ATLANTA – (August 25, 2015) The four sisters of Atlanta-based indie folk/pop/rock band von Grey have been a self-contained performing unit for most of their young lives, originally as a classical string and piano quartet playing at recitals, weddings and other formal settings. Each sibling started classical training when she turned five-years-old with lessons twice a week, but the lure of pop music came a-calling, and the sisters began to expand beyond violin, viola, cello and piano. They learned rock, Top 40, country and folk instruments, branching out on guitar, mandolin, banjo, percussion and electronic keyboards, playing songs by the likes of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tracy Chapman.
They released two independent EPs, played late night TV shows, and hit the national festival circuit concocting a sound that blended elements of their classical training with the burgeoning folk rock revival of bands such as Mumford & Sons with a splash of Americana and Celtic roots – while elements of electronica began to surface.
But on the band’s brand new third EP, “Panophobia,” the electronic and modern vibes hinted at in previous work is in full force, as displayed on the EP’s first beat-laden single “Katie” and the gospel-y follow-up “Forever Bound.”
“While older artists might find a stylistic groove and stay in it, von Grey has quickly evolved into something a little dancier, a little more electronic, and a lot louder,” said Josh Johnson, editor of Atlanta’s pop culture magazine Paste, which dubbed von Grey as one of the 100 Great Bands to See at SXSW (South By Southwest Music Festival) 2013. “There are a lot of influences going on here, from folk to rock and pop to more orchestral stuff. They’ve hit upon their own sound, especially on the new EP. Their classical background meshes well with the electronic elements on Panophobia.”
Hometown fans will have the chance to check out von Grey’s new sound, image and stage act at the next installment of Centennial Olympic Park’s Rec Warehouse Brew on the Bricks concert series set for Thursday evening (Aug. 27) at the Southern Company Amphitheater, with local opening act, singer-songwriters Kate and Corey.
The Brew on the Bricks series – which showcases local and regional rock and country artists – kicked off in July with a blistering headlining performance by up-and-coming country artist Drake White and The Big Fire: http://www.centennialpark.com/index.php/news/hot-new-concert-series-debut-beats-the-evening-heat-at-centennial-olympic-park.
In addition, each Brew on the Bricks event features a rotating selection of craft beers along with cocktails from Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward Distillery. Thursday’s featured craft beer selections are
from Atlanta’s Orpheus Brewing. You can read more about Orpheus’ Brew on the Bricks selections here: http://www.centennialpark.com/index.php/news/its-no-myth-atlantas-orpheus-brewing-in-the-spotlight-at-brew-on-the-bricks
Meanwhile, von Grey is no stranger to the Park, having performed here before at the Independence Day celebration in 2013, and organizers say the foursome is a natural fit for Brew on the Bricks.
Mike Kee, Events Manager for Brew on the Bricks radio station partners Kicks 101.5 and Rock 100.5, saw von Grey perform in Sandy Springs when the sisters were still very young, and as he watched their career develop, he kept them on his radar as an act he’d like to book.
“It was all about finding the right gig. And I thought exposing them to a new audience at Brew on the Bricks would be a perfect opportunity,” said Kee.
The von Grey family moved frequently while vocalist/keyboardist/violinist/guitarist Annika von Grey, 20, was growing up, including stints in Pittsburgh, San Francisco and London, but settled in the Johns Creek area, where the youngest sibling, 15-year-old Petra (keyboards/percussion/background vocals), was born. All four sisters are multi-instrumentalists and Fiona, 17, plays keyboards, percussion, violin and guitar while also singing and Kathryn, 21, handles cello, bass, keyboards and background vocals. The sisters have all moved into the city, residing in the Midtown and Virginia-Highland areas, according to Annika, who is the group’s unofficial spokesperson.
When they’re not performing, rehearsing or recording new music, the von Grey sisters can be found partaking in “nature focused” activities, said Annika, such as hiking and camping, and promoting vegetarian and vegan lifestyles.
But mostly, it’s about music – and feeding obsessions for learning – and acquiring – new instruments.
Whereas some of the tunes on the new EP “Panophobia” may sound like current Top 40 fare, the von Grey sisters differ from many contemporary pop acts because they perform and write their own material. They’re not singers fronting a band of hired hands – they are the band.
“Honestly, what caught my attention initially was their ages, but you quickly forget that listening to the band,” said Jackson. “These girls are some of the most talented musicians you’ll see playing pop music today.”
But Annika says longtime fans should not worry that “Panophobia,” which the band’s website describes as “a departure from their earthy, folk-infused earlier work,” and delves “into an ambient/electro sound marked by moody synth and heady beats” sacrifices the group’s trademark use of classical instrumentation.
“Classical music has been a huge part of our development,” said Annika. “We’ve got a lot more electric guitar and keyboard sounds now, but we keep the cello and violin as an integral part of the sound – it’s still very prominent.”
But when the girls take the Southern Company Amphitheater stage on Thursday, there’ll be another new wrinkle because they’ll be joined by a live drummer, Takashi Takemura, augmenting and bolstering the band’s electronic and acoustic percussion.
“I haven’t seen the band play live with a drummer yet, but listening to their album, it’s easy to imagine a much more energetic show,” said Paste’s Jackson.
Tickets for Brew on the Bricks are $5, available at the gate, or in advance at www.freshtix.com (plus $1.24 fee).
Gates open at 5 p.m. and music starts at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are for admission to the event only; beverages and other concessions must be purchased separately. Parking for Brew on the Bricks is available in the Red Deck off Andrew Young International Boulevard – and you can purchase $10 parking passes via Freshtix.com as well. Coolers, glass containers, pets, chairs, large umbrellas, tents and grills are prohibited. All bags are subject to search. This is a 21-and-older event.
Brew on the Bricks is presented by Rec Warehouse, United Distributors, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority Event Development team, the Atlanta Hawks, and Atlanta Movie Tours. For more information, visit www.centennialpark.com.
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Georgia World Congress Center Authority
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