolling melody cushion the gloomy story. “The Place I Left Behind” is loosely based on an old folk standard. Gorgeously morose, the title track confirms that The Deep Dark Woods capture lonesome yearning at its loveliest. “Sugar Mama” is a sweet and lively invitation to tap toes and shake off the blues; a seeming coming-of-age story is treated with playful banjo and an airy gait.
A rainstorm over the desert of modern music, The Place I Left Behind offers murder ballads alongside scrappy rockers, lovesick hymnals and slow-dance waltzes. The album illuminates folk traditions without stripping the shadows of roots music history – The Deep Dark Woods wake the ghosts of Appalachia with their prairie gothic pyre-side tales. The Place I Left Behind echoes with traces of time and space that are never fully abandoned or forgotten.
Cumulus, an indie rock band from Seattle WA, consists of two core members, Alexandra Niedzialkowski and Lance Umble. Both were (coincidentally) born to Military families in Western Germany in the mid 80’s. As all military families do, they eventually relocated, finding themselves in the Puget Sound, a beautiful group of islands in the Pacific Northwest. It was here that they grew into their own, finding themselves separately, and eventually together, through music.
Alex’s childhood town of Oak Harbor, WA, was (and is) a place without many outlets for young artists. Seeking more fertile ground, she found a home for her art and music in Anacortes, a small town just thirty miles north. Anacortes’s community quietly embraced DIY culture and practice, offering her a place to perform and live, The Department of Safety. It was here that Alex became friends with Lance, a guitar player living in Anacortes and performing with different punk, rock
and indie bands.
The two went their separate ways, and while attending college in Bellingham Alex found a home in the city's house shows and tight knit music community. Cumulus was created as a way to express and release her quiet, thoughtful songs, and Bellingham was the perfect place for someone new to songwriting to nurture that creativity and feel safe. Post college, Alex moved to Seattle as a means to greater exposure and once again, the odds of proximity were in their favor, as Lance separately moved to Seattle to better cultivate his musical career. The two artists, with their common goals in sight, reunited as friends and naturally began playing music together. Appropriately adding a rhythm section next, the band began performing Alex's songs as louder, fuller pieces of art. The
local blogs and papers simultaneously nodded in approval, giving the band the confidence they needed to step in the next direction.
Needless to say, these incidental occurrences somehow gifted us Cumulus: a pleasant blend of delicate songwriting and rain soaked indie rock. Now, after returning to Anacortes to record their debut record as a band, Alex and Lance are surely prepared to uproot and travel some more, only this time they'll be sharing an old, van and sleeping on barf stained couches. GLAMOROUS.