Craft Spells

PopGun Presents

Craft Spells

Ice Choir, Ski Lodge

Sep 24

Doors: 8:30 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

Glasslands Gallery

Brooklyn, NY

$12.00

Tickets Available at the Door

This event is 21 and over

Craft Spells
Craft Spells
After a dormant period following the release of the Gallery EP in 2012, Craft Spells’ Justin Vallesteros is back with the gorgeously ambitious Nausea. It’s Craft Spells’ second proper full length LP, and first since 2010′s critically acclaimed Idle Labor.
Since last on the radar, Justin moved to San Francisco to find a niche in the Bay Area music scene. This proved difficult within the regarded garage rock scene and insular DJ night crowds currently dominating the area’s music community. Here, Justin fell into a slump, creatively. With a severe bout of writer’s block he retreated to his parent’s house in Lathrop, CA. Away from the city, he put down his guitar for a full year in favor of properly training himself on piano, the instrument from which all the tracks for Nausea were written.
Being in limbo between the city and the suburbs, Justin felt actual nausea, added to by his admitted semi-addiction to social media and quickly found himself disillusioned. Vallesteros unplugged from that world as much as possible and completely immersed himself in the music (Emmit Rhodes and the solo works of Yellow Magic Orchestra’s Haroumi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi) and writing (the works of Mishima, for one) that would come to form the LP.
The demos came together in early 2014 and Vallesteros flew to Seattle to produce the record with engineer Dylan Wall. Teaming up on the recording with Craft Spells stalwarts Javier Suarez and Andy Lum, the band went into the studio and recorded a whole and complete work, full of ideas and a new found maturity in both songwriting and recording sophistication. Within the first few seconds of lead single “Breaking the Angle Against the Tide” we know we’re not listening to the same Craft Spells anymore. This is a bold, beautiful and lush new sound emphasizing the songwriting abilities Vallesteros always had. An album highlighted by loads of piano, real strings and acoustic guitar, this change is like the color coming alive in the Wizard of Oz. The beautiful “Komorebi” with it’s piano chord progression and sorrowful string accompaniment emphasizes this newfound maturity and confidence as a writer that is the next logical step in Craft Spells’ career.
Nausea could easily have been a record rife with indecision and anxiety. But like the song for which the album is named, Craft Spells was able to turn the chaos and disillusionment into a work that provides ammo against that very thing, with beauty, vision and melody.
Ice Choir
Ice Choir
Somewhere, amongst abstract romantic lyricism and pointilized synthesizer pastiche, THE ICE CHOIR proposes to you, the listener, a most unfavorable “pop” experience: imaginative songcraft minus the cool factor. Leaning heavily on the crumbling pillars of 1980’s technopop production aesthetic, this is music that is both distinctly modern in composition and cripplingly esoteric. Waylaying melodies to mislead and seduce. Sentiments both saccharine and surreal.
Formless constructs playing you out of THAT weird dream and into your cold reality.
Ski Lodge
Ski Lodge
Twenty-plus years of stories, twenty-plus years of perfecting music's craft, Ski Lodge's Big Heart is exactly what a debut record should be: the culmination of a creative force's life on this planet. Andrew Marr, the multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter behind Ski Lodge, has created a deeply personal record that overflows with lush melodies and insatiably catchy choruses. His songs occasionally deal with dark matters—infidelity, painful break-ups, loneliness, disjointed father-son dynamics—but Marr bathes them in a blissful light ripe for sing-alongs.

"I try to write songs honestly, and a lot of the things going on in my head that I struggle with might be deemed 'dark,' but I don't think that means I can't sing about them in a way that is musically upbeat or poppy," Marr says, from his home in New York City. It's a dichotomy that also translates to Marr's choice for musical moniker. He explains the name Ski Lodge "evoked an image of being warm by a fire, alone or with friends, while outside exists the cold and cruel winter."

Big Heart, Ski Lodge's debut full-length, out this summer on Dovecote Records, is Marr's fullest realization of this hot and cold split. Marr wrote all of the lyrics and music, and played nearly every sound that ended up on the record. However, this was the first time the 26-year-old worked in a professional studio with a producer, the indelible Lewis Pesacov (Best Coast, Fool's Gold), over several weeks in Los Angeles. The combination of Marr's intrinsic songwriting and Pesacov's LA-defining production skills resulted in music with fuller breadth and scope than Ski Lodge's previous release without losing any of the wry innocence that made 2011's self-titled debut EP so much fun.

The one exception is the lead single "Just To Be Like You," which was recorded with the full band in Upstate New York using producer Kevin McMahon (Walkmen, Real Estate). Prefix Mag called the track "sugary sweet pop," while Pitchfork warned its readers not to "be deceived by the energetic, hopscotching riff" before lauding the single's dark depths. The song and its accompanying video of cult imagery are an exploration of contrast that fits in perfectly with both the album and Ski Lodge as a whole: deeply affecting and unmistakably danceable.
Venue Information:
Glasslands Gallery
289 Kent Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11249
http://www.theglasslands.com/