General Manager Maddie here to tell you all about a band I’m very excited to see play this year’s Hopscotch Festival: Patois Counselors.
Before I indulge in my own personal relationship to the band, the important information to know is that they’re playing Hopscotch tomorrow, Sept 9, on the Moore Square stage at 3:45PM. In terms of genre, they fall under the wide umbrella of “post punk”, so check ’em out if you like stuff like Parquet Courts or Gang of Four.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I’m going to tell you my story about the discovery of one of my favorite local bands. We have to go all the way back to October 2018, the fall of my first year at NC State. One of my favorite bands, Screaming Females, was playing a show at one of my favorite venues, the Milestone, in Charlotte, North Carolina. The only problem with this fantastic set-up was that I was stuck in Raleigh without a car. So, I got together with a friend of mine who had a car, agreed to skip my calculus class (the first class I ever skipped in college!) and we drove 2 and a half hours to see Screaming Females.
They were great, of course, but that’s not who I’m here to talk about. I’m here to talk about the second band I saw at the Milestone that night, a local opener called TKO Faith Healer. I didn’t have high expectations; based on the band name, I was expecting some sort of Southern garage-rocky type dad band. However, as they began playing, I found myself enjoying their music a lot more than I was expecting. I’m not gonna say it was like nothing I had ever heard before, but at this time in my life, I wasn’t really listening to bands like Wire or Powerplant much, and I certainly didn’t know how much I would come to love bands like that later on in my life. Besides being sonically interesting, they also played just an overall super clean and tight set.
Also, I have to add that their singer came out wearing an Amnesia Scanner long sleeve t shirt. I did not know who Amnesia Scanner was at the time, but now, I look back on this move and realize how cool it is. Any guy in an “indie rock” band wearing an Amnesia Scanner shirt is a cool guy.
Unfortunately, TKO Faith Healer didn’t have any songs up on Spotify at this point (and they sadly still do not, but they have one EP on Bandcamp), so I more or less forgot about them after the show. I’ve gotten better at this since 2018, but really, the convenience of being on Spotify is a selling factor on if I’ll listen to a band’s music or not- I know, I know, but I gotta make sure all my songs scrobble!
In October 2020- two years later- I was browsing Instagram and came across a post from Charlotte independent record store Lunchbox Records (the second best thing about Charlotte, with the first being the Milestone) that instantly captivated me. I’m a big album artwork guy, and my opinions on an album can strongly be swayed by the album art alone. I had one glance at the eerie, larger-than-life eyeball painting and knew I was gonna like the album. Also, the band was from Charlotte, and I’m always looking for more local bands to love.
I remember quickly going to Spotify and checking out songs from the band’s previous album, Proper Release, in anticipation of the new album. When the new album came out, I proudly uploaded some songs from The Optimal Seat into WKNC’s Local Lunch segment, because our local segment definitely needs some more post-punk.
Since then, the album has been a local favorite of mine, and I find new songs and parts to enjoy with every listen. Some of my favorite tracks are the super-danceable yet anxious The Galvanizer, and angular, jerky Give Me Voltage. I also still continue to be absolutely transfixed by the album artwork; it’s probably one of my favorite album covers of all time (you can see more paintings by the artist on her website, although none of them strike me like the red eye featured on the Optimal Seat).
Now, to get back to TKO Faith Healer- I’m not quite sure when exactly it was, but at one point, I thought back to the band I saw open for Screaming Females and thought they sounded familiar to a new band I had recently discovered. I did some research, and sure enough, TKO Faith Healer lead singer and Amnesia Scanner-enjoyer Bo White was the vocalist in Patois Counselors. While doing research for this post, I discovered White actually has a slew of other Charlotte bands under his wing- basically, I have a lot of new music to listen to.
But, for now, I’m gonna get ready for Patois Counselors’ performance by re-listening to the album that captured my attention from the first second I saw it. I hope you’re able to catch Patois Counselors’ set tomorrow, but if not, you can listen to their music anytime.