with Phantom Tails, Gloom Balloon, and Hanan
March 21, 2015 at Bedlam Lowertown
8pm doors, 9pm music
$10 --> click here for tickets
Welcome to the world of Har-di-Har, otherwise known as the minds and musicians that are Julie and Andrew Thoreen. Self-described as "freak-pop," this Saint Paul-based creative duo encompasses a multitude of genres, influenced by everything from Claude Debussy to Tune-Yards. Pushing the physical limits of two bodies in live music-making, Har-di-Har play as many as nine instruments between the two of them during one song alone - even sharing a drumset. The end result is one of breathtaking novelty both aurally and visually.
On Saturday, March 21st at Bedlam Lowertown, they will be locally releasing their first EP since December of 2013 and debuting new material to take on a lengthy Midwest tour following in April (with an official release on March 24th). And there's even better news: this EP serves as preview of material from a full-length album that Har-di-Har is working on to be released later in 2015. A limited number of physical copies of the EP will be available on custom flash drives - complete with the duo's entire four EP catalogue - as well as download cards for latecomers.
But I don't advise being late; Bedlam Lowertown has one of the best vibes in Saint Paul, and the regional openers will not disappoint. Gather a group and grab a table early in the evening, and you'll have a full night's worth of entertainment. Fittingly, this show is in Lowertown Saint Paul, only miles up the road from their residence at the Schmidt Artist Lofts, where they filmed the video for their recent single "We Scare Each Other" (below).
Recording and producing everything themselves this time around, Har-di-Har has taken time to push their own boundaries with full creative license. Exploring found sounds, working with samples, and heading toward a more produced sound, the duo is departing from their folk and minimalist instrumentation roots, yielding fantastic results. They admit, their desire to venture more into the realm of pop has led to a more accessible, or recognizable, song structure. But for Har-di-Har, nothing is ever normal, and their signature style of challenging the listener remains. Complex harmonies and rhythms, building tension and rewarding release, and unexpected changes in tempo now marry catchy pop hooks and dance-able beats for songs worth a life-long love.
And in the traditional style of an EP, or "early pressing," this material will not be mass produced or distributed. Being in charge of their musical enterprise means financial responsibility as well, and that's no easy feat. Call them a tease, but what Andrew and Julie are asking for is an investment - for people that like what has been released to help them create more of it. And goodness, if I had money to invest, I know where it would go. So come out this Saturday, won't you? For all, a musical journey is in store: they'll help you along yours, and you help them achieve theirs.
Special thanks to Andrew and Julie Thoreen.