with Tribe Society, Forest Fires & Royal Street
Friday November 13th
Tickets: $11.50 ADV • $12 DOS
The Royal Concept
So what does a smile sound like? Well, given its sun-soaked flavor, upbeat swing, and uncontainable energy, The Royal Concept’s second EP, Smile [LAVA/Republic Records], could very well answer that.
The Swedish quartet—David Larson [vocals], Filip Bekic [guitar], Magnus Robert [bass], and Frans Povel [drums]—first achieved worldwide attention with their viral hit “D-D-Dance.” In 2013, the track hit #2 on Hype Machine, while its follow-ups “Gimme Twice” and ”World on Fire” reached #3 and #1 respectively. LAVA signed the group and released their debut The Royal EP as the band crisscrossed the globe to play live shows in packed venues. Simultaneously, their hit single, “On Our Way” received high-profile placements everywhere from Glee and MTV’s Catfish to FIFA 14. Following that whirlwind, The Royal Concept returned home to Sweden ready and eager to do it all again. With a new batch of tunes, they traded Sweden’s snow for Los Angeles’s sun and entered the studio with producer Tony Hoffer [M83, Phoenix, Depeche Mode, The Kooks]. 12 days later they emerged with the EP, Smile.
“He has done some of our favorite records,” admits TRC’s frontman David. “When you’re recording, it can be very stressful because you know that you have to live with this music for the rest of your life. But after a couple of days in the studio with Tony, we felt like we could let go of all the anxiety and just enjoy it. He brought this level of playfulness that we’ve always felt on stage, but never before in the studio. It really made a huge impact on this EP. We trusted his ears and he trusted our playing.”
This time around, the boys used their two years on the road to infuse that live experience into the new songs. Everybody’s voice is literally heard. David explains “Throughout our touring we have discovered a live sound that is us. For example, it sounded more soulful when all four of us sang together. That helped me a lot, because I truly hate the sound of my own voice!” he laughs. “I love being a front man, but I never pictured myself as a singer.”
Now, the EP’s first single “Fashion” struts from a funky guitar into a disco-style chant replete with sizzling falsetto and an unshakable bounce. “I just felt a tension within the word ‘Fashion’,” explains the group’s songwriter, Filip. “It’s loaded with a lot of things. You can hate it or love it. The song tells a story about a person who thinks they are the coolest person around. They wear the right clothes and go to clubs where everyone is aware of themselves and their style. But suddenly they meet this person who’s from a completely different world, and they fall in love. That other person is the free, wild type and suddenly the “cool” person is beaten up by this person’s personality. It’s the most beautiful slap in the face that they’ve ever experienced. Love can be a struggle and sometimes the struggle is just keeping up with the fantastic soul you’ve fallen for.”
Alongside “Fashion,” there’s the title track “Smile,” which shimmies between a golden sing-a-long, 70’s glam refrain and hip hop sounding beats. “’Smile’ was the first song we wrote for this EP,” David continues. “It really cracked the code for us with the combination of us singing choruses and that vocal riff. We quickly recorded a demo of it and when we heard it, the four of us knew ‘this sounds like us.’ We mostly find our inspiration in blues and rock n’ roll, but we love to add that androgynous side to it. Rock can be so manly, filled with boring clichés, and we’ve never felt at home in that environment. The song “Smile” is exactly where we want to be right now and that’s why it’s the title track.”
Overall, the EP serves one special purpose for The Royal Concept. As David proclaims, “I hope it makes everybody want to listen to the songs on repeat and see The Royal Concept live. We feel most alive on stage. This recording and our live shows are opportunities for us to make people happy, to make people smile.”
Parade of Lights
Parade of Lights are an alt-electro band based in Los Angeles. Comprised of Ryan Daly, Anthony Improgo, Michelle Ashley & Randy Schulte, the group combines equal parts rock, new wave, and shoegaze to create a unique blend of 80's influenced pop drawing on inspiration from artists like U2, Depeche Mode, M83, and even Madonna.
Shortly after meeting in LA in 2006, they formed the band Polus. After releasing a four-song EP entitled "Wish" and garnering a significant buzz locally, Polus was put on hiatus due to considerable demand for both Daly and Improgo as touring musicians. Even with their rigorous touring schedules, the two managed to keep their friendship intact and exchanged song ideas via email until 2010 when they decided to officially reunite as Parade of Lights. They spent that year and 2011 releasing new music and playing shows in Southern California, Utah and Nevada, which eventually led to support slots for artists such as Imagine Dragons, The Neighbourhood, Fitz & The Tantrums and Thirty Seconds to Mars.
