Hello Seattle, I’d like to introduce you to The Warm Hardies. In a city so full of aspiring singer-songwriters and folkies, it is easy to become desensitized to the sound of an acoustic guitar and a soulful voice. Unless the band on stage is the acclaimed Fleet Foxes or up-and-comers The Head and the Heart, it is rare to witness an audience so enraptured by what a performer has to say and how they say it. Therefore, it was quite the pleasure to see the spectators at a recent Warm Hardies show experiencing the chills they undoubtedly felt the first time they heard the aforementioned bands.
At first glance, the band seems unassuming, unpretentious and generally unspectacular. Often performing as a powerful two-piece, but at their best as a four-piece, the Warm Hardies represent the brain child of two local singer-songwriters, the lovely Tamara Power-Drutis and ex-Conservative Dad frontman Matt Batey. Thanks to a chance meeting, the band formed quietly this past year, a collaboration between two people with exceptional songwriting skills and even more noteworthy voices. As time has progressed, these two have gone from polarized musicians to a force to be reckoned with; their voices, although quite different in range and timbre, seem to lock into place at all the right moments in their songs, and can genuinely drive chills up and down your spine.
It is entertaining to watch a crowd experience this band for the first time: the two (and sometimes four) of them calmly enter the stage, awkward smiles are exchanged, and Matt cracks some sort of ridiculous joke. Thus far the crowd is un-amused, awaiting another mediocre set from another mediocre Seattle band, nothing to write home about. The band starts to play, and still the crowd continues conversing, drinking, laughing, and generally not paying attention. The next part is the real treat: they start singing, and people start to finally listen. This is the part where the crowd noise usually drops out, and the eyes all face forward, glazed in anticipation of each subsequent song.
The Warm Hardies just finished recording a three song EP, Songs for Grownups, which is out this week. In support of the EP, the band is set to play Conor Byrne (21+) on May 6th with The Horde and The Harem and Exohxo, and an all ages gig at the Q Café on May 20th. See these guys in an intimate setting before it is too late; pretty soon they will be another “I saw them before they were big” story.