GLEASON FEST LINEUP
A Portland-based group originally comprised of singer/guitarist Israel Nebeker and drummer Ryan Dobrowski, Blind Pilot strikes a balance between mellow folk and West Coast indie pop. The two co-founders first banded together in college before combining their talents and touring the northwestern Oregon circuit. By 2006, however, they'd decided that a change of scenery might help their songwriting. Blind Pilot consequently relocated 90 miles north, where the guys spent three months inside an Astoria warehouse while recording demos for a full-length album. Afterwards, Nebeker and Dobrowski launched a "bike tour" that saw them traveling from Vancouver to San Francisco via their bicycles, playing shows and selling EPs (not to mention saving gas money) along the way. They returned home to finalize their 3 Round and a Sound debut, which was released by Expunged Records in June 2008.
While playing shows in support of 3 Round and a Sound's release, Blind Pilot added four new members to the touring lineup. This swelled the band's sound, making 2011's We Are the Tide a more fleshed-out, lush affair. The group then signed with ATO for their third LP, which would be five years in the making. Still operating as a six-piece, they released And Then Like Lions in the summer of 2016.
There is nothing like the sound of siblings singing together. Whether it’s the Beach Boys, the Everly Brothers or First Aid Kit, absorbing the same breathing rhythms and speech patterns adds an element to vocal harmonies that can be pure magic. With the August 26 release of ‘I’m Alone, No You’re Not’, the mesmerizing, hypnotic sound of the trio known as Joseph – sisters Allison, Meegan, and Natalie Closner – joins this elite company.
‘I’m Alone, No You’re Not’ was produced by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Jenny Lewis), and features eleven original songs exploding with a mystical exuberance and heart-on-sleeve emotion. In advance of the album’s release, Joseph have already been named a 2016 Spotify Spotlight artist, toured with James Bay, and confirmed festival performances this summer at Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Glastonbury, Pickathon and more. They’ll also join Michael Kiwanuka for a European run, and reconnect with James Bay this fall for his next US tour, including dates at Radio City Music Hall, The Ryman Auditorium and more.
Choosing their name in deference to their grandfather Jo, and the tiny Oregon town of Joseph where he lived, Natalie Closner and her younger twin sisters Meegan and Allison, grew up in a musical household, but didn’t sing together until just a few years ago. Joseph officially formed when Natalie, an aspiring performer looking for a creative jolt, asked her sisters to form a band together. They quickly discovered their gift for songwriting and vocal alchemy.
‘I’m Alone, No You’re Not’ is a masterclass in pristine 3-part harmony, traversing melodies and rhythms that are indelible and ambitious. Lead single “White Flag” is a cathartic rallying cry, with the sisters’ voices starting as a hum, then verging on a scream by the chorus. The anthemic album opener, “Canyon,” channels Fleetwood Mac at their soaring finest. Elsewhere golden, shimmering pop songs are tucked next to the most delicate ballads: love lost and found, amplified by three unwavering voices.
DEEP SEA DIVER
“Wide awake, and I’m chasing after you”—exclaims a breathless Jessica Dobson, singer and multi-instrumentalist of Seattle’s Deep Sea Diver. The lyric is one that best encapsulates the front woman’s bravado and fearlessness which dominates Deep Sea Diver’s forthcoming sophomore LP, Secrets—Out February 19th on their own High Beam records. In their desire to explore dualities, Deep Sea Diver urgently and deliberately move you from rock experimentation to dreamy soundscapes, Kraut-esque drum and bass grooves to angular danci-ness, and full fledged orchestration to bare bones simplicity. Dobson has the voice and authority to tie it all together, and turn it into a cohesive unit that soars yet remains beautifully delicate and intimate. Live, the band has received acclaim for their festival-ready power and presence, Jessica’s larger than life guitar hooks, and their cascading layers that build upon each other until they reach their explosive peak.
In late 2013, Dobson put in her notice to former Shins boss, James Mercer, in order to give full attention to her own musical vision. Mercer agreed, saying “I’ll miss you, but I give you my full support. You’ve gotta pursue Deep Sea Diver”. While much was gleaned from the experiences in her many years spent playing with top tier musical outfits (Beck, the Shins, Spoon, Yeah Yeah Yeahs,) something was brewing that demanded a sort of dedication and alertness that couldn’t be fully engaged while moonlighting as a side-woman for those greats. “Good thing too," noted Stereogum, "because Jessica is an incredible front woman.”
Recorded with Darrell Thorpe (Radiohead, Beck) and Luke Vanderpol at the Bank in CA, Jessica and band (comprised of husband Peter Mansen on drums, Garrett Gue on bass, and Elliot Jackson on guitar and synth) have together created an album that is colorful, energetic, and varied—with an emotional depth and pulsating charge that demands the listeners full attention. As she and Mercer sing together on Creatures of Comfort, “I’m in my own world”, the listener is brought in, and very content that this is the world that she has chosen and invited others into. Secrets is an album you will not want to keep to yourself.
Magic revolves around the number two. Opposite halves define our existence. There’s dark and light, black and white, night and day, yin-and-yang, and so on and so forth.
On their 2017 EP 2, critically acclaimed Idaho-born and Portland-based indie outfit Shook Twins draw on the inherent power of the group’s namesake duo—identical twin sisters Katelyn Shook [vocals, guitar] and Laurie Shook [banjo, vocals]. In early 2017, the pair holed up alone in a room with just two voices and two instruments and cut the seven-song collection live to tape, serving up bare bones renditions of fan favorites, covers, and one new tune entitled “Safe.”
“Musically, it differs from our other studio albums, because it’s just two twins in a room performing on two instruments,” explains Katelyn. “It’s much more raw emotionally and almost vulnerable. It’s nice to hear our growth as a duo and notice our individual grooves. It showcases these songs in a different way than they had been or will be recorded. It’s just a taste of the simplest core of our band: The Shook Twins.”
“It goes back to the very beginning,” adds Laurie. “When we were 18, we started writing songs together, just the two of us. We practiced how to blend our voices and instruments, trying to make our 2 voices and 2 instruments sound like one thing instead of 4 separate pieces. That’s how we started this whole musical life. We wanted to go back to that for a minute and remember.”
A high energy funky blues rock trio from Cincinnati. Marcus Saskin on bass, Matt Hiudt on drums, and Jim Salters on guitar and lead vocals.