Last year, Cincinnati musician Aaron Collins, who at the time was known mostly for his singing and drumming in the well-regarded local band SHADOWRAPTR, decided to release some of his solo material, issuing the stunning Godlessly Oscillating album to the dropped jaws of anyone unaware of his unique talent as a player, singer, guitarist and writer. The album, while largely acoustic-based (and with most of the instruments performed by Collins), was an engulfing listening experience, coming off like a hypnotic mix of Grizzly Bear, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, My Morning Jacket and Fleet Foxes. Godlessly Oscillating introduced Collins as one of Greater Cincinnati’s most intriguing songwriters and definitely an artist to keep an eye on.
Collins enlisted some of his talented friends and collaborators to bring the captivating songs to life on stage, with Lazy Heart’s Ben Sloan on drums, former SHADOWRAPTR bandmate Stephen Patota (now with The Happy Maladies) on bass, Charles D’Ardenne (who plays with Collins in Comprador) on electric guitar and Adam Petersen (known for his unique ADM project) on keyboards. The band — dubbed The Blind Conductors — worked together so well, the members decided to work on some of Collins’ newer songs, eventually hitting the studio with Isaac Karns of Pomegranates to record them.
This Friday, the debut from Aaron Collins and The Blind Conductors — a self-titled EP — will be released in conjunction with a show at the art supply/local music shop Rock Paper Scissors (1301 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/rpscincinnati). The 8 p.m. event is free and open to all ages. Curt Kiser (formerly of Enlou and Pomegranates) also performs. The limited-edition hard-copy version of the EP will be available at the show; the digital version will be widely available on most online music-sellers beginning Friday (including Collins' Bandcamp page here.)
The Conductors EP feels like a logical progression from Godlessly Oscillating, but while Collins’ debut sounded more autonomous and inward-looking, the music on the new EP has a more extroverted personality. But the music still has that same dreamlike spirit that made Oscillating so magical — it’s haunting, uniquely textural, unpredictable, enigmatically atmospheric and thoroughly entrancing. The band does add a little extra vigor to the proceedings — standout track “Scar” pulsates on funky Post Punk groove, while “Seasick” is a dynamic aural journey that builds into a full-on guitar-flailing eruption.
It goes too far to call the sound of The Blind Conductors “Godlessly Oscillating on steroids” because the somewhat psychedelic and luminous tranquility of Collins’ debut is still a crucial part of the music’s appeal. But the additional musicians definitely add a fresh multidimensionality to the cavernous soundscapes.For more info, visit aaroncollins.bandcamp.com . More Local Notes
• Two of the city’s finest Indie Rock bands, Old City and Ohio Knife, have teamed up for a new split 7-inch vinyl single, the third release from the label branch of We Have Become Vikings (the creative art and design company founded by Ohio Knife’s Jason Snell). The single — featuring Old City’s “Stubborn Sidewalks” and Ohio Knife’s “You Are the Thread” — will be available on random colors of vinyl Saturday when both bands play a release party at MOTR Pub (1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com). The free show kicks off at 10 p.m. with Indianapolis’ Hero Jr.
Here is one of two bonus tracks from Old City that will be included as free downloads with the single:
And here's Ohio Knife's side:
• One of the most anticipated and talent-stuffed local music events of the year, Ironfest, returns this Friday and Saturday to the Southgate House Revival (111 E. Sixth St., Newport, southgatehouse.com), taking over all three stages at the venue. Created to celebrate the life of late local-music enthusiast “Iron” Mike Davidson, the event showcases many different styles of music, though a range of hard and heavy Rock & Roll (Punk, Hardcore, Metal and more) remains the primary focus. For this weekend’s Ironfest VI, each night features around 25 acts. Friday's lineup can be viewed here; Saturday's lineup is here. Showtime is 7 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $5 in advance or $10 at the door (per night).
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: [email protected]