The Bowery Presents
The Neighbourhood

The Neighbourhood

Danny Brown, Little Daylight, Born Casual

Tue, May 20, 2014

Doors: 5:00 pm / Show: 6:00 pm

Rumsey Playfield

New York, NY


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This event is all ages

Rain or Shine

The Neighbourhood
The Neighbourhood
In early 2012 a mysterious band appeared online. The group, The Neighbourhood, revealed no biographical information, no photos and no backstory, offering only a moody track titled "Female Robbery." Fans and the press were confounded, scouring the Internet for any information that might lead them to the identity of these musicians. Pieces of the puzzle, some reflecting reality and some not so much, began to emerge. The Neighbourhood were a quintet. They were from California despite the British spelling of their name. They had a second track, "Sweater Weather," which had an accompanying -- and equally dark -- video.

Although The Neighbourhood's identity remained hazy, it became clear that the music they were making felt transformative to critics and fans alike. The evocative combination of rock instruments with R&B and hip-hop aesthetics seemed, in many ways, revelatory, a reimagining of sounds that seemed to make people clamor for more information with even greater fervor. In April, BBC Radio One DJ Zane Lowe, an early champion of the group, let it slip that The Neighbourhood was the handiwork of musician Jesse Rutherford, a resident of Newbury Park, CA. By early May, as the band unveiled a free, self-released EP titled "I'm Sorry," it became understood that the identity of this young band was, ultimately, secondary to the music itself.

So who are The Neighbourhood? In essence, the group, which formed in August of 2011, is a collection of five friends who make music together. They're headed by Rutherford, a 21-year-old singer who has dabbled in various genres, including hip-hop, before crafting the merge of sounds that categorizes The Neighbourhood's style. Their debut EP produced by Justyn Pilbrow, who brought Emile Haynie onboard to collaborate on "Female Robbery." The EP, recorded at the end of last year, is composed of shadowy, emotional music with visuals to match. And it's all part of the band's master plan.

"I always have a strong vision before I go into anything," Rutherford says. "I don't know how to make music any other way. It was all in my head, and that vision for the music was to make hip-hop beats with guitars and I was going to sing and rap over them. We wanted to do that hip-hop aesthetic on an indie platform."

"I'm Sorry," a five-song disc, is a precursor to the band's debut album, which is also being produced by Pilbrow and Haynie. The album, expected out March 2013, will expand the group's moody sensibility, which pairs brooding layers of instrumentals with Rutherford's hip-hop-inspired croon. The style, which the band has dubbed "black and white" due to its confident inspirations, is based largely in rhythm, as evidenced by the EP. "When I started in music I started doing drums and then I started doing vocals," Rutherford explains. "And then I combined the two together because to me rapping is just rhythmic vocals. I think the rhythm of hip-hop is really what got me into it. It's not just words being said; it's about how the words are said."

In the end, all you need to know about The Neighbourhood is in that music and in those words. There are more facts, more pieces of the puzzle, more information to unveil. But what's the fun in being given the full picture when you can slowly discover it for yourself? It's better to leave some mystery lingering. Because, after all, it's that unknowing that brought The Neighbourhood to people's attention to begin with.
Danny Brown
Danny Brown
In an era of industry-obsessed MCs, interchangeable hashtag raps, and “viral” everything, it has become increasingly difficult to find a true original in the rap game. Yet ask anyone who’s been paying attention and they’ll tell you: Danny Brown is that dude. In 2011 the Motor City MC teamed up with Fool's Gold Records and released XXX, a tour-de-force concept record about hedonism, growing up, and Detroit, which took listeners on a profane and psychedelic journey through his own uncensored id. After a year of universal critical acclaim - from Spin naming XXX Rap Album Of The Year to Danny covering the Metro Times and Real Detroit in the same week as their Artist Of The Year - Danny continues to spread his irreverent gospel worldwide with extensive touring and even more unrestrained, unstoppable rhymes.
Little Daylight
Little Daylight
Borrowing their name from an old English fable—and from those magic hours of dusk and dawn—Brooklyn-based trio Little Daylight make synth-driven alt-pop that’s sweet and dreamy, but built on big emotion and serious songcraft. After forming in spring 2012, longtime friends/musicians Nikki Taylor, Matt Lewkowicz, and Eric Zeiler launched Little Daylight with a series of much-praised, left-of-center remixes of artists like The Neighbourhood, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Passion Pit, and Freelance Whales. In early 2013 the band premiered their first single “Overdose” (a shimmery, singalong-worthy track that instantly shot to number-one on Hype Machine), then made their live debut at SXSW and quickly scored a deal with Capitol Records. Propelled by a D.I.Y. spirit and intense creative chemistry, Little Daylight is set to release a debut album that radiates their passion for both outré-leaning electronic music and time-defying pop.

