Motherfolk
Premier Concerts and Manic Presents:

Motherfolk

Kevin Devine, Alex2e

$24.63 - $26.69
All Ages
with Kevin Devine, Alex2e

General Admission Standing Room Only

MOTHERFOLK

Serious songs from goofy people. That’s what you can expect from diverse, Midwest indie-rockers, Motherfolk. What started out as a writing project among two college friends turned into a fully realized band untethered to genres, with an endlessly bright future.

Composed of Bobby Paver and Nathan Dickerson on vocals and guitar, bassist Clayton Allender, drummer Ethan Wescott, and Karlie Dickerson on keys Motherfolk are not only bandmates, but best friends. The band’s close-knit relationship allows each member to be their most authentic self, leaving every ounce of their souls to be poured into each song and high-energy performance.

Despite their light-hearted, groovy-rock sound Motherfolk is dedicated to creating a much deeper connection with their fans. They don’t shy away from the taboo, taking on heavy topics with a light heart. The results provide us with music you can dance to, whose impact is felt long after the song has ended.

The band’s quirky friendship and social media posts originally drew fans in, but their connection to the music kept those fans around. Since their formation Motherfolk has been on a steady upward trajectory, amassing well over 5 million Spotify streams on their three studio albums and selling out shows while touring heavily across the United States.

While COVID-19 halted the band’s year of touring plans, Motherfolk spent the year hard at work, creating and self-producing new music and they came out anew. Late summer 2021 will invigorate fans with new singles adorning the most refreshing and versatile Motherfolk sound to date, leading up to a fall EP release. This next chapter is slated to be the most exciting one yet, don’t miss it!

Links: Official Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify

KEVIN DEVINE

In the very first line of her 1959 novel The Haunting Of Hill House, the late author Shirley Jackson writes, “No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.” That conviction is shared by musician Kevin Devine on his upcoming 10th LP Nothing’s Real, So Nothing’s Wrong, a beautiful, surreal, cinematic bedroom-rock fever dream. Its title, hewn from the chant-sung chorus of lead single “Albatross,” nods to this. In the face of incomprehensibly desperate struggles, a new spiritual paradigm is a necessity: “If you’re sinking, sing along/Nothing’s real, so nothing’s wrong,” sings Devine.

Like Jackson’s observation, it’s not an encouragement of retreat; it’s an inward solution in the name of preservation, a personal reorientation toward struggle in a collapsing landscape riddled with failed systems and vacant coping mechanisms that breed malignant internalizations.

“Part of what’s so scary about all of this stuff happening outside of us is so much of it feels so surreal and cynical,” says Devine. “We’ve invested in a version of reality that is almost so perverse that it can’t be real. Trying to find a solution to that almost involved seeing the thing as it is and invalidating it to yourself: it’s not that I’m poor, it’s that capitalism is fucking broken and rapacious. It’s not that I’m not a real man, it’s that masculinity is broken. It’s not that I’m not strong because I’m not violent, it’s that militarism has infected everything we look at.”

This is the central thesis linking the record’s 11 tracks, which drift between orchestral acoustic indie, lo-fi psych-folk, and melodic guitar pop. “They’re all excavating a particular brand of how to operate in a crisis, spiritual and familial and cultural,” explains Devine. “Rather than a spiritual bypass that tells me I’m being taken care of by some invisible architect, it’s like, ‘Everything is exactly as it is and a lot of what I invest in actually isn’t real and doesn’t need to be invested in.’ Nothing’s Real, So Nothing’s Wrong might be a little pithy, but how do I get through today? Sometimes that’s the best answer.

“I see it as a kind of stepping outside and taking some sort of virtual scalpel and carving a safe space for yourself, not to exist in denial but in a kind of re-enfranchised opposition.”

