New song "Stay" from Grand Pre

A Story Behind Stay

We landed in Grand Pre, NS after two months of travel with our family. The idea of stopping was difficult for our psyche to process, as we had been moving, literally and figuratively, for almost two years. It had created a sort of mania in which we became dedicated more to the next hurdle than to each other.

Cracks in our relationship started to reveal themselves. We'd been moving out of necessity, placing small slights aside so we could continue to "function" (you can hear about this on a podcast). My small critiques and her small retreats added to the pressure we both bore alone, due to our inability to process these minor conflicts. It grew to a head, and I made a decision. I had to change the way I was interacting with time. I had to learn to be in the present.

I spent over a month waking at dawn to walk to the top of the hill near our house and watch the sunrise. After my walk I would write down what I saw, what I smelled, how I felt, what was different. The process of walking engaged all my senses, because I knew that after each walk I would need to fill at least a page of happenings, regardless of the fact that nothing "dramatic" occurred. It helped me to begin to return to the present, to stop looking ahead and sacrificing the current moment for some future goal. I began, slowly, to be able to engage with my kids, and most importantly, my wife. It was the process of learning to be in one place that birthed this song. The idea that while sometimes it's necessary to go, it's equally valuable to learn how to stay .

Our new album Grand Pre is bookended by these songs (the first track being Go, the last being Stay). These concepts run throughout, because these two modes of being created the tension that birthed the album.

Hope to see you soon,
Matt

Have a listen on:

Spotify

Apple

Google

Amazon

If you like high-res digital downloads, you can pre-order Grand Pre on Bandcamp at vocalfew.bandcamp.com

P.s. - Here's where we'll be this week and next:

Flagstaff, AZ 7/13

Phoenix, AZ 7/14

San Diego, CA 7/15

Los Angeles, CA 7/16

Turlock, CA 7/18

Santa Rosa, CA 7/19

Quincy, CA 7/21

Portland, OR 7/23

Snohomish, WA 7/25

New Single "GO"

A Story Behind Go

It's finally here, the first song from Grand Pre EP. It's also the first song that I wrote after arriving in Nova Scotia, still buzzing from two months of travel & a year and a half of craziness (new baby, TCC album release, tours & moving).

We moved into the 1830's-built "white house," as my family calls it. It was the first time I considered the reality that we'd be staying put. The landscape wouldn't be changing quickly as we travelled through it, but changing slowly as the seasons came and went. I think this was troubling to my subconscious, which fed on the hyperactive, impulsive mania it had come to expect. Before I could sit, I had to write this song.

I spent the first day after tour frantically building a standing desk using an old door and scrap materials from detached garage on the property. The next day, I set up my "studio", which consists of monitors (speakers), a computer, and a small rack case with some outboard gear - which I'd carried with me in a bunk in the RV across the country.

From August 10th to 13th of 2017, a celebration was happening at the historic site & visitors center down the road. It was between the Acadians (the original "settlers") and the Mi'kmaq (indigenous people), celebrating 400 years of friendship. Drums echoed off the trees in the backyard, and I could hear them pounding as I stood at my desk. Hundreds of years back, Acadians had been forced off land, and their houses burned, because they refused to ally with the French or English. They were constantly on the move to escape colonial conquest (interesting fact: they were expelled from Atlantic Canada to Louisiana, and became the progenitors of "Cajun" culture, a word derived from "Acadian"). The story wasn't lost on me. In some small way I could identify as not feeling like we had a home, of constantly being on the move, of chasing the ever-elusive idea of security. And then all that is juxtaposed by this centuries-old friendship with people who have lived here for thousands of years. It was a call to do the same, again in some small way, to connect with the old. To dig in (we did). To meet our neighbors (we did). To enjoy the culture and the history of the place (we did). But first, I had to write "Go."

Hope to see you soon,
Matt

P.s. - We're playing "Go" in living rooms right now, so come to a show! Check out where we'll be at vocalfew.com/tickets

Homecoming Tour 2018

In three weeks we are embarking on our Homecoming Tour, starting in Grand Pre, Nova Scotia Canada (June 8th), down the East Coast US and back to Snohomish, WA (July 25th).

While in Nova Scotia we recorded an EP, and with the help of our Kickstarter backers, it will be ready to release after the tour is complete. We'll be playing a few new singles on the road, as well as a bunch from our catalogue, and covering some tunes from The Classic Crime.

All tickets are pre-sale, so if you'd like to come, scan the dates below and click through to pick up some in advance.

We have some group discounts left (for 4 and 8 tickets), so if you have some friends or family you'd like to bring with you, you can save a few bucks.

Thanks for your support, and we can't wait to singalong with many of you this summer!

