Cat's Cradle

Haw River Ballroom


Sep
29 Wed
Image for Deer Tick, with T. Hardy Morris

Deer Tick, with T. Hardy Morris

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information
TICKET PRICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
ADVANCED: $25.00
DAY OF: $28.00

TICKET SALE DATES
DAY OF Public Onsale: September 29, 2021 12:00 AM to September 29, 2021 6:00 PM
ADVANCED Public Onsale: June 25, 2021 10:00 AM to September 29, 2021 12:00 AM

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
“Deer Tick is a band.
 
They are from Providence.
 
Deer Tick is made up of John McCauley, Ian O’Neil, Dennis Ryan, and Christopher Ryan.
 
Deer Tick likes to rock out.
 
Listen to Deer Tick”

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube
Oct
7 Thu
Image for Waxahatchee, with Katy Kirby

Waxahatchee, with Katy Kirby

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
What do we hold on to from our past? What must we let go of to truly move forward?

Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield, a lyricist who has always let her listeners know exactly where she is at a given moment, spent much of 2018 reckoning with these questions and revisiting her roots to look for answers. The result is Saint Cloud, an intimate journey through the places she’s been, filled with the people she’s loved.

Written immediately in the period following her decision to get sober, the album is an unflinching self-examination. From a moment of reckoning in Barcelona to a tourist trap in Tennessee to a painful confrontation on Arkadelphia Road, from a nostalgic jaunt down 7th Street in New York City to the Mississippi Gulf, Crutchfield creates a sense of place for her soul-baring tales, a longtime staple of her storytelling.

This raw, exposed narrative terrain is aided by a shift in sonic arrangements as well. While her last two records featured the kind of big guitars, well-honed noise, and battering sounds that characterized her Philadelphia scene and strongly influenced a burgeoning new class of singer-songwriters, Saint Cloud strips back those layers to create space for Crutchfield’s voice and lyrics. The result is a classic Americana sound with modern touches befitting an artist who has emerged as one of the signature storytellers of her time.

From the origins of her band name—the beloved creek behind her childhood home—to scene-setting classics like “Noccalula” and “Sparks Fly,” listening to Waxahatchee has always felt like being invited along on a journey with a steely-eyed navigator. On Saint Cloud, Crutchfield adds a new sense of perspective to her travels. Reflecting on this, she says, “I think all of my records are turbulent and emotional, but this one feels like it has a little dose of enlightenment. It feels a little more calm and less reckless.”

Many of the narratives on Saint Cloud concern addiction and the havoc it wreaks on ourselves and our loved ones, as Crutchfield comes to a deeper understanding of love not only for those around her but for herself. This coalesces most clearly on “Fire,” which she says was literally written in transit, during a drive over the Mississippi River into West Memphis, and serves as a love song to herself, a paean to moving past shame into a place of unconditional self-acceptance. Coming from a songwriter long accustomed to looking in other directions for love, it’s a stirring moment when Crutchfield sings, “I take it for granted/If I could love you unconditionally/I could iron out the edges of the darkest sky.”

Which is not to say that Saint Cloud lacks Crutchfield’s signature poetry on matters of romantic love. Still, her personal evolution in this area is evident too, as this time around, Crutchfield examines what it really means to be with someone and how it feels to see our own patterns more clearly. On “Hell,” she sings: “I hover above like a deity/But you don’t worship me, you don’t worship me/You strip the illusion, you did it well/I’ll put you through hell.”

Crutchfield also looks at what it’s like to be romantically involved with another artist, someone in search of their own truth, on “The Eye”: “Our feet don’t ever touch the ground/Run ourselves ragged town to town/Chasing uncertainty around, a siren sound” and “We leave love behind without a tear or a long goodbye/as we wait for lightning to strike/We are enthralled by the calling of the eye.”

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Off Sale Online
Oct
8 Fri
Image for Flock of Dimes, with Karima Walker

Flock of Dimes, with Karima Walker

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information
TICKET PRICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
ADVANCED: $15.00
DAY OF: $18.00

TICKET SALE DATES
ADVANCED Public Onsale: June 18, 2021 10:00 AM to October 8, 2021 12:00 AM
DAY OF Public Onsale: October 8, 2021 12:00 AM to October 8, 2021 6:00 PM

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
On her second full-length record, Head of Roses, Jenn Wasner follows a winding thread of intuition into the unknown and into healing, led by gut feelings and the near-spiritual experience of visceral songwriting.

The result is a combination of Wasner's ability to embrace new levels of vulnerability, honesty and openness, with the self-assuredness that comes with a decade-plus career as a songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist and prolific collaborator.

Simply put, Head of Roses is a record about heartbreak, but from a dualistic perspective. It's about the experience of having one's heart broken and breaking someone else's heart at the same time. But beyond that, it's about having to reconcile the experience of one's own pain with the understanding that it's impossible to go through life without being the source of great pain for someone else.

"Part of the journey for me has been learning to take responsibility for the parts of things that are mine, even when I'm in a lot of pain through some behavior or action of someone else. If I'm expecting to be forgiven for the things I've done and the choices I've made and the mistakes that I've made, it would be incredibly cowardly and hypocritical to not also do the work that's required to forgive others the pain they caused me."

Showcasing the depth of Wasner's songwriting capabilities and the complexity of her vision, Head of Roses calls upon her singular ability to create a fully-formed sonic universe via genre-bending amalgamation of songs and her poetic and gut punch lyrics. It's the soundtrack of Wasner letting go -- of control, of heartbreak, and of hiding who she is: "I think I've finally reached a point in my career where I feel comfortable enough with myself and what I do, that I'm able to relax into a certain simplicity or straight forwardness that I wasn't comfortable with before." Head of Roses puts Wasner's seismically powerful voice front and center. Those vocals help thread it all together -- it's a textured musicality, quilted together by intentionality and intuition.

Wasner's sophomore LP as Flock of Dimes was mostly written during the isolation of early Covid-19 quarantine and fresh heartbreak. Some songs, like the title track, came to Wasner wholly-formed, like fever dreams. Aside from album opener "2 Heads," which Wasner had been saving for this purpose since she wrote it in 2015, Head of Roses was born from just a few months at her North Carolina home, during a feverish period of productivity spanning from last March through June.

On her 2016 debut album If You See Me, Say Yes, Wasner controlled every element of the production, meticulously crafting her solo debut to be a definitive statement of ability and artistry. Despite having succeeded in assuring herself of her own capabilities as a musician and producer, she felt drained by the demands of working in creative isolation. Instead, for Head of Roses, she felt drawn to a looser, more collaborative process -- and reached out to friend and co-producer Nick Sanborn (Sylvan Esso) to help her understand what this new process could look like. Recorded with a small group of collaborators in quarantine at Betty's in North Carolina, Head of Roses captures Wasner's vision and expands upon it, with input from Meg Duffy (Hand Habits), Matt McCaughan (Bon Iver/Lambchop), and Adam Schatz (Landlady).

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Spotify | Soundcloud
Oct
9 Sat
Image for Patty Griffin & Gregory Alan Isakov

Patty Griffin & Gregory Alan Isakov

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
After a year of canceled shows, uncertainty and solitude, Patty Griffin and Gregory Alan Isakov are joining together for a 14-date co-headlining tour.
 
These two profound American voices are celebrating their first live, in-person performances since early 2020 with an evening of story and song.
 
Gregory and Patty will each be performing their own set.
 
Patty Griffin Links: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Gregory Alan Isakov Links: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube
 Public Onsale:
12:00 AM
Oct 9, 2021
Oct
15 Fri
Image for Hamilton Leithauser and Kevin Morby

Hamilton Leithauser and Kevin Morby

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information
TICKET PRICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
ADVANCED: $30.00
DAY OF: $35.00

TICKET SALE DATES
ADVANCED Public Onsale: May 21, 2021 10:00 AM to October 15, 2021 12:00 AM
DAY OF Public Onsale: October 15, 2021 12:00 AM to October 15, 2021 6:00 PM

