Hemmingbirds w/ Bencoolen and Liz Fulmer
September 23, 2016 · 9:00pm
Hemmingbirds came into formation through the scattered collection of songs by Yoo Soo Kim. Navigating relationships and the uncertain future, he bunkered down in the echoey chamber that was his basement and hashed out ten recordings that became Hemmingbirds’ debut, “Death Wave.” Described by TimeOut Chicago as “a pleasant surprise,” the album is expansive with guitars, bass, drums, strings, and choir arrangements. As such, members Zach Benkowski and Tim Cap joined the band to bring those recordings to life.
Together, they created the band’s second record, “The Vines of Age.” The album is conceptual, as it unfolds with a narrator awoken by the sounds of howling spirits in his dream world. Within himself, he comes to battle his personal demons, his future self, and resolves by crashing through the aether back to reality. Carrying on with with their chamber pop arrangements, the concept is carried upward and downward with soaring melodies and string arrangements with an all around sound noted as “heavier, noisier, and more soulful.”
Hemmingbirds most recent release, 2015’s Half a Second EP, drew praise from press worldwide and the band has been featured in/on/at Alternative Press, NPR, CMJ’s Top 200, Indie Rock Café, Q101 and Consequence of Sound.
Imagine a band has driven hours through the night to cram their gigantic sign and gigantic sound into your tiny living room. They have never played in your town. They set up on a stage so small that their bass amp cannot fit on it. The bassist does not admit defeat. He plants his amp right next to your stage and dances on top of it all damn night until you’re dancing too. The bass player.
But you were ready. You built a tiki bar and filled your floors with beach sand. You carried a pool and hot tubs to the stage. You came to party. Maybe you heard a couple soundcloud links, maybe you saw a couple photos. Something told you tonight was going to be different. By the end of the first set you were dancing your asses off, singing with a sweaty frontman to songs you had never heard. His glasses were fogged. By the end of the second set the drummer was standing behind his kit, the guitarist was sitting with his feet dangling off the stage almost touching you, and the sax player deftly squealed above it all.
Bencoolen has played a huge stage opening for Cold War Kids. Bencoolen has closed a street festival stage in Virginia. Bencoolen was in USA Today. Bencoolen has booked the legendary 9:30 Club with Atlas Road Crew & The Southern Belles. That is a boring list of facts. That does not describe the experience. Maybe a little house party does not have the prestige or acoustics of a huge hall, but there are no shortcuts to meeting you. Whether the band plays for 4000 people again or plays for the capacity of your living room… this narrative is why Bencoolen’s music has been called maximalist rock.
- Teddy Scott – Guitar
- Jack Bentsen – Alto Saxophone
- Paul Gregg – Vocals/Guitar
- Ben Suarez – Bass
- Will Lockery – Drums
Liz Fulmer is a primarily self-taught singer/songwriter based out of Lancaster, PA. She studied songwriting at Berklee College of Music and left Berklee in 2010 to pursue her own career in New York City, frequenting a variety of stages from the grungy National Underground in Soho to the renowned Metropolitan Room. Here, she transitioned from piano to guitar and began writing more lyrical, folk music. Craving experience and moved by the traveler’s itch, Liz spent the next few years traveling through New Zealand and the UK, spending the most time in Edinburgh, Scotland. Liz contemplated a career change in 2014 but was given a boost of confidence from Lady Gaga after the Grammy winner saw Liz perform an original song. Since the chance encounter, Liz has been in the studio working on her first EP, Tall Tales, due for a Spring release. Liz’s music is highly lyrical and springs from a hybrid of pop and folk influences.