Let me tell you a story about a marvelous young band called The Oh Hellos.
I must first be honest about one thing, I have kept The Oh Hellos to myself for quite some time. I can’t even tell you how I first discovered them, but at some point in 2012 I heard one of their songs, and instantly fell in love. Brother and sister Maggie and Tyler Heath are each glorious songbirds, whose unique voices are typically backed by a chorus of a harmonies and majestic arrangements that sound like Arcade Fire’s folk-y cousin. Their 2012 album Through The Deep, Dark Valley has made me smile, its made me cry, its even helped me fall asleep when trapped in the same room with a family member whose snoring made me nearly homicidal.
After years of listening to their music, but never seeing LA appear on any of their tour schedules, I assumed that this would be band I would only experience via recordings – and I was totally fine with that. But then, a few months ago while persuing TicketFly, I miraculously stumbled upon their show at The Troubadour. I added the tickets to my cart, checked out, and thought nothing of it. A few weeks later, when a friend suggested they might want to join me, I took a look to see if there were tickets left, and not only had the show I had tickets for sold out, but a second date had been added, and it too was sold out. Apparently my secret band was not as secret as I thought.
Friday rolled along, and the day before I reminded my boyfriend that he would be joining me to see a band I had never mentioned to him, that he had never listend to, but who meant a very great deal to me. Given that it was the day after my birthday, and he’s a very kind man, he obliged. I warned him that I had done very little research into what their live show was like, and thus could not guarantee him anything, but I secretly suspsected we were in for quite a treat…and boy was I right.
The Troubadour was packed to the rafters with fans and band members alike (there were 11 total people on stage playing two drums, a banjo, two guitars, a fiddle, an accordian, a bass, one backup vocalists, and then Maggie and Tyler – who also had a guitar). The show was nothing sort of spectacular. The band’s energy is out of this world and completely contagious, Tyler and Maggie’s voices are even more incredible in person than they are on their albums, and everyone on stage seemed to be having the time of their lives. At the end of their set, the crowd chanted for an encore and, when the band re-emerged, screamed so loud I think my ears are still ringing.
During the show my boyfriend hit the nail on the head when he observed that every one of their songs sounded like it could be the soundtrack to Where the Wild Things Are. The show was truly a wild rumpus, and I think we are only just seeing the beginning of what I’m sure are many great things to come from this joyous and immensley talented group.
So do yourself a favor and listen to their album in its entirety here.
There are few things on the internet that make me happier than NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series. The low-key concerts are a showcase for some of the best talent on the planet to really show their raw chops. This one with Sarah Jarosz is no exception. In case you haven’t heard of this miraculous young lady, she is a 22 year old bluegrass/roots songbird. Despite being only 22, she has already recorded three albums, all of them an absolute delight. In this video she is performing songs from her third album, Build Me Up From Bones. But enough of my yammering, just watch and let the girl win your heart.
Live in LA? Come see her with me on January 22nd at Largo at the Coronet, tickets here.