MUTEMATH – Tickets – Rams Head Live – Baltimore, MD – October 6th, 2012

MUTEMATH

Rams Head and IMP present

MUTEMATH

Civil Twilight

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

$25.00

MUTEMATH
MUTEMATH
Primarily written and recorded at singer/keyboardist's Paul Meany's New Orleans, Louisiana home, MUTEMATH's new album Odd Soul is the band's third studio release and their first self-produced effort. After the departure of longtime guitarist Greg Hill, Meany, bassist Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas and drummer Darren King were staring at a crossroad as they pondered how to move forward. "As we began to work on songs, we quickly realized that having fewer people in the creative process was better. Roy's a great guitar player, and we all started feeding off of this new inspiration for the kind of record we could make… all we needed was to be left alone until we got there."

There's a spontaneity and spark to all of the songs on Odd Soul that's unmistakable, something Meany credits to the fact of starting the recording process right after working on their 2010 DVD Armistice Live. "We really wanted to just cut to the chase on this album and compose music that would work for us on stage. We were craving more high-spirited music for this album so any song idea that came close to depressing got nixed," he continues. "We're not good at being dark so we wanted to see how far we could go into creating something glaringly bright."

That uplifting nature permeates all thirteen tracks on Odd Soul, however each song has its own distinct musical feel. From the bombastic Zeppelin-esque groove of "Allies" to the syncopated soul of "Blood Pressure" and electro-ambience of the ballad "In No Time," Odd Soul showcases how much the band has grown over the past few years, most notably when it comes to Meany's vocals. "I've certainly never pushed my voice as hard as I did on this record," he adds, "We all pushed ourselves to the brink of our ability on this record… we recorded it as if this would be the last record we'd ever make."

Despite the fact that many of the songs on Odd Soul—such as the garage-inflected title track—will inevitably make bodies move, the album simultaneously addresses some deeper themes hovering around all of the head nodding. "The lyrical idea of this record is loosely based on our upbringing in what I guess you could call eccentric Christianity," Meany explains, adding that this is also the first album where Meany and King fully collaborated on lyrics. "We wanted to address a lot of the stories we've gathered over the years in what is an admittedly odd culture," he continues. "And not only that, it's our culture, and we know it well… I think writing this record certainly gave us a new appreciation for it, and it gave us a chance to be much more up front about ourselves."

"I learned through these years to treasure my hyper-literal, overly-ambitious, loose wire adolescent adventures in attempting to out-Jesus even Jesus," King adds. "We wanted to celebrate, up front and center, what we used to think was best kept in the shadows, our weird religious roots. The challenge we took on with this record was to become more lyrically honest, vulnerable, and specific than before, with music that was as exhilarating as some of the most charged up shows we had done up to that point. I am proud to have been raised in an environment that valued intensity, that felt it was important to have something to get all worked up over, that allowed music to be spontaneous and loud and innocent (aka youthful). So this record is the start of us telling the stories that surrounded all of that."

Artistically, MUTEMATH has made a rock album that is unmistakably and inherently their own. Rooted in New Orleans rhythm and blues, fusing elements from psychedelia to traditional gospel to modern electronica, Odd Soul is constructed to live up to its title. "I think the title describes this record in every context." Meany summarizes, "It's who we are, where we've been, and what we incidentally sound like when set to music."
Civil Twilight
Civil Twilight
Civil Twilight brings a perfect blend of atmospheric sound and hazy storytelling that transports you to another place. Although Steven McKellar, his brother Andrew and Richard Wouters hail from South Africa, their sound is incredibly epic and their powerful song "Letters From The Sky" has provided the soundtrack to your every waking moment since its release. Written as an abstract concept by three lifelong friends, the song, along with their debut self-titled album, takes you to a time where it's not quite daylight and not quite darkness.

Civil Twilight provides a safe haven in their vast musical desert for you to seek refuge. Steven's vocals come forth in an eerie falsetto that can only be described as a crosspollination of Jeff Buckley and Thom Yorke. Richard's drums are pounding reminders that the drummer always bestows the missing piece of the musical puzzle while Andrew's guitar is the perfect complement that rounds out Civil Twilight's lush soundscape, haunting yet soothing at the same time.

Cape Town's not exactly the center of the musical universe; while their South African roots provided much inspiration, the band grew tired of their surroundings and soon relocated to Los Angeles. After a brief stint in LA, they decided to see what America had to offer and found a studio in South Carolina, where they recorded their first self-titled album but felt a need to experience something bigger. For their sophomore release they decided to settle in Nashville and found themselves enamored with the culture and people.

The writing process also shifted on Holy Weather (available March 27, 2012). The road is a strange beast; it can change how you perceive the world and moments that inspire you. Civil Twilight spent the better part of the last year on tour playing the likes of Bonnaroo and Voodoo Fest, opening for acts like Smashing Pumpkins and Florence & The Machine, and headlining their own shows across the country. When Steven started writing songs for their follow-up album, he used the most powerful tool at his disposal: nostalgia. When you're constantly in motion, you can't sit down and spend hours looking at something; you don't have time to really absorb what you're going through so you absorb subconsciously and write about it later as you reflect on it. There's a difference between actually being in the moment, writing about it as it affects you, than when it's flashing through your memory later on. This new approach to songwriting proved more challenging. However, all three members agreed that they wanted to craft an album that was a real test to play, not in terms of technique but in terms of exploring a longing that they hadn't been able to discover on the previous record.

Most of the songs are intangible to the listener. Every song is written from a different character's perspective; Steven taps into fictional personae, inspired by real-life people he's met and wonders how they'd adapt to certain situations. Put yourself into a Civil Twilight song and you'll find yourself in a world where it's not quite dark, yet not quite light, but exactly the place you want to be.

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