Hair Envelope
Gig Seeker Pro

Hair Envelope

Seattle, Washington, United States

Seattle, Washington, United States
Band Rock EDM


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Dance music for spazzes"

"Dance Music for Spazzes" Weekly Volcano writeup
Dance music for spazzes
Hair Envelope
Photo: MySpace
Hair Envelope

Hair Envelope is just the package you need

by Adam McKinney
Oct 01, 2009

If you’re like me, you haven’t danced in a while. How long has it been since you’ve been drunk enough, the music’s been good enough, and the company’s been just right? I’m talking about dancing that makes you look like a loser. I’m talking herky-jerky, spastic flopping with sweat pouring off every part of your body. For me, there needs to be a perfect storm of music, booze and friends to achieve this godforsaken dance. But oh, when it happens …

Let it be known, then, that Hair Envelope wants nothing more than to rip my inner dancing spaz, kicking and screaming, from deep within my netherloins. Their words.

Hair Envelope has been around, in some form or another, for a little under two years. It started with Matt McDowell as a solo project, and since has had several members rotate in and out. Currently, the lineup is just McDowell, along with Billy Hoover on drums.

“There have been a lot of different people who’ve contributed over the past two years,” McDowell says. “But right at the moment, it’s kind of settled down to just us two.”

“(Our main focus has been) getting people to have a good time,” McDowell continues.

Hair Envelope will do anything to make you dance. At times, it feels as if the band is throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks: shouty, cracked vocals; whistling and handclaps; clattering drumbeats; bassy, Eurythmics-esque synths; samba rhythms; even the odd trumpet solo.

What’s strangest is it all works. The songs are reminiscent of David Byrne’s experiments with dance music. It’s scattershot, insistent, bizarre — and dammit if it doesn’t pick up the feet. Hair Envelope’s live shows are undoubtedly a sight to behold. You’re bound to not be the only one making a fool of yourself on the dance floor.

[Le Voyeur, Hair Envelope with Levator, The Hand That Bleeds, Big Spider’s Back, Friday, Oct. 2, 8 p.m., no cover, 404 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, 360.943.5710]5710] - Weekly Volcano

"Up and Coming January 1st 2010"

Friday 1/1
Japanther, Champagne Champagne, They Live!, Hair Envelope

(Comet) Let's get one thing straight: Hair Envelope are not a hiphop group. Genre-benders Japanther are probably the most like-minded of their colleagues on this bill, as Hair Envelope hew closer to the rock end of the musical spectrum. But the high-energy duo has an almost cavalier "anything goes" vibe, combining saxophone, synthesizers, live drumming, and pedal-generated weirdness into a surprisingly effective mix. They're a hit with crowds, even if they don't always seem to jibe with the lineups they populate (this past summer, they toured the West Coast with psychedelic solo act Big Spider's Back). Consider them a welcome appetizer for this stacked night of beat-driven music. JASON BAXTER - The Stranger


The dynamic duo that is HAIR ENVELOPE bring their arsenal of instrumentation and genres to the party, going off with keyboards, sequencers, saxophones, drums and some other tricks up their sleeves. One site called them, " a concoction of electronic circus jazz and experimental pop sounds" which I think best describes their uniqueness. Whatever you call it, it's good music to me and to you if you show up this evening for a free night of music. - Future Sounds--WOXY Radio and Blog

"EP Review Hair Envelope"

Hair Envelope

Shareholders Report Spring 2008 (self-released)

3 stars

If you listen long enough to give Hair Envelope a fighting chance, you’ll find that the Seattle band’s quirky dance rock might make you
forget that their band name just made you puke in your mouth a little.
This collection of cute, catchy little power pop songs often veers into
musical theater territory by incorporating chimes, horns and keys into
its straightforward pop with an endearingly wacky result. Shareholders
Report Spring 2008 isn’t all pop—there is some experimental noise here
that gives the EP a strong sense of abstraction. At times, it is
unclear as to how intentional that abstraction is, ultimately giving
this first effort a quaint D.I.Y. feel, as though a group of long-time
friends decided to record an EP on someone’s mom’s ancient tape deck a
few beers into the night.


Standout tracks: “Largo Largos,” “I Like Beets” - Seattle Sound Magazine

"Tonight at the Comet Tavern: Dancing Like Idiots"

Live, Hair Envelope are a bizarre force. Effect pedal ambiance lurches along to drummer Billy Hoover’s titanic grooves. What comes next is up the the whims of a particularly whimsical band. Maybe the local trio will all adopt falsetto and project a looney tune pop masterpiece. Or maybe front-man Matt McDowell will become Sax-man Matt McDowell and unleash a scorching free jazz solo. You get the feeling each member ran away from home to join the circus and instead joined Hair Envelope.

The band is not afraid to be silly in their journey to write the perfect pop song. “Largo Lagos” rides an excitable glockenspiel riff as McDowell and the rest of the band do their best Kidz Bop Issac Brock impersonation. The song is infectious, leaving stoned non sequiturs stuck in your head (My favorite line, “Duck Town you say? Try Largo Lagos/ that’s what they call it on the rough side delta/ where a man can lose an ear for speaking out of turn.” Is that a thing?)

Don’t get turned off by the loopy smiles, Hair Envelope make sure to keep the weirdness dance-able. “Teeth,” a riotous jangle-boogie, burns through scuzzy riffage and a get-your-body-moving bass line. On the disco-baiting “TA to Fiancée,” the band anchors the song’s absurd punchline with a surging drum beat. The song’s humor is vital; who better to get you to dance like an idiot than a bunch of enthusiastic jokers who are themselves dancing like idiots.

