With Dylan Bell on drums, Emre Turkman on the synth, Mikey Goldsworthy on the bass, and Olly Alexander on lead vocals and keys, the band test drove their forthcoming full-length album “Communion,” out June 22. Alexander exercised his acting and singing chops as James, the part-time lifeguard, full-time sensitive songwriter in Stuart Murdoch’s musical adaptation of Belle and Sebastian’s God Help The Girl (2014). They gained notoriety and internet presence for their cover of Blu Cantrell’s “Breathe” (which may be better than the original) and subsequent music videos and Kitsune remixes. There is no doubting that Years & Years are on the rise to becoming internationally recognized.
Boston-based ex-graffiti artist BREK.ONE opened the show, delivering a well-versed DJ set, painted with hits from the 80’s to the present. For a Monday night, it was nothing short of a dance party.
Jonah Parzen-Johnson at Lilypad
Jonah Parzen-Johnson has an innate ability to make the baritone sax sound like bagpipes, and maybe that’s why I cried.
Mostly I cried because Jonah tells radiant stories with his saxophone and analog synth, working the brass and pedals to recreate the framework which surrounds his album Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow: Parzen-Johnson wanted to make “something of myself that’s for everybody else.”
Jonah opened his set with “Stay There, I’ll Come to You,” showcasing the harmony between synth and sax right off the bat. With haunting lilts, the two combined into a ribbon of melody, pulsating inside the ear as well as the heart. Much like the song’s title, Jonah was the one approaching the audience as an experimental troubadour of tête-à-tête.
The back stories and thoughts behind each song tied in so well with the raw, almost throaty sax, developing such strong, emotional resonance with the musical layers. The skeleton shook.
Speedy Ortiz “riiiiise above and gliiiiiide away” at The Sinclair
The Sinclair was a packed house Wednesday night for the Speedy Ortiz CD release party; as a hometown gig for the Northampton, MA-based band, kinetic warmth buzzed through friends and fans alike as Sadie Dupuis and crew played their freshly-release Foil Deer track-by-track.
What’s a party without some guests, though? That’s where Krill and Mitski come in.
Krill kicked off the night with some tracks from A Distant Fist Unclenching, other goods from Lucky Leaves. Lead singer/bassist Jonah Furman brought to mind early (read: good) Billy Corgan, which I’m not sure he will appreciate. But I think he’ll appreciate this: I couldn’t stop laughing because then I kept thinking about Marilyn Manson telling Billy Corgan that he looked like Charlie Brown.
Opening with “Theme from Krill,” the Boston trio has a knack for rhythm and melody that burrows into your brain. The dreamy bleakness of “Purity of Heart.” The discordant garage rock and hiccupping guitar and warbly Scooter-ness of “Foot.” Krill’s sound is a good, comfy noise that keeps you wiggling and all that good stuff. Be sure to catch the band at Boston Calling.
Hundred Waters Entrance The Sinclair
Suno Deko, Mitski, and Hundred Waters wove a tapestry of atmosphere Saturday night–eclectic, punky, and entrancing, it was all a dream that you didn’t want to wake up from. The Sinclair was not short on ambience in any capacity.
One-man outfit Suno Deko, hailing from Atlanta, captured his loops one by one, patiently re-recording when something was off by a hair. Known in civilian life as David Courtright, Suno Deko interspersed his experimental pop with dashes of dry humor, sharing with the crowd that the folks in Montreal were pretty chatty during his set and that they didn’t really seem to think they were like the Wildlings north of the Wall. Supporting his 2014 EP Thrown Color, Courtwright’s material ranged from aquatic melancholy to static delirium. The performance being Suno Deko’s last opening for Hundred Waters on the tour, it was an amazing final night.
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Hundred Waters Entrance The Sinclair