Tour Dates: 08.19.11 – Seattle, WA @ Fremont Abbey for Songs About Books 08.20.11 – Davis, CA @ Sophia’s Thai Kitchen 08.21.11 – San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern 08.22.11 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bardot 08.24.11 – Tucson, AZ @ Plush 08.27.11 – Denver, CO @ The Meadowlark 08.28.11 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge 08.29.11 – Boise, ID @ Visual Arts Collective 08.30.11 – Seattle, WA @ Comet Tavern Bright Archer’s music is as hypnotic as snow falling on water. Sounding at once vast and muted, the music centers on the voice and ornate piano playing of Johanna Kunin. Growing up in Minneapolis, Kunin grew attached to piano playing at an early age. Childhood afternoons spent poring over field guides and summers whiled away exploring the Boundary Waters also cultivated an early fascination with the natural world and her place in it. But instead of becoming a naturalist, Kunin gravitated toward music, singing with the Minnesota Opera Company as a child and getting a jazz education during her college years in Seattle. She was in her twenties by the time she discovered songwriting, a medium through which she could combine her interest in the natural world with music. After her first couple demos earned her a grant, Kunin met Tucker Martine who went on to produce her first full-length album, Clouds Electric (released in 2006). The making of her second album, Hidden Systems, marked a turning point for Kunin. Quickly immersing herself in the rich musical community of Portland, OR – which she would eventually join – and at the production helm for the first time, she chose a new musical moniker, Bright Archer, to better reflect her music’s evolving sound. On a series of winter weekends, Kunin co-produced the album with Skyler Norwood at his studio outside Portland and found 70s-rock inspiration on the radio dial while commuting from Seattle. Kunin and Norwood fashioned arrangements in the studio, borrowing a french horn player here and a bass player there from the bevy of bands Kunin plays in (Loch Lomond, AgesandAges, Velella Velella). Though all songs still center on Kunin’s lush voice and piano; a chorus of orchestral instruments, vibraphone and playful keyboard sounds allow each of the new songs to take on ornate lives of their own. The resulting music is rife with surreal atmospheres, melodic vocal lines and rhythmic piano backdrops. Lyrically, songs proceed in a wide-eyed, dreamlike fashion with the subject matter drawing portraits of the ephemeral, the ambiguous, and the fragile. Bright Archer will capture your imagination and remind you what it’s like to look at the world with eyes anew. Hidden Systems is out on July 5th, 2011 from Bear Island Records!

Members of the New Jersey and regional music scene are coming together to support young adults who have aged out of the child welfare system in the Garden State. The event is being organized by Dromedary Records, a Great Meadows-based independent record label. The effort will launch with Camelfest 2011, a two-day music festival to be held Friday and Saturday, August 12 and 13, at Maxwell’s, the legendary club in Hoboken, N.J.

Proceeds from Camelfest will benefit Roots & Wings, a nonprofit organization based in Mountain Lakes, N.J. Founded in 1999, Roots & Wings provides safe housing, educational support and practical life skills to youth who have “aged-out” of the child welfare system; for many, services are discontinued at age 18. Roots & Wings assists this high-risk population of disadvantaged young adults, helping them replace dependency with self-sufficiency.

Twelve bands will perform during three shows at Camelfest. On Friday night, beginning at 8 p.m., Richard Barone, Robbers on High Street, Readymade Breakup and The Mommyheads will take the stage. Saturday afternoon, the music begins at 3 p.m. with Charlotte Sometimes, Wild Carnation, Speed the Plough and Yung Wu. Saturday night, again beginning at 8 p.m., the lineup features The 65s, The Library is On Fire, Varsity Drag and Stuyvesant. Admission is $10 per person for each show, with tickets available online at http://maxwellsnj.com and at the door. Maxwell’s is located at 1039 Washington Street in Hoboken.

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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