As part of Art of Live Festival
with The Potomac Accord
Even before he released a note of music as Diane Coffee, Shaun Fleming had put together quite a portfolio of work. Check out his IMDB page and you’ll nd 20+ acting credits as a result of a childhood spent lending his voice talents to Disney. Search YouTube and you’ll nd videos from his years as a semi-professional skateboarder. And if you’re familiar with Foxygen, you’ll know that he was the drummer from the band’s inception — before recently departing to put his full-time focus and energy into Diane Coffee. Often described as “psychedelic Motown,” Fleming’s music has caught the attention of Run the Jewels (who sampled Diane Coffee on RTJ2) and NPR, where he performed a Tiny Desk Concert that gave the whole world a preview of his theatrical approach to performing. All things considered, it looks as though Fleming’s decision to step out from behind the kit and place himself center stage is what will ultimately be the highlight of an already impressive resume.
Born out of fierce friendship and a mutual affection for melody, Chicago’s Ratboys – anchored by the partnership of Julia Steiner and Dave Sagan – aims to ‘write songs that tell stories and honor the intimacy of memory,’ according to Steiner. GN, the group’s second full-length album via Topshelf Records, offers a bevy of tales, laments and triumphs, which recount near-tragedies by the train tracks, crippling episodes of loneliness, remembrances of a deceased family pet with freezer burn, and on and on. The songs shift and breathe as worlds all their own, tied together by the group’s self-proclaimed ‘post-country’ sound, which combines moments of distortion and a DIY aesthetic with a devotion to simple songwriting and ties to the Americana sounds of years past.
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