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An overview of Michael Trew's record release. (feat. Moraine and Niagara Moon)

High Dive has quickly become one of my favorite places to photograph live music. The lighting is stellar and makes the bands look bad ass. Not to mention the typography of "High Dive" hanging on the curtains of the stage, just looks classy. I really like when they use their smoke machine. I think it adds dimension and mood to the stage. If you are trying to look like a rock star, ask them to use their smoke machines during your set and hopefully, I'll be there to capture how fierce you look! 

Of course, having good music kind of helps...just a little.

Onto the music. Michael Trew was on hand to celebrate the release of his newest album "Waiting in the wings", and he and his band celebrated in grand style. With special guests included, I counted about 10 musicians. The stage was packed, to say the least.

Before we talk about Michael Trew's performance let's visit the two opening acts.


Moraine

I've found myself having a personal gravitating towards Jazz improv/experimental music lately. I think I'll be exploring this musical genre a bit more in the future! Moraine was the opening act, and this is exactly what I was looking for. Moraine has the teleportative properties of shifting your head-space to an otherworldly place.

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I heard a little jazz along with a lot of sound experimentation. The sound was progressive and had trance-like elements which translated sonically (there, I finally used that damn word) as sometimes dark, intense and mysterious. Overall you're agreeing to go on an audible adventure, so grip your beer and settle in! 

 Some of the sounds coming from Alicia DeJoie's violin would be haunting and at times took on the sound of a woodwind and other times a synth.

Some of the sounds coming from Alicia DeJoie's violin would be haunting and at times took on the sound of a woodwind and other times a synth.

 Here's some of that amazing lighting I had mentioned before with Jim DeJoie looking like a complete badass!

Here's some of that amazing lighting I had mentioned before with Jim DeJoie looking like a complete badass!

 This intense red was a perfect choice for their set.

This intense red was a perfect choice for their set.

Find out more about Moraine here.


Niagara Moon

Talking with Thomas from Niagara Moon briefly at the show, he mentioned having been in Seattle for a little over a year and in his time here he has been staying pretty busy plugging into the community. Along with playing in his band Niagara Moon he also started a podcast "Talkin' about the passion" earlier this year where he talks with and showcases musicians.  It's a pleasure to see someone come into a community and not only participate but contribute to building it up.

 Sadly, we've learned that Thomas and his partner are returning to Massachusetts. We were hoping to have more time with them here in Seattle, but we will most definitely be following their projects from across the country.

 Currently Niagara Moon is a 5 piece with Thomas and his girlfriend Huimin covering the front  vocally. 

Currently Niagara Moon is a 5 piece with Thomas and his girlfriend Huimin covering the front  vocally. 

With Niagara Moon's music, I found similarities with bands like Jukebox the Ghost and Of Montreal. In songs like their 'Sunset Communion', I could definitely hear an Elliott Smith influence.

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Overall their music was just plain fun to listen to and I could easily find myself in a good mood after one of their sets. Thomas's lyric delivery almost feels playful and lighthearted even when the subject matter isn't.

 Not only would Kevin Alber play rhythm, he would also add melodic arpeggios to songs that added a layer that I really enjoy in a guitarist

Not only would Kevin Alber play rhythm, he would also add melodic arpeggios to songs that added a layer that I really enjoy in a guitarist

You can keep up with Niagara Moon on their website.


Michael Trew

So on Michael Trew's blog, they mentioned having done a mega rehearsal in preparation for the record release show. We can only imagine what it must have been like to have a mini-orchestra at your side to help bring the songs to life! 

 On vocals is Michael Trew as lead and his wife Lauren.

On vocals is Michael Trew as lead and his wife Lauren.

The stage may have had 10 or so musicians on it at one time, but don't let that fool you into thinking that the ears had to do a ton of work ciphering out different strings of melodies. As a mini-orchestra, it was just that - well orchestrated. This was an epic way to have a release. On top of that, a handful of the members take on multiple instruments depending on what the song calls for. 

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Between playing electric, acoustic and 12 stringed guitar Michael Trew pulls you in with solemn storytelling with a folk style. But this isn't just a folk band, this is an exciting remix! With pulling from what seems to be different musical backgrounds, you'll get sounds like rock, tribal beats, folk, and orchestral instruments that they weave together to create a completely unique experience. this group is fresh and exciting. During their set, I sometimes felt like I was watching a play or a musical, pulled into a story by their diverse layer of styles that they effortlessly seem to have at their disposal. 

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Stay up to date with Michael Trew here.

Listen to "Waiting in the Wings" here