In the video for “Hold On” from Los Angeles-based We Are The West, it feels as though you’re peeking through a keyhole into someone else’s daydream. It was filmed in Malibu in collaboration with Clifford Cruz, and is inspired by Stanley Donen’s 1974 film, “The Little Prince.” In that story, a young prince from a distant asteroid falls to earth and lands in the desert, where a stranded pilot finds him. It’s a philosophical tale illustrated in watercolors that speaks of the strangeness of the adult world. The video has a similarly eerie and otherworldly feel, as the song seems to convey its own strangeness in a life examined, softly and honestly told, with a distinct sense of sadness and disillusionment. It ends with the plea to “hold on,” which hangs unanswered in the air.
The song is from their 3-track EP Regards, released last November. A special edition of the EP is available on cassette via Touch Tapes. According to the band, it includes “a fifteen minute Side B amalgam of sounds and songs of our past, present, and future.”
We Are The West features Brett Hool (vocals, guitar) and John Kibler (bass, vocals), with friends Elizabeth Goodfellow (percussion, voice) and MariÃ« Abe (accodion) joining them on “Hold On.” It includes a cover of “The Thin Red Line,” written by songwriter Michael Bush, which features Dina Maccabee on violin. The title track has Jesse Olsen Bay on pump organ and Elizabeth (Beth) on cymbals. This experimental folk duo (and friends) have become known in L.A. for their stirring and intimate storytelling and the unusual venues they perform in, which have included shipping containers, abandoned convents and an underground parking garage in Santa Monica, where they’ve held a monthly concert series with other Los Angeles luminaries such as Aaron Embry and Lord Huron.
We Are The West (whom we first wrote about in 2013) are playing a rare performance on the East Coast at a Lysten Boston Presents show at The Middle East (corner) on Monday, July 13, along with Honeysuckle and Heather Woods. Considering their history, this will be a rare opportunity to see this underground ensemble above ground.
Golden Summer Tour 2015
7/9 Strand Theatre, Buffalo, NY
7/10 House Concert, Hudson, NY
7/11 Troost, Brooklyn, NY
7/12 Rockwood Music Hall – New York, NY
7/13 The Middle East (corner) – Cambridge, MA
7/15 The Whistler, Chicago, IL
7/17 Scottish Rite Temple – Sante Fe, NM
7/18 Firecreek – Flagstaff, AZ
7/25 Underground Parking Garage – Santa Monica, CA
8/06 UC Berkeley Redwood Grove Concert Series – Berkeley, CA