The halcyon days are -- by the sounds of Two Gallants’ latest record -- far, far behind us. Widely interpreted as an album that offers little hope for humanity, "We Are Undone" may be lyrically depressed, but the February 2015 release throws the same gruff and fuzz in our faces that has earned Two Gallants recognition. And come Friday, May 15, you can get a faceful at Soda Bar, when the San Francisco duo return to San Diego.
Borrowing their name from a short story by James Joyce, Two Gallants are Adam Stephens (vocals, guitar) and Tyson Vogel (drums), childhood friends who have been playing together under the moniker for 13 years. They’re committed to the two-man-band model. Stephens, the primary songwriter, has noted in past interviews that having to work only with what he and Vogel can do instrumentally isn’t restrictive but a challenge that pushes Two Gallants’ production forward into exploring and inevitably landing on different possibilities within their music.
"We Are Undone," engineered by Karl Derfler (who’s worked with Tom Waits and Roky Erickson, among others), plays to the tune of that truth. Yes, the record offers little light, but not carelessly. Two Gallants share their anxiety that we might be headed in a destructive direction -- and that maybe, in our negligence, that direction has become one-way. What exactly that sounds like -- well, it’s worth a trip to Soda Bar on Friday to find out.
Hannah Lott-Schwartz, a San Diego native, moved back to the area after working the magazine-publishing scene in Boston. Now she’s straight trolling SD for all the music she missed while away. Want to help? Hit her up with just about anything at all over on Twitter, where -- though not always work-appropriate -- she means well.