BOREAS is a project that has grown with its members through a quantity of years, names and configurations--the only constants being a fierce DIY streak and a willingness to take on a diverse array of musical perspectives. Half of the band began with Seth Vietti and Sam Golden in a down-home folk group; the other half with Alan Mackey and Robert Hanshaw in a bizarre, imagistic klezmer-rock band. Their slow, ragged merger eventually culminated in an ensemble with echoes of Grizzly Bear and Radiohead mingling with the Strokes, medieval monody, electric grooves and avant-garde surrealism. All band members are classically trained musicians, two of whom also compose choral and orchestral music on the side. The focal point for all these musical interests is Boreas.
HYMNS AND LIES, their first album, was completed in late 2008. For Boreas, it was the endeavor that defined them as they presently are -- literally -- as they took even the name "Boreas" from an early working title of a song on the album. Hymns and Lies was recorded entirely on home equipment in a slew of locations around the band's hometown of Tucson. Drums were recorded underneath traffic underpasses and in bathrooms; vocal takes from the catwalk of an abandoned concert hall; songs from around kitchen tables and in classrooms accessed stealthily by night -- and, of course, in the proverbial garage. Mixed in Chicago by performance artist and musician Theo Karon, the album resonates with a raw energy sustained and counterpoised by the band's obsessive attention to detail.
The restless musical spirit of Boreas also finds its outlet in frequent collaborations with Noah and Emma Harkey (Sister Emma Brother Noah), including several recording sessions inside a cave hundreds of feet deep. And, in consonance with the theatrical and performance-art roots of several members, the band is further engaged in projects that blur the lines between audience and performer, between music and theater, and between what is real and what is imagined to be real.
BOREAS is Sam Golden (guitar/piano/lead singer), Robert Hanshaw (bass/guitar/lead singer), and Seth Vietti (drums/piano/vocals). Alan Mackey (guitar/bass/piano/vocals) makes frequent live appearances.