Intricate, layered and occasionally distorted math-pop from Portland
$8 advance / $10 day of show
Rare Monk is a Portland, OR based indie rock band. They just released their debut full-length album, “A Future” this summer featuring 10 brand new songs recorded in Portland, OR with Skyler Norwood (Blind Pilot, Horsefeathers, Priory) at Miracle Lake Studios.
In 2015, Rare Monk released their apocalyptic-tinged self-titled EP, produced by Tom McFall (Weezer, Bloc Party, Snow Patrol, R.E.M.). Single's "Warning Pulse" and "California (Will Burn)" received considerable attention form the blogosphere, college radio, and streaming services such as Spotify. This was the follow-up to 2014's widely lauded 7-inch "Splice/Sleep Attack". The boutique record label, B3SCI Records, released both EPs.
In 2016 Rare Monk faced several lineup changes. Their original guitarist and violist left and the once 5-piece became a 4-piece with the addition of lead guitarist and vocalist Hugh Jepson. With the addition of Jepson, Rare Monk started focusing more on writing bigger guitar parts, dueling leads, and beautiful falsetto harmonies. What resulted were ten new songs written and recorded over the course of the last year and a half.
The songs deal with death and agency – our control (both individual and as a species) of how the future will play out. “It’s easy to be deterministic – the world’s a shit show right now and it feels like all we can do is make popcorn – so there’s a lot of grappling and grasping for free will.” The songs are also a lot of fun – big guitar fun – a commitment to giant choruses as a medium to discuss humanity’s doom and how we might prevent it. If there’s a unifying theme to the album, it’s that we have control over the music we make, that band practice is chaos under our control and feedback cures all diseases.
Spirit Award’s debut full length, Neverending, out on October 6th, houses momentum and starkness. The Seattle three-piece pushes and pulls the ten songs with staggered bright darkness and a massive sound. Sprawling, stereo guitars puncture out from a driving bass/drum foundation. While Spirit Award is aptly capable of generating catchy psych moments, there seems to be no calculable formula to their writing style. Vocal sections dipped in effects shape them more like an instrument, putting the bass in the role of lead guitar. Moments of Neverending point to influences of early New Order and Can, baiting you with a hook then leaving you droning to a krautrock beat.
Spirit Award credit the death of a family member, anxiety, a robbery, and the ending of a relationship for the record’s pensive, yet hopeful look into the future. Through all this the band continued working on the record over the course of two years, which is why it garnered the name, Neverending.
Neverending was recorded with Jack Endino (Nirvana), and Eric Corson (Perfume Genius, Ceremony), Connor Birch and GG Reynolds (Sleater-Kinney).