New Politics

Everywhere I Go Tour 2014

New Politics

Bad Suns, Somekindawonderful

Tue, October 14

Doors: 7:00 pm

$20

New Politics - (Set time: 9:45 PM)
New Politics


David Boyd – Vocals
Soren Hansen – Vocals/Guitar
Louis Vecchio – Drums


New Politics’ self-titled debut, which came on via RCA in 2010, was centered on a singular motto. The Denmark trio, who uprooted their lives and relocated to Williamsburg after signing with the label, based everything on the notion of just saying “Fuck it.” The phrase wasn’t about apathy, it was about doing what felt right and making the sort of music they wanted to make. It worked: New Politics yielded raucous hit single “Yeah Yeah Yeah” and the band embarked on tour for nearly two years with the likes of 30 Seconds To Mars and Neon Trees, enrapturing fans with their intensely dynamic live shows, bolstered by David’s impressive breakdancing skills. The band appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Fuel TV’s The Daily Habit, and earned scores of press, including accolades from Alternative Press. Doing what felt right to the band evolved into a big album with a bigger response.

When it came time to pen a follow-up to their formative album, New Politics hit a few roadblocks. David and Soren had hardly paused between the momentum of New Politics and this new disc, titled A Bad Girl In Harlem, jumping into writing within a week of getting off tour with the Dirty Heads in the spring of 2011. But they quickly realized that there was no plan or outline for the next album, and suddenly both musicians were single and living in Brooklyn, a fact that illuminated just how far they were from home.

Homesickness and culture shock set in, and New Politics were forced to grapple with their present musical identity. “I don’t think any of us had really considered that we now would be doing a second album and the whole culture shock of coming over here was hitting us,” Soren says. “The first album was a punk album and this one had to be taken to a whole new level, but we didn’t actually know what that level was.”

The process of writing A Bad Girl In Harlem proved long and arduous, but ultimately fruitful. The band came out of it with over 60 demos, many inspired by David’s new single life. The musicians embraced a greater variety of musical styles, drawing influence equally from punk rock and pop music. The recording process coincided with the songwriting, and in fact a few of the disc’s final tracks feature the original demo vocals, which resonate with a more genuine flair than the subsequent takes.

The songs’ lyrics, too, were rooted in the musicians’ shifting lives and experiences. “Harlem,” the album’s first single, was inspired a fling David had with a girl from Spanish Harlem, an area he never thought he’d visit. The throbbing rock number captures a boisterous party vibe and marked a turning point in the band’s writing process for A Bad Girl In Harlem. “It came at a point when we were all like ‘What the fuck is going on?’” Soren notes. “And the song came from us having fun. We were still a little afraid of changing but we just said ‘Fuck it.’ We realized we had nothing to lose and could do whatever we wanted.”

So it turned out New Politics’ old motto could be their new motto, even as the band shifted and evolved. The rest of the album, culled from the pile of demos, is notably varied, and follows in this raucous sensibility, even on standout “Stuck On You,” an emotional piano ballad that reveals the group’s introspective side. The punk aesthetic from New Politics lingers, but regardless of musical style Soren and David were mostly interested in capturing sincere moments in equally genuine music. “Everything has to come from the heart,” David says. “Realizing onstage that you can do anything and if it’s honest and from the heart, the rest will follow. Everything will follow. It’s been really cool realizing that and bringing it into the album.”

“I feel that we have never been this focused,” Soren adds. “It’s more than us being these crazy, jumping around musicians and just going with whatever flows. We have more of a mission. We went through something hard and now we’re stronger than ever. I think that’s the most important thing – it’s actually been a great experience to fall down and rise again.”
Bad Suns - (Set time: 8:40 PM)
Bad Suns


The third full-length from L.A. band Bad Suns, Mystic Truth gets its title from a piece of art that vocalist Christo Bowman stumbled upon while visiting London’s Tate Modern on tour. Created by Bruce Nauman in 1967, the neon-and-glass piece spells out a possibly paradoxical statement in blue spiraled cursive: “The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths.”

“I thought that connected back to the message of the record, which is about finding the extraordinary in very simple things, even though we’re living in a very dark time right now,” says Bowman, whose bandmates include guitarist Ray Libby, bassist Gavin Bennett, and drummer Miles Morris. “Instead of succumbing to that darkness, I think you’ve got to try to hold onto some optimism, and try to uncover those simple miracles so you don’t lose the plot of what’s really important.”

Produced by Dave Sardy (The Head and the Heart, The Black Angels, Oasis), Mystic Truth channels that searching quality into songs with a powerful sense of purpose. In creating the album, Bad Suns recorded at the legendary Sunset Sound and at Sardy’s home studio, building on the melodic brilliance first glimpsed on their debut album Language & Perspective—a 2014 release that hit #24 on the Billboard 200 and led to massive tours supporting Halsey and The Neighbourhood. At the same time, the band amps up the intensity of their 2016 sophomore effort Disappear Here (praised as their “most dynamic and introspective work yet” by Alternative Press), giving way to a more emotionally urgent merging of rock & roll, post-punk, and pop.

Right from the album-opening “Away We Go,” Bad Suns reveal the timeless sensibilities at the heart of Mystic Truth. With its soaring vocals, majestic piano melodies, and fiery guitar tones, the song unfolds as a brightly anthemic battle cry. “‘Away We Go’ was mostly inspired by us growing up and really being adults for the first time, and trying to make sense of all that,” says Bowman, who co-founded Bad Suns at age 17. “It’s about learning how to make decisions for yourself, and sometimes just going for something and blindly trusting that it’s going to work out.”

While Mystic Truth bears a certain classic simplicity, Bad Suns also infuse the album with its share of sonically surprising moments: the ethereal pop of “A Miracle, A Mile Away,” the melancholy waltz of “Darkness Arrives (And Departs),” the shapeshifting piano balladry of “Starjumper.” Woven with Bowman’s sharply reflective lyrics and finely detailed storytelling, the album also delivers a number of love songs, from the punchy pre-breakup track “The World and I” to the starry-eyed “Love By Mistake” to the starkly tender “Separate Seas.” (“I’ve been in a long-distance relationship since my girlfriend moved to Miami—she works for an airline so she’s always flying,” says Bowman of “Separate Seas.” “That song’s about those nights of staying up and staying on speaker phone with one another till really late, even when there’s nothing to say.”) And on “Hold Your Fire,” Bad Suns offer up a solemn yet cinematic meditation on acceptance. “It’s about a relationship that’s not working out, and it represents that moment when you decide to just accept that it’s over instead of trying to fight,” Bowman says.

One of the most epic tracks on Mystic Truth, “One Magic Moment” captures a restless determination with its thunderclap rhythms, sprawling guitar lines, and shimmering piano work. As Bowman explains, the song’s title partly speaks to its enchanted origins. “We’d been jamming all day and nothing was happening, and all of a sudden there was this shift in the air,” he says. “Gavin had started playing this chord progression, and the song just came together when we were least expecting it, like magic.”

For Bad Suns, chasing that magic has always formed the essence of the band. With Bowman and Bennett first meeting in seventh grade, the two near-lifelong musicians eventually linked up with Libby and Morris and spent their teenage years working their way through the L.A. music scene. After dropping a demo off in the mailbox at alt-rock radio station KROQ, Bad Suns saw their breakthrough single “Cardiac Arrest” played on the famed Locals Only radio show, and quickly landed a deal with Vagrant Records. The band then made their debut with the 2014 EP Transpose, and soon widened their following by hitting the road with bands like The 1975.

Newly signed to Epitaph Records, Bad Suns found the making of Mystic Truth to be especially charmed. “Recording this album was like a neverending dream—there were times when it felt like we were pulling songs out of the air,” he says. One of the most memorable moments for the band took place on a writing trip in Palm Springs, during which they stayed in a mid-century dome house overlooking the nearby wind farm. “We were playing late at night and looking out at all the stars and the windmills, and ‘Hold Your Fire’ just came out of nowhere, which felt really special,” Bowman recalls.

Over the years, Bad Suns have invited those bursts of inspiration by endlessly opening themselves up to new ideas, often by immersing themselves in art or literature—“Starjumper,” for instance, references a passage from Russian novelist Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita. That approach undeniably shaped the emotional undercurrent of Mystic Truth, an album both intimate and universal in scope. “I always want people to be able to insert their own lives into the songs that we create,” Bowman points out. “When you’re able to unite people through music, even if we’re all coming from totally different circumstances and different places in life—to me that’s one of the most intense levels of connection you can possibly have.”
Somekindawonderful - (Set time: 8:00 PM)
Fateful encounters at Cleveland bars rarely lead to musical
mythology, but SomeKindaWonderful have a different kind of story to tell.

A three-piece featuring Jordy Towers (vocals/lyrics), as well as Matt Gibson (guitar) and Ben Schigel (drums), the genre-bending group came together after Towers became another casualty of the major label system. Once signed as a solo act, he refused to become another faceless persona and the label eventually left him hanging on the vine. Towers knew it was time for a reset and headed to Ohio to re-examine his life.

"I'm not the type to be defeated easily," says Towers. "You know, most people move to LA to make it, but I had to leave LA to find my path."

During a fateful trip to visit family in the suburban Cleveland town of Olmstead Falls (pop 9,000), it was there in January 2013 that Gibson and Schigel, two local musicians, crossed his path. Intending to just grab some beers at a local bar, they found much more than they had anticipated when they came across Jordy.

"We were basically a band without a lead singer and he was a lead singer without a band," says Schigel. "We headed back to our studio the night we met and literally three hours later our first song 'Reverse' was done."

To call "Reverse" the product of fate is an understatement. Endlessly catchy, the song feels both modern and classic, nodding to '60s soul and contemporary R&B with the dynamic range of big-room pop-rock and cinematic emotion. Its structure, which features Towers unraveling a backwards narrative with a cadence that merges rap and soul, provides a novel lyrical framework to a unique sound.

"It's an R&B soul rock record," says Towers. "It sort of mirrors my move from LA to Cleveland. That path is reversed from what you'd expect. Nothing is deliberate. Just like how we met, it's natural and all about the music. I still can't believe I met my musical soul mates at a bar in Ohio."

SomeKindaWonderful's debut album is slated for a Summer 2014 release via Downtown Records.
Venue Information:
9:30 Club
815 V St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001
http://930.com