Nana Grizol, Your Heart Breaks, Wizard Apprentice at Ivy Room
Nana Grizol: Nana Grizol, "Ursa Minor," Orange Twin Records Growing up in the South, Theo Hilton found both lonely solace and wide community in music. When he formed Nana Grizol in Athens, Ga., in 2007, he secured an outlet for expressing how confusion and constant pining became ingrained into a young, queer male in a small town. Despite Athens' liberal leanings and bevy of artistic collaborators, Theo walked in liminal spaces as a queer surrounded by straight people. Nana Grizol's first two records "Love It, Love It" (2008) and "Ruth" (2010) chronicled that mixed experience. With "Ursa Minor," the first Nana Grizol record in six years, Theo Hilton is unequivocally certain about who he is and what he wants to say. He's traveled and studied, moving from Athens to Seattle to New York and, currently, to New Orleans. Along the way, the role of social justice advocate came to suit him. Through song, he casts a critical eye on "Ursa Minor" to concerns environmental, like the effect of oil refineries in the Mississippi watershed, as well as how neoliberal policies chew up and spit out innocent human lives. He's loved and lost and been reaffirmed. The new songs reflect an artist fully aware of what he's learned, what's changed for the better, what still sucks, and what, exactly, we're going to do about it. On "Ursa Minor," a loyal cast of collaborators return to give wing to Theo's songs. Robbie Cucchiaro (Music Tapes) adds trumpet and euphonium lines that echo both the golden era of Elephant 6 recordings and the brass bands of Theo's current home. Laura Carter (Elf Power, Orange Twin Records) supplies secondary drumming, clarinet trills, and trumpet calls, a familiar cradle for new songs. Jared Gandy (Area Men, Witches), on bass and guitar, notches another year in a two-decade collaboration with Theo. Matte Cathcart (Area Men, Door-Keys), an ally pulled to Athens, Ga., from Bloomington, Indiana, rounds out the quintet on drums. Everyone, except Theo, lives in Athens. Recorded and co-produced by Andy Lemaster at Chase Park Transduction Studio in Athens, "Ursa Minor" completes a transition from 4-track recordings to big, clean production without sacrificing intensity. In addition to themes of queer identity and capitalist aggression, the songs on "Ursa Minor" take cues from literary and academic tomes. Throughout the album's 12 songs, look for references and inspirations to works such as Cindy Milstein's "Anarchism and its Aspirations," Richard Wright's "American Hunger," and Carson McCullers' "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter," among others. Nana Grizol will tour the U.S. in Spring and Summer 2017. -Andre Gallant Your Heart Breaks: Your Heart Breaks is the a queer indie band from Seattle, Washington led by Clyde Petersen. They write songs about adventures, community and partying in the 90's. They perform with homemade films and recently made Torrey Pines, a stop-motion animated feature film. Wizard Apprentice: U.R.L.G.U.R.L. was created by independent singer-songwriter, electronic music producer, and motion graphics artist, Wizard Apprentice. As a highly-sensitive introvert, her multimedia projects are attempts to energetically battle an overwhelming world. Her music is a combination of lyrical precision; intentional, minimalistic composition; and technically-amateurish charm. she creates digitally-based media that takes advantage of accessible, user-friendly technology; allowing her to skip time-consuming learning curves and get straight to focusing on inventing personalized yet highly-relatable language for deeply subtle and internal experiences. She is not a gear-head, rather, a digital folk artist who vividly and simplistically expresses her inner world using resourcefulness and honesty. Her video work incorporates green screen graphics, digital puppetry, and minimalistic compositing to produce imagery that's cerebral, psychedelic, campy, and hypnotic. She combines song and video to create multimedia live performances that explore intimate emotional themes ranging from the challenges/triumphs of being a Black empath to overstimulation in the Internet Age.