PORTLAND ALT ROCK / COMFORT POP BAND
SHARE ADVANCED STREAM OF
DEER KEEPS PACE
VIA IMPOSE MAGAZINE
LP OUT FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2018
RECORD RELEASE TOUR STARTS TODAY
BADMAN RECORDING CO 20TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW
JUST ANNOUNCED FOR 6/30 IN PORTLAND, OR
WITH PERFORMANCES FROM TENTS, THE BUILDERS AND THE BUTCHERS AND N.LANNON
Watch & Share: TENTS – “Light Light Weight”:
Listen & Share: TENTS – “Light Light Weight”:
Watch & Share: TENTS – “Back Yards”:
Listen & Share: TENTS – “Back Yards”
TENTS featured on Alternative Hotlist:
“The 11-track record blooms with themes ranging from parenthood to ways to cope with inner turmoil, to the power of healing yourself as a way to help others.”
“captures the inspirational uplift of U2 in its halcyon days albeit buoyed not by atmospheric guitar lines but cool waves of synthesizers.”
“optimistic, high visions of warmth and love unhindered… coffee sipping swagger carries a subtly-smooth country rhythm that gently layers with an underlying sense of melancholic fuzz.”
–All Things Go
“Magic spouts effortlessly through this music. It feels like a bunch of kids laughing and shouting from the recesses of a playground, inviting the cynics and the skeptics and the wallflowers to join the fun.”
— Ben Kaye, Consequence of Sound
TENTS, Portland’s comfort-pop / alt rock band, are gearing up for the release of their debut record, Deer Keeps Pace, due out Friday, May 11th on Badman Recording Co. Today, they share the advanced stream of the record via Impose Magazine, begin their record release tour and also announce their place on the bill for Badman’s 20th Anniversary Show on 6/30 in Portland, OR, where they’ll play with The Builders and the Butchers and N.Lannon.
Impose says, “The 11-track record blooms with themes ranging from parenthood to ways to cope with inner turmoil, to the power of healing yourself as a way to help others… Instead of feeling hopeless, joy became the focus. Beauty was just on the other side of each painful moment. We get to ride along with him on his journey from self-damaging thoughts to true gratitude, and loving the path — bumps and all.”
PopMatters premiered the video for their second single, “Light Light Weight,” saying, “The simplicity of the track, coupled with a clear-eyed and earnest vocal performance carry the tune across the victory line, leaving the listener to hit the play button one more time. (And, yes, the video is cool, but it’d be nothing without the tune that accompanies it.).” The new single’s message reminds the band about why they do what they do, and frontman and songwriter, Brian Hall, says:
“Josh Brine, our drummer, went to Italy and hung out on a nude beach with his wife. He came back talking about how spiritual of an experience it was to be completely naked with other people and at ease, unashamed. Franke Simone is a good friend, and she sings about self-acceptance a lot. I am a bit chubby and have my own challenges in relation to body image and self-esteem. ‘Light Light Weight’ is about all these topics which were swirling around in my head at the time I wrote it. Beyond body image, this song is about being vulnerable with the whole self. As an artist, this can be very scary. It serves as a sort of anthem for us as a band. Reminds us why we’re on stage.”
All Things Go debuted the band’s first single and music video for “Back Yards” from the forthcoming album, saying, “Portland’s TENTS are throwing out their earworm hooks with charming DIY visuals in their latest video.”
The single has already received commercial airplay on Portland, OR’s KINK FM radio station and KINK named TENTS their “Artist of the Week.”
Brian Hall gives insight into the song and says:
“A driving melancholy indie song about addiction as a destructive force, family as an uplifting force, and the two kind of, at battle with each other. I wrote this song when I was really sick. Not sleeping as much as I should, out drinking with buds on work nights. Turns out I have an autoimmune disease. Geez. So much body shit. In the end of this song, in the bridge, things take a turn a bit. It’s sort of like hapless, helpless, ironic ecstasy. But then also in there is a moment of letting go, which for me at the time very much resembled me shedding the addiction and allowing myself to enjoy my family.”
The title track from their debut LP Deer Keeps Pace depicts a wild animal playfully running in stride with an old station wagon. The deer is a commentary on the constant threads in life — the ideas, feelings, and moments that stick with us and carry us through.
TENTS built this record piece by piece as a crew in their Back Yard studio. More often than not, their songs are written live during stretches of deep studio time, improvising and responding intuitively to one another.
