Released on August 19th, Bent Knees & the M.G.’s is the latest release by the Bowling Green-based group, Tree No Leaves.
Tree No Leaves is a quartet that flows between genres and eras of psychedelic music. Playing in the styles of rock/soul and world/jazz-fusion, their sound incorporates soulful lyrical storytelling over a variety of melodic based rhythms. Tree No Leaves takes influence from Talking Heads, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Beck, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, CAN, LCD Soundsystem, Chicano Batman, My Morning Jacket, Brain Eno.
The group is currently made up of founder Dustin Galish (vocals, keys, synth), JP Stebal IV (drums), Steven Guerrero (bass), and Garrett Tanner (saxophone).
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Bent Knees and The M.G.’s was recorded mostly live at Bigfoot Studios (Waterville) this past summer, featuring songs created with just acoustic instruments. It’s inspired by early 60’s jazz, Motown, and has new arrangements alongside a cover of Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer”. The idea was to make an album in 1960 and only use the resources that were available back then. Inspired by the Back to the Future-idea of what would you do with the knowledge of the future but in the limitations of a studio built in the late 50’s early 60’s.
Dustin Galish stated on the concept and recording process “I had reached out to Travis at Bigfoot in the spring with the idea of recording an EP with only acoustic instruments. His studio is set up to capture that “Motown” sound and early 60’s vibe that we were going for. It really was the perfect studio to capture the throwback sound we were going for while still giving it a modern twist. The tracks were recorded mostly live and involved getting the best takes as each song had elements of improvisation so it also gave us some room to experiment within the limitations of the approach. This theme of using time as the inspiration for songwriting is something we feel gives us some unique avenues to explore to keep creating new ideas”.
On Saturday, August 26th, Tree No Leaves will be performing at The Village Idiot in downtown Maumee to celebrate the new release.
“The Village Idiot is the perfect location for our Toledo release show. Their focus and dedication to the live music scene is something that we appreciate as musicians. In 2021, we started playing Thursday nights at the venue and loved the way the locals support original music and we had the opportunity to play a weekend show in 2022. It was one of our more memorable shows we’ve had here in NW Ohio”, Galish said.
Tree No Leaves’ plan for the rest of 2023 is a small handful of local shows this fall while continuing work on their follow-up EP; the concept for it being “what music will be like in the year 2080”. More shows to come in 2024. Galish has also been booking a once a month Sunday night concert series at Grounds For Thought in Bowling Green. It features local and regional bands for a free show that’s documented in a Tiny Desk-inspired setting.
“We’re hitting our one year anniversary of shows at Ground again this September after no shows for two years after COVID,” Galish said. “Grounds has a long and rich history of concerts from artists all over the world and getting these shows back and going again has been a wonderful experience”.
Bent Knees & the M.G.’s is available on all streaming platforms.