836 N. Russell St. / Portland, OR, 97227
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
8 p.m.$8 in advance, $10 day of show21 and over
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Described as transcendental Texas folk and stargaze surf-western, The Deer create psychotropic soundscapes and tranquil, vivid dream-pop. They are at once lyrical and experiential, magnetic and evocative. The group formed in 2012 while recording solo work by singer/songwriter Grace Park (The Blue Hit), and soon developed into a collaboratively-composed project named for an animal symbol of protective guidance, The Deer. Park's voice and lyrical presence are captivating, upright bassist Jesse Dalton (MilkDrive) has a songwriting mouth of a saint and a devil, lead guitarist Michael McLeod (Good Field, Richard Linklater film composer) expertly captains sound production, drummer Alan Eckert sings with soulful rhythm and finesse. Shortly after recording their upcoming album, fiddle/mandolin/guitar player Noah Jeffries (MilkDrive, South Austin Jug Band), joined the group. The Deer have created a dynamic collection of songs ranging between the blissful and euphoric to the dark and the dangerous.They debuted with the album An Argument for Observation (2013) under the band name Grace Park & The Deer. As they grew more collaborative, they made the transition to simply The Deer and released their second album under that name in early 2015. On the Essence of the Indomitable Spirit is dedicated to the memory of their late friend and bandmate, Stephanie Bledsoe. Their third album, Tempest & Rapture, was released in 2016. It's half Southern Gothic surf-country and half psychedelic dreampop. Their sound is richly-layered, lyric-driven, lush, and expressive.They've played Austin's historical Moody Theater and the Legendary Stubb's, as well as festivals like SXSW, Art Outside, and Utopiafest. Members have shared the stage with The Head & The Heart, The Lumineers, Alejandro Escovedo, Peter Rowan, Tim O'Brien, and Dana Falconberry. With rotating guest multi-instrumentalists such as Roger Sellers (Bayonne) and Dennis Ludiker (Asleep at the Wheel), they move fluidly between genres and activate the imagination.
Learning to play on a guitar he borrowed from his uncle, Sam Fowles never really looked back. "I'd spend all my time down in the basement playing guitar," he recalls. "As soon as I got home from school until dinner. It was the one thing I'd get so lost in- time melted away."
Naturally he formed a handful of bands over the course of his school days, and continued into college, there forming The Parson Red Heads with Evan Way and friends. "I was 19 when we formed the band. Shortly after we did we just got knocked out by the 60's and 70's. Neil Young, George Harrison, The Byrds. Other people around us loved the stuff too, but we kind of fixated on those decades exclusively. Prince didn't speak to us- Big Star did!"
After more than ten years together as a band, touring the US, Spain and beyond, Sam felt the need to step out on his own musically and bring to fruition a brand of music he'd been gestating for years. He chose a project name that had mysteriously drawn him towards itself- House of Angels- and set about making an album that incorporated many of his most enduring influences- Midlake, CSNY, Vetiver and Jonathan Wilson, to name a few. He literally drew a map of his plans for musical style and mood. "It was a challenge to myself," Fowles says. "Could I make a song of my own that had a vibe similar to the one you hear in 'Cinnamon Girl'? And the other challenge was to write, record and perform it mostly on my own because I had never done that before in the 15 years I'd been making records. I'm really proud of the result, and I'm looking forward to sharing it with people."
Era Ephemera is out on Parson Farm Records Friday, February 24th 2017.
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