Stage Hands is a Johnstown, PA-based project made up of multimedia artist/producer Brandon Locher and drummer/producer Gerald Mattis. The duo started making music together in 2013, and are releasing their debut LP, Stage Hands, on February 10 through the PA music archive My Idea of Fun.
The self-titled LP is only 26 minutes long. It’s a quick listen, but hard to get out of your head once you’re done. The sound is hard to pin down; it’s busy, but also ambient, soothing, but energetic and danceable. Key tracks are “The Populating of Empty Space,” which builds up slowly into a catchy, funky melody, and the contemplative, keyboard-heavy “Adaptive Lines.”
“It’s snowing styrofoam/ A drone in every home/ For the holidays,” and “Am I just imagining these variant rhythms/ Of antidisestablishmentarianism?” The One and Only Matt Miller sings on the creeping “#unabomber,” the only track with vocals. Other musicians that appear on Stage Hands are Jon Livingston, who played piano on “Stage Hands,” Jon Beard, who contributed drum engineering for “#unabomber,” and Sean Jackson, who played synths on tracks “Adaptive Lines,” “Regardless,” and “#unabomber.”
If you’re wondering how they’ll be able to pull this sound off live, you’ll be able to see for yourself the day before their record drops. Stage Hands will playing at the Brooklyn DIY venue The Silent Barn on February 9, along with Tallesen, Jono Mi Lo, Middle Grey and Dean Cercone. For a preview, check out a video of Stage Hands below: