March 20, 2018 by 1888media
As vast and indefinable as the West itself, the intrepid sound stylists of We Are The West reach beyond the setting sun to create an eclectic symphonic landscape. Brett Hool (voice/guitar) and John Kibler (bass/voice) formed We Are The West in a shipping container on a sheep farm in Holland, and began performing as a duo in an abandoned convent in Brooklyn, before heeding the call to continue West to Los Angeles.
Originally described as “a two-man orchestra of stunning vocals, meditative guitar, and exploratory double bass” (Albuquerque Journal), the duo paints with a broad palette of sound incorporating drums and percussion, woodwinds, strings, brass, pump organ, accordion, and unique vocal harmonies to create their dynamic and transporting songs.
For We Are The West’s first full-length album, The Golden Shore (due March 30), the band went to Grammy-winning engineer Husky Höskulds in downtown Los Angeles to record live as a trio with their longtime drummer Elizabeth Goodfellow (Iron & Wine).
Building on the band’s four previous EPs, The Golden Shore is their boldest vision yet, with sounds forged from an alternate horizon. The album blends emotional sophistication with sun-drenched, nostalgic riffs illuminated by crystalline lyrics as powerful as the Pacific.
Long-known for their monthly underground parking garage concert series, We Are The West recontextualizes a genuinely deep musical experience every Saturday before the full moon. On these moonlit nights, the band transforms an everyday, Los Angeles office parking garage into an extraordinary performance space. Different opening guests – from established artists and acclaimed bands to chamber groups and avant-garde sound experiments – rotate into the collaborative performance space.
Fond of merging the acoustics of nature with their own musical landscape, We Are The West’s national tours have included performances in natural desert amphitheaters, mine shafts, tow lots, redwood groves, sunset coves, and masonic temples, in addition to traditional theaters and festivals.
Onstage they have supported a versatile range of artists, from indie rockers Lord Huron to chamber artist Kinan Azmeh of The Silk Road Ensemble. We Are The West’s four EPs were each recorded in a different improvised locale: their LA parking garage, a barn in western New York, the high desert of New Mexico, and a ranch in Sebastopol. Their whimsical, energetic recordings have been featured in compilations for Textura, Sound and Motion, and the Surfrider Foundation.
For The Golden Shore, Hool and Kibler tapped their large network of musical friends, including regular band collaborators Beth Goodfellow, Sylvain Carton (Beats Antique), Ben Tolliday (Lord Huron), and Paul Cox, as well as Joe Kennedy (Ariel Pink, Sia), Michael Bush, Mark Hart (Crowded House, Supertramp), Dina Maccabee (Julia Holter, Sufjan Stevens), Jessica Ivry (Feist), Jesse Olsen Bay, Marië Abe (Debo Band), Brett Farkas (Solomon Burke), Amy Sanchez (LA Phil, Kendrick Lamar), Sacha Schneider, and Kristen Toedtman (LA Master Chorale). The band then enlisted ARIA award-winning engineer Jonathan Burnside to mix and master the album.
Opening track Siren (premiered by Under The Radar) features the raw acoustic core of Brett Hool’s vocal and guitar sailing atop the seascape of John Kibler’s upright bass, augmented by ghostly accordion by Jesse Olsen Bay. The sound lays the foundation for the lush production that lies ahead, from the technicolor Burt Bacharach echoes of “For Me, For You,” to the Ennio Morricone inspired psychedelia of “More Machine Than Man,” all the way back to the intimate and honest “Tonight’s Tonight.” The album presents a vision of endless possibility and sonic adventure that must be heard to be seen, calling the listener to explore the familiar and embrace the unknown.
Welcome to The Golden Shore.
Apr 03 – Flagstaff, AZ @ The Green Room
Apr 04 – Albuquerque, NM @ Gold House
Apr 05 – Santa Fe, NM @ Scottish Rite Masonic Temple (w/ David Berkeley)
Apr 11 – Los Angeles, CA @ Moroccan Lounge (w/ Fruition)
Apr 12 – Bolinas, CA @ Smiley’s Schooner Saloon
Apr 13 – San Francisco, CA @ Old Bus Tavern
Apr 14 – San Francisco, CA @ Amnesia (w/ The Japonize Elephants, Erik Brock)
Apr 15 – Carmel, CA @ Folktale Winery (Folk In The Gallery)
Apr 28 – Santa Monica, CA @ Underground Parking Garage (w/ Fell Runner)
May 02 – Los Angeles, CA @ Zebulon (w/ Rainstorm Brother, DJ Gerard)
May 11 – Santa Monica, CA @ Santa Monica Playhouse (w/ Rob Morrow Band, Hayley Reardon)
May 12 – Los Angeles, CA @ Love Song
May 26 – Santa Monica, CA @ Underground Garage (w/ Little Wings, Radio Skies)
Jun 16 – Groveland, CA @ Yosemite Lakes
Aug 11 – El Portal, CA @ Evergreen Lodge
Aug 12 – Groveland, CA @ Rush Creek Lodge
Sep 15 – Mendocino, CA @ Solaura Festival