THE WEEPIES - Holiday Acoustic Duo Tour with Jessica Manning - Cedar Cultural Center416 Cedar Ave S Minneapolis,MN
12/07/2018 8:00 PM - 12/07/2018 10:00 PM
Singer-songwriters Deb Talan & Steve Tannen began writing together the night they met, and soon formed indie band The Weepies. On the strength of their simple yet insightful songwriting and distinctive harmonies, they quietly sold more than 1.5 million records with over 54 million streams on Spotify, 25+ million views on YouTube, and over 110k social media followers. They married and had three children, rarely touring but continuing to release their music; five records over seven years.
Just before Christmas 2013, when their youngest son was 17 months old, Deb Talan was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. She was in chemo by New Year’s Eve.
In 2014, Deb beat cancer, and The Weepies recorded the best album of their career. Coming back from the edge sharpened their skills and focus. At 16 songs and almost an hour long, SIRENS shows a band at the height of its powers.
The couple was unable to travel while Deb was in treatment, so they worked at home, inviting guest musicians to record remotely wherever each musician happened to be, resulting in an unlikely superstar backing band. Players from across the spectrum jumped in, including: Pete Thomas and Steve Nieve (Elvis Costello), Gerry Leonard (David Bowie), Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters), Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel), Oliver Kraus (Sia) and Matt Chamberlain (Pearl Jam), as well as veteran Weepies compatriots Frank Lenz, Eli Thomson, Jon Flaugher, Meg Toohey, and Whynot Jansveld, plus a horn section from New Orleans.
The prophetic “No Trouble” was written prior to learning Deb’s diagnosis. “I don’t need no trouble, but sometimes trouble needs me,” sings Steve; Deb’s vocals were recorded during her first weeks of chemo. The couple continued to write and record throughout treatment, with Deb providing several key vocals far into the year, including title track “Sirens,” captured in one take on a day where Deb really only had one take in her; her vulnerability is tangible. “We just kept going,” says Deb. “We also have 3 small children, and were homeschooling, and the effects of chemo blew whole days out of the water.”
The band was able to use their limited studio time as an escape, leading to some of their most joyful tracks ever, including the genre-bending “Fancy Things” and the upbeat “Early Morning Riser,” aided mightily by a fantastic rhythm section and horns. There’s plenty of heart and comfort for long time Weepies fans too – the deceptively simple “My Little Love,” the gorgeous “Brand New Pair of Wings” and the straight ahead poetry of “River From the Sky.”
After The Weepies had officially finished the album, and Deb was in recovery, they continued to record remotely with their phenomenal backing musicians for fun, eventually adding a cover of Tom Petty’s “Learning to Fly” and a version of Irish balladeer Mark Geary’s “Volunteer” to the final album.
“No one song could capture that year,” says Steve. “16 seems like a lot to release at once, but each song reflects a different angle of that long, suspended moment. They hang together like a bunch of photographs from a certain time. It was intense, but there was beauty and inspiration, too. Deb made it back. And we’re still here.”
Jessica Manning is an alternative-R&B artist from Minneapolis, MN. She draws influence from pop, soul, and electronic music by artists such as Frank Ocean, Little Dragon, and Kevin Garrett. Her sound incorporates electronic drums and synthesizers to create an atmosphere that her soulful melodies, rich vocals, and thoughtful lyrics soar high above.
Jessica was born in Stockholm, Sweden where she spent six years of her childhood, before moving to Minneapolis. As the daughter of a soul-singing father, she grew a love for music and performing at an early age, memorizing broadway show tunes and performing them in the comfort of her bedroom mirror. At age 15, Jessica began teaching herself to play guitar out of the desire to write her own songs, and quickly began posting covers and the occasional original on YouTube.
Jessica moved to New York City in 2011 to attend Parsons School of Design at The New School, studying fashion management, another passion of hers. After one year of schooling, and a quick realization that she couldn’t afford to return in the Fall, she had no choice but to move home to Minneapolis. It was then that she confronted her fear of failure and decided to fully pursue a career in music. She continued writing and sharing covers on Youtube, and eventually gained some momentum. One such cover, originally written by artist/guitarist Justin Young (Colbie Caillat), allowed her to record her self-titled debut EP with him in Los Angeles, released in early 2013.
Soon after the release of her EP, Jessica met guitarist Zach Brose whom she formed a strong musical relationship with. They immediately began writing and performing often around the Twin Cities. Jessica’s musical interests and influences began to shift as she started to experiment with other instruments and sounds. Keyboards and synthesizers replaced acoustic guitars, and electronic drums and samples sat at the forefront of her music. She found this new musical landscape allowed her to better tell her stories and to share the intricacies of her experience in a deeply healing way. This lead to the desire to record her first full length album. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, she recorded What If I Run, with producer Brett Bullion in Minneapolis in early 2016. The first single, Red Birds, debuted on 89.3 The Current, a sector of Minnesota Public Radio in November 2016. In January 2017, hip-hop blog Okayplayer premiered Jessica’s music video for her song Homestead. The full album was released in February 2017.
"Listen to this crystal clear, healing and uplifting track + allow 'Homestead' to draw you in by pressing play." - Okayplayer
What If I Run, is a true representation of who and where Jessica is today. The sounds and songs are all in line with what she was searching for since recording her EP four years ago. She speaks of the many financial and medical struggles her family has faced. About the deaths of three grandparents over the course of four years, and the ongoing efforts of a friend working hard to rediscover her worth after a chain of traumatizing circumstances. These songs taught Jessica the beauty of honesty and what it means to be proud of where you came from.