Band Name: War Poets
Album Name: Hot and Cold: American Relationships
Music Style: Rock/Pop/AC
Influences: Tom Petty
“Don’t be put off by the foreign-sounding title; this is some seriously accessible-yet-varied music, one of the most consistently engaging releases I’ve heard in some time.”- MUSOScribe
War Poets are back with their newest EP – Hot and Cold: American Relationships, released by Rock
The Cause Records, a non-profit record label based in their hometown Minneapolis, Minnesota. Rock The Cause is dedicated to creating community involvement through concerts, workshops and music releases, and over the past 8 years Rock the Cause has helped to create thousands of new volunteers as well as financial support for organizations like Children’s Cancer Research Fund, MusiCares and others.
Hot and Cold: American Relationships, comes out on November 4, 2014 with a portion of proceeds going to work to find a cure for Cystic-Fibrosis.
“I really wanted to be on this label,” Says Rex Haberman, War Poets lead singer. “Their ethos and the difference they make for community is in perfect alignment with our mission as artists.”
War Poets draw on Americana, pop, and rock to achieve an aesthetic that’s refined but rootsy. The group has a unique band structure built around a core duo of Haberman as the primary singer-songwriter and guitarist, and bassist-vocalist, and contributing songwriter, Jenny Case as the musical director. The two keep an ongoing artistic dialogue with creative advisor Matt Kirkwold who also contributes songs to War Poets. Previous to War Poets, Haberman had recorded and released three albums, and Case has led her own band, and played in many cover bands. Currently, she is the executive director of She Rock She Rock Foundation.
When forming War Poets, Haberman made a socially conscious decision to build the band around a female singer-bassist. “I have a strong opinion about the status of women in music because I find it a really male-dominated world,” he reveals. When he expressed the idea of forging a female/male artistic alliance to creative advisor Matt Kirkwold (Haberman and Kirkwold have been friends and collaborators for 15 years) Kirkwold suggested Case. “We work together like we’re on a mission,” Haberman explains. “Jenny has high standards. She’s a perfectionist in the studio and really pushes the band’s performances. She’s super talented and highly professional.” The two also have complimentary voices with Case’s angelic and schooled vocals providing a sweet counterpoint to Haberman’s plaintive and impassioned vocal stylings. Rounding out the ranks as a full-band collective is a fluid mix of some of the Midwest’s finest musicians and songwriters.
The video for band’s first single, “Close Enough,” from War Poets’ debut full length, Dulce et Decorum Est, has wracked up a 250,000 views. It was a heartwarming statement on marriage equality dedicated to the memory of the historical NYC Stonewall uprisings, and the track became an anthem for many same-sex marriage supporters. War Poets’ music is played nationally on both AAA and college radio formats. In 2014 War Poets played Red Gorilla Music Festival during SXSW. The group has worked with such iconic producers as Grammy winner Kevin Bowe (Etta James, Jonny Lang) and five-time Grammy winner Joe Baldridge (Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson).
The group’s second album was boldly titled American Police State, evoking the red button topics shared within its irresistible pop-rock songs covered topics ranging from income inequality, Native American rights, and gun violence. “What is a gun really for? It’s for killing people,” Haberman affirms. “I realize I have strong opinions on gun violence, but we’re musicians, not politicians. We put our views out there by singing so people can think about this.”
Continuing the theme of exploring contemporary issues in our society, and their resulting struggles, “Hot and Cold: American Relationships” is the second in the “American” trilogy War Poets will release in 2014/15. These songs delve into the highs and lows of interpersonal relationships, whether it be about finding the right companion, talking beyond the point of understanding, or trusting the ones who are closest to you, because at the end of the day, they are all who’s left.