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WEQX Welcomes: Kalbells

KALBELLS

In April 2015, Kalmia Traver (Kalbells, Rubblebucket) had just come out of an intensive 2-month writing retreat with 27 songlets in hand, 10 of which would become Kalbells’ debut album Ten Flowers. Jeremy Malvin (Chrome Sparks) loved what she shared with him then, and the two began regular co-production sessions in his studio in Brooklyn, where classical percussion ensemble So Percussion also worked. Drawing inspiration from the abundance of acoustic sound-makers all around, Jeremy performed marimbas, cactus shakers, and massive bass drums, while Kal layered flute arpeggios, penny whistles, and saxophones through tape echo to make smooth harmonic waves of rainbow velvet layer cake. They pretended to be an orchestra. Lyrically, the ‘Mothertime’ EP sees Kal processing themes she has been continually chewing on in the 6-year wake of surviving ovarian cancer and transforming a codependent relationship with her long-time music partner Alex Toth (Rubblebucket, Tōth): resilience, yielding, beckoning creativity, self-exploration, and joy.“Cool and Bendable” was inspired by a dream in which she held her yet-unborn child, but as Kal finished writing the song in the studio with Jeremy, she realized it was actually about holding herself, a body, a life. “Supple, strong, funny: a person, a being,” she says. “I also think I was celebrating in awe the general aliveness of our world, Earth.” “Mothertime,” is about her mother and their relationship, which she describes as her most cherished learning-grounds. “It’s about thebewildering beauty and uncanniness of the fact that we can keep growing & changing so much, cueing off each other across our two mobius-entwined lifetimes.” The EP’s final two tracks, “Precipice” and “Tremble,” are both about the struggle of being in a codependent relationship: the sadness of neglect, the zing of excitement during a bitter fight, the addictive explosion of energy that feels momentarily gratifying but isn’t ultimately what one is searching for, truly, and the cyclical realization (and perhaps, denial) of harming oneself or others. “It’s something I feel proud to have moved and grown through,” she says, “and I hope writing about it can be a form of revealing the illusion, and healing.”

BERNICE

Bernice, the project of Toronto-based vocalist/songwriter Robin Dann, blends "melodies reminiscent of artists like Sade with the playful sounds of artists like Deerhoof and Dirty Projectors” (Pigeons & Planes). Dann, the daughter of two symphony orchestra performers, is a trained vocalist with a Masters in Music from Goldsmiths, University of London, and her band - Thom Gill (keyboards/samples), Felicity Williams (vocals), Phil Melanson (percussion), and Dan Fortin (bass) - features active members of Bahamas, Owen Pallett, Leif Vollebekk, and DIANA. Formed in 2010, the band’s first release, What Was That, landed in 2011 and saw critical praise from Exclaim Magazine and Globe & Mail. Bernice performed shows with Colin Stetson and supported Tegan & Sara on tour. In 2016, the band returned from a residency at the Banff Centre, and supported the release of two singles, “St Lucia” and “Don't Wanna Be European”, with a series of performances at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Bernice started 2017 by supporting Martha Wainwright on tour across the UK before returning to Toronto for the Toronto Dance Theatre’s production of NOISY where the band performed a bespoke composition for the show. The band was then invited to Miami to support Angel Olsen for Red Bull Sound Select’s 3 Days In Miami festival. Puff, a 5-song EP, was released in June ‘17 to resounding critical acclaim from Pitchfork, NPR, Zane Lowe, and The Fader. Stereogum and Exclaim named the release as one of the 'Best EPs of 2017. Puff was produced by Grammy Award-winner Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Lucius) and Matt Smith (Owen Pallett). The release was supported on tours with Charlotte Day Wilson and The Weather Station. Bernice followed the maximalist EP with minimalist sophomore album Puff: In The Air Without A Shape released in May '18 on Arts & Crafts. Continuing their enigmatic exploration of pop, jazz, and R&B, the new album attempted to mimic the playful intimacy of the band’s live show. The album was called “a monument to ephemerality” by the New York Times and received a long-list nomination for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

Showings

  • Fri, October 9, 2020
  • Doors - 8PM
    Concert - 9:00PM
  • The Hollow Bar + Kitchen
    Albany, New York
  • Bernice
  • $10 ADVANCE // $12 DAY OF SHOW
  • 18 And Over Admitted Unless Accompanied By A Parent // 21+ To Drink