DARREN HANLON (AUSTRALIA)
Darren Hanlon is an Australian singer/songwriter who plays folk-rock and folk-pop. Before becoming a solo artist in 1999, he was a member of The Simpletons, and contributed backing guitar and keyboards for The Lucksmiths, The Deerhunters, and Mick Thomas. Darren is known for his engagement with his audiences, through his down-to-earth storytelling at live gigs as well as his often charming lyrics.
Darren Hanlon will perform Saturday May 21st at Santos Party House.
BALÚN (NYC / PUERTO RICO)
Brought together by their love of simple melodies, 16mm films, cartoon doodles, and experimental pop music, Balún was formed in 2002 in San Juan, Puerto Rico by José Olivares and Angélica Negrón. Their sound is one of soft and sweet rhythmic sound collages- simple guitar riffs, subdued glitchy beats and sounds of bells, strings and accordion accompanied by Angelica’s child-like dreamy singing. Her singing is reminiscent of the type of quiet, low voiced song a child absent mindedly sings to herself while engrossed in drawing or making a princess’ crown out of field flowers. The product of the soundscapes created by Balún is one of nostalgia, or better yet, daydreaming. It’s music to listen to when you’ve realized you’ve wandered into an unfamiliar place but you don’t mind that you’re lost.
Balún will perform on Saturday, May 21st at Spike Hill.
FAN MODINE (NORTH CAROLINA)
Since the release of “Slow Road to Tiny Empire”, Fan Modine’s first album, in 1998, Gordon Zacharias has been known as an artist who mixes buoyant orchestral pop music with oftentimes more gloomy lyrics. This disconcerting combination has won him a cult following among fans of obscure rock bands, and of indie-pop artists in particular. With “Gratitude for the Shipper”, Fan Modine’s first album in six years, his music adds dimensions both lyrically and sonically, drawing inspiration from sources as diverse as French symbolist poet Stephane Mallarmé and Southern pop trailblazer Alex Chilton (“Waiting for Distant Light,” the album’s finale, is a tribute to the recently-deceased songwriter, singer and guitarist)
With expanded instrumentation and higher-fi recording, “Gratitude for the Shipper” sounds consistently bright, melodic and hook-happy. “It’s a struggle to think in terms of albums these days, but I still strive for that,” Zacharias says. “I wanted to make a tight, solid album that holds together like John Cale’s Paris 1919 or Procul Harum’s A Salty Dog do for me, although, I feel like we ended up with something quite different.”
Fan Modine will perform Sunday, May 22nd at The Rock Shop.