Weakened Friends w/ Bat House, and Sarah Golley
Monday, May 14th
@ Cafe Nine
FREE with RSVP ($5 at the door) / 7pm doors / 21+
RSVP VIA THIS LINK: https://www.manicpresents.com/event/1675183
**RSVP to this FB event does not get you free admission, you must RSVP via the link above**
100 or so miles north of Boston, you’ll find Portland, Maine.
Among its many awesomely quirky attractions (beyond dope AF lobster rolls, of course), the mini-metropolis boasts the International Cryptozoology Museum and even served as the site of the nation’s first chewing gum factory. Suffice it to say, the town possesses all kinds of character and charm. It also makes perfect sense as HQ for Weakened Friends.
Three alternative rock wiseasses and snack food connoisseurs, the trio—Sonia Sturino [vocals, guitar], Annie Hoffman [bass], and Cam Jones [drums]—first congregated in their adopted hometown during 2014. Sonia had recently relocated from Toronto and holed up in a house with Cam and a bunch of other dudes before witnessing Annie play live and asking her to join the band. As they released two independent EPs, Gloomy Tunes and Crushed, they stirred up a palpable buzz (between consuming sour spaghetti and causing trouble). Gigs followed with everyone from CHVRCHES and Silversun Pickups to Beach Slang and Juliana Hatfield as they made their 2017 debut at SXSW and earned praise from Vanyaland, CBS, If It’s Too Loud, and many more. A wiry, whimsical, and wild fusion of disarmingly pop hooks and fuzzed-out riffery that wouldn’t be out of place on the Reality Bites soundtrack or in a modern Brooklyn bar fueled this quiet rise.
“If something is ear catching and interesting, I’m drawn to it,” says Sturino. “I love pop hooks, but I have this truly weird and shaky voice. I started to embrace that, and I think people connect to the sound.”
For the uninitiated, they’ll definitely connect to the group’s 2017 single “Hate Mail” featuring J Mascis. On the track, a buzz of feedback slips into melodic guitar and an unshakable rhythm as the frontwoman captivates with the confessionally catchy refrain, “I hate everything you’re saying, get away from me. I hate everything we’re doing, it’s a waste of me.” It’s the perfect backdrop for an epic Mascis cameo.
“It’s about when I was miserable in this other band,” recalls Sturino. “This is the most important thing to me. I don’t live comfortably. I don’t have a lot of money. I don’t have a lot of free time, because I’m putting all of my effort, passion, and self into music. So, it has to be the right situation. At the time, I just wasn’t working with the right team. The song is about those corrosive relationships with emotionally abusive assholes. J is a guitar god for indie rock. He’s an obvious inspiration, and he killed it.”
“Hate Mail” hints at a lot more to come from Weakened Friends. For Sturino, the band brings everything full circle. In tow with her best friend Cam and wife Annie, she encodes a powerful message in the lyrics.
“A lot of times, you hear expressions like, ‘Find your happy’,” she leaves off. “I think you should find yourself. Our music is about self-awareness and finding that. Sometimes, you’re having a shitty day. It can be hard, and that’s beautiful in its own way. In the North American mentality, if you’re depressed or sad, you have to just get rid of it. This is less about getting rid of that feeling and finding those things causing the feeling and dealing with them. It’s self-awareness, believing in yourself, finding yourself, and defining how you feel. That’s what this band is to me.”
In 2012, Sarah Golley attended a festival in New York City in which Fiona Apple performed. She was so enthralled and inspired by her vulnerability on stage that she decided to learn all of Fiona’s songs as a piano exercise. Through this, Sarah began to write her own music, which proved to work through the challenges and changes in her life after graduating college. With a goal to perform an original song in public, she began her career as an indie musician, but her performance roots dig deep.
Sarah began her journey into the performing arts with tap dancing. Next, she began piano lessons, and soon after that she began singing in several esteemed choirs. She’s always been a fan of musical theater, and has performed in many shows (Spring Awakening, The Full Monty, Rock of Ages, Gypsy). She studied classical voice, and graduated from The Hartt School of music with a degree in music education/ vocal emphasis. Sarah has spent the last four years teaching music at a special education school in Connecticut.
In 2015, Sarah began to arrange and record her songs by herself, in her living room, using Garageband. These recordings became her release “Weaving the Pieces.” Through this process, Sarah was able to break away from the musical structures she felt trapped behind, and incorporate several aspects of her various stylistic backgrounds. She’s no stranger to many different genres, and her training always manages to find its way into her art.
Sarah tries to live her life with a strong vulnerability. She feels she’s always existed in the in-between, embodying qualities of different sides, being simultaneously both and neither. She knows there must be people out there who relate to this feeling, and hopes her music reaches them the same way she’s been reached by artists like Fiona Apple. The only way to heal yourself is to embrace your truth, and the only way to heal others is to share that truth, whole-heartedly, without shame or inhibition.