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
Hamilton Leithauser

Hamilton Leithauser records and produces his own music in New York City.  He’s lived there for 23 years.  After a couple of decades in professional recording studios, Hamilton decided to put together his own studio because he found that all of his most creative and productive moments happened when he wasn’t “on the clock”.  Something about the organization and cost put too much pressure on what he thought really needs to be a free and spontaneous moment.  Hamilton realized that he actually preferred the sound of his own home 8-track demos to many of the more polished tracks he’d made (not always, but often enough to wonder).   So he began collecting equipment in his travels around the United States, and spent several million isolated hours learning how to use some of it.  Now he thinks he’s got the hang of it.  His most recent full-length record “The Loves of Your Life” was released on April 10, 2020 through Glassnote Records.  It features songs about individual people he met through chance encounters (mostly in the tri-state area).    Previous to that he has released “I Had a Dream that You Were Mine” with friend Rostam Batmanglij, “Dear God”, a vinyl-only record with friend Paul Maroon, “I Could Have Sworn EP”, and “Black Hours”.  Before his solo career, Hamilton was the lead singer and co-songwriter for NYC band The Walkmen for 14 years.   His next full-length release is expected in the 2nd half of 2021.

Kevin Morby

In the winter of 2017 I moved back to my hometown of Kansas City from Los Angeles. The move was sudden and unforeseen, just as I was tying a bow on the writing process for what would become my 2019 album, Oh My God. I bought a Four Track Tascam model 424 of an old friend to help me get to the finish line, but much to my surprise and excitement, this new piece of equipment in my all-but-bare home didn't help complete one album but rather inspire another: Sundowner. The new collection of songs came quickly and effortlessly as I did my best not to resist or refine the songs, but instead let them take shape all on their own.
 
As the songs kept coming I cleared out the crowded shed that was sitting dormant in my backyard and built a makeshift studio before adding drums, lead guitar and piano to complete the demos. The shed had no cooling or heating unit at the time, so perhaps it is important to note that during the writing of this album I was either wearing multiple layers of clothing, or hardly any at all, season depending. Which is to say, it is an album written during extremes and subjected to the elements. In the summer, brown recluse spiders would scatter from beneath the Tascam when I entered the studio and in the winter, long glassy icicles hung from the storm drain as if the shed was wearing jewelry. Each day I would teach myself basic recording techniques, watching the channels illuminate and pulse as if the machine were breathing, and then emerge in the evenings as the sun was getting low: - around 5:30 in the winter, when the Kansan sunsets look icy and distant, like a pink ember inside of a display case, and 9 o'clock in the summer, when the sunsets are warm and abstract.
 
I wrote the entire album wearing headphones, hunched over the 424, letting my voice and guitar pass through the machine, getting lost in the warmth of the tape as if another version of myself was living on the inside, singing back at me. I was mesmerized by the magic of the four track not only as a recording device, but also an instrument, and considered it my songwriting partner throughout the whole process.
Oct
18 Mon
Image for Pinegrove

Pinegrove

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION

 


Formed in 2010 by childhood friends Evan Stephens Hall and drummer Zack Levine, Pinegrove have released four albums — Everything So Far, Cardinal, Skylight, and Marigold (2020) — to widespread critical acclaim, garnering them a growing and devoted listenership. They’ve described their sound as variously as ‘introspective party music’, or ‘energetic music in the folk tradition’; in any case, they have combined catharsis and inventive structures with irrepressible melodies, resonant lyrics and emotive twang.

Zack describes Pinegrove as “a constellation of soulmates.” Zack and Evan have known each other for 26 years and been playing music together for 21, communicating via a “telepathic musical connection.” Nearly everyone they work with are friends and collaborators from way back. Their most recent release, a live album recorded at the band’s previous studio and home, Amperland, NY, features Evan, Zack, Josh Marre, Megan Benavente, Sam Skinner as well as appearances from Nandi Rose, Nick

Levine, Michael Levine and Doug Hall. Sam also engineered and co-produced the record, as he has on every Pinegrove recording since 2015.

Links: Website | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Spotify | Apple Music


 Public Onsale:
12:00 AM
Oct 18, 2021
Oct
19 Tue
Image for Turnover, with Widowspeak, Temple of Angels

Turnover, with Widowspeak, Temple of Angels

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information
TICKET PRICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
ADVANCED: $24.00
DAY OF: $27.00

TICKET SALE DATES
ADVANCED Public Onsale: August 20, 2021 10:00 AM to October 19, 2021 12:00 AM
DAY OF Public Onsale: October 19, 2021 12:00 AM to October 19, 2021 6:00 PM

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION

There is a closeness at the heart of Turnover’s aptly titled new album, ‘Altogether.’ Though it’s the first collection the trio has written while living on opposite coasts, the record actually represents the group’s most collaborative and connected work to date, showcasing the intuitive, near-telepathic relationship frontman Austin Getz has developed over the years with his bandmates.