Devine wrote most of the record’s songs between January 2019 and March 2020, working remotely with collaborator Chris Bracco. Drums for the record were cut in studio, but otherwise Devine and Bracco recorded in their homes, with Devine using a four-channel mixer to record guitars. With no strict timelines, the duo explored and applied extra-tonal structural features, experimenting with different synths, sub-bass frequencies, sound effects, and found sound, like bird songs or street proselytizers or Devine’s daughter recounting a dream she had.

While releases like 2016’s Instigator embraced what Devine describes as vertical expressions of dynamics, like the “spiky, power-pop, loud-quiet, Nirvana-Pixies thing,” this collection expresses itself theatrically, in broad, horizontal textures and palettes. Devine and Bracco were influenced in particular by the Flaming Lips’ Soft Bulletin. “Flaming Lips were like, ‘What if we made sweet Beatles songs then made them as fucked up as possible?’” says Devine. “There’s a little bit of that spirit that animates this too.”

Sequenced and designed to be listened to from start to end, the record shudders awake on “Laurel Leaf (Anhedonia)” with a whoosh of found sound as Devine’s daughter’s voice enters, couched on eerie synths before a mechanical Elliott Smith guitar riff spirals listeners down a sonic and thematic rabbit hole. Follow-up “Override” snaps up the torch and continues with a charged, gothic, synth-and-guitar gymnastic routine that eventually collapses into a strings-led bridge, then reignites for a raucous finish. “How Can I Help You” begins with ricocheting synth before thumping into a spirited, upbeat rumble and a joyous chorus complete with chiming bell tones.

“Albatross” picks up these cues with crackling vocals before a wall of guitars, bass, drums, and woodwind synths waltzes straight up to the quiet, hymnal bridge: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained/Nothing matters anyway/If you’re frightened, stay awake/Pick a god and start to pray.” Eventually the instruments explode back in, sweeping up Devine’s titular creed-chanting in a maelstrom outro. On Side B, “It’s A Trap!” is pure, melody-forward bedroom-power-pop bliss that shifts gears effortlessly, and moody country-noir riffing leads “Tried To Fall In Love (My Head Got In The Way)” into a delirious, harmony-laden ‘70s rock daydream. The record closes quietly on “Stitching Up The Suture,” a contemplative come-down resolving in a whoosh that bleeds right back into the first track.

Nothing’s Real, So Nothing’s Wrong is a tactical reengagement with the world, an ad-hoc spiritual system to preserve one’s self while dancing between the gnashing, blood-stained gears of capitalism. The cultivation of this system is important: the self is one of the few spaces where we can truly resist. “You can try to take everything external from me, but you’re not gonna be allowed to take the space between my ears and in my chest,” says Devine. “That’s the space that actually animates how I will move around in the world. And I still have to be in the world every day.”

Links: Official Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify

ALEX2E

Alex2e (actual name Alex Tuohey) is an alternative singer/songwriter from Western Massachusetts. More importantly, Alex2e is a storyteller. In 2012, while recovering from major surgery and desperate for reprieve, he picked up his sister's beat up guitar and started writing. Words became lyrics, days became months and bathroom video covers turned into gigs. Fast forward to today and his leaps can be measured in dog years.

Called "One of Boston's most sought after artists" by Berklee's Red Room, Alex has made a name for himself both in his home state and beyond. Averaging 130+ dates annually, he has traveled the country while supporting national acts such as Howie Day, Everclear's Art Alexakis, Shawn James, Tyler Hilton and Griffin House among others. His latest release ‘Stepping Stone’ has continued the touring momentum, adding to a catalog that's collected over a half million streams independently - including placements on Spotify's New Alternative and Discover Weekly playlists. "The past few years have been more than I could've hoped for. I really feel like I'm playing with house money," Tuohey says. "For a guy who never thought he'd play to anyone but his mom's bathroom mirror, it's been a dream to play for people. At a bar to a couple people or a packed venue - it's a dream."

Links: Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Spotify

Venue Information:
Space Ballroom
295 Treadwell Street

Hamden, CT, 06514