Curtis Harding

Curtis Harding

Roya

Thu, November 2, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Rough Trade NYC

Brooklyn, NY

$15 advance / $18 day of show

This event is 21 and over

Curtis Harding
Curtis Harding
Soul isn't a feeling, a sound or a movement. It's a connection, a current in the air -- the spark of recognition, emotions leaping across live wires. It's the way a sinewy bassline steers your hips and eyes to the stranger across the club. It's how a handful of humble words can give millions the inspiration to overcome. It's the genius of a simple chorus that can explain the hard truths you couldn't last time you saw her.

Curtis Harding says that soul music, and his music, speak for themselves. It's self-evident on the Atlanta artist's debut, 'Soul Power.' The driving sound of his electrified Stratocaster, the foot-stomping backbeat and the lyrics swimming in reverb -- with something this flourishing, it's almost reductive to just dig around the roots.

Harding's style was born in Michigan and bred on the road, a restless childhood spent singing gospel alongside an evangelizing mother, then cultivated in Atlanta, where he sang backup for CeeLo Green and befriended the Black Lips (he plays with Cole Alexander in Night Sun).

But, as befits a restless traveler, his music calls one place home, but fits in anywhere. The heartbreaking optimism of "Next Time," a wry breakup tale mapping out a road the protagonists may never meet upon, the bottom-scraping blues of "Castaway," or the wistful affection of "Keep on Shining" could easily be Harding's story, or yours. They're scenes you didn't perform in, but know all the lines.

There's a foundation to the stirring soul Harding has created. "Gospel is inspiring," says Harding. "From hardship and trials, you make something beautiful. It's the history of black people in America, what happened to us during slavery, it's the foundation of blues, R&B, soul, country, rock." But he's not just preaching to the choir -- Harding's out there on the road, singing alongside everyone else looking for something real.
Roya
Roya
Roya, the poetic persian name of a little girl means an ominous dream, a mind trip, a fantasy. Such was the vision lead singer Rahill Jamalifard first had when hatching the idea for the band. A moody and seductive tone set against a primitive and surreal soundscape. Lending its voice to somber echoes and jangles of post punk and psychedelia. How often we wander to the uncomfortable depths of our darker minds, where unanswered questions live, where they stay carefully tucked away, still existing, unaddressed. In Roya, the exploration begins, confronting the fears and realities we struggle with. The mediocrity of life, complacency, death and its undoings, life and its great fragility, Roya invades the minds and hearts of its listeners greeting them with unwavering emotion.

The band’s early formation consisting of singer Rahill Jamalifard, guitarist Jay Heislemann and drummer Hamish Kilgour set the foundation for Roya’s deliberately minimal sound. Kilgour, notable as a founding member of New Zealand’s seminal post punk band The Clean, plays shambolic and primitive driving drumbeats that add layers of depth and texture to his boldness. Heislmann’s guitar spills over Kilgour’s rhythmic web with deconstructed eastern surf riffs dripping wet with noisy undertones. This melodically demented outfit cradle Jamalifard’s stark and naked vocals that paint over each chorus with grief-stricken and doleful lyrics that are raw but gentle in delivery.

Joined later by contributing song writer and guitarist Christian Sawyer, whose presence was brief but significant, the band began to record their self titled debut record at the now defunct Death By Audio recording studio. Joining them during this time was bassist Alix Brown, whose spirited gusto added attitude and swagger with her driving grooves. In its current formation Roya is a five piece ensemble with Tyler Love on rhythm guitar and mellotron and Lyla Vander on drums. Their debut record is set to be released by Burger Records in June 2017.
Venue Information:
Rough Trade NYC
64 N 9th St
Brooklyn, NY, 11249