Ian Sweet

The Masquerade presents:

Ian Sweet

Young Jesus

Sat · November 10, 2018

Doors: 9:00 pm / Show: 9:30 pm (event ends at 12:00 am)

$12.00 - $14.00

This event is all ages

Ian Sweet
Ian Sweet
"I have a way of loving too many things to take on just one shape," Jilian Medford sings over and over again on the title track of the Brooklyn-based band IAN SWEET's debut album, Shapeshifter, repeating it like a mantra. This is Medford's thesis statement, a narrator to carry us through Shapeshifter, which is above all else a meditation on loneliness and displacement. It's about losing love and your sense of self in the process, about grabbing at the little things in life that bring joy when nothing else is going according to plan. It's also an ode to the bandmates, and the friends, that see you through.

While she was writing Shapeshifter, Medford's life was in turmoil. She ended an emotionally abusive relationship in Boston, graduated from Berklee College of Music, and briefly moved home to the San Fernando Valley, thinking she would stay there. Medford was unsure of the band's future and suffering from a severe, undiagnosed panic disorder. When she returned to Boston to record the album in July of 2015 alongside Cheney and Scalise, Medford was reminded of everything she'd hoped to escape after graduation. She felt stagnant; trudging through a quicksand made up of heartbreak and severe depression, a process she references on Shapeshifter stand-out "Slime Time Live."

That's one of many lighthearted, nostalgic references on the album that subvert the pain beneath. Like its title suggests, most of the songs on Shapeshifter don't settle in a particular scene so much as they delve into a sensibility. Whether Medford's singing about Slime Time Live, eating ice cream in bed on "All Skaters Go To Heaven," or honoring her favorite athlete Michael Jordan on "#23," Medford displaces loneliness by falling in love with the small things that make her happy; like skateboarding, basketball, candy, and her preferred footwear: Crocs.

Accompanied by playful instrumentation, Shapeshifter becomes a celebratory purging, an album that finds humor in self-deprecation and vice. IAN SWEET's debut interrogates capital-e Existence through a candy-coated lens, their mathy precision scaffolding the chaos of Medford's personal neurosis and turning those anxieties into something hook-laden and relatable.

And though the narrative of Shapeshifter clings to an ex-lover, the yearning felt on this album isn't directed at a particular individual so much as it's turned inward.

"You know the feeling. When you really like someone, you forget to do anything for yourself, you forget all of the things that gave you your shape," Medford says. "The things that form your absolute."

On Shapeshifter, IAN SWEET prove that there is no one absolute; just the ease that comes with knowing everything will be OK as long as you hold tight to the pocket-sized things in life that bring happiness while you watch the rest of your world fall apart in slow-motion.
Young Jesus
Young Jesus
Young Jesus, an indie rock quartet from Los Angeles, looks to communicate the tensions between proximity and distance, chaos and order. On their upcoming record S/T, to be released by Saddle Creek, the band focuses on seemingly small moments in everyday life: phone calls with Mom, landscapes along the highway, crows in a tree. Yet with time these strange intimacies add up to a life. A life full of anxiety, confusion, sadness, joy, boredom, and ultimately wonder.

Young Jesus mixes the emotional intensity of bands like Slint, Pile, and Built To Spill with the quiet contemplation of Yo La Tengo, Mogwai, and Laughing Stock-era Talk Talk. They give themselves to moments of aggression and volume, balanced alongside near-silence.

Influenced by the writings of Donna Haraway, Timothy Morton, Wang An-Shih, Wang Wei, Joy Williams, and Marilynne Robinson, singer/songwriter John Rossiter hopes for a making-do with what we have, a sometimes wide-eyed learning process. Life may be too massive to grasp, but that does not mean we should shy away from it. Rather, Young Jesus tries to look toward the complexity and imperfection. "As ever, the questions Rossiter and co. raise are too big to expect any sort of clear answer, but Young Jesus offer a model of coping, a way to remain hopeful and human within their jaws" (Various Small Flames).

Rossiter states, "the ethos is to push each other to express things that are not common-- like ideas of love and trust within friendships-- through being extremely vulnerable and making mistakes. Hopefully those mistakes become framed as an important and necessary part of process. It's about communication between four people. Hopefully it is the sound of four very good friends who want to let other people into that space." These may be small things, but observed with thought and care they come to make the world of Young Jesus.
Venue Information:
The Drunken Unicorn
736 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE
Atlanta, GA, 30306
http://thedrunkenunicorn.net/