But it’s not all high jinks. Behind the band’s skewed goofs lies a surprising technical proficiency. They create ambient textures with ease and each member could teach a class on jazz improvisation. On “Grandfathers,” they get everything right, taking a Baltic horn line and finding every moment of joy buried inside. They accent it with a feel good piano, mutate it into a sing a long melody, and leave you marveling at the skilled composition. It’s a stunning moment: half because the song is a hand holding gem and half because the group contained their Barnum and Bailey imagination in a single exhibit.

Hair Envelope play the Comet Tavern this Friday, April 9th
Myspace - Publicola--Anand Balasubrahmanyan

"Hair Envelope - Teeth"

Seriously, where to start when describing Hair Envelope? Hard to classify these kooks. Hair Envelope is a concoction of electronic circus jazz and experimental pop sounds infused with utter silliness to make really wonderful music.But then again, what do I know?…

Their sound, has a bit of that Talking Heads insanity to their vocals, but really Hair Envelope is a band that makes music for the fun of it. Hair Envelope is all over the place with their sounds, the type of music that needs to be listened a few times. But after listening to these guys, their madness starts to wear off on you and your see their genius is their ability to go from one musical extreme to another, while weaving a unique musical narrative. It will leave you wondering how did they pull it off?I swear, while listening to their EP(Shareholder Report), I was taken from an all out Ornette Coleman-like horn-infused buzz to a funny rag time piano tune and back to them rappin’ about “beats.” And that was only on three of the tracks.

The more I listen to these guys, the more I realize that ultimately Hair Envelope is really good at mixing electronic and rock together with a funny attitude that will take you for a musical journey that is truly unique. Definitely worth checking out.



EP Shareholder's Report Spring 2008



Hair Envelope is a band local to Seattle that plays dance driven electro-rock music infused with horns and the occasional plunge into electronic circus jazz. The band released its first EP "Shareholders Spring Report 2008" two years ago and has toured the West Coast a number of times since then. In the last couple years the band has had the opportunity to play with some of the hottest bands in Seattle and has been featured in a number of blogs, radio plays, and will have their music this Spring on the Sundance Channel. The band's philosophy is one centered around building community and exciting participatory moments for the audience. They celebrate shows with friends and giving back to the world around them through fun music and shared experience.

The story of Hair Envelope began in a crumbling warehouse in south Seattle. Hair Envelope mastermind and chaos-facilitator Matt McDowell was spending a very cold winter in his concrete castle, intending to produce a stop-motion space epic the likes of which had never been seen before. He had plans drawn up for paper mache asteroids, balsa wood rocketships, and innumerable other handmade constructions.

But rather than staying focused on storyboard sketches, shot lists, and production schedules, he continually found himself sitting at the piano in the main room. Matt says, "I would sit out there and play for hours and come up with the most ridiculous balladry about trucker messiahs and flamenco singers." Accumulating a rapidly-growing collection of songs and recording as he went along, his favorite distraction was quickly becoming a project in its own right.

Matt recruited vocalist Jacqueline Suskin, and together, drawing on their varied collaborations in the noise and experimental music community, Hair Envelope organized a series of strange yet well-received shows with the likes of Douglas Ferguson, Big Spiders Back, A Story Of Rats, Le Systeme Solaire, Alan Fried, Million Brazillians, Emperor Norton's Cabal, and Tim Curry Bear.

In a few short months, Hair Envelope had already put together a successful west coast tour and independently released two recordings: a vinyl split-single with the Seattle noise-folk band Maldek, and a CD-EP plus digital download release entitled "Shareholders Report Spring 2008."

Joking that they had planned to make a dance album in the style of La Bouche, Matt explains how "Shareholders" was envisioned as a faux-corporate identity for the band. "Sitting in the van on the way to Reno, we joked about sending our friends a Hair Envelope shareholders' report...Triple bottom lines, fun vs. expenditures, gas money vs. dancefloors rocked..." Several months later, after marathon sessions in a south Seattle staircase factory, Hair Envelope emerged with "Shareholders." Packaged in homemade cloth manila envelopes made of recycled thrift store t-shirts and incorporating the band's wildest stylistic contortions to date, the EP is a charming pastiche of free jazz horns, atari programming, cartoon musical interludes, and high energy dance music.

Explaining what Hair Envelope means for him, Matt says "These days it's an incredible thing to have all these tools at your disposal: you can make a movie on your laptop in an afternoon, you can record an album and release it on the internet for nothing. But with all these options, and the ability to put them into use so quickly, it's easy to get distracted and let your ideas run away from you. So for me the focus has shifted toward community: let's make something that everyone can participate in, something that makes people laugh and dance and have a good time. The whole idea of Hair Envelope has been a series of stagey tricks to sidestep our egos and keep the focus on having a good time. Now we can cut loose and be a part of the fun."

Hair Envelope's live show is not a press-play affair: they have begun to earn a reputation for their unhinged live performances. "When we first started playing more legit venues instead of house shows I was nervous about crossing the line with some door guy or bartender or something. But most people tend to get what we're doing, that we're all about having a good time." The recent addition of live drummer Billy Hoover has kicked up the energy even further -- and supplied some desperately needed trumpet interludes.

"We're really excited about the response to the new EP. I get random emails all the time from people in places I've never been telling us how much they like our music. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing where things take us in the next year."