Still out in support of last year’s phenomenal, critically beloved fifth full-length Freedom, New York indie/experimental rocker Amen Dunes returns to Nashville for his first headlining show in several years (and for the first time since supporting Fleet Foxes last spring) tonight, Jan. 24 at The Basement East with buzzy Philly experimental pop artist ARTHUR. Fans of substantive, artsy, genre-bending, and underground indie and pop will not want to miss this outing, and tickets are still available while they last right here! Read on for more about the show.
Conceived by frontman and creative core Damon McMahon as a solo project in a trailer in upstate New York in the middle of last decade (then briefly put on hold, before debuting to the public), indie/experimental project Amen Dunes found critical buzz and an impressive early following with 2009 debut album D.I.A. Four more full-lengths and a number of EPs have arrived in the decade since, while McMahon’s rise as a profound, transcendent artist with global critical appeal and endless online buzz has been been firmly cemented. Early improvisational and experimental tendencies have given way to more structure, including elements of folk and indie rock, and the “band” now features a revolving cast of collaborators and producers both in the studio and live (notably, Amen Dunes has featured input from the likes of Delicate Steven, Nick Zinner, Chris Coady, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and more). A poetic, genre-bending, and even multimedia affair, Amen Dunes found broader attention with 2014 fourth album Love, and has further broken out in a big way (and landed on many year end lists) with last year’s stunning Freedom, a personal and sprawling mix of fantasy and reality, many years in the making, recorded between New York and LA, and more broadly drenched in the electronic influences of McMahon’s youth. If you (like many) just got into Amen Dunes with Freedom, this might be your first chance to see him live in Music City (unless you caught him with Fleet Foxes last year, or at The Stone Fox back in the day), and The Basement East is a perfect spot to soak in his nuanced, layered, and enigmatic live show.
Still such a rising DIY affair that his internet presence is a bit hard to track down, ARTHUR is the Philadelphia based experimental pop project of Arthur Shea (who’s also a member of Philly act Joy Again). ARTHUR just released his debut LP, Woof Woof, last fall, and has been churning up buzz in the blogosphere thanks to his lo-fi, mysterious, quirky, and off-kilter sensibilities, definitely rooted in pop but also uninhibited in its sonic palate or genre confines. Without a doubt a cool fit to support Amen Dunes (especially for fans of Amen Dunes’ weirder, earlier work), ARTHUR is a name you should be keeping an eye on, because with a debut this cool, he’s bound to churn out some more fantastic efforts in the coming years.
Amen Dunes and ARTHUR will perform tonight, Jan. 24 at The Basement East. The show is 18+, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $18.