I wrote this brief for Seattle Weekly to preview Chromeo’s show in Seattle. You can also read this brief here.
It’s been a decade since Montreal duo Chromeo debuted with She’s in Control, and (soon to be) four albums later, the pair is still dazzling listeners with its seductive brand of electro-funk. On the forthcoming White Women, which features Toro y Moi, Solange, and Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, David Macklovitch and Patrick Gemayel take their trademark party-starting synth grooves up a notch. With TOKiMONSTA. The Showbox, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151, showboxonline.com. 9 p.m. SOLD OUT. All ages. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY
I wrote this brief for Seattle Weekly to preview Fatoumata Diawara’s show in Seattle. You can also read this brief here.
Fatoumata Diawara’s biography reads like something from a movie: After refusing to attend school, the 12-year-old Malian was sent to live with her aunt, and eventually landed her first acting role. But when her parents forced her to abandon a blossoming career, she fled to Paris and began singing. Diawara’s debut album, Fatou, showcases the soulful voice of a woman who’s always followed her heart. Repeats Wed. Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., 441-9729, jazzalley.com. 7:30 p.m. $24.50. All ages. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY
I wrote this brief for Seattle Weekly to preview Volbeat’s show in Seattle. You can also read this brief here.
There’s a nice variety to Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies, the fifth album from Danish metal quartet Volbeat. “Pearl Hart” and “Our Loved Ones” are straight rock songs with radio-ready melodies, while “Room 24” and “Black Bart” feature pedal-to-the-metal guitar riffs and pounding percussion. There’s also an unexpected, though well-executed, cover of Young the Giant’s “My Body” to round it out. The Paramount, 911 Pine St., 682-1414, stgpresents.org/paramount. 7 p.m. $35. All ages. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY
I’m interviewing Chris Freeman of Manchester Orchestra tomorrow! Do you all have any questions for him?
I wrote these briefs for Seattle Weekly to preview upcoming shows by the Colourist and Jenny Hval. You can also read these briefs here.
The Colourist Next time you’re at a party that’s less than spectacular, put on The Colourist, the self-titled debut of the indie-pop quartet behind “Little Games” and “We Won’t Go Home.” With dancey guitar riffs, pulsing percussion, bright keys, and both guitarist Adam Castilla and drummer Maya Tuttle on vocal duty, you can practically hear confetti fall from the ceiling. With Night Terrors of 1927, The Wind and the Wave. Tractor Tavern. 9 p.m. $11. 21 and over. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY
At any point on 2013’s Innocence Is Kinky, Norwegian experimental-pop musician Jenny Hval can be heard doing one of three things: singing sweetly; reciting spoken word; or belting a lyric, often a comment about mythology or gender, with the passion of 10 people. No matter what style she chooses, Hval’s voice is hard to ignore. With Mark McGuire. Barboza, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9951, thebarboza.com. 8 p.m. $10. 21 and over. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY
I reviewed the Horde and the Harem’s Fairweather Friends for Seattle Weekly. You can also read this review here.
The Horde and the Harem, Fairweather Friends EP (4/12, self-released, thehordeandtheharemband.com) Though it began as a way for singer/guitarist Ryan Barber to record songs that didn’t work for previous projects, The Horde and the Harem has grown into its own entity, a collective of musicians with strong indie-rock and folk sensibilities. The follow-up to its debut full-length A Long Midwinter, Fairweather Friends was tracked live in the band’s basement studio in December and feels like a well-orchestrated jam session, with a large ensemble, including two percussionists, coming together to create a cohesive six-song package. The decision to track live works in the band’s favor as it authentically transfers the warm and vibrant energy of the group’s live show. The EP begins with the joyous “Robbery,” and the vocal back-and-forth between Barber and singer/pianist Hanna Stevens really shines in the folk-rock “Shiver. When the pair adopts a style of talk-singing, they make the song sound like a story. Then when they add more melody to their words, their sweet harmonies makes the daily grind of paying bills and putting in a hard day’s work seem almost appealing. Elsewhere, “Magician’s Hat” heads down a psychedelic route; the breezy “Salutations” features nothing but Barber, ukulele, and Stevens’ subtle background vocals; and the title track begins with a tropical flair before ending on a wonderfully raucous note. (Be sure to stick around after the bluesy “A Girl He Once Knew” for a little something extra.) Though four of the Horde’s members contribute vocals and the band explores several genres throughout the album, Fairweather Friends doesn’t seem bogged-down or unfocused. In fact, there’s nothing fairweather about the band at all. There’s a real sense of closeness here, one that incorporates the strengths of all involved without making each song seem like a battle for the spotlight—something all groups should strive for. Its running theme of friendship, seems a natural, effortless choice. (Sat., April 12, Tractor Tavern)
This is a late post, but I wrote these briefs for Seattle Weekly to preview shows in Seattle by Dan Croll, Bastille, Susy Sun and Temples. You can also read these briefs here and here.
