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$25.00

The Bygones

Tue, December 10, 2024
Doors: 6:30 pm

The Atlantis
Washington, DC

Tickets are non-transferable until 72 hours prior to the show time. Any tickets suspected of being purchased for the sole purpose of reselling can be cancelled at the discretion of The Atlantis / Ticketmaster, and buyers may be denied future ticket purchases for I.M.P. shows. Opening acts, door times, and set times are always subject to change.

The Bygones

It’s human nature to look back, and to try—in whatever haphazard fashion—to make sense of that which has gone by. For Joshua Lee Turner and Allison Young, it’s a question not only of what should be relinquished, but also what might be worth taking with you.

Sonically, the pair are intimately acquainted with the past; their collective background spans extensive knowledge of Jazz and Classical, a twinkling affinity for Golden Age musicals, nostalgia for the big bands of the ‘40s, reverence for the politically charged singer-songwriters of the ‘60s, and a warmth toward the dewy indie rock of the early 2010s. To the eye, these wildly diverse influences are tough to conceive as a singular musical sensibility. But to the ear, The Bygones have no issue, binding eclectic contexts into luminous indie folk, equal parts emotional poignancy and pop pleasure.

Allison grew up in an Appalachian pocket of Tennessee—“I’m basically from Dollywood,” she says— the mountain-making, moonshine-swigging sounds of Bluegrass and Americana coloring the soundscape. In the house, her parents opted for Ella Fitzgerald, The Beatles, Electric Light Orchestra. Her mother played piano, which Allison took up at age three. “And then I got into musical theater when I was eleven. My mother had me audition for the part of Annie, if you can believe it,” she says, her red curls bouncing. Meanwhile, Josh was in the Midwest, ingesting the Jazz and Classical selection of his own parents, singing Gregorian chants in a Catholic church (his first job), and teaching himself guitar—“like every other thirteen-year-old boy,” he jokes. For him, instruments were language enough, no lyrics necessary. He found profound satisfaction in the complex art of interpretation, performing instrumentals and covers which he shared on YouTube.

Josh was invited to play in a Simon & Garfunkel tribute tour around the same time that Allison was uploading her own version of “Scarborough Fair” to social media. Coincidence became a connection point, and the pair began following each other online. Josh was living in New York City, but on the day his tour came through Nashville, they planned to meet and record together, just as soon as Allison finished her interview for a job in music publishing. On such separate paths, neither anticipated this impromptu session would become the way forward.

The duo’s cover of Willie Nelson’s “Crazy” gathered massive enthusiasm online as well as the fervent demand of one UK promoter that they tour overseas. They accepted the invitation and rushed to record an EP to have something—anything—to play for audiences, audiences which sold out venues and applauded The (yet-to-be-named) Bygones with standing ovations before they even strummed a note. “It didn’t make any sense,” Josh says. “We weren’t a band yet.” But to see The Bygones live is to comprehend the hype. Allison’s stylish, luminescent presence and vocal finesse, Josh’s astonishing technical aptitude, and the palpable joy in their onstage dynamic create a live show experience that demands multiple encores.

The circumstances which bore The Bygones seem supernatural; rather than a band asking the world to listen, the world asked these two musicians to be a band. But there is nothing more palpably natural than the love these two artists have for music. It is an effervescent force, intrinsic to their conceptions of self. Josh says, “Music is like a hole in the ground, and as a child I was given a tiny shovel to dig, and the further I dig, the more interesting and rewarding it becomes. It’s endless.” Allison adds, “There’s nothing more wonderful than when a song resonates with someone, and you know you’ve made one person in this world feel a little less alone.”

In 2023, the duo began working on their debut album. The thirteen tracks encompassing The Bygones revolve around relationships—romantic, platonic, and familial—and the marvelously varied facets of each. On the upbeat and edgy “Stars Turn Cold,” love sizzles and fades to a frustrating end. On the infectious and zagging “Waste A Day,” love is the resplendent, ultimate source of contentment. Allison grapples with the failure of a loved one to see her for who she is on “If You Wanted To,” her beautifully bare vocal as delicate as a flower petal, lilting with fragility. Josh assumes the weight of his partner’s suffering on “Asteroid Day,” his intricate guitar arrangement emanating the tensions and tendernesses that come with sharing life. Each track is a fearlessly frank take on a different corner of companionship, and in this sense, The Bygones is a collection of love songs to love itself.

There’s an invigorating light across The Bygones’ philosophy—about music, and about life. Josh says, “There’s goodness in every decade of music. And there’s goodness in every season of life. For us, it’s about finding what’s golden in the past and bringing that forward.” He adds, laughing gently “We’re both very earnest people, and very optimistic.”

In the case of these Bygones, it’s an easy delight to let them be.

Venue Information:
The Atlantis
2047 9th St NW
Washington, DC, 20001
https://theatlantis.com/

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