Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Who are Half Gift?

This Saturday, Cairo and local label Highfives and Handshakes present an excellent night of music featuring Portland's Psychic Feline, Grave Babies, and brand-spanking-new Seattle group Half Gift. Just who are Half Gift, anyway? Fans of the Seattle DIY circuit may recognize some of its players...

Half Gift is a new Seattle quartet featuring members of two beloved and defunct (or on-hiatus) DIY acts. The lineup includes James Schaell (Wet Paint DMM) on guitar and back-up vocals, Jessica James (Eel Eater) on drums, Samantha Pease on bass, and Maria Russell as the band’s lead vocalist. Half Gift’s drearily pretty sound is extremely Northwestern, with melancholic, chorus-lacquered guitar refrains repeating ad infinitum between ethereal, airy vocals and a locked-in rhythm section. The drumming is more varied and daring than Eel Eater’s was, and the guitar is less herky-jerky and more sentimental than Wet Paint DMM’s scalene squeaks and stabs. I predict lots of people will be smitten with their “In Gloom,” a song whose title winks towards Nirvana but which is musically more akin to a hybrid of the swirling broodiness of ‘80s dreampop and the Ronettes (the beat to “In Gloom” is only the latest in a long and storied history of variations on the indelible percussive pattern from “Be My Baby”).

The awesome poster you see above was done by Half Gift's Sam Pease. See you on Saturday!

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