Rocket Shop 6/11/2014: Invisible Homes
Words by Jackson Balling. Photos by Lily Chau.
Whether it’s new crew members, exciting guests, or a slightly cooler day in the office, we here at Big Heavy World have a lot to be excited about, especially on Wednesday nights between 8 and 9 PM. Last week we had all three wrapped in tight bow across a jumbo-sized Rocket Shop. In the middle of it all I was able to speak with Sean Witters, singer of the vintage-inspired art rock group Invisible Homes, who was promoting their new Kickstarted album Song for My Double and their upcoming shows.
We discussed the release of the album, which has been a rollercoaster of work and success, unexpected by anyone involved in the absolute supergroup of musicians that came together to create it, including Ra-Kalam Bob Moses, Barika and Chris Dorman. Being an English professor at University of Vermont, Witters also utilized some diverse authors as influences, such as Walt Whitman, Sigmund Freud, Paul Auster’s City of Glass and Ishmael Reed’s Mumbo Jumbo, as well as numerous other subtle references that he might not have even realized including as he wrote.
Many of the guest performers on the record also came out to the successful record release show at Club Metronome in May, which was described as a complete circus complete with a performance of the band’s song “The Clown” with slide whistles. Critically, the album has been an outstanding success, including an “epically good” Seven Days review and various writers across the world putting in their two cents on the work of the group, as well as some spotlight on Radio Crowdfund from Paul Schomer. Among all of the rave reviews came comparisons to bands such as Arcade Fire, Wilco, and even Dinosaur Jr., the last of which Witters saw as a stretch but shrugged it off with a laugh nonetheless.
All of this success comes from what started as just a musical project by Witters with the help of some friends. Now Invisible Homes has become a full-fledged band that now consistently pushes the barrier with their sonic experimentation. The band’s appreciation for leaving an impact with their music isn’t just limited to a specific medium of art. The artwork for their recently released record featured glasswork from Witters’ wife as well as some photography tricks that eliminated any need to use a program such as Photoshop in order to create a cover.
All of this translates into the band’s true goal, as Witters put it, which is to “create a creative center for various improvisations and art forms”. From there Witters mentioned his ambition for an exhibit at the South End ArtHop where he plans on showcasing glasswork, music and design, three things that currently make up the multi-faceted art project that Invisible Homes has become throughout the existence of the band. With such artistic ambition and acclaim, this is only the beginning for the band.
If you’re interested in experiencing Invisible Homes for yourself, you can see them at for free at Red Square on June 20th from 5-7 PM as a part of the Seven Days “Up Your Alley” summer series. You can also see them at Monkey House in Winooski on June 28th, Nectar’s on July 12th, and Red Square again on August 7th, with more shows on the way!