Sat 1/9 @ 8:30PM
The timing of Bethesda’s arrival on the local music scene nearly a decade ago couldn’t have been better.
The Kent-based sextet garnered national attention as part of the indie-folk music zeitgeist with major label involvement and memorable festival appearances (Bonnaroo, SXSW and Burning River Fest). However, the outfit was unable to keep up the momentum, eventually disbanding last summer.
“It was really sad,” said singer Shanna Delaney, who co-founded Bethesda with her husband Eric Ling. “At that point, we’d been training so many fill-ins for the regular members who started Bethesda but weren’t really playing with us anyway. Finally we said, ‘Guys, we can’t keep training people.’”
Coincidentally, less than a month after pulling the plug on Bethesda, Ling trained himself on music program Ableton Launch Pad. It turned out stylistically the loop-friendly sounds were exactly the creative direction this husband-wife duo sought to keep them challenged.
Last fall the couple unveiled its new band By Light We Loom, which left behind the indie-folk sensibilities of Bethesda for more of an indie-pop sound similar to the likes of Mates of State and Arcade Fire.
“We really get to have 100 percent creative control over our songs,” Ling said. “What you are hearing is a true representation of our songwriting. We rely more heavily on unique sounds and synths to build our sound. Our end goal of sharing life and story through our music remains unchanged. We love what we are doing now, and hope that others connect with it in some way.”
That connection began in May when the outfit released its debut EP Ignition. Now the duo is back with its second EP Caught in the Tide. To celebrate the release, By Light We Loom has booked a January 9 Beachland Tavern show.
“I think you will find a more confident collection of songs on Caught in the Tide,” Ling said. “Ignition was largely an experiment of combining our songwriting style with a new musical medium. With Caught in the Tide, we sought out certain sounds, and took our time building the song into something that we could imagine listening to over and over again. With each song we hone our sound and identity just a little bit more.”
Delaney said the latest four-track effort includes additional instrumentation and harmonies. She points to songs such as “The Scientist” and “Cardinal” as epitomizing the current By Light We Loom mindset with elaborate storytelling and a dance feel.
While previously By Light We Loom had been filling in its sets with acoustic Bethesda tunes, for the upcoming show the act will be debuting newly written acoustic tune “Canopy,” which Ling wrote about his recently deceased father.
“Eric has been writing a lot since his dad passed away before Thanksgiving,” Delaney said. “He really wants to share this intimate song”
Similar to its antecedent, By Light We Loom doesn’t perform covers. Still, Delaney hints there may be one in the group’s future.
“We really want to cover a Pat Benatar song,” Delaney said. “I’m a huge fan. I’ve always said if this didn’t work out I’d very much like to have a Pat Benatar cover band. I don’t know, I’m dying to play one song while wearing leather pants. Maybe I’ll chop my hair off too, we’ll see.”