Ezra Bell
This Way To Oblivion - Album Release Tour

*POSTPONED TO DATE TBD* Ezra Bell

Evolfo

Ages 21+
Americana soul twang.

Ezra Bell

Ezra Bell’s first full-length debut features ebullient soul twang, flowing and leaping like the music of a late 60s/early 70s recording of well-trained freaks dabbling in various genres. This Portland band sounds like they effortlessly recorded one of those forgotten-gem “cult albums”, despite it being early 2018.

After three well-received EPs and playing regularly in Portland since 2013, the playfully literate and cheerfully plaintive Benjamin Wuamett and his gaggle of quite fit players, conjure up a festive dusky folk-rock-blues-jazz-R&B-pop vibe that doesn’t smother out the melancholy. These haunted stories include key tracks “Tourists” (“This one is about realizing the game is rigged, but you still have to play; it’s the only game in town”); “Yawning at the Seance (“This one is about the stories we tell ourselves in order to feel like everything is okay”), and “Let Me Do the Talking.” About that last one: “The opening line is a rip-off of something the boxer Jack Johnson said when asked how he managed to so intrigue women. He said ‘eat jellied eels and think distant thoughts.’ I think it’s one of the great travesties (and a telling indictment of our society) of our time that a great man’s name has been usurped by some surfer singing about breakfast.” The glistening, giddy music on these tracks help to document the car-wreck gas-lit lifestyles Wuamett masterfully describes. He displays gleaming shards of a self-depreciative self-awareness but also someone busy getting lost. “The overall theme going into this?” Wuamett answers to what the album is about. “Desperation. A call to arms. A whimper. A declaration that being witty by yourself at 4 AM in a basement, is a poor way to live.” Ezra Bell features Maurice Spencer (bass), Tom Trotter (drums), Aaron Mattison (horns and arrangements), Honora Hildreth (backing vocals and percussion), and Jeremy Asay (keys and guitar) more-than-ably backing up Wuamett’s story-songs and satirical jigs with organic precision.

Wuamett came up with the band name when he was in Portugal and a girl he was with dared him to try a nearby concession stand’s popcorn snails. He had two full bowls. “They were delicious,” he says. “When I got back to Portland, I couldn’t sleep. On the way to work the next day, after a rainfall, I saw a slug crossing the sidewalk. I bent down and ate it raw on the spot. I didn’t go to work that day I went home, grabbed a garbage bag and spent the morning gathering snails, slugs, worms (not sure if worms fall in the mollusk family but, still, delicious) which I brought home with me. Hours later, as I sat shirtless on my couch, covered in sweat, I knew I had a problem. It would be too long a story to talk about all the places my disease took me. Suffice to say — I once hitchhiked to California because I really wanted to taste a banana slug. In the end, it became too much and I sought help via the internet. I began posting on various forums about my problem. I hadn’t been to work in weeks. Unfortunately, there are very few mollusk addicts on the web and my various inquiries went without commiseration until a nice man from Georgia spoke up and we began a long correspondence during which he shared with me the tools that had enabled him to survive in this strange world. He saved my life. His name was Ezra Bell.”

Evolfo

volfo is the sound that breaks through the fuzz on the low end of your radio dial and echoes out the back door of a pink neon lit bar. Mainstays of New York City’s clubs and DIY spaces, as well as the finest basement venues coast to coast, Evolfo has cut adventurous tracks through the U.S., gaining initiates and devotees every time they cram onto a stage and deliver their raucous live show. Last of the Acid Cowboys, the band’s debut LP, melts down decades worth of eclectic and bizarro records and puts on wax a house shaking mix of garage rock, psych soul, spiritual funk and ecstatic freakout. Like the faithful crate-diggers who have come before them, Evolfo mined the past for sounds and grooves that history left on the shelf. When they breathe their smoke into these forms, it produces something new.

“The process of writing and recording The Last of the Acid Cowboys was a lot of unlearning for me. My main focus was trying to reconnect with the untainted excitement I had for music as a teenager. Every artist I look up to defies categorization and I think that’s because they all concern themselves solely with making the music, and not labeling it from the get go,” said keyboardist and vocalist Rafferty Swink. “It might sound obvious, but these limitations are hammered into your head as an unknown artist and it’s only after you put both middle fingers up that you can make something real.”

With a guitar sound soaked in the gunk that drips down from an elevated subway train and a fire-breathing horn section, this Brooklyn septet plays garage-soul with the force of the Devil’s belly laugh and the groove of a New Orleans second line. They’re The Stooges playing along to Bitches Brew; Shuggie Otis soundtracking a Spaghetti Western; “Louie Louie” and a bottle of champagne.

In 2011 the rag tag group of seven music students, representing both coasts and the Great Midwest, came together in Boston, MA. They originally called themselves Evolfo Doofeht, a reversal of “the food of love,” Shakespeare’s famous description of music from “Twelfth Night.” Headed by guitarist and vocalist Matt Gibbs, the band had one goal: play with energy and bombast. They cut their teeth on the basement party circuit and earned a reputation for playing bacchanalian live shows. The crew wrote songs about gypsies and demons and quickly became local favorites, netting a Boston Music Award and inspiring Sound of Boston to proclaim “It’s hard, almost impossible, to listen to Evolfo Doofeht without feeling the urge to dance.” Now these boys are young men, they’ve traded Boston for Brooklyn, and they’re simply called, Evolfo.

In a few short years together, Evolfo have drawn the attention of indie rock tastemakers with their songs being selected for several films and television shows, inclusion on Spotify playlists and praise from media outlets like Impose Magazine who declared, “you fall into the depths of the lyrics within seconds,” and Speak Into My Good Eye who called the band, “raucous, dark, sinister, with a warm-psych-soul energy.”

Since their inception, Evolfo has been known for their performances and the band looks to keep developing. “I want the show to go above and beyond. I want to be on bigger stages consistently where we can experiment with the spectacle and the sound to their fullest extent,” said Gibbs. “My favorite thing about my band is that it’s what I do for fun. I live for the tours and I look forward to these shows more than anything else.”

Evolfo carries the essence of weird and raw music forward, one sweaty dance floor at a time. Play on.

Venue Information:
MilkBoy
1100 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107