Live Review: We Are The West @ Make-Out Room SF 2/17
In preparation of the release of their 2nd three song EP in a 4 part album of recordings, We Are The West, an LA based duo of acoustic guitar and stand-up bass, toured up and down California since the turn of 2013. I had chance to get a glimpse of their live show at an unruffled little venue settled in San Francisco’s Mission District called Make-Out Room, and have to say it was a chill and peaceful way to spend a Sunday evening.
For those of you that enjoy melodic vocals and relaxed, hand-made folksy tunes, We Are The West will certainly be worth a listen. The band’s journey began in an LA recording studio a few summers back, as Brett was recording a solo record and John (part of the group producing the record) sat with Brett during their first meeting. The two of them were able to jam and record a title track together during that first encounter. Pretty cool. That kind of chemistry is very difficult to cultivate over time, let alone discover and exercise at a first sitting. The newly formed duo put together a few more songs and started touring in the LA scene.
The genesis of the band’s name came out of Brett’s subsequent trip to Brooklyn, where after taking one look at his style and demeanor, a Brooklyn-ite accused “You’re from the West, aren’t you.” From there, Brett and John spent time dreaming up new songs and experimenting with their sound in the Netherlands and the US, including a few sessions in a shipping container on a sheep farm, the hayloft of an old barn, a chapel of an abandoned convent, and a cottage near a small lake outside of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Ultimately, the band found its way back West to live and make music, but these worldly involvements proved significant in the use of space in their sound (i.e. echoes, material acoustics, etc..). An example of these effects can be heard in “The Hammer” off of their newest EP.
This curiosity of different spaces in their music has culminated in a recurring series of performances on the Saturday before each full-moon that take place in a parking garage of a Santa Monica office building. The band’s consciousness of how the use of space affects their sound and how the full moon affects a crowd’s energy has driven the evolution of the Underground Series.
We Are The West’s second EP was just released this weekend. Some of you LA peeps may have had the chance to attend the release party in Santa Monica last night. Check out the new EP here and instead of running from werewolves each full-moon, be on the lookout for Brett and John in Santa Monica parking garages preparing for another unique set from We Are The West.