Presented by Wedgwood Circle, Nashville natives Paper Route and Canon Blue headline a really fantastic show tonight at 3rd and Lindsley. With 5 great bands for only $10, I can’t think of a better way to spend your Thursday night (or, as I like to call it, East Nashville Underground Eve).
After carving out their own unique brand of synthpop, electronica, and experimental indie rock with their 2009 debut Absence, Nashville’s Paper Route then proceeded to tour the world with the eclectic likes of Paramore, Mutemath, Copeland, Passion Pit, Owl City, and more. Those years on the road clearly helped strengthen them and, perhaps, the recent split from their major label after a frustrating falling out helped liberate and reinspire them, because their new album The Peace of Wild Things is the sound of an already good band becoming a great one. The record takes all of the band’s best aspects and intensifies them. It’s poppier, more avant garde, dancier, and more intelligently-crafted; simultaneously more adventurous yet bearing more mass appeal. Paper Route clearly picked up a trick or two from their high-caliber tourmates because their live show is unparalleled. Due to their tour schedule, the band’s hometown shows are somewhat infrequent so catch them while you can!
Consisting primarily of Nashvillian Daniel James (with a revolving panel of collaborators), Canon Blue rose to national notoriety last year after a string of Foster the People opening dates, press attention, and a subsequent festival appearances. Canon Blue also recently embarked on a U.S. tour with Paper Route and fellow Nashville band HalfNoise (the new project from ex-Paramore drummer Zac Farro which Daniel James helped realize- and a band I’d definitely recommend checking out). Though self-described as “orchestral pop,” I really can’t think of an adequate way to do the band’s sound justice with a description. It’s so layered, beautifully orchestrated, atmospheric, and original. Canon Blue’s newest album, Rumspringa, was recorded in Denmark and features Sigur Ros’s string section- it’s incredible. It’s downright shocking to me that this band isn’t absolutely huge yet, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.
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The lineup of this show is really well-selected to progress in a nice sonic evolution without feeling too all over the place. Paper Route are full on danceable and electronic. Canon Blue bear the same layers and atmosphere, but with some of the danceability and intensity dialed back. The Last Bison, hailing from Virginia, are devoid of the electronic textures and density but bear that same energy and indie rock strength that is present at the core of the previous bands (and similar string flourishes and orchestral traits of Canon Blue). More akin to bands like Fleet Foxes and The Decemberists, The Last Bison are energetic and folky, with some orchestral lushness, soaring harmonies, and tons of unpredictable instrumentation. Calling them “folk” is merely a comment on their aesthetics, because the energy of The Last Bison is dialed up to 11 and they’ve got a real rock and roll spirit in their delivery.
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Opening the show are Nashville folk rockers Neulore and singer-songwriter Steven Delopoulos.
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Paper Route, Canon Blue, The Last Bison, Neulore, and Steve Delopoulos perform tonight at 3rd and Lindsley. The show starts at 8PM (doors at 7:30PM) and it’s only $10, all of which goes to benefit the Wedgwood Circle Artist Fund. Tickets are still available here.