Photo credit: Adam Levey
RECORD RELEASE TOUR DATES
5/9 – Tractor Tavern – Seattle, WA w/ Maltby and Matt Bishop (of Hey Marseilles)
5/10 – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR w/ Siren and the Sea, Hustle and Drone
5/12 – The Observatory – Spokane, WA w/ Mini Murders and Summer in Siberia
5/25 – Bombs Away Cafe – Corvallis, OR w/ Kulululu and Brides
5/26 – Ventis – Salem, OR w/ Sleep Millennium (release show), Rebecca McDade, and Masq
6/30 – Doug Fir Lounge- Portland, OR
*Badman 20th anniversary show w/ The Builders and the Butchers and n.Lannon
BIO by Ben Kaye (Consequence of Sound)
“Conflict is an integral part of good art,” says Brian Hall, the lead singer and songwriter for Portland, Oregon’s TENTS.
If we accept that statement as truth, then perhaps there’s been no better time to make music than the present day. We’re in the middle of any number of cultural clashes, where every opinion, action, or choice is primed for an antagonistic response. As listeners, we turn to our favorite songs to provide us solace and escape in days like these. Yet musicians often create to cope with their inner turmoil, only to find that what they’ve created can be just as healing for others.
Hall had plenty of his own to cope with when he chose to start TENTS. After years as a successful advertising composer, it became clear he couldn’t satiate his artistic impulses in corporate music making any longer. At 31, it was time to finally get serious about starting a band. He recruited his ever-supportive wife, Amy, to provide backing vocals. Their friend Christopher Hall (no relation) brought his eccentric guitar skills to the group, while the Australian transplant Josh Brine picked up the drum sticks.
That’s right about when Amy underwent spinal surgery and Hall found out he was infertile. They decided to adopt, a terrifying and chaotic experience as much as it was beautiful and fulfilling. Shortly after bringing their first child home, Brian was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. By the time they adopted a second child, he’d gotten cancer. It was a rolling series of tribulations punctuated by the brightness of parenthood. As if there weren’t enough difficulties in the world at large already.
But now he had TENTS set up around him. As they improvised together in Hall’s backyard studio, they would “literally just get lost back there.” Adrift in the swirling origins of compositions, finding creative elation in the face of modern anxieties, they would, as Christopher would often say, simply “keep flow.” There, in that free and vulnerable place, they tapped into a universal spirituality: joy.
“Joy feels spiritual to me,” Hall explains. “There’s a lot to be discouraged about and hopeless about, but in the midst of pain, just beneath the surface there is so much beauty to soak in. The pain can actually take you deeper. When I’m able to process something that gives me pain, when I feel genuine joy as I process it, that’s nourishing to people.”
Therein lies the sense of purpose that drives TENTS — to provide an outlet for others. Yes, being in the band has helped the Halls through their recent rough patches, but what keeps them going is something greater. “I really love being able to ask myself how I can effect change and communicate very directly with people. I like the idea of art as medicine,” Hall explains. “We’re in a really trying time in history, and I want to be able to contribute. And my desire to contribute, as an artist, only adds motivation. I’m less angsty than I was when I was younger so I feel like I have a lot of positive energy in general to radiate.”
As TENT’s debut full-length, Deer Keeps Pace, unfolds, you can feel that delight begin to radiate with greater brilliance. A track like “Back Yards” may be full of melancholy as Hall confronts his self-damaging behavior prior to getting sick, but weaved in are signs of rehabilitation and perseverance (“Tell my baby I’ll always be around”). “Danger” is an indie jam reassuring us that the fear of chasing your dreams will pass, and the tender “Shoulder to Shoulder” provides comfort for both those in need and their loved ones. Listening to the glowing “Light Light Weight” provides the strength to accept who we are without fear of judgment or disapproval.
Like all these songs, Deer Keeps Pace is about finding moments of truth and beauty in a world too often full of sadness and pain. The muck and the acrimony are everywhere, and TENTS are a reminder of what it feels like to find peace. “I wrestle with my own pain, I find clarity, and then I try to put that good stuff in to our songs,” Hall says. “Hopefully it can rub off on people.”
TENTS aren’t here to solve all the troubles that surround our daily lives. Hell, they’re pretty sure no one is ever going to figure it all out. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to get through it all. “It’s not about right and wrong and the arguments,” Hall clarifies. “It’s about moving through those arguments and experiencing some kind of wellness that allows us to just communicate again and share again.”
For Hall, that quest for eudaemonia led him to his wife and the band they share together. As society and culture continue to become entangled in dissension, TENTS want to assure us that putting our arms around others for support only makes us all stronger. They’re striving to capture the sanctity they’ve found in each other and share it with whoever will listen. So for those looking for light in the darkness, listen up.
After all, isn’t that what music is meant for?
01. Back Yards
04. Light Light Weight
06. Shoulder To Shoulder
07. Dopamine Crush
08. Modern Things
10. Deer Keeps Pace
11. Deer Keeps Pace Part 2
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