“Instead of making things more difficult, being far apart helped us learn to appreciate each other even more,” says Getz. “As a band, we’re closer now than we’ve ever been before.”


Recorded at Philadelphia’s Studio 4 with longtime creative foil Will Yip at the helm, ‘Altogether’ finds the group breaking new ground on a number of fronts. Pop sensibilities inform the writing for the first time, with elements of funk, jazz, lounge, and disco mingling alongside the band’s trademark indie grit and punk energy. Lush melodies and infectious hooks reflect the newfound freedom and confidence that have inspired Getz since his cross-country move to northern California, while adventurous recording techniques and instrumentation lend a fresh perspective without sacrificing the kind of precise detail and rich intricacies that have come to define the band’s recent studio output. The result is an album that boasts both sonic sophistication and emotional accessibility in equal measure, a major leap forward in sound and vision that reveals time apart as the true key to togetherness.



The title is fitting in another way as well, according to Getz. “On this record, more than in the past, we wanted to keep in mind the beauty of writing ‘popular music,’” he explains. “By that I mean music for people who don’t have the time to delve into the niches and find fringe artists, music for those of us who are busy with work or our families or whatever problems might be around. Music is real magic that can change people’s days and lives, and the more people listening and loving, the better.”

Turnover first emerged roughly a decade ago in Virginia Beach, VA, but the group’s critical and commercial breakthrough didn’t arrive until six years later, when they cracked the Top 5 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart with their acclaimed sophomore album, ‘Peripheral Vision.’ The band—which consists of Getz, his brother Casey on drums, and their childhood friend Danny Dempsey on bass—followed it up in 2017 with ‘Good Nature,’ a streaming smash that racked up roughly 40 million plays on Spotify alone and which Vice proclaimed to be “their best album yet.” Reviews were similarly glowing around the world (Pitchfork praised the record’s “rhythmic propulsion and harmonized guitar sparkles,” while Exclaim! hailed its “shimmering instrumentation and luscious harmonies,” and The Line of Best Fit swooned for its “plush production” and “subtle maturity”), and the album earned the band headline dates everywhere from Brooklyn Steel to The Fonda Theatre along with their first appearance at Coachella.




“With ‘Peripheral Vision,’ I was starting to experiment with psychedelics, and I was feeling alienated from a lot of the things I’d been raised to believe and accept,” Getz reflects. “That album asked a lot of questions, and I felt like ‘Good Nature’ was my attempt to find the answers to those questions. This time around, though, I found myself in a very different place, both literally and metaphorically.”


Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter


Oct
28 Thu
Image for Parquet Courts, with P.E.

Parquet Courts, with P.E.

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information
TICKET PRICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
ADVANCED: $25.00
DAY OF: $30.00

TICKET SALE DATES
ADVANCED Public Onsale: September 15, 2021 10:00 AM to October 28, 2021 12:00 AM
DAY OF Public Onsale: October 28, 2021 12:00 AM to October 28, 2021 6:00 PM

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION

Parquet Courts’ thought-provoking rock is dancing to a new tune. Sympathy For Life finds the Brooklyn band at both their most instinctive and electronic, spinning their bewitching, psychedelic storytelling into fresh territory, yet maintaining their unique identity.

Built largely from improvised jams, inspired by New York clubs, Primal Scream and Pink Floyd and produced in league with Rodaidh McDonald (The xx, Hot Chip, David Byrne), Sympathy For Life was always destined to be dancey. Unlike its globally adored predecessor, 2018’s Wide Awake! – a Top 30 hit here and an album of the year everywhere from Spin and The Skinny to NME and Australia’s Double J – the focus fell on grooves rather than rhythm. 

“Wide Awake! was a record you could put on at a party,” says co-frontman Austin Brown. “Sympathy For Life is influenced by the party itself. Historically, some amazing rock records been made from mingling in dance music culture – from Talking Heads to Screamadelica. Our goal was to bring that in to our own music.

