It’s readily apparent that genres have surges in popularity; it’s less apparent that instruments experience surges. Currently, the harp appears to be in an appreciation swell.
If there is an instrument that is most deserving of the adjective “angelic,” it’s the harp – both in sound and sight. Not only does the sound of the instrument fit comfortably within the dictionary definition of angelic (innocent, pure), but it’s common for the first sight of a harp by a child to be in an illustration of an angel playing the instrument.
Accomplished players of a particular “non-standard” Indie instrument don’t simultaneously reach the age to start touring or coordinate their releases in order to increase the exposure of the instrument. More often, there is a particular performer or band triggering the increase. One example is the surge in the appreciation of the banjo after the first album release by Mumford and Sons.
If we’re right about the harp, and we hope we are, it is more difficult to pinpoint the reason. Sure, Florence and the Machine increased the exposure (thank you Tom Monger), but the eruption of the band was a few years ago and it was not accompanied by the harp swell. And sure, Joanna Newsom is receiving attention in the blogosphere, with her pleasing harp playing and her gentle, childlike voice. But Newsom has been releasing albums for more than a decade and has been performing at festivals for years; so she is part of the surge and not one of its leaders.
Compared to the surges by other “non-traditional” Indie instruments, the attention to the harp is rooted as much in the beauty of watching the skillfulness of the performer as it is in the sound of the instrument. More and more, the harp is moving to the front of the stage. We thought that our next opportunity to witness a skilled harpist would be in Mid-March, when Dublin’s Saint Sister will perform at SXSW 2016. But, today we were notified that Emilie and Ogden will join Half Moon Run in San Francisco (and other tour dates that are included at the bottom of this post).
The performance will be at The Independent on Saturday January 16 (for tickets, CLICK HERE). We attended the last San Francisco visit by Half Moon Run (at Rickshaw Stop); and our review was a positive one. The members of Emilie & Ogden are Emilie Kahn and her harp, which she refers to as "Ogden." They are sometimes assisted by Dominic Lalonde (guitar, bass, vocals) and Francis Ledoux (drums). In October 2015, they released their debut album, “10,000” via Secret City Records.
EMILIE & OGDEN TOUR DATES
January 14 - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern*
January 15 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge*
January 16 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent*
January 19 - Los Angeles, CA - The Troubadour*
January 20 - San Diego, CA - Casbah*
January 22 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge*
January 23 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge*
January 25 - Lawrence, KS - Granada Theater*
January 26 - Minneapolis, MN -Triple Rock Social Club*
January 27 - Chicago, IL - Subterranean*
January 28 - Columbus, OH - The Basement*
January 31 - South Burlington, VT - Higher Ground Showcase Lounge*
February 10 - Guelph, ON - University Centre Courtyard
February 11 - Toronto, ON - The Drake Hotel
February 20 - Montréal, QC - Club Soda
February 23 - Paris, FR - Les Trois Baudets
February 25 - Eindhoven, NL - Muziekgebouw Eindhoven
February 26 - Amsterdam, NL - Muziekgebouw & Bimhuis
February 27 - Rotterdam, NL - De Doelen
February 28 - Groningen, NL - Oosterpoort
March 1 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Games Room
March 2 - Manchester, UK - The Castle Hotel
March 3 - London, UK - Waiting Room
March 4 - Bristol, UK - Louisiana
*supporting Half Moon Run