$10 – $13

Rare Creatures / The Hails

18+

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Atlanta Room at Smith's Olde Bar

1578 Piedmont Ave NE

Atlanta, GA 30324

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RARE CREATURES / THE HAILS

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Rare Creatures

Formed initially as an experiment in diverse songwriting, Rare Creatures has grown into a full on rock spectacle. Their sound navigates between heavy synth rock and melodic acoustic rhythms seamlessly from song to song, switching it up around every corner. Influenced by bands from Alt-J to King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, with some ethnic spices sprinkled in for good measure. The group is fronted by Coleman Sawyer on vocals and guitar, with Hugh Camp on bass and synthesizer, Keller James on lead guitar, and Logan Crank banging the drums. Recordings are forthcoming, and will be released in late 2017.

The Hails

This past week included a huge accolade for The Hails as a band. Our song ‘Younger’ eclipsed one million streams on Spotify just 10 months after its release in February of 2018. I’m not sure who’s reading this and what your perception of our band is at the moment, but for just five friends who like to make music together, this milestone means everything.

One million symbolizes hard work, determination, and a bit of luck. One million shows us a future as a band. One million offers us the chance to reflect on our brief past (roughly 3 years since our first show). One million is a chapter in the wild story of ‘Younger.’

‘Younger’ was born as an idea that came about at a house show in our college town of Gainesville, Florida. Dylan, Zach and I hosted a few friends on a rainy Friday night and ended up playing a short set of our newest group of songs. I’m not so sure about the exact date of this event, but I think it was late in the fall of 2016. During our set, Dylan happened to go into an impromptu jam with Zach, so I free-styled some melodies on top of the chord progression that sounded oddly interesting in that moment. At the conclusion of our jam, I jokingly told everyone that we just wrote a song on the spot. People laughed and clapped, then went right back to their drinks and friends. We finished our set knowing that we had something cool to work on at the next practice.

Almost immediately, just days after the show, Dylan came back with a slew of melodies and structural ideas for the song. The verse was catchy, the pre-chorus was mesmerizing and the chorus hit hard. In my eyes, it was done. We had a new song.

However, the only lyric that Dylan had at the time was “tell me how it was when you were younger.” It’s clever and cheeky with a pinch of naïveté, so when I started to write the rest of the lyrics around it, I wanted to keep the same tone. To this day, I’m not sure if I did; and I mean that in a happy-funny way because the words seem to have struck so many people in so many different directions. Quite honestly, my favorite part of the whole song is when I get to scream, “No!” It’s a nice touch that keeps the listener involved and it feels so, so good in the live show.

After solidifying the song and giving it the working title of ‘Tell Me How It Was When You Were Younger,’ we played it live for about a year and it quickly became a fan favorite amongst our circle of friends. Countless times I heard someone tell me or another member of the band, “You have to record that song.”

So we did. In December of 2017, we asked our close friend Matt Lewin if he wanted to produce our next batch of songs and he agreed. Matt’s history as a producer and engineer is honestly prodigious. He’s helped shape the sounds of some amazing new bands (Tipling Rock, Magdalena Bay, Scotch Mist). Oftentimes, we refer to him as a “wizard” because his ability to produce and engineer a record is practically perfect. He would say otherwise, but that’s because his humility is off the charts, too.

Matt recorded all the parts in either his own bedroom or Dylan’s bedroom in Miami. The song doesn’t really fit today’s category/genre of “bedroom pop,” but for all intents and purposes, it is exactly that. We even recorded our own demo of the song in a friend’s bedroom. Franco was the man behind the production of the demo and we used a lot of the same elements in the final version of the song.

By mid-January of 2018, we had a new song and a new sound. ‘Younger’ was ready for release and we set our sights on February 22, 2018 as the day to release our single.

The artwork process was honestly harder than recording the music or even writing the song. We went through probably ten variations of artwork before we landed on a picture I had taken in the summer of 2015. I was bored one day and decided to prop up two astronaut figurines on my old GameCube in my brother’s bedroom (there’s the bedroom theme again). It was a hilarious scene to me, so I turned off the lights and took a picture with flash. The end product was this washed-out photo with insane background blur and I knew there was some meaning to the photo, but I couldn’t come up with anything profound. For years, it was in my computer just waiting to be used for something... anything.

Desperately searching for artwork after having many ideas shot down, I came across the photo and sent it to the band immediately to see if they thought it would work as a cover. It was met with little backlash, so I knew we had a possible winner. We placed the song title and band name in the upper right hand corner and called it a day. Our song was officially ready to go.

February 22, 2018 arrived and we watched as our friends shared the song on Instagram stories, tweets, Facebook posts, etc. They loved it and we were so glad they could finally listen to the song they’d been clamoring about for over a year. A couple weeks later, something big happened. ‘Younger’ was placed on Spotify’s Fresh Finds playlist and we garnered our most streams ever in one day. I’ll remember the moment forever. I was driving down I-75 heading to Miami because we had a show that weekend. Zach called me and told me that we got on the playlist and I freaked. The playlist expanded the song’s reach immensely. Then, it started climbing up the charts on Indie Shuffle and Hype Machine and we knew that ‘Younger’ was a major success.

It was a whirlwind and we just had to go with the flow. Throughout the rest of 2018, ‘Younger’ helped us lock down bigger shows, grew our fan base online and at live events, and served as a benchmark for our future music. It was the perfect storm. Blog after blog wrote such awesome words about our creation. My favorite quote was from The Burning Ear who said, “Like the peppy younger brother of Mac DeMarco and STRFKR who’s been hanging out with MGMT, The Hails will be a name to watch out for.” Amazing.

This song will always be a blast to sing for people. I’m excited to see how it grows throughout this year as our band continues to put out more music. The future is bright!

We sincerely thank all of you for helping grow this song on Spotify and all other music platforms. It hasn’t even been a year and we’re preparing for the rest of our lives in this band because of this one song. Here’s to many more just like ‘Younger.’

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Atlanta Room at Smith's Olde Bar

1578 Piedmont Ave NE

Atlanta, GA 30324

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