Here's a little info on the musicians from the Hi-Dive (http://www.hi-dive.com/event/145265/)
Dark Dark Dark
On March 9, Dark Dark Dark released the stunning six-song EP Bright Bright Bright on Supply and Demand Music. Hailing from New Orleans, New York, and Minneapolis, the chamber-folk sextet have yielded a lush and intoxicating follow-up to their 2008 full-length debut, the Snow Magic.
On the new record the band moves beyond lost love, heartache, and loneliness toward more hopeful horizons. "These songs are about new beginnings, and usually have a little triumphant twist in them," says band member Marshall LaCount. "The songs are often about a character finding a place in the world, and the strange interactions that happen along the way."
The EP is also about finding and creating beauty. "Lyrically we've grown," says LaCount. "We're working on the new songs the way a painter might work. Each of us adds a different shade or texture to the canvas." The resulting songs are expansive and dynamic, layered with serious overtones but with joy at the center.
Emily Wells has long been turning heads with her unique songcraft. The performer, producer and songwriter trades in a striking mix of classical instrumentation, folk rawness and hip-hop production anchored by her haunting combination of voice and violin. Her burgeoning reputation owes as much to her hypnotic live show where, working a looping pedal, Wells becomes a one-woman orchestra, playing live drums, guitars, analog synthesizers and beat machines as well. It's that same blend of deft composition and hand-wrought quality that deeply colors each of Wells' albums.
Born to a music minister in Amarillo, Texas, Wells began learning violin at 4 at a community college. The family later moved to Indianapolis, where she discovered Bob Dylan, Nina Simone and Biggie Smalls and gradually moved from the Suzuki method to songwriting, guitars and home recording. Releasing her own music from a young age, Wells learned to keep her work close, and toured independently while developing her palate and performance across the U.S. It was in a humble garage studio in Los Angeles that Wells' recorded her 2008 breakthrough, The Symphonies: Dreams Memories & Parties, picking up praise from sources as varied as NPR and SPIN, who compared her to "a feral, streetwise Nina Simone."
Three years later, Wells returns with Mama, a collection of songs as richly hued as ever, but imbued with a newfound warmth no doubt owing to the space it was conceived in. Wells rented a tiny cabin on a Topanga Canyon horse ranch and went to work, producing Mama and playing most of the instruments herself (with a little help from longtime touring companions, drummer Sam Halterman and bassist Joey Reina). She recorded the raw tracks to tape without punch-ins or loops, often in one take. In contrast to The Symphonies, these songs are less conceptual and experimental in both sound and content, and more traditional and universal in structure and the studies of love and grief. 2012 will find Wells touring behind Mama, her first release for Partisan Records, and preparing for the release of Pillowfight, her long whispered-about collaboration with legendary producer Dan The Automator.
the Changing Colors
The tiny hamlet of Manitou Springs, Colorado sits just below the soaring heights of Pikes Peak. A place frequented by thousands of tourists each year, it is a mecca for flatlanders and southerners longing for the cool mountain air and the remarkable views. It is also a haven for gifted songwriters and musicians. Among the most capable of these writers is Conor Bourgal, who along with his twin brother, Ian, and an interchangeable ensemble of musicians, form a group called the Changing Colors.They are a band that sings of longing and beauty, hope and regret. Their latest album, Ghost of Red Mountain takes its entire theme from the legendary story of Manitou resident Emma Crawford. Sometime in the early 1900's Crawford's coffin was washed down onto Main Street from it's perch above town on Red Mountain. The story is the source of Manitou's biggest festival – the internationally renowned Emma Crawford Coffin Races held each Halloween. Bourgal chose to look beyond the gothic story and to bring a hardscrabble pioneer woman's life to light.The result is a set of songs so poignant and moving that after a single play, they stay with the listener for days, creating a sustained whisper of love and yearning. Using the simplicity of acoustic guitar and the melancholy tone of a lap steel, Bourgal sings of promises of remembrance and anticipated romance.Bourgal's narrative style creates stories of the human experience that are sparse, haunting and unforgettable.The Color's style remains accessible in its similarity to folk and Americana, but it's substance is far more complex. Bourgal's songs paint a landscape of the human journey through fear and despair into ultimate freedom and spiritual release. Each song on the album forms a particular scene in the narrative, moving toward ultimate transcendence. A recurring theme is separation – usually of lovers – and the passage through the anxiety and anguish of withdrawal.