Editor’s note: This is part of the Daily Collegian’s St. Patrick’s Day special issue.
On Friday night, indie rockers Eisley will play the Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton.
The opening acts are Tallhart and Christie DuPree. Christie is another sister of Eisley’s DuPree sisters and her older siblings have only positive things to say about her as an up and coming artist performing with her brother Collin.
Tallhart (formerly known as Marksmen) is from Tampa, Fla., and also signed by Equal Vision Records. They are a four-man group with a rocking folk sound comparable to Say Hi to Your Mom or Manchester Orchestra, with a similar vulnerability in the vocalist’s voice.
These are not just your average dismissible opening acts. After a short listen, concertgoers will be wondering why no one else has heard of these musicians.
Eisley has had its ups and downs, but the music has always remained consistently awesome.
The band’s name comes from a Star Wars reference to the Mos Eisley cantina. Its sound echoes a similar ethereal theme, but with Sherri DuPree’s voice giving it more romantic overtones. But Eisley does quite separate themselves from tangibility, with rock influences treating the up-tempo songs. The band breathes creativity, with Sherri DePree’s voice being sweet and addicting.
Eisley consists of the three DuPree sisters, their brother Weston and cousin Garron. The family has been making music ever since youngest sister Stacey wrote the band’s first song at age eight.
“If I could bring my whole family, I mean, I almost do bring my whole family, but if I could bring everyone I would every time,” Sherri said in a past interview with theaquarian.com.
Eisley released its first EP in 2003, followed by the full-length album “Room Noises” in 2005. The album was a success, gaining popularity when iTunes featured one of the songs, “Telescope Eyes,” as a free song of the week. The band then landed a gig as opening act for Coldplay’s “A Rush of Blood to the Head” tour. The two female singers, Sherri and Stacey Dupree, were invited to do backup vocals for Bright Eyes’ “Cassadaga.”
The band created another full-length album titled “Combinations,” keeping the fantastical imagery and quality tunes but never becoming monotonous.
Eisley had some difficulties with its label, however, when Warner Bros. dropped them. The band struggled to recover rights to the album that Warner Bros. refused to put out, but eventually in 2011, Eisley released “The Valley” on indie label Equal Vision Records – which was an appropriate name, given that the band now had freedom to continue recording its signature music.
The band is currently on tour promoting its “Deep Space EP”, looking to get out on the road as well as complete another full-length record in the near future.
The fact that Warner Bros. dropped Eisley from its label serves to prove the band’s uniqueness that is apparently not acceptable for the mainstream record label.
But the band is surely better off creating art in the manner that it deems correct, because there is not one song that has gone wrong on their past three albums and loads of EPs. Eisley adores fairytale images like references to “Alice in Wonderland” and costume parties. The band also covers issues like love and heartbreak, but from unexpected and colloquial perspectives. The DuPree family is proclaimed believers in God, but the music never reflects any sort of preachy ideals.
So be sure to make the 7pm start time at the Flywheel Arts Collective for what promises to be a unique and incredible musical experience on March 16th, the last day before the commencement of spring break. Tickets can be purchased through the Flywheel website at www.flywheelarts.org.
The Flywheel is an intimate venue that collects a hodgepodge of art, including concerts, exhibits, film screenings, poetry and much more. Flywheel is a non-profit, volunteer-based venue, founded by the Valley Arts and Music Alliance (VAMA) in 1998. Flywheel has recently moved into the old Town Hall building on 43 Main St. in Easthampton.
Eisley fans will find this informal venue the perfect atmosphere to see such an accredited band for only $12 per ticket.
Acacia DiCiaccio can be reached at [email protected]