The Fourth Wall is a rock band originally from Hawai’i consisting of members Stephen Agustin, Kasey Shun, Chris Lau, and Max Lilien. Originally a solo project, Agustin wrote and recorded alone in his home for a year and a half, following the break-up of his previous band, Our Distance (who had been the support act for the Kooks in 2008 and Of Montreal in 2009). These demo recordings were kept relatively secret, being handed out only to a few close friends. With growing encouragement from these friends, Stephen sought to form a band in order to perform these songs live. In the fall of 2010, guitarist Kasey Shun, Bassist Paul Brittain, and drummer Kimo Short joined Stephen to form The Fourth Wall. Their style is primarily lyrically driven and draws from a wide range of musical influences including Neil Young, The Band, My Bloody Valentine, and Sonic Youth.
In February of 2011, the band went to Los Angeles, California for six days to record with producer Manny Nieto (The Breeders, HEALTH) and his partner Shane Smith. Their debut album, Motion and Rest was recorded mostly live with minimal overdubs. The album was released in January 2012 and consists of eleven songs concerning the illusory nature of time and the imaginative properties of the reflective consciousness. Sonically, Motion and Rest has a strong melodic presence upheld by a steady rhythm section, a deluge of big electric guitar chords, and an array of atmospheric noises. Vinyl and CD versions of Motion and Rest were released under Hungry Ear Records.
Following the release of Motion and Rest, The Fourth Wall became one of the more notable acts in Honolulu's music scene. During their time in Hawaii, The Fourth Wall was the premier support act for visiting artists, Menomena, Andrew Bird, and The Shins.
In the summer of 2012 The Fourth Wall (with the exception of Kimo Short) relocated to Portland, Oregon, where they currently reside. Former drummer of psych/garage band The Sun-Birds and indie/pop group Southern Belle, Max Lilien joined The Fourth Wall in the fall of that year. Their latest album entitled, Lovely Violence, was released on July 31st, 2015. The album's songs deal with freedom, moral solitude, and the beauty and terror of an unconditional commitment. Shortly after the release of Lovely Violence, Paul Brittain left the band to be replaced by bassist Chris Lau.
Paste Magazine named The Fourth Wall as one of the 'Nine Hawaii Bands You Should Listen To Now' as part of their 50 states project.
Distant, melodic, and at times, crushingly bleak — Young Elk is the creative vehicle for Portland-based songwriter Ezekiel J Rudick, and members Tony Reyes, Bruce Reed, and Nic Moen. Young Elk take their subtle musical cues from introspective americana, shoegaze, and minimalist 90’s indie rock, falling somewhere between Pedro The Lion, Low, and Slowdive.
The songs recall a deeper emotional realization that everyone has a bit of darkness in them that sidles right on up to their most innocent parts and makes friends. Each lyric, every chord change, every subtle drum fill — they all tell the true stories of injustices at every turn in the modern world, and calls them out for exactly what they are.
It's through telling these dark, hope-ridden stories that Young Elk believes true understanding and healing can be reached by both the performer and listener.
Recorded by good friend and longtime engineer and producer Jordan Richter (Yoko Ono, Band Of Horses), the band's debut EP, Minor Keys, is set to release digitally in early 2016, and on vinyl in March 2016.
Josie Johnson moved from Minnesota to Portland, Oregon in 2010. She and her boyfriend rented a basement apartment on Failing Street. Her boyfriend returned to the land of 10,000 lakes. Josie stayed and wrote about the fateful street. A friend commenting on her sad songs asked, “You’re happy otherwise, right?”
“Failing Street” is just one of the songs she recorded at Jackpot! Recording Studio where fate intervened once again and brought her together with sound engineer Kendra Lynn and bass guitarist Adam Justin Raitano. A bond was formed, a band was born, and now they are Happy Otherwise.
The trio is a blend of poignant lyrics and vocals delivered with theatrical style by Johnson, complimented by the heartfelt harmonies and eclectic percussion of Lynn and held together with artistry by the bass guitar of Raitano.