On his debut album, Sweet Disarray, bespectacled British musician Dan Croll bounces from folk to indie pop to electronica and back, often within the same song. Rather than muddle the music, the 23-year-old Croll’s genre-juggling adds a bit of funk to more heartfelt lyrics. And touches of Afrobeat influence and steel drums make an already lively album even more vibrant. With Panama Wedding. Neumos. 8 p.m. $15. All ages. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY
More than a year after it was released, “Pompeii,” the fourth single from indie-rock quartet Bastille’s debut album, Bad Blood, is still a radio staple, both in the U.S. and the band’s native England. The group’s lyrics about the city destroyed by Mount Vesuvius make for a percussion-heavy song that’s cinematically vivid and engaging. With To Kill a King. Showbox SoDo. 9 p.m. SOLD OUT. All ages. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY
For singer/songwriter/globetrotter Susy Sun, naming her sophomore album Wanderlust was a no-brainer. Sun, who has spent time in London, Greece, and Spain, sings about love lost and gained in her textbook indie-pop voice while backed by the Passenger String Quartet. As a special treat, Wanderlust includes “Piano Impromptu,” which lets Sun’s background as a classically trained pianist take center stage. With Naomi Wachira, Whitney Lyman. Triple Door. 7:30 p.m. $15 adv./$18 DOS. All ages. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY
There’s something incredibly authentic about Temples’ brand of ’60s psychedelia, as heard on its debut album, Sun Structures. Yes, the Kettering, England–based quartet of 20-somethings is decades removed from the period it replicates, but it has nailed the era’s jangly-pop guitar riffs, summertime melodies, and sweet, shimmering vocal harmonies. Comparisons to the Fab Four are not without merit. With Drowners. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442, neumos.com. 8 p.m. $15. 21 and over. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY
I wrote this brief for Seattle Weekly to preview Young the Giant’s show in Seattle. You can also read this brief here.
Mind Over Matter, the second album from California-based alt-rock quintet Young the Giant, is full of the same guitar-driven rock jams fans have come to know and love, including lead single “It’s About Time.” But there are a few surprises. Songs like “Firelight” and “Camera” show a more subdued side of the band, while “Paralysis” closes the album on a synth-heavy note. With Vance Joy. The Showbox. 9 p.m. Sat., 8 p.m. Sun. $29.50 adv./$32 DOS. All ages. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY
I wrote this brief for Seattle Weekly to preview The Neighbourhood’s show in Seattle. You can also read this brief here.
While branding itself in black and white, stagewear and music videos included, California-based five-piece the Neighbourhood combines indie rock with R&B vibes to create an original urban-rock sound. The band had a big year thanks to its smooth single “Sweater Weather” from 2013’s I Love You, and will try to keep the momentum going with upcoming project #000000 & #FFFFFF. With Kitten, Born Casual. Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., 652-0444, showboxonline.com. 8 p.m. $26.50 adv./$29 DOS. All ages. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY
I reviewed Goodbye Heart’s new EP, Restless Nights, for Seattle Weekly. You can also read this review here.
Goodbye Heart, Restless Nights (out now, self-released, goodbyeheartband.com) It’s been only a year since Sam Ford and Nila K Leigh relocated to Seattle from New York City, but the duo has kept busy playing shows all over town and working on this, their debut EP. Aside from “Seconal,” released in March 2013, the five-track Restless Nights is all new, atmospheric material, created with only the pair’s voices, two synths, a guitar, and a drum machine. The EP begins with “Just Kids,” which sounds like a more restrained version of M83’s “Midnight City.” “Seconal,” a song about sticking together when everything is falling apart, featuring a great guitar interlude, follows. “How to Make Friends in a New Town” shows how well the huskiness in Ford’s voice pairs with Leigh’s more pristine vocals, and closer “Don’t Slow Down” successfully experiments with a variety of tempos, from slow and somber to upbeat and dancey. The EP’s lush, ethereal quality makes it easy to enjoy, and the combination of synth and drum machine adds an almost electro-hip-hop feel. Recorded with producer Shawn Simmons (The Head and the Heart, Lemolo, Kithkin), Restless Nights is as dreamy as dream-pop gets, though dark tones keep it from wandering into sugary-sweet territory. Ford and Leigh illustrate the balance perfectly on the bright yet reflective “Wish”: “I dream in neon/I live in gray.” (Thurs., April 3, Lo-Fi Performance Gallery) AZARIA C. PODPLESKY