Blvck Hippie, The Burkharts, Koko Neetz


Mon 25 October
7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

From Memphis, Tennessee:

Joined by local favorites:

Blvck Hippie is a Sad Boy Indie Rock band from Memphis, TN who try to show black kids that they can be weird too.

If you listen to If You Feel Alone At Parties, you’ll hear a stir woven into the fabric of the songs. From angular and affected guitar to thoughtful vocals, Josh Shaw (he / him) invites us into a Sad Boy Indie Rock universe that is both nostalgic and pioneering. It’s a search for home in musical form, driven by Shaw’s high-pitched lyrics and fiery playing.

Recorded over a three-day weekend in Memphis, If You Feel Alone At Parties features Shaw’s conversational and intuitive songwriting. Blvck Hippie was recommended “if you are a fan of The Strokes but like your songs a little more moody” (From The Strait). However, there is a huge range of influences that run through the songs on If You Feel Alone At Parties. Thanking Kanye West and Kid Cudi for inspiring him as a black artist to always do something different, Shaw stepped forward with this record. And this artistic growth is audible in the mix. With a rotating cast of band members, Blvck Hippie creates a sound bigger and more brash than the sum of its parts. The guitar sounds reinvent the dreamy pop sounds of the 80s, while the rhythms are imbued with an R&B consciousness. It is a balancing act that Shaw & Co performs with aplomb. Never sounding derivative, the group delivers a fully formed indie rock sound on their first feature film.

Since Blvck Hippie’s debut single released in 2018, Shaw has invited listeners into his inner world. The lyrics on this record are reminiscent of the afterparty conversations and menthol-infused reflections that dominate DIY scenes across America. But, these aren’t just drunken phrases chained together in post-show afterglow. Shaw offers us a glimpse into his mind and life, seeking to establish a true emotional connection with the listener. Escape, loneliness, grief – it’s all here in Shaw’s vulnerable verses. On “Bunkbed” he sings: “I guess we’re all adults, we’re adults now / Two stupid kids too poor to pay rent / So promise me we won’t change in a year or two and promise me that I will never cease to miss you / I miss you. Shaw is a dreamer, always looking for sparks. The characters who inhabit his songs seem real, as if he were introducing scenes from his life into the songs. You can almost smell the PBR and cigarette smoke as Shaw recounts the details of his life.

Shaw takes audiences on a “VHS inspired” journey through his mind. In search of catharsis, Shaw’s quirky guitar playing and honest writing blend into the Sad Boy Indie Rock songs of your dreams. As the world slowly opens up after a lonely year, Blvck Hippie intends to take these songs on the road in the fall. Big things are on the horizon for Shaw & Co. Are you listening?

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