Square Peg Round Hole

Square Peg Round Hole

Shy, Low, Dreamswell, Caravela

Thu · April 5, 2018

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


This event is 21 and over

Square Peg Round Hole
Square Peg Round Hole
Elegant, articulate, and expansive, Juniper, the new record from instrumental percussion trio Square Peg Round Hole manages to convey – and evoke – an entire range of human emotions despite its lack of a single sung word. “Because we are an instrumental group, our hope is that people connect with the songs and assign their own meanings to them,” says Evan Chapman. ”Without lyrics telling the listener how to feel, it leaves the music as an open-ended question.” A sonic mirror reflecting the listener’s subconscious emotional state back at themselves, Juniper engages with the fundamental and primeval.

When it came time to write Juniper, the follow up to 2013’s Corners, the group made a conscious effort to compose together as an ensemble. Evan Chapman, Sean M. Gill, and Carlos Pacheco-Perez split writing sessions between a cabin in rural western Maryland and a remote area of Wisconsin called Egg Harbor at farm-turned-music center Birch Creek. “There is a large, resonant space where we performed at Birch Creek called Juniper Hall,” explains Chapman, “which is actually where we came up with the name for the album.”

To put the new songs to tape, the band teamed up with Evan’s brother Justin Chapman. With a battalion’s worth of gear in tow they converted their shared house in Manayunk, PA into a proper, modern recording studio. Listening to Juniper it’s almost impossible to imagine that the bulk of the recording was done live in full takes.

In the years prior to Juniper, the band spent time honing their instrumentation and specific roles within the band. As a result, Juniper feels like it was written holistically, by a cohesive creative unit; drum set, vibes, and Rhodes being the primary sound palette. The band also dove deeper into sampling and analog synthesizers with Juniper, adding further dimensionality and nuance to their work. Together Gill, Pacheco-Perez, the brothers Chapman, and mix engineer Bryan Laurenson (Copeland) created a record that speaks without words, taking listeners on a journey through the self.

The ultimate headphone record, luxurious with the energy of unison drums, or the serenity of bowed vibraphone, and the fascinating timbres of found objects/scrap metals, Juniper is a bold artist statement from a fearless creative force, at once expansive and intimate. “This is a dynamic record, with moments that are heavier, grittier, and faster than we've ever written, and others delicate, fragile and introspective,” says Chapman. “We strive to make our music stimulating and intelligent. At the same time, we’ve found that people connect with percussion on a very primitive level, and therefore we think that there is something for all types of listeners on this record.”

Square Peg Round Hole formed in 2011 while studying music at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, in Bloomington, Indiana. The band has shared bills with Built To Spill, The Album Leaf, Mae, This Will Destroy You, and The Joy Formidable, and has been featured at major venues across the country including the Electric Factory, Le Poisson Rouge, Old National Centre, and the World Café Live.
Shy, Low
Shy, Low
Shy, Low's new EP Burning Day was a long time in the making, and although composed of only two songs, its creation spanned nearly two years.

Shaun Reeves had just recently joined the band as the new bassist and after they returned from their summer tour in 2015, they began work on the song "Dialectics." Shaun brought his unique taste in music to the writing, which is expressed in the heavier and grittier tone of the song. This synergized nicely with the other member's diverse approaches to music, producing an eclectic outcome that speaks back to band's traditional sound while expanding it in new and creative ways.

"Dissension" came together in the spring of 2016. The change in tempo, tone, and mood set by "Dialectics" resonated with the band, and they continued experimenting with darker and heavier elements symptomatic of earlier songs like "Absence" and "Heavy Hands," although with a much more mature and intense personality. The driving force and speed of the song, which reaches a fury of tremolo picking and blast-beat like drumming in its mid-section, is complemented by the intricacies of a bridge layered with competing time signatures, looped guitars, and rhythmic strumming. It is perhaps best described as a synthesis of the band's earliest attempts at instrumentation with their evolved orientations toward music, producing a new outcome which charts the band in a fresh direction.

Both tracks were written in a context of tumultuous destabilization, both within the band's own private lives and the external social sphere in which they found themselves. The authoritarian turn in politics, both domestic and abroad, echoes in both songs. "Dialectics," "Dissension," and "Burning Day" speak to the violent expression of contradiction and the recent catapulting of tyrannical normative ideals, which once festered self-consciously beneath the surface, to the social fore.

More personally, the band experienced a series of changes that speak to the contradictory theme of the EP. In a way, Burning Day is the antithesis to Hiraeth, and the songs contained within point in a different direction, but one that is both defined by the band's historical musicality, and newly emergent. This encapsulates the band's desire to both create and recapture a certain grungier essence which was notably absent from Hiraeth. The personal lives the members has also slowed the tempo of the band's production of music and capacity to tour. Nevertheless, all of them remain committed to their collective art, and invested in the continued creation of music.
kat, &
wont you join 'n sing along?
A band of brothers from NY
Venue Information:
Kung Fu Necktie
1250 N Front Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19122