Oakland trio Halcyonaire has one of the more distinctive sounds around the Bay, combining lead singer Chris Damien’s unique voice with a wide-open, western sound. As they prepare to release new material, they’ve just shared an interesting EP/single, Vol. 1. They shared two versions of two songs, “Sonneteer” and “Weeping Canopy”, each recorded at different locations and stages of their career. The first version of “Sonneteer” was recorded at Tiny Telephone, and features a continuous, upbeat rockabilly rhythm driving the song, while the second version recorded at Different Fur slows up the tempo, adds some horns, and expands some of the riffs to almost create a rock-anthem-meets-western-soundtrack vibe.

The versions of “Weeping Canopy” provide even more contrast: one version was professionally recorded as part of Halcyonaire’s residency at Zoo Labs in Oakland, and features a healthy taste of pedal steel. The second version shared was recorded in “Brandon Ertman’s Bedroom” in Escondido, CA almost 10 years ago. It’s a little more upbeat, a lot more banjo heavy, and shows how much Damien’s voice has progressed over time. All in all, it’s an interesting look at the band’s experimentation, tweaking, and evolution. Give it all a listen right here, and catch them in person tonight at Brick and Mortar.

The Bellfuries, Halcyonaire, Valley Soul
Brick and Mortar Music Hall
June 28, 2016
8pm, $10-14