“Each of us, in our personal lives, has been going to more dance parties. Or rather, we were, pre-pandemic, which is when this record was made.”

Before sessions began at Brooklyn’s The Bridge studio in autumn 2019, as ever, the quartet (Brown and Savage plus bassist Sean Yeaton and drummer Max Savage) took time out to work on ideas separately. For co-frontman A Savage, that meant a trip to Italy armed with Mad Hatter acid. 

“I took a lot of acid with me and started working out,” he says. “I call it trippy lifting. I would trip and work out during the day, then write songs at night. Three or four of the songs that made it on to album began there – Walking At A Downtown Pace, Pulcinella, Trullo. Most of my ideas for the artwork formed at that time too. I had a big piece of paper taped to the wall that read “CAN, CANNED HEAT, & THIS HEAT”. That was the sound I wanted to find.”

Back home, the jamming began.

“Most of the songs were created by taking long improvisations and moulding them through our own editing,” explains Brown. “The biggest asset we have as artists is the band. After 10 years together, our greatest instrument is each other. The purest expression of Parquet Courts is when we are improvising.”

Dreamy lead single Plant Life, released in June, was edited to 10 minutes from a 40 minute-plus jam and almost halved again for the album. Digital disco-punk anthem Marathon Of Anger, which began as a largely electronic jam inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests, was painstakingly snipped from 41 minutes to a neat four and a half. 

In between was where the hard work occurred. 

“More than any of our albums, this one was about the process,” says Brown. “It was about viewing the themes through a dance music lens and our own filter to discover where it would take us. Seven albums in, the pressure is on to do something new, but still sound like us.”

Key to the complex process was working with McDonald, first at The Bridge, then for an intense fortnight at The Outlier Inn, a sprawling, bucolic studio in the Catskills, where 2014’s Sunbathing Animal was recorded. 

“I met Rodaidh when I was DJing in LA,” notes Brown. “I brought my records to his house and we spent days talking about what we wanted to do and sampling stuff from both of our collections for references. When he came to New York to record, we mashed up some of those samples to make beats and grooves and jammed over the top.”

Links: Website | Bandcamp


Oct
29 Fri
Image for Tennis, with Molly Burch

Tennis, with Molly Burch

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 8:00 PM, Show at 9:00 PM
 More Information

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
I never learned how to swim.

​In years of sailing, I never let the water touch me. The ocean was an abstract dread, an obliterating void as untenable as outer space.

​In January 2018 we went on tour. After years of scraping by, we found our footing with our fourth record Yours Conditionally. It was a commercial success that set us up to to play the biggest rooms of our career. But three shows in, I developed a raging case of influenza. Each night I dragged myself onstage and croaked out the set in a delirium. After a particularly bad soundcheck, Patrick asked me if we should cancel the show. I couldn't imagine giving up the thing we'd work so hard to achieve. "I'll be on stage even if you have to mic my coffin," I joked.

​​The next morning I fainted and had a seizure while grocery shopping for breakfast. Patrick carried me through the check-out lanes screaming for a doctor. I woke later in a hospital bed. Patrick leaned over me, crying. "That's it," he said. "I'm canceling the tour. I thought you were dead. We're quitting the band. I'm going to be an accountant." But I was on the mend. We missed two shows and pressed on.

​​During sound check at the 930 club, Patrick stepped out to take a phone call. His father had been in the hospital all week, but he had cancer and brief hospitalizations were routine. Back at the hotel that night, Patrick poured two shots of whiskey and handed me one. "I'd like to toast my dad." He said. "The doctors offered to put him on life-support to give me a chance to fly out there, but I didn't want him to suffer. Instead I said goodbye."

​​Patrick went home to grieve with his family and rejoined us on the road two days later. I couldn't believe how quickly our lives had unraveled in the midst of what was supposed to be a milestone in our career. As the tour continued, we found refuge in playing music together. Songwriting had always been an extension of our inner-world. Now we retreated to that world every time we stepped onstage.

​After the final show of our tour in Austin, we received another phone call. Patrick's mother Karen was in the hospital on the brink of a stroke. We got on a plane and went straight to her bedside. Her recovery took weeks. In the hospital waiting room, I wrote the opening line of "Matrimony II": I only have certainty when you hold my hand.