Grand Pre, NS 6/08

Houston, ME 6/10

Holliston, MA 6/12

Allendale, NJ 6/13

Bayville, NJ 6/14

Monroe, VA 6/16

Havelock, NC 6/18

Denver, NC 6/19

Charleston, SC 6/20

Saint Johns, FL 6/22

Winter Garden, FL 6/23

Atlanta, GA 6/28

Knoxville, TN 6/29

Clinton, MS 6/30

Allen, TX 7/03

Wichita, KS 7/04

Lees Summit, MO 7/05

Des Moines, IA 7/06

Lincoln, NE 7/07

Denver, CO 7/08

Salt Lake City, UT 7/10

Flagstaff, AZ 7/13

Phoenix, AZ 7/14

San Diego, CA 7/15

Los Angeles, CA 7/16

Turlock, CA 7/18

Santa Rosa, CA 7/19

Quincy, CA 7/21

Portland, OR 7/23

Snohomish, WA 7/25

- Matt & Kristie

 

Booking Hosts for 2018 Living Room Tour!

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Another journey is upon us.

We are gearing up to move back across the continent from Nova Scotia, Canada (which we've been loving), to the Pacific Northwest, where real estate is expensive and coffee flows like rain. 

We'll be stopping along the way (in mid-late June through July 2018) to play songs in peoples' living rooms.

If you would like to submit your living room as a possible venue, please fill out this form and we will contact to you if it works with the routing.

Excited to hang with you again, and to meet some new friends!

With love,

Matt & Kristie

Wanna be in a music video?

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We want to make a cheerful wintery video for Cheers to Your Holiday, featuring YOU.

Sound fun? Here's the deal:

  • Make sure lighting is decently ok looking and not too grainy.
  • Pick up phone with front facing camera, or tripod your DSLR (we love options), just make sure it's landscape, not portrait.
  • Record a creative/fun/happy/dramatic video of your self/friends/family/choir group/hockey team LIP-SYNCING to PART or ALL of Cheers to Your Holiday.
  • Straight on selfie-style is welcome! 
  • Send to thevocalfew@gmail.com or drag and drop into  https://spaces.hightail.com/uplink/vocalfew

We will take clips from your videos and cut them together to make one official video for the song, so don't worry if your video isn't perfect - we can mine the gems!

We need all entries in by Dec 8th so we can edit and release it in the relevant season. You can listen to the song here.

HAVE FUN!

xoxo,

VF

What is a living room show?

We get a lot of questions about what goes on at a living room show, so we took the time to write some answers. Here are the most frequently asked:

So, it's at a house?

Yes, some lovely persons have volunteered their house, apartment, or coffee shop to host a random collective of people from their community. We think places where people gather casually are best to share lives and music, which is why we like living rooms.

How do I get there?

In order to respect the privacy of the host, we don't post addresses, just specific town names. If you purchase a ticket, we'll send you the address a few days before the event. Once you purchase a ticket, your name (plus the number of people you purchased tickets for) will be added to a list at the door. No need to bring any paper printouts of anything.

What goes on?

At 6:30pm, people show up and cross their names off a list. At 7:00pm, if most people are there, we start playing songs. We ask questions, answer questions, laugh a bit, and sing songs until around 8:00pm. Then we mill about and try to sell t-shirts, vinyl recordings, and handmade leather keychains like real troubadours.

Can I bring food/drinks?

We love those, but in order to respect the hosts preferences, we've sent them surveys to see what they would prefer. We will send you the rules along with the address. 

Do you bring your kids?

Yes, we will be traveling in an RV with our three kids, ages five, three, and six months. They will likely be watching Frozen for the seven-billionth time in the RV (under adult supervision) while we play, but they do like to mingle at the merch table afterwards.

If you have any other questions, feel free to shoot us an email at thevocalfew@gmail.com.

SEE YOU SOON

Hosts Needed in These Areas

 Host submissions: Email  vocalfewmgmt@gmail.com  with pictures and location.

Host submissions: Email vocalfewmgmt@gmail.com with pictures and location.

Hey friends!

To be clear we are still accepting submissions for ALL cities in the lower 48 states, but these are the cities/general areas we don't currently have hosts for.

If you live in these cities, anywhere near, or anywhere in between, and you would like to host a Vocal Few living room show this summer, please email vocalfewmgmt@gmail.com with pictures, location, and any questions.

This F.A.Q was written as a helpful tool for those considering.

Thanks to everyone who has submitted thus far, we can't wait to start solidifying our exact routing in February!

Vocal Few

Our video for NPR's Tiny Desk Contest

We recorded "Blue" live in the frozen backyard of our friends house for NPR's Tiny Desk Contest 2017.

Jodi & Cameron Reed are on violin and cello. Kristie & Matt MacDonald on piano, guitar, and vocals. Jaffrey Koch on background vocals.

Watch below or go to bit.ly/bluetinydesk

Video recording by Cameron Tomisser
Audio recording by Brett Baird

#tinydeskcontest

The 6 Most FAQ Re: Hosting Vocal Few

We are still accepting host submissions for our summer living room tour though the end of January. If you have been planning to submit or if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email us at vocalfewmgmt@gmail.com

For those interested or on the fence about hosting, here are answers to the 6 most frequently asked questions:

1.) How much do you charge?

