$8 in advance / $10 at the door
5pm doors / 8pm showtime
sponsored by Indeed Brewing & Radio K
We are the Willows:
We Are The Willows is an orchestral indie rock band based out of South Minneapolis. The 6-piece ensemble features songwriter/frontman Peter Miller’s unique countertenor voice and guitar, supported by Jeremiah Satterthwaite (guitar/banjo), Leah Ottman (violin/voice/keys), Hilary James (cello/voice/keys), Travis Collins (bass), and Josh McKay (drums). We Are The Willows craft dynamic, intimate songs with instruments and voices combining to create energetic rhythms and intricate melodies. Their heartfelt arrangements evoke shared nostalgic feelings of love and loss.
For We Are The Willows, the 4 years between 2013 and 2017 were busy. The sort of busy that makes memory a blur of impressions, half thoughts and whatever our internet feeds tell us had been happening. We Are The Willows endeavored to make a splash in the music world with a dense, two part, 20 song concept album entitled, Picture (Portrait), released in 2014 and 2016 respectively. The album garnered praise from NPR, the BBC, Buzzfeed, PASTE magazine, Noisey, The Brooklyn Vegan and offered the band an on ramp to showcasing at SXSW, Treefort Music Fest, along with opening for the likes of Blitzen Trapper, S. Carey, PHOX and Matt Pond PA. On top of all of this, the band toured rigorously throughout the greater midwest playing clubs, colleges, bars, theaters, coffee shops, and people’s homes.
In the Summer of 2017, Mike Noyce (Bon Iver, Tallest Man on Earth, S. Carey) offered his engineering and production services to the band. They met Mike at April Base Studio, built by Justin Vernon and co. in Fall Creek, WI to record The Prettiest Please. The weekend in the studio was one of rejuvenation. Before this, the band had only recorded in basements, living rooms and church sanctuaries on shoestring-budget-recording-gear, with engineering and production duties handled by singer and principal songwriter Peter M and guitar player Jeremiah Satterthwaite. Noyce gave the band an opportunity to focus, feel and perform. April Base provided satiation for every creative compulsion. When the weekend was over, We Are The Willows was a new band and the song might just be proof of that.
When I met Feng Meng Vue, he mentioned that he had never found a real electronic music scene in Eau Claire. It’s possible that’s all about to change. Vue – who releases music as sloslylove – just put out Tendencies, a ten-track tape and digital album that carries a level of polish that is nearly unmatched among local, short-run releases.
Tendencies moves deftly between modern production and throwbacks to the glamorous 80s, with heavy synth lines, shimmering transitions and Phil Collins-esque drum fills, and mostly maintaining a steady, danceable pace. But sloslylove is just as good in his more ambient, emotional moments, such as album closer “*summer is forever.” Voice samples from old TV shows or audio books are peppered throughout the record, adding a cinematic feel to the tracks. Vue began making music – not counting earlier attempts at piano lessons – in 2005 in his senior year at Memorial High School. “At the time I started, I would make really bad melodies and resample them and slice them up to recreate new ideas and melodies,” Vue said. “From there I started sampling found sounds from other sources.”
Since then, sloslylove has put out a variety of digital releases (many of which are still available for free download) leading up to Tendencies, which is digital and on cassette tape. “I put it on tape because I wanted to see if I could do it,” Veng said. “The designing, beat making, printing, folding, ordering blank cassettes, dubbing, all that stuff. It’s definitely not easy doing it all yourself.” And that design is another perk for Tendencies. The casing of the tape –and the tape itself – are beautifully orchestrated and match the jovial music inside. Besides sloslylove, Vue also plays in a new Minneapolis based project, Vandaam. “It’s a different sound from my current project, but it still holds many of the same elements I use.” Currently, sloslylove isn’t active as a live project, but Vue says there could be shows in the near future. As for recording, Vue will keep busy. [Volume One]