​On a hot July day, after Karen's return to good health, we sailed as a family into the Pacific and scattered Edward's ashes at sea. I marked our position on the chart with a small x. The album was already well under way. In that moment, I realized what I wanted to call it.

​Swimmer is a tour of the darkest time in our lives. But it is not a dark record. Named for the feeling of suspension and upendedness that characterized this period, it is the story of deep-rooted companionship strengthened by pain and loss. These songs carried us through our grief. It is us at our most vulnerable, so we kept a small footprint, recording everything ourselves in our home studio. I set out to describe the love I have come to know after ten years of marriage, when you can no longer remember your life before that person, when the spark of early attraction has been replaced by a gravitational pull.

Swimmer is available everywhere February 14, 2020.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Spotify | SoundCloud
 Public Onsale:
12:00 AM
Oct 29, 2021
Apr
6 Wed
Image for Black Midi

Black Midi

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information
TICKET PRICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
ADVANCED: $20.00
DAY OF: $22.00

TICKET SALE DATES
DAY OF Public Onsale: April 6, 2022 12:00 AM to April 6, 2022 6:00 PM
ADVANCED Public Onsale: May 21, 2021 10:00 AM to April 6, 2022 12:00 AM

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
No second album syndrome and no sophomore slump for Britain’s most exciting and challenging young rock band. black midi’s follow up to Schlagenheim is a dynamic, hellacious, inventive success. Cavalcade, their second studio album for Rough Trade, scales beautiful new heights, reaching ever upwards from an already lofty base of early achievements.

The meaning of the word cavalcade is a procession of people, such as a royal parade, and black midi picture their new album as a line of larger than life figures – from a cult leader fallen on hard times and an ancient corpse found in a diamond mine to legendary cabaret singer Marlene Dietrich – strolling seductively past them. The album art – again, another intricate collage created by David Rudnick – brings this idea colourfully to life, drawing the listener inexorably into this mysterious world, reinforcing the idea that Cavalcade is a glorious collection of stories just waiting to be dived into.

Geordie Greep, the band’s mercurial guitarist and primary singer explains the fundamentals of Cavalcade: “A big thing on this album is the emphasis on third person stories, and theatrical ones at that.” Cameron Picton, the inventive bassist and occasional singer agrees: “When you’re listening to the album you can almost imagine all the characters form a sort of cavalcade. Each tells their story one by one and as each track ends they overtake you, replaced by the next in line.” Morgan Simpson, the powerhouse drummer advises: “Enjoy it, live with it, spend some time living in it.” When pressed to choose one word to describe the album, Geordie elects for “drama” adding: “The emphasis when we were making and sequencing Cavalcade was to make music that was as dramatic and as exciting as possible. The flow has the feel of a story, which is rewarding to listen to.”

But the record is dynamic in its musical ambition above all else. black midi listen widely and deeply not just to rock and jazz but to hip hop, electronic dance music, classical, ambient, prog, experimental... And their ethos is simple according to Geordie: “We just combine lessons learned from all of this music to make something that’s very interesting to listen to and something that is brand new.” They are quick to bat away any suggestion that it’s a risky strategy drawing from such a wide source of influences, that the resultant eclectic mix of influences could produce something resembling a mad man’s breakfast. Geordie says simply: “If you worry about that before you start you’re limiting yourself. You have to try because you could either end up with a madman’s breakfast or you could end up with a fantastic kaleidoscope and the only way to find out which one it’s going to be is to try. If you fail, so what? Try again.”

Ground was broken on Cavalcade in those now weird seeming pre-pandemic days of 2019. Songs that had been brewing since the release of Schlagenheim in July began muscling their way onto set lists and finally became individual entities by October, getting refined in between an extensive world tour and a scorching turn at the Mercury Prize ceremony. Early in 2020, the fourth member of black midi from the original line up, guitarist/vocalist Matt Kwasniewski- Kelvin, told the other three that he needed some time away from the group due to problems with his mental health. They went on to play several live dates as a trio augmented by saxophonist Kaidi Akinnibi and keyboard player Seth Evans. This hook up felt right and the pair feature prominently on Cavalcade.

Links: Website | Facebook | Instagram

Haw River Ballroom

1711 Saxapahaw-bethlehem Church Rd
Saxapahaw, NC
United States