In the fall of 2011, POL signed a publishing deal with Imagem Music and got to work crafting their electronic shoegaze anthem rock sound. The debut of that new sonic direction was their September 2012 self-released EP, "Born to Live, Born to Love." They followed up "BTL" with the June 2013 release of the single "We're the Kids," which quickly gained traction online and was added to SiriusXM's Alt Nation channel, where it continues to receive Top 10 spins and has charted as high as #14 on the channel's weekly Alt 18 Countdown. The Alt Nation airplay along with spins at stations like Live 105 in San Francisco, KROQ in Los Angeles and KXTE in Las Vegas led to a label deal with Astralwerks Records in August 2013.
Currently, the band is working on their follow up EP, which is scheduled for a Spring 2014 release.
Falling somewhere between MTV and LSD, Tribe Society has created a refreshingly classic sound that is entirely their own. Featuring lead vocalist Gavin McDevitt, Rory Given on bass and guitar, Bradford Alderman on synthesizer and keys, Phil Boucher on drums and Seth Hachen on flute and synths, the New York-based alternative-rock band fuses many genres and influences together from industrial grunge rock to hip hop, to create a completely unique sonic experience. About the band’s sound, Alderman says “we want this music to grab you and let you look at things in a way you may have never looked at them before.” Their cover of Young Thug’s Stoner, released in early 2015 by Lokal Legend under Island Records,definitely grabs. It’s more of are-imagination than a cover; a wholly unique tribute to an Atlanta underground track that recently became a hip hop anthem.
Their inspiration seems limitless: the guys cite everything from 80s anthems to psychedelic rock to gangster rap to dreamy electronic pulses. “We grew up in the 90s,” says Given, “so we love riff rock and heavy music that is really guitar-focused, but we’re also driven by our love of synths and raw hip hop beats.” All of these seemingly conflicting styles have helped create a signature sound that seems to transcended classification. They aim to be seen as a culture of artists exploring sound and rhythm rather than be defined by a single genre or style. “We love to take conventional stuff and do it in an unconventional way” adds Alderman.
Their original songs showcase their unique sonic signature while lyrically pursuing topics about investigating life and searching for deeper meaning. Sounding philosophical often in an ambiguous way, their tracks make people think. Kings, their first original single released, is an intense anthem featuring thunderous beats and haunting vocals which underscore the lyrics that focus on self-reinvention and pushing beyond established limits. Ego, a dreamy original, paints a beautiful dichotomy showing the pursuit of letting go of self-importance by describing a metaphorical murder scene of a person who has just "killed" their own self-destructive thought patterns by becoming aware of them. It’s a heavy message, but one that sticks with ease. Both tracks beg listeners to live life by their own rules. "We like to make music that just feels good when you crank it up but also has depth if you choose to examine it."
Tribe Society is a true collaboration; each song is a sum of the band’s parts. “If one of us wasn’t involved in a particular song it would feel incomplete,” says Given. The band is a tightknit group who has been living together and making music since they met almost a decade ago. “We’re together pretty much every single day,” says Given. “So we’re basically one collective mind, writing music all the time. We really love what we do.” This cooperative spirit is evident in their music. It’s tight and distinctive using an elaborate arsenal of production techniques and instruments. One unconventional rock instrument is Hachen's flute, of which he says, "We’re constantly finding new ways to use it in modern music. It might be a new type of melody or just the way we record it and process the sound".
Following the release of Stoner and Kings, the group plans to release a mixtape consisting of original music and additional covers (including The Beatles’ Here Comes The Sun) which will be 30 minutes of seamless continuous music reminiscent of the way Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon transitions from track to track. Scheduled to drop March 23th, the members of Tribe Society want their sound to speak for itself. They’re enigmatic and deliberate in their message: “Our music is this thing that’s constantly evolving and we want listeners to be part of that experience. We have a lot more to discover and create.”
Forest Fires is an indie-rock band from Providence, RI. Their music is melodic and simple yet sonically large and texturized when it needs to be. The band's roots span from folk music, indie, and progressive rock to create an artistic representation of what the members of the band have always wanted to play. Meanwhile Forest Fires succeed in drawing listeners in with their musicianship and pleasing them with their authenticity.
"We are Royal Street. Making music is our one and only prerogative, and we love doing it more than anything else! The best part is when we get to go out and share our tunes with everyone and meet awesome new people. If we could take every person we meet through the band who we friggin love out for a pizza party and other fun activities, YA BETTER BELIEVE WE WOULD - but like most other bands, our funds are limited.
Our songs are about growing up, moving on, overcoming, loving, leaving, and just being a person. We sincerely hope that we can connect with and help people with the stuff we put out there. But the main thing that you can absolutely count on is that our music will make you MOVE YA HIPS! And hopefully drop your drawers (don't be shy). Peace, love, and kittens."