Union Transfer




Lymbyc System, Tancred

Fri, March 11, 2016

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

Union Transfer

Philadelphia, PA

$13.00 - $15.00

This event is all ages

If you've ever looked at an old document and noticed brown spots on it, what you are seeing are signs of aging. It's not exactly clear what specifically causes them, but one day, the page will completely brown over and be no more. This is called foxing.

A group of St. Louis musicians took this idea and turned it into a band. "From the conception of the band, we realized: we're not gonna be around forever," says Foxing singer Conor Murphy. "There's classic literature that over time grows really old. But hopefully, you can make something that meant something at some point and will mean something down the road, even if it is aged and dated. That's always what keeps me going, the idea that we're writing something now that we won't be able to write in ten years." At only 21, Murphy is wise beyond his years and Foxing's debut album, The Albatross is indisputable proof of that.

The Albatross has an epically beautiful, almost cinematic quality to it, a fact which the band members, some of whom were film students, are acutely aware of. Listening to their song "Rory" along with the music video they made for it is not only an emotionally jarring experiences but highlights the fact that Foxing have a bigger picture in mind than simply making music. It's not just a sound, it's a deeper, fuller concept fueled by a palpable sense of raw honesty and soulbearing. It's not just a band, it's the most vulnerable parts of their lives, reflected back at them.

Coll and Murphy write the lyrics together and cull from their lives and current real-life experiences. They are open and genuine about themselves in their lyrics, almost to a fault, sometimes putting a strain on their relationships with those around them. "The people that those songs are about, there's no way they wouldn't know it was about them," says Coll. "Sometimes, there's the desire to not put your life so far out there. But it's also important to not hold back." The two have a unique process of co-editing each other's songs. "When we were writing the record, one of the biggest things I'd talk to Conor about was: I don't care if people like this record or not. I mean, I want people to enjoy it, but the one thing that would gut me would be if people said the lyrics are disingenuous."

Foxing's forthright lyrical honesty paired with their stunning orchestral sound quickly started earning them devoted fans, some of whom have been so emotionally moved that they've openly wept at the band's live shows. It's something Foxing didn't expect and certainly were not prepared for. "I was really surprised at the reception we got from this record because it's very, very specific and personal so it's weird to have people grasp that and feel a kindredness to it, that's insane to me," says Coll. In addition to the new fans who were responding to Foxing's music in such a personal way, the band also caught the attention of Triple Crown Records. The label took notice of the organic buzz surrounding the band and are re-mastering and rereleasing The Albatross.

Although The Albatross has a distinctly timeless quality it about it, Foxing recognize that while they're proud of the album, it won't hold up forever. Much like their namesake, the pages their words are written on will eventually brown over and fade away. "The thing that binds everybody together is the idea that death is completely imminent. age is an ever-looming idea that we can all agree on," notes Murphy. "We make this music, we release it, and then, one day, it dies."
Lymbyc System
Lymbyc System
Brothers Jared and Michael Bell have been making music together as Lymbyc Systym since 2004. Though Jared resides in Brooklyn and Michael in Phoenix, their years of shared experience and deep connection through music have helped them develop a remarkably refined and fluid cross-country writing process. “Growing up together our musical minds converged to function as one unit, which is great up to a point – but it can also be a recipe for compositional stagnancy,” says Jared. “With two-thousand miles between us, we’re continuously experiencing things in different ways at the same time – the weather, the pace of our cities, our interior surroundings. We embrace this divergence. It keeps us sane, and the ideas fresh.”

Despite the physical distance, their brotherly connection sounds more tenacious than ever on their new album Split Stones. Throughout the album, the duo explore the power of disparate halves coming together to form a unique whole. The idea serves as an analogy for Jared and Mike's relationship, Lymbyc's sound, and the mind/body dichotomy. Their interest in the notion of fragmented halves working together dates back to an early '80s body relaxation cassette their mom used to play in the car when they were kids. They stumbled upon the tape in a junk drawer during one of the recording sessions for Split Stones and ended up sampling it for the album's title track.

