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Ali McGhee has a Ph.D. in English...
Baltimore-based Horse Lords, coming to the Mothlight on August 30th, are a hard band to categorize. Their new album, Interventions (Northern Spy) has a little bit of American rock, a bit of African rhythm, a helping of jazz, and a touch of experimental electronic. Guitarist Owen Gardner has characterized the group's sound as "vernacular minimalism." As with genres like folk music, Horse Lords employs techniques like repeated riffs and chords (as you might here at a square dance) and then intensifies those moments in hypnotic songs that are easy to lose yourself in. Their show at the Mothlight will include local openers Nest Egg.
Interventions is an album that rewards its listeners again and again. It showcases the immense talent of this band, and includes some incredible performers from its members (Max Eilbacher on bass, Gardner on guitar and banjo, Andrew Bernstein on saxophone, Sam Haberman on drums). It also gets playfully experimental. Some songs are--or are interrupted by--pieces of ambient noise. But nothing is overly cerebral. At the heart of the album is the driving, pulsing flow of looping rhythms that inspire dance.
<a data-cke-saved-href="http://horselords.bandcamp.com/album/interventions" href="http://horselords.bandcamp.com/album/interventions">Interventions by Horse Lords</a>
I spoke with Gardner about the album and the upcoming show.