Tacking 2019 with the most free time in a few years, as his other band, Paramore, take a breather in between albums, local musician and visual artist Zac Farro is prepping to release new music with his long-running solo vehicle HalfNoise for the the third year in a row (even with his busy schedule after rejoining Paramore, Farro still managed to drop two EPs and intermittently tour with HalfNoise over the past couple a years; an impressive fest for sure). Kicking off a series of U.S. shows (in Nashville, New York, and LA), before hitting the festival circuit this summer, HalfNoise will bring an evening of music, art, and friendship to The Basement East tonight, March 15, for their first hometown show of the year. Joining in on the fun is an eclectic local lineup, featuring string band Hogslop String Band, indie pop singer Bantug, and the party-starting DJs of Sparkle City Disco, making for a guaranteed good time. Tickets are still available here while they last, so snag yours now and read on for more about the show!
By now you should be more than familiar with HalfNoise, the solo musical vehicle of Paramore drummer Zac Farro, a longtime local fave and friend of the site. Formed and cultivated between Farro’s 2010 departure from Paramore and his return to the renowned group in 2017, HalfNoise has, so far, released two full-length albums and three EPs, navigating the realms of ambient, indie rock, synthpop, and groovy, retro psychedelic rock. In a swift followup to 2017’s The Velvet Face EP, HalfNoise dropped his latest EP, Flowerss, last year, which keeps with the analog, psyched-out vibe but also reincorporates some of the ambient, layered feel of prior releases (like 2014 full-length Volcano Crowe and 2016 followup Sudden Feeling). Sticking with that same prolific schedule (and now with some free time as Paramore take a breather), Farro just released a new single, with another record on the way, ahead of a series of shows in Nashville, New York, and LA, which also promise art and friendship (something his other band values as well).
As you may recall, HalfNoise hosted an epic Velvet Face release show in 2017 at Lucky Bamboo, which featured Farro’s Paramore bandmates sharing the stage as part of the backing band, their first time officially performing together since his initial departure. The following two years saw Paramore tour the world, celebrating the success of phenomenal new LP After Laughter, while still leaving Zac with time to focus on HalfNoise between stints on the road with his other gig (notably, much of the live incarnation of HalfNoise has been also incorporated into Paramore’s live band), including fitting in time for shows at The End, and, most recently, a Flowerss release show last year at Exit/In. With more time to work on new art (Farro is also recently a photo book) and to devote a full-time musical focus on HalfNoise for the moment, we suspect Farro’s Basement East homecoming will be a particularly special outing.
Bear in mind though: while it has been super cool and special to see Farro’s Paramore bandmates back him at past appearances (which, it turn, made HalfNoise tunes live, fan-favorite staples of recent Paramore tour encores), you should show up expecting nothing more than HalfNoise show, and that alone, as we’ve been buzzing about for years, is always a blast.
HOGSLOP STRING BAND
HalfNoise shows have long been cognizant about showcasing a wide range of other local artists, with recent openers including acts like Becca Mancari, Chrome Pony, and Skyway Man. The addition of old timey local string band the Hogslop String Band, however, is definitely an unexpected turn in broader genre representation (but is, for sure, very Nashville). Made up of Kevin Martin on the fiddle, Gabriel Kelley on guitar, Daniel Binkley on banjo, and Pickle on the washtub bass, the group all hail originally from Georgia and Tennessee, and first came together a decade ago as s pickup square dance band, before becoming one of the most sought after string bands in the region. Sandwiched between electro pop vibes (and disco DJ sets), they’re primed to get you dancing in the most old school Tennessee way.
Born and raised in the suburbs of Atlanta, local pop standout Bantug learned drums, guitar, and bass before she was even a teenager. As a young adult, she made the move to Nashville where she found her creative community, associating with artists like Biyo’s Grayson Proctor, Lizza Anne, Caleb Groh, designer Jordan Short, photographers Kelsey Cherry and Wrenne Evans, and more. Her debut EP, Blue, was one of our favorite releases of 2017, and was met with widespread acclaim, and last year’s followup, Red, proved even better, honing the singer’s earnest, synth-soaked, layered, and soaring sound. Fast becoming one of the most essential pop artists amidst a thriving Music City pop scene, Bantug seems well on her way to break out on a broader level in the very near future, and her sound and vibe is definitely a perfect compliment to HalfNoise.
SPARKLE CITY DISCO
Since first hitting the scene seven years ago, Sparkle City Disco have become Nashville’s premiere vinyl disco DJs and curators of epic disco parties. With current monthly residences at Bar 308 and Woolworth On 5th, an annual Sparkle City River Dance party, pop ups throughout the city and region, and more, Jonas Stein and David Bermudez (along with frequent special guests) are Music City’s go-to DJs for a wild dance party, and with them on the bill, this show is sure to be even more epic.
HalfNoise, Hogslop String Band, Bantug, and Sparkle City Disco will perform tonight, March 15 at The Basement East. The show is 18+, begins at 9 p.m. (doors at 8 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $15.