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Shards Sessions - O

Sing, Bird of Prey

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Sing, Bird of Prey

In June 2014, the four members of Sing, Bird of Prey had only played one official show before coming to Shards to record their session. Tape Swap's Matt Molchany happened upon the band in their Kresgeville, Pennsylvania practice space in a hunt for audio equipment and immediately invited the band to record. Sing, Bird of Prey's psych rock inclinations never venture too far into ambling haziness. Instead, the band seems to keep a cohesiveness structure to their songwriting in the back of their minds at all times.

This focused ambition seems to run all throughout what Sing, Bird of Prey does including being meticulous about their live sound at performances . "We want everything to be heard because it's a little more complex than what we're used to." It's this complex sound that is the reason the band wants to move away from playing basement punk shows that some of the band members' previous projects frequented. "Even though we're straying away from the punk scene, we're still writing songs from the heart." Ultimately, the band hopes to connect with listeners in a real way. "That's what we want to get across--the raw emotion that's put into it. That's what I'd like, and we'd all would like, people to feel when they go see us or listen to us."

1. Wild Type
2. Microsatellite
3. Downstream
4. Crystal Embryo
5. Interview

The Holy Mess (Band Pick):
http://fucktheholymess.com/

Sing, Bird of Prey:
https://singbirdofprey.bandcamp.com/
 

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White Like Fire

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White Like Fire

"It's a belligerent scene," drummer Joe Killian says about the band's Pittsburgh, PA home. "There's no music venues in the neighborhood where Pitt is, so you have to cut your teeth on the basement scene." In their Tape Swap appearance at Shards, the three members of White Like Fire recalled the challenges that come with playing in a town with mostly DIY spaces. Drunks picking fights, people stealing instruments, flooded basements, collapsing roofs, and sprinkler systems soaking the band mid-set were just a few of the stories that the guys shared with us.

Brothers Blake and Tyler Clawson along with Killian have shaped their band over these past two years by winning over the mostly-punk and hardcore Pitt audiences with a pop sound--not an easy task. The trio's dedication to White Like Fire is starting to pay off: the band recently won a contest hosted by Sonicbids and was selected from over 6,000 entries to perform at a South by Southwest Festival showcase. The Sonicbids performance then garnered the band even more sets at the 2014 festival. It was after this whirlwind experience in March 2014 that the band stopped by Shards on their way back from Austin, TX. For this session, the trio was joined by Aaron Duda and Jesse Weygandt from fellow Pittsburgh band, Josie McQueen, who helped White Like Fire perform songs off of their new album, Apocalypstic.

1. Witness (0:03)
2. Fallout (3:38)
3. Under Covers (7:22)
4. Play That Funky Music -- tease (11:29)
5. Still You Drown (12:08)
6. Interview (15:19)

Cold Fronts (Band Pick):
http://coldfronts.us/ 

White Like Fire:
http://www.whitelikefire.com/

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Slingshot Dakota

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Slingshot Dakota

Slingshot Dakota came to Shards in December, 2014. As the year was drawing to a close, the Bethlehem duo--made up of husband and wife, Tom Patterson (drums) and Carly Commando (keys, vocals)--found themselves beginning an exciting new chapter in their lives. Carly and Tom had recently quit their day jobs to devote their full time and energy to Slingshot Dakota. As they recorded this session, the band's calendar for 2015 included a final round of shows in support of Dark Hearts, released in 2012 on venerable western Massachusetts indie label, Topshelf Records. The band were also in the midst of writing songs for their upcoming new album. Slingshot Dakota's most recent endeavor, however, was a split 7" released on Soft Speak Records. Sales of the split go towards Hopeline, a non-profit organization dedicated to suicide prevention, awareness, and education. The band began their session with a cover of Rainer Maria's "Rise" from the 7" release.

Rise (Rainer Maria Cover)
May Day
Grudge
Gossip

Band Picks:
Cloakroom - http://myndfuneral.bandcamp.com/
The Box Tiger - http://theboxtiger.bandcamp.com/
VoirVoir - http://voirvoir.bandcamp.com/

Slingshot Dakota:
http://www.slingshotdakotamusic.com/

Other Links:
Benefit split 7" on Soft Speak Records - http://bit.ly/1IooJ4E
Hopeline (suicide prevention, awareness, and education) - http://www.hopeline.com/

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Robert Sarazin Blake

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Robert Sarazin Blake

"Enjoyment's mostly on the inside," Blake mused during our interview. "You have to make a choice in life whether you're going to enjoy things or not." Robert Sarazin Blake's choice has him living the life of a modern troubadour and enjoying his journey along the way. Blake comes from Bellingham, Washington or as he puts it, "The most northwest corner of the most northwestern city in the the most northwest state in the lower 48."

He's been bringing his modern twist on the tried-and-true folk songwriting tradition to venues around the country since 1997 when he dropped out of college to first hit the road. In the 21st century, that means playing everything from legitimate concert venues to coffee houses to DIY basement spaces. His billing alongside punk musicians has brought him an unlikely but loyal following from young audiences who may be more used to seeing a hardcore band than a folk singer. His louder, frenetic playing style coupled with his heartfelt storytelling define Robert Sarazin Blake as a unique and talented singer and songwriter. He joined us at Shards in April 2014 to record this session.

1. October 2, 3 PM (0:04)
2. Mopping (2:18)
3. Oil Money (6:10)
4. Sister (9:09)
5. Interview (12:04)

Louis Ledford (Band Pick):
http://www.louisledford.com/

Robert Sarazin Blake:
http://robertsarazinblake.com/

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Moonstruck

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Moonstruck

Moonstruck's gritty sound has been filling Lehigh Valley venues for a little over two years. Kelsi Page and Felicia Vee have honed a guitar and drum combo that delivers what can only be described as "controlled nastiness." The two were introduced to one another through their boyfriends during a show at Bethlehem DIY venue Secret Art Space. Inspired in part by Katy Otto and Diane Foglizzo who made up Philadelphia two-piece punk band Trophy Wife, Kelsi and Felicia bonded immediately and decided to start a band of their own. The result is a heavy crunch in their sound which delivers plenty of headbanging moments ("Airplane") while also providing memorable and catchy songwriting ("Scopo"). They recorded their Shards Session in January 2014 on a back-to-back recording day with Philly band Marge.

1. Shiny (0:08)
2. Trouble (3:40)
3. Airplane (5:27)
4. Scopo (9:26)
5. Interview (11:36)

Moonstruck:
https://yaymoonstruck.bandcamp.com/

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