In an era of mass production it’s not surprising that our throw-away culture has bled into some of the furthest limits of non-mainstream music with over-used phrases in press releases which often feel rushed and rubber stamped with little consideration of what is actually on offer…if I could get a pound for every band that compares themselves to Bon Iver I’d be a lot better off than I am now. Amongst all the plastic some bands offer a promise of something new and real, hand-made with care and real consideration. LA based duo We Are The West lived up to that initial shining glimmer after their promise of being a duo that:
“uses sound and space to create an experience that is welcoming and honest”
They recently released We Are The West II which is available on bandcamp and from the opening track ‘The Hammer’ there is an instant and very real perception of the world slowing down, fingers on strings become more vivid, notes are accentuated by the ambience of the space around them, there is a remarkable stillness and calm. A reflection maybe of their inner-peace as they recorded it in a barn in Western New York during the summer months. Pastoral vocals embrace poetic lyrics, this is gold dust to those seeking out an unhurried moment, a brief sojourn.
They don’t take the use of space lightly having performed in some unusual spaces from storm drains to sheep farms (see video below), but it feels like they are driven by a real curiosity rather than doing it for the sake of being different. Their pièce de résistance has to be their concert series which is held in an underground parking garage of an office building in Santa Monica the Saturday night before each full moon. They perform with guests such as Dina Maccabee (this Saturday) and Lord Huron. This is one of those bands that take a principle that is so important to them and spread it to others through their own music and collective performances, there’s nothing not to like and plenty to love about what they’re doing.
Hear and watch them for yourself below then head on over to their website and grab that EP.