Oceanographer, Tea Leigh, Prairie Empire, Evan Brum & the Royal High, Swear and Shake

Oceanographer

Tea Leigh

Prairie Empire

Evan Brum & the Royal High

Swear and Shake

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

Free

Oceanographer - (Set time: 11:00 PM)
Oceanographer
“Deftly bridging the gap between the lovely French electronic movements of Air and the touching classic American soft rock of a Gerry Rafferty or Michael Murphey— all the while including the subtle rancor found within the products of such otherwise grandiose bands as Coldplay and U2— Oceanographer arises from the BK indie pile as a singular, wonderful delight. Led by the sad, steady vocals of Jeremy Yocum, this group can easily aim for levels of midlevel major success, and if the right ears find them… well, let’s just say Oceanographer could very well end up a band you’ll want to be able to brag that you saw back when they were only playing the little stages in town."

—Metromix New York, August 2011
Tea Leigh - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
Tea Leigh
Prairie Empire - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
Prairie Empire
Prairie Empire, who are split between Brooklyn and Portland, OR, and led by a vocalist with a very obvious (and very pretty) Joni Mitchell influence. The quintet play a '60s-style folk, replete with somber strings and downtempo percussion. And there is real beauty in the subtle details you need headphones to pick up on, like the sleigh bells jingling in the back of the chorus, or the faint digital vocal underlay on the outro. The melancholy air of "Snow" would perfectly soundtrack an afternoon of wistfully looking out the window at the treacherous streets below.
Evan Brum & the Royal High - (Set time: 8:00 PM)
Evan Brum & the Royal High
Evan Brum grew up surrounded by the sounds of classic American roots/blues music. He influenced by artists such as Taj Mahal, Albert King, Richie Havens, and The Allman Brothers Band. Over the past few years, Evan and his band The Royal High have forged ahead with an eclectic mix of classic roots based music, combined with a modern rock edge. This rings true in Evan's raspy vocal delivery, which has been described by some as a "Tom Jones, Tom Waites sandwich" Evan compliments his gritty vocal styling with percussive, rhythm based acoustic guitar playing.

As far as the band goes, The Royal High exemplifies solid American roots-rock music. This is well represented throughout the album with Lead guitar player Jon Shriver. From classic bluesy Stones influenced licks, to good old fashioned classic rock shredding, this son of a gun isn't screwing around. The bands newest member who also engineered and co-produced the album is musician Bryan Smith who plays a wide variety of instruments on the album, as well during live performances. Ranging from classic Hammond organ, to space age modern synch, Bryan adds a fresh dynamic to the band. Drummer Matt Zebroski, who performs on the album, holds down the fort with his unique jazz/rock styling. Performing with the band most recently is hard-hitting rock & roll drummer Dave Vincola. Bass duties on the album are credited to New Zealand native, and Julliard graduate Mat Fieldes . Pro bass player Glen Nataupsky, who has accompanied the band on recent live gigs, is equally is a no nonsense force to be reckoned with.
Swear and Shake - (Set time: 7:00 PM)
Swear and Shake
Although their first EP, "Extended Play," is still hot off the presses, critics and fans have been quick to applaud New York City-based quartet Swear and Shake for their old-school, smoky, soulful vocals, taught harmonies, poignant lyrics and fun folk-pop.

Newsday praised the band, comparing them to indie darlings Mumford & Sons and Bon Iver. Brooklyn Belles described front lady Kari Spieler's pipes as, "strong but sweet…a young June Carter Cash," countered only by drummer Tom Elefante's explosive percussion.

David Malachowski of the Daily Freeman made clear that Swear and Shake is more than fun sounds and pretty faces. "A haunting postcard from a faraway, warmer place, 'Bones,'an ode to love and loss is a highlight, Spieler's moving, heartfelt delivery takes this to a higher place," writes Malachowski. "Daring and direct, Swear and Shake points a finger at you, and you can't help but respond. Well done." Other reviewers were affected similarly by the EP's final track, saying that with "harmonies guaranteed to give goosebumps, Swear and Shake do an expert job at bringing the mini record to a dramatic conclusion."

Reviewer Mike Andronico probably captures the feel of Swear and Shake's promise as a new band best, writing, "While still in their early 20s, McHeffey and Spieler exude the confidence and quirk of veteran songwriters. The music is warm and accessible, while the lyrics will stay with listeners long after the disc stops spinning. And while the front man and woman could each entertain on their own, Savage and Elefante provide a rhythmic spine that keeps each song standing tall. For a five-track EP of this quality, perhaps its one flaw is its brevity. Let's hope Swear and Shake extends their play to a full-length next time around."

And he's not alone. Frost Click called the band's EP a "treat" and writes, "There's no denying the fact that Swear and Shake know how to make amazing sounds. The quartet has a knack for creating a wonderful balance of emotion, instruments, vocals and lyrics; making you want to listen more and more."

Are you picking up what we're throwing down? If you have yet to acquaint yourself with the slick stylings of Swear and Shake you can find their tracks and show listings at www.swearanshake.com. They play all over Brooklyn and Manhattan and are a must see!
Written by Amber C. van Nattan