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Fleet Foxes have sold out two shows at the 9:30 Club tomorrow night. If you’re one of the folks with tickets, a word of advice: show up early to see Espers, who will be opening both shows. Espers are a Philadelphia-based band playing folk music with a heavy dose of psychedelic rock influence. Acid-drenched electric guitar and gorgeous vocal harmonies are their tools of the trade. Fronted by Meg Baird (who had a recent solo album out on Drag City, Dear Companion) and Greg Weeks (who – obscure trivia time! – once ran a prog-rock mail-order operation called New Sonic Architecture), this sextet takes beautiful but brooding folk songs and turns them into dark, intense journeys into the night.
Listing bands like Fairport Convention, Pentangle and Incredible String Band as influences, Espers are a solid pairing with Fleet Foxes. Their music is weightier and darker, but equally inspiring in its ethereal beauty. They’ve been largely inactive since their 2006 sophomore album II, so this is the first chance in a long time that anyone has gotten to see them. If you don’t have a ticket to either of these shows, Espers will also be appearing at Sonar in Baltimore, supporting Kurt Vile, on August 11.
Photo courtesy of Espers’ Myspace page