All of the songs on Split Stones were created using arpeggiators but with a distinctly Lymbyc twist. Throughout the album the arpeggiators act as living machines – scientific clarity in harmony with human uncertainty. As Jared explains, “Instead of synching up the arpeggiators, they were recorded freely with countless variations, then edited together manually. It made for an incredibly dynamic and organic rhythm that set the compositional tone for the rest of the record.” The resulting collection of songs is the duo's most up-tempo, vibrant, and danceable album to date.

Recorded largely in their respective home studios, the duo went to Dallas to track live drums at Elmwood Recording, where they mixed their previous albums Shutter Release and Field Studies with John Congleton. The album opens with “Generated Bodies”, a song that starts as a colossal instrumental rock track, but quickly evolves into spirals of chordal synths and electronic beats, mirroring the band's metamorphosis over the past decade. Other songs like “Split Stones” and “Pulses” find the band experimenting with longer cinematic song structures, leaving behind the short “Pop” song structures they've delivered on previous albums. The album veers into full on dance mode on “Paraboloid” before things wind down with the sunny groove of album closer “Scientific Romance”.
Though technically the band’s third full-length, Out of the Garden is Tancred’s first truly cohesive record: a mission statement that underscores the “power” in power-pop and is punctuated by lyrics as razor-sharp as the hooks.

Written over a two-year period during a break from touring, the album’s emphasis on re-defining feminine expectations was shaped by primary songwriter Jess Abbott’s experiences living in Minneapolis and working at a liquor store in a rough part of town.

“I learned how to speak up when I needed to and how to truly be myself without reservation,” Abbott recalls. “I felt afraid walking home at night, and after a couple of months I just got sick of it and started getting into self-defense and self-empowerment as a means of coping. Finding my own strength changed everything.”

After writing and tracking every song in her apartment, Abbott (also of beloved Minneapolis trio Now, Now) enlisted Kevin Medina and Terrence Vitali to add drums and bass to her demos. The band then traveled to LA to record with OFF! bassist Steven McDonald and That Dog vocalist/guitarist Anna Waronker.

Both producers proved to be the perfect collaborators, with each elevating the final takes via their specific areas of expertise — Waronker helped Abbott achieve the raw vocal attitude exhibited on songs like the seething “Hang Me,” while McDonald orchestrated the tailor-made guitar tones and trashy drum sounds highlighted on standouts like “Joey.”

As a result, Out of the Garden showcases Tancred shedding its former skin in favor of a bolder and infinitely more confident sound.

Opener “Bed Case” bolts off the starting block with a guitar salvo straight from the ‘90s before “The Glow” ups the amperage with crunching riffs and pummeling distortion. Soon after, smooth as silk “Sell My Head” serves up a chorus so intrinsically catchy you'll already be singing along the second time around.

As Abbott reveals, “I wanted these songs to sound sickly sweet, with a looming, gory shadow behind them. Sugary, but when listening closely, unsettling.”

This juxtaposition is presented flawlessly during the chorus of “Pens” when Abbott sings “I’m insanely healthy in my head / It’s crazy how stable I am” amidst a background refrain of “oohs” and “aahs.” While your head reflexively bobs along to the melody, your brain is compelled to decode the ominous double meanings embedded in her cleverly chosen adjectives.

Her fearlessness to discuss these and other personal topics is referenced in the album’s title, an allusion to exiting Eden and leaving behind all the restrictive cultural norms ingrained in the Biblical “paradise”: tradition, purity, holiness, binary gender, heterosexuality, and the idea that anything is forbidden (especially for women).

Says Abbott, “Out of the Garden represents doing what you want, what you need, without letting anything or anyone stop you — and smiling while you do it.”
Venue Information:
Union Transfer
1026 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123