The follow-up to their 2013 EP Tunnel Vision, Little Daylight’s entirely self-produced first album Hello Memory merges the band’s melody-laced arrangements with a sonic palette that includes heavy beats, frenetic rhythms, lush synth, and the raw power of live drums, bass, and guitar. With the candy-voiced Taylor serving as lead singer on every track, Hello Memory fulfills Little Daylight’s mission of delivering emotionally complex pop music by lacing that soundscape with lyrics that seamlessly morph from escapist to melancholy. Hello Memory also sees all three band members sharing producing, songwriting duties and continually trading instruments throughout the new LP, a dynamic that all the more strengthens the trio’s magnetic energy.

With its ten songs forming a love-story narrative that unfolds in a Tarantino-esque nonlinear fashion, Hello Memory was assembled with a classic album format in mind. To that end, Little Daylight loads Hello Memory’s first half with super-danceable tracks (including the dizzying “Overdose” and the glossed-up “My Life,” an album-opening anthem that perfectly captures a joyful spirit of independence), while the second half features such moody and sprawling numbers as the slow-burning, heartsick “Be Long” and the bittersweet “No One Else But You” (a duet with Atlas Genius frontman Keith Jeffery). Whether calling out a femme fatale on the breezy, bouncy “Mona Lisa” or offering up a quietly devastating ballad like “Love Stories,” Hello Memory endlessly proves Little Daylight’s ingenuity in blending blissed-out dance music with a heart-on-sleeve yet edgy emotionalism.

Little Daylight first began breathing that formula to life back in May 2012, when Taylor, Lewkowicz, and Zeiler decamped to a friend’s lake house in upstate New York to spend several weeks working on remixes and sketching their own material. Although their glittering takes on tracks like “Man on Fire” by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and “Constant Conversations” by Passion Pit fast drew them adoring attention, they soon started channeling the sonics they’d explored in remixing into their own original songs. “On the remix side of things we were working with big beats, big drums, big synths—and eventually we kind of melded those sounds into the songs we were writing for the band,” says Zeiler. The first track bearing Little Daylight’s now-signature sound, “Overdose” followed up its Hype Machine triumph with a sweetly surreal video the band shot while dancing through the power-deprived streets of Manhattan in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. After signing with Capitol Records—and releasing the Tunnel Vision EP in summer 2013—Little Daylight continued to balance remixing with both touring and developing songs for their full-length debut.

To record Hello Memory, Little Daylight holed up in a Brooklyn carriage house that they outfitted with the ample supply of equipment they’ve amassed over their years as musicians. Finishing the album out in a Greenpoint studio—after taking time off last summer to tour with artists like Charli XCX and Bastille—Little Daylight closely relied on collaboration and in-studio experimentation in all levels of the album-making process. “I think we derive a lot of strength from knowing that a song can come from anywhere, that every little thing we come up with—whether it’s a lyric or some awesome beat or a crazy production concept—can turn into a song at some point if we keep it around,” Zeiler points out. And while Little Daylight routinely uses those on-the-fly ideas to push into new directions with their sound, the band ultimately stays true to a timeless sensibility in their song-building. “We can get really detailed-oriented about creating ear candy, but in the end the melody’s the most important thing in any song,” says Lewkowicz. Deeply dedicated to delivering a massive and stirring live show, the band has also established itself as beyond skilled at building songs whose boundless energy translates powerfully when brought to the stage.

In producing remixes, meanwhile, Little Daylight are more likely to let loose and color outside the lines. “Remixes are where we get to be really playful and a little more free—it’s about letting yourself go down the rabbit hole and experiment with whatever’s happening in your head at that time,” says Lewkowicz. And with their past remixes including tracks like “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood, “Tomorrow” by Niki & The Dove, “If So” by Atlas Genius, “Angel, Please” by Ra Ra Riot, and “Spitting Image” by Freelance Whales, Little Daylight are now seeing their own songs get the remix treatment from the likes of Charli XCX (who reworked Tunnel Vision track “Glitter and Gold” in fall 2013).

Describing themselves as “very much the product of our environment” and hugely inspired by the indie and dance-music scenes in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Little Daylight thrives on connections their fellow musicmakers and, above all, with each other. “The way we work is very collaborative—there’s no leader, it’s a real ‘everyone’ project,” says Taylor. And despite having signed to a major label, the band continues to operate according to a D.I.Y. ethic that goes hand-in-hand with that egalitarian approach. “There’s a real homemade vibe to our work,” notes Zeiler. “We’re all producers and writers, and the band is about the three of us in a room together, working stuff out for ourselves. We consider everything we come up with, and everything we come up with is straight from our hearts.”
Born Casual
Venue Information:
Rumsey Playfield
69th St. at Fifth Ave
New York, NY, 10021