Johanna Samuels Residency  - Free

Bootleg Theater Presents

Johanna Samuels Residency - Free

Charley Dam, Anna Ash, Olivia Kaplan

Mon. July 2, 2018

8:30 pm

Bootleg Theater

Los Angeles, CA

Free

This event is 21 and over

Johanna Samuels
Johanna Samuels
Indie-songstress Johanna Samuels is a breath of fresh air. She revives the singer-songwriter genre with carefully crafted lyrics and earnest pop-laden choruses. The native New Yorker grew up in Los Angeles, before returning to NY at the age of 18. She spent her time in school singing in school choirs, learning to play the songs of her musical heroes by ear. Naturally, Samuels began writing music of her own in her bedroom. At a time where the burgeoning music scene in Brooklyn was bustling DIY venues merging shows that showcased both well-known indie acts with dozens of undiscovered artists, Samuels was inspired to take her songs to the stage. Soon she was playing sold out shows at Glasslands and Union Pool.

In 2012 she recorded and self-released a six-track EP, Giant Fantasy Life and assembled a 4-piece backing band. Her sincere performances drew audiences in, making her one of the most promising acts to rise out of the New York indie scene.

In early spring of 2013 she recorded her first full-length album, titled Double Bind. After recording basic tracks with the band at a quilt factory-turned-studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Samuels and drummer Fen Ikner worked on the tracks whenever the had a chance.The songs on Double Bind were written in Johanna's apartment in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn and all share a sentiment of necessary separation or as Samuels puts it "…attempting to own myself and stand on my two feet."

She explains, "While recording the album, a good friend had described the term Double Bind: a dynamic wherein two emotional demands are met but consequently negate each other, leaving one person to feel trapped. For some reason that struck a deep chord in me. It is from that place that many of these songs grew."

Samuels moved back to LA late last year, a sound that is reflected in her upcoming EP Home and Dry: Told a Lie. The songs on the EP melt thoughtful narratives with sunny arrangements. Samuels enters the latest chapter in her artistry, while earnestly pouring out her heart, soul and creativity in the form of ear candy for us all. The best is yet to come.
Anna Ash
Anna Ash
Anna Ash's sophomore record, Floodlights, is a test of tension. Tension between her sun-baked concrete present in Los Angeles, and the faint and frozen nostalgia of her northern Michigan past. Nights spent waitressing and days in the studio — love spent lonely, in a city choked with people. A lifestyle that destroys your life, and that freakish resilience that keeps you breathing. Her voice holds a rare type of hesitation, careful not to reveal too much of itself too soon, while her lyrics urgently, precisely, pleadingly, throw it all on the table, bare, under a blazing white cold light.

It’s major keys though — it’s amp buzz, tape warmth, mid-tempo back-beats — it’s kind of rock and roll, or country, or maybe even folk. Tracked live at a friend's studio in Northfield, Minnesota, and mixed with Dan Horne (Beachwood Sparks, Cass McCombs) in Los Angeles, Floodlights features Joe Dart on bass (Vulfpeck), Julian Allen (Borns) on drums, James Cornelison and Brett Farkas (Aimee Mann, Lord Huron) on guitar, and Joey Dosik (Mocky, Nikka Costa) and Theo Katzman (Vulfpeck) on additional vocals, piano, and guitar.

The tape crackles under Ash's sometimes soaring, sometimes aching soprano. You can hear her fingernails against her Silvertone as the band settles into the first track. There’s no click track, no auto-tune, no string section – just a band in a room playing songs. It’s raw, simple, heartbreaking, and startlingly honest.

It’s a record seriously indebted to Ash’s childhood spent listening to Emmylou Harris and Bonnie Raitt, filtered through the lens of indie-folk contemporaries like Feist and Sharon Van Etten. Each tune's a carefully considered gift to the listener, at once spacious and tight, forgiving and fraught. It all comes to reflect Ash's life, a mirror to the sadness and joy of growing up in our strange present.
“These Holy Days, the first full-length album by Anna Ash, is an audacious vehicle for a spine-shivering voice that’s as much rooted in Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald as it is in Annie Clark and Sharon Van Etten...”
— PopDose
Olivia Kaplan
Olivia Kaplan
In 2003, Olivia Kaplan picked up her father’s Guild acoustic guitar and taught herself Cat Stevens’ The First Cut is the Deepest,“...only it was definitely the Sheryl Crow version.” While one may hear influences of that first Sheryl cover, Kaplan’s melancholic but open-hearted music aligns her more naturally with songwriters like Angel Olsen and Cat Power. She recorded her first EP, Goddamn, I Miss You (2014) upon returning to Los Angeles from studying music at McGill University in Montreal. Since then, Kaplan has established herself as a frequent performer and studio vocalist on a range of music projects across the city with artists like Dzang, Shannon Inouye, and Dessert. A keen emotional note-taker, Kaplan’s songs are thoughtful responses to relationships made or observed, and human situations to which she’s borne witness. Her grounded vocals combined with a minimalist approach to instrumentation embody a desolate closeness, capturing the desperation that comes with attempts at modern empathy.
Venue Information:
Bootleg Theater
2220 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90057
http://www.bootlegtheater.org/