The Oh Hellos

The Oh Hellos

Samantha Crain

Sun, Nov 04, 2018

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Higher Ground Ballroom

$18 advance | $20 day of show

Tickets at the Door

This event is all ages

The Oh Hellos
The Oh Hellos
The Oh Hellos are Maggie and Tyler Heath, intentionally-independent self-produced musicians hailing from the great state of Texas. The siblings bend and blend styles and genres into a unique mixture of eclectic folk rock. Joined on stage by a rotating cast of characters, sometimes as many as 13, The Oh Hellos weave a sound that is one moment intimate, the next explosive and joyful.
Samantha Crain
You Had Me at Goodbye, the fifth full length studio album from Samantha Crain, finds the literary tendencies of her songwriting allowing room for a wink and a nod. This wildly original album stands as the authoritative statement thus far from an uncommonly insightful and intrepid musician. Crain, who recently turned 30, has often been pegged an “old soul” by reviewers and music writers, beginning at her first release at the age of 19. Crain found that for some time, she yearned to fit that mold. As she puts it, “That label permeated me: my songwriting, my demeanor, my aesthetic. I acted older than I was, or how I thought older people acted, because I was unsure of myself, as any young person can be, in many ways.” Coming of age, for Crain, probably seems counterintuitive to longtime fans---flame colored hair, increasingly comical stage banter, and, most notably, a new embrace of something previously absent in her catalogue so far: the pop song.

She returned to the Bay Area in California to record, once again, a completely analog record at Tiny Telephone Studio (this time, however, at the newly opened Tiny Telephone Oakland annex studio). The project was recorded in 7 days and mixed in 5 days, consecutively, in August of 2016. Her lyricism is, as always, in turns clever and startling, her signature voice stands boldly out front and unambiguous due to the characteristically audacious, otherworldly production of John Vanderslice (Spoon, The Mountain Goats, Strand of Oaks). The songs feel at once untouchable and welcoming—a lively party full of complete strangers, one of whom chooses you to confide in. This sonic juxtaposition of warmth and cold is apropos. Crain says, “I just wanted to have some goddamn fun and make an album that was a picture of me: searching and whole, confident and paralyzed, happy and sad.”

You Had Me at Goodbye opens with the uptempo, sixties-inspired, chamber pop tune “Antiseptic Greeting” in which Crain, over jaunty percussion and fanciful, dreamy keys, details a battle with “resting bitch face.” The series of anecdotal encounters portrays an assumed failure to be a woman de rigueur: expected to be pleasant to others instead of engrossed in one’s internal thoughts. The feminist tone will be familiar to fans of Crain’s last album, 2015’s “Under Branch & Thorn and Tree,” a heart-wrenching series of social narrative songs.

In total, Vanderslice’s production choices feel unexpected until well into each song, where his vision strikes a modern balance with Crain’s familiar expressiveness, which is uniquely audacious for someone in her position. Wandering and static, joyful and lamenting, You Had Me at Goodbye takes listeners down a back alley, away from the easily definable and comfortably digestible, but on a tour of music being make just for the sake of expression and inspiration. It’s not storytelling so much as an invitation to search for more. Crain on record, as in life, does not mistake vulnerability for weakness. She’ll leave you in the dark and let you in on a secret in the same breath.
Venue Information:
Higher Ground Ballroom
1214 Williston Road
South Burlington, VT, 05403
http://www.highergroundmusic.com/