The Go! Team

Neumos & KEXP Present

The Go! Team

Skating Polly

Friday 3/30

8:00 pm

Neumos

$15.00 - $18.00

This event is 21 and over

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The Go! Team
The Go! Team have always been cheerleaders for a better world – an outpouring of collective joy in the face of small-mindedness and dismal careerism. They rejoice in the unifying urges and the chance encounters between cultures that lead to something new. They’re a band who still have faith in the power of music to make things better. Now more than ever, we need The Go! Team.
 
It’s no secret that The Go! Team is the brainchild of one man, Brighton-based melody obsessive Ian Parton. But its membership has never been exclusive: at one time or another, The Go! Team has included on its squad-sheet everyone from Deerhoof to Chuck D to a legion of undiscovered Soundcloud singers. Unlike the group’s previous album, 2015’s The Scene Between – which was essentially a solo project, following the dissolution of the previous Go! Team lineup – Ian began work on their fifth album SEMICIRCLE with the vital input of current live players Simone Odaranile (drums) and Angela ‘Maki’ Won-Yin Mak (vocals), plus original Team members Sam Dook (guitar) and Ninja (irrepressible rapping).
 
In his head was the idea of a school marching band gone rogue, chucking away their sheet music to blast out Northern soul stompers or Japanese indie-pop swooners or old-school hip-hop jams. “I like the swing and the toughness of marching bands, the physicality of feeling a beater walloping a bass drum,” explains Ian, “but I wanted to reclaim them from patriotic or sporty associations. That was the kick-off for this record.” Yet his extensive sample library could only take him so far. In order to fully realise his vision he knew he had to reach out, to entice a group of unlikely new collaborators into The Go! Team fold.
 
So Ian made a pilgrimage to Detroit – city of Motown and The Stooges, of musical (and actual) revolution – where he hooked up with The Detroit Youth Choir. Their age was key; he didn’t want kids (too twee) but nor he did he want adults, with all their emotional baggage and wariness and tendency to over-sing. Equally he wanted to avoid the religious connotations of a church or gospel choir. “I’ve always had a thing for gang vocals and group singing, particularly the roughness of community choirs,” says Ian. “Normally they might be singing showtunes or whatever, but I like the idea of getting people to do something they wouldn’t normally do. I like making things happen that wouldn’t otherwise happen. It’s always a gamble, but in this case it paid off.”
Skating Polly
Can you hear that harmony? I can hear it in my sleep. I can hear it even louder in outer space. – “Louder In Outer Space”

There's a difficult to describe yet timeless quality to certain songs that transcends genre or era. It's something that you can't fake or contrive and it'swhat lies at the core of Skating Polly's music. The duo of guitarist/vocalist Kelli Mayo and drummer Peyton Bighorse formed in Oklahoma in 2009 when Mayo's father began dating Bighorse's mother and the duo started writing music together on instruments they inherited from their parents. They recorded their debut album Taking Over The World in 2010 and instantly achieved acclaim from underground music icons like X's Exene Cervenka (who produced 2013's Lost Wonderfuls and Beat Happening's Calvin Johnson (who produced 2014's Fuzz Steliacoom.) After the release of 2016's The Big Fit, the group realized another one of their musical dreams when Veruca Salt's co-frontwomen Louise Post and Nina Gordon reached out and said they wanted to work with the band.

“I guess a couple of people showed them our music and the next thing we knew we were flying down to Los Angeles for a writing session with Nina and Louise,” Mayo recalls. Writing with the alternative icons went so well that the foursome decided to fully flush out the song they had worked on as well as a couple of new tracks and the end result is the three-song New Trick EP. “Everything just came together the best way we could possibly imagine,” Mayo continues. Even though the duo weren't used to writing with outside collaborators, things instantly gelled between the foursome, a fact evidenced on these songs. “Nina and Louise really helped us step outside of our usual way of doing things and suddenly we were breaking all of these songwriting rules that we didn't even know that we had,” Mayo adds. “At the same time we were breaking all of their songwriting rules and I feel like we came up with something totally different than what any of us had created in the past.”

Produced and mixed by Brad Wood (Liz Phair, Sunny Day Real Estate) the result is a fully formed collection of songs that sees Skating Polly pushing the boundaries of their sound without losing sight of the playful dynamic of the band that has endeared them to fans all over the world. The EP sets the tone out of the gate with the fuzzed-out pop sheen of “Louder In Outer Space,” takes on a moody, harmony-rich bent on the melodically minded “Hail Mary” and culminates with “Black Sky,” an instantly memorable song that shows that Skating Polly doesn't need distortion or fancy studio trickery in order to craft something that's instantly memorable. “Nina and Louise have an excellent knack for harmony and layers and every time we'd start to record the four of us – five if you include Brad's clever input – kept coming out with more subtle pieces to add,” Mayo says. “If you listen closely there's a lot of layers to every song that translated in a very dynamic way as opposed to being overproduced.”

Admittedly the female-driven alternative acts that inspired the band such as Veruca Salt, The Breeders, L7 and Babes In Toyland (the later of whom Skating Polly toured with in Europe) aren't typical reference points for most of today's up-and-coming acts, but maybe they should be. “I think the thing that a lot of those bands have that Peyton and myself love is that they can be really aggressive and loud while also being super melodic,” Mayo explains. “This was the first time we were able to work as a full band and I think it really just opened up this new level for Skating Polly in the sense that we were able to add other elements and make things sound bigger than they had in the past,” Bighorse adds. In that spirit the band recently added Mayo's brother Kurtis who will be joining them on drums... but in typical Skating Polly fashion there will be plenty of instrument-swapping between all three members during their live performances.
Venue Information:
Neumos
925 E Pike St
Seattle, WA, 98122
http://www.neumos.com/