Hosting is free, which means hosts do not have to put up any of their own money for the show. We will pre-sell all the tickets online, and guests will check their name off a list on the way inside. No money changes hands. Residents of the host house are free of charge, as well as 3 guests of the hosts choosing (after a certain amount of tickets are sold, and if there is still room, a longer guest list is welcomed).

2.) How big does my room need to be?

We hope to sell at least 20 tickets, but sometimes we sell between 40-50 tickets. We can limit the tickets available based on your estimated capacity, but generally anywhere between 25-50 is a good estimate. Some hosts have chairs, others clear the room for standing or sitting, but it's really whatever you think is best. Hard floors and tall ceilings are even better for the music, because they amplify and reverberate the sound. We prefer not to play outside as sound amplification, audible distractions, and weather can become an issue.

3.) Is this a party? Do I need to provide food or drinks?

All guests are given a hospitality reminder before coming. On previous tours we gave strict rules to guests about taking off shoes, using the bathroom before arriving, strongly prohibiting food and drinks, etc. We did this in order to make our hosts feel at ease. However, we found that some of our hosts didn't mind guests leaving shoes on, or if they used the bathroom, or brought drinks of their choosing. Some of our hosts wanted to make snacks for guests or provide beer and wine, some wanted to sell snacks or drinks, and who were we to stop them? So now we send a questionnaire to each host beforehand to make sure that when the performance happens, it happens within their expectations and in keeping with their desires. We want our hosts to be hospitable in the way that makes them most comfortable.

4.) What kind of people will show up?

The kind of people who pay $20 to watch a musical duo perform in a random persons living room. These are not scary people. These are people who live in your community, who you likely have things in common with. Great friends have been made in the living rooms we've played in, and that's the point of living rooms! Bringing people together in an intimate setting around music forges community.

5.) Will you play my church?

Not on this tour, but we have enjoyed playing the occasional coffee shop or business if the vibe is right (shoot us an email to ask). We prefer rooms, living rooms specifically. The spaces where life happens.

6.) How do I submit?

Email us with estimated capacity, city/state location, any availability issues (we will be touring through June and July into August 2017), and pictures of your space. The email is vocalfewmgmt@gmail.com - and we can answer any of your questions that way.

To all you first timers who've submitted, and previous hosts who've submitted again, THANK YOU! We will begin to sort the routing and dates in February.

Cheers,

Matt & Kristie

 

Hosts Needed: Living Room Tour Summer 2017

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Hello! We are looking for hosts for our upcoming living room tour, starting in June and ending in early August. We will be traveling all over the United States. If you live in the United States and would like to host, please email vocalfewmgmt@gmail.com with pictures of your space, capacity, location and any other pertinent info like availability, etc.

Things to know:

  1. Hosting is free.
  2. Strangers will buy tickets from us to your living room. All tickets will be pre-sold, and you will simply cross names off the list as they enter (no money changes hands). They will not know your address until a day before the show. We've done this a lot, and so far there have been no weirdos and everyone is very respectful. We send them an email when they purchase tickets with some etiquette tips. 
  3. Your living room should hold anywhere between 25 and 50 people, sitting on the floor or standing is fine. People usually clear the space a bit for more crowded shows so people can sit. Please send pictures of the space with your submission.
  4. This will be super fun.

Thanks in advance! 

Vocal Few

ALMOST READY!

Hi friends - a huge thanks to many of you for submitting your living rooms as venues for a show! We received so many different locations that we added a full week to the routing of the tour. Even though we're doing 6 full weeks, we still aren't getting everywhere! This is encouraging because it means there's more places to visit on our next living room tour. Who knows, maybe we'll just move into and RV and go for it full time? ...we'll see.

A full list of dates will be posted next week and tickets will go on sale. Will add events to Facebook and encourage everyone to invite their friends to them. Obviously, the more we can get into the shows the more fun we can have (also, the more travel expenses we can offset.) Stay tuned for the final list of shows coming soon!

xoXoxXoOOxxoO,

Matt & Kristie

Looking for Hosts

Hello! We are looking for hosts for our upcoming living room tour. If you would like to host in, around, or in-between these areas of the country, please email vocalfewmgmt@gmail.com with pictures, capacity, and location.

Things to know:

  1. Strangers will buy tickets from us to your living room. All tickets will be pre-sold, and you will simply cross names off the list as they enter. They will not know your address until a day before the show. We've done this a lot, and so far there have been no weirdos and everyone is very respectful. We send them an email when they purchase tickets with some etiquette tips. 
  2. Your living room should hold 30-50 people, sitting on the floor or standing is fine. People usually clear the space a bit for more crowded shows so people can sit. Please send pictures of the space with your submission.
  3. This will be super fun.

Thanks for all your submissions so far! We are sorting them out now, and will post here as we confirm the dates.