Biography / About:
Gifts or Creatures is the musical pursuit of husband-wife Brandon and Bethany Foote. The couple fuses a blend of Midwestern folklore, old-world history and cinematic soundscapes to create a trove of antique Americana.
The Michigan duo’s latest release, Fair Mitten (New Songs of the Historic Great Lakes Basin), is a tribute to their Great Lakes home (out 09.22.17). Recorded in Kalamazoo alongside Seth Bernard, Dan Rickabus (The Crane Wives) and Max Lockwood (Big Dudee Roo, May Erlewine), the album offers up a collection of songs that celebrates the rich history and timeless significance of the Great Lakes Basin.
Since 2010, Gifts or Creatures has performed throughout the Midwest and has shared bills with Blitzen Trapper, Breathe Owl Breathe and Frontier Ruckus. They have appeared at the Wheatland Music Festival and recorded with Daytrotter. Brandon & Bethany are also active members of Michigan's Earthwork Music Collective, advocating for original music and environmental awareness throughout the Great Lakes region.
Fair Mitten (New Songs of the Historic Great Lakes Basin) out 09.22.17 from Earthwork Music:
Recorded intermittently over an eighteen-month period, this new collection of songs explores the last four centuries in the Great Lakes Basin. It covers topics such as the demise of the Arctic grayling, trapping and trading, downtown Chicago, and Pontiac's Rebellion. The album digs deep into the history of the area; it celebrates it, and at times laments the historical stress within the region.
1. Pontiac's Rebellion
2. Two Hearts (Two Peninsulas)
3. Fort Dearborn Massacre
4. Trout of the Pines
5. Canadian Shield
6. Manitou Passage
7. Grand Rapids Brakeman
8. Green Gold
9. Trapping or Trading
10. Conquest of the Old Northwest (Fair Mitten)
Produced by Brandon John Foote & Seth Bernard
Recorded at La Luna Recording in Kalamazoo, Michigan
Engineered by Ian Gorman
Mixed by Ian Gorman & Brandon John Foote
Mastered by Saff Mastering in Chicago, Illinois
Voice sample and Great Lakes map: Courtesy Archives of Michigan
Brandon John Foote - vocals, electric guitars, samples
Bethany Foote - vocals, Wurlitzer electric piano, string synth
Max Lockwood – bass guitar
Dan Rickabus – drums, percussion
Seth Bernard - acoustic, electric & baritone guitars
Select Press Coverage:
"Their evocative music blends folk, pop, and Americana elements with a deep historical bent that is at times both hauntingly dark and wistfully poetic. The interplay between Brandon's warm, electric guitar and Bethany's Wurlitzer electric piano is as much a signature sound as are their delicate vocal harmonies."
"Songs infused with the knowledge of Earth’s core, scooting us a little closer to the history of Michigan, and bearing insight into the nature of man, love, and land. A prayer to honor our sacred roots, to bring us closer to the ones we love, pat their shoulder, and kiss their hand. Tender vocals meet a slick country/Americana instrumentation displaying a sense of longing for what has been and an activated hope for how to preserve it."
-Lamp Light Music Festival
"... gorgeous indie folk."
"Gifts or Creatures have created an intriguing new sound from the most unlikely combination of instruments - the end result is a thoroughly engaging mix that is uniquely Americana."
-Doug Neal, WDBM Impact 89FM
"The lyrics, on the other hand, are reaching, ambitious and, occasionally, timeless. In his songwriting, Brandon often reckons with fables and historical accounts. Gifts or Creatures’ lyrical characters are aptly developed and inspire repeated listening."
-Andrew Knot, The Rapidian
"It’s not a bad comparison to say that Yesteryear Western Darkness sounds like a Wilco-ized version of The Civil Wars, although that’s selling their talents short in the service of quick reference...Gifts or Creatures aren't into riffs or attitude-filled ragers, but they sure know how to write a song that cuts to the bone."
Past Performances Include:
Wheatland Music Festival - Remus, Michigan
The Ark - Ann Arbor, Michigan
East Lansing Art Festival - East Lansing, Michigan
The Robin Theatre - Lansing, Michigan
Mackinac Arts Council Music in the Park - Mackinac Island, Michigan
Earthwork Harvest Gathering - Lake City, Michigan
Bell's Brewery - Kalamazoo, Michigan
Lamp Light Music Festival - Grand Rapids, Michigan
Founders Brewing Co. - Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand River Water Festival - Grand Rapids, Michigan
Shine - Boulder, Colorado
331 Club - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Fitzgerald's - Chicago, Illinois