Tag Archives: st. lucia

Live Review: Panama Wedding, Griswolds and Magic Man bring down Neumos

The other night I saw three electro-pop bands that, if you so choose to listen to, might make you break out in a happy dance. Yes, the good vibes were all around the other night at the Neumos when I was able to see Panama Wedding, The Griswolds and Magic Man. The stop in Cap Hill was part of their “Hotline Spring Tour” and I was little disappointed that it included no Drake covers. Truth be told, I hadn’t done much listening to these acts but what I got was pretty much what I expected. Throughout the show, the bands delivered high-tempo tunes that made everyone hop around.

First we had the synth-heavy, melodic guys from Brooklyn, NY and honestly I thought they out-performed everyone else that would later come on that stage. Panama Wedding hasn’t really released that much music, but they’ve done pretty well with their two EPs. What makes this band really fun to see is their frontman, Peter Kirk, who’s voice is just really purely beautiful. Their music isn’t too complicated but it doesn’t feel like it has to be. The highlight of the show for me was “Uma”, a song that is just way too fun to sing along to and one that’s been stuck in my head since the other night.

Next we had a couple of Aussies who did their best to follow P-Wed. The Griswolds have done pretty well with their debut album Be Impressive that was released last year. Frontman Christopher Whitehall has got electric pink hair that tells you right away that this guy gets freaky with it. This band seems like they’re going to become bigger and bigger because their songs are just like really fun, guilt-free, cruelty-free pop music.

Headlining this mutha was Magic Man, a band out of BOSTON (MY HOMETOWN!) that has a way bigger following than I was aware of. Their frontman, Alex Caplow, was not about to be out-hyped by the Griswolds. He came out fiery and made this band go. Sonically, they don’t differ too much from the other bands, which I guess makes sense because they were touring with them… Huh. Anyways, fun show that you didn’t really need to think about. Just dance!

At the end we got a surprise crossover of all three bands who did a joyous rendition of R. Kelly’s “Ignition (remix)”. This was a lot of fun that featured one mysterious band member spitting absolute fire emojis. After the bands had left the stage, my face was covered in smiles so I’d say the whole thing was a good experience. Overall, this show was great fun but like not really life changing, you know? I’d check these bands out if you aren’t afraid to admit that you like pop. 

Similar to CHVRCHES, Walk the Moon or St. Lucia.

Winslow Lewis is a first-time guest blogger who also DJs for Rainy Dawg Radio. Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!

Album Review: St. Lucia – Matter

image

If you’re a firm believer in the idea that less is more, then you probably should avert your ears from St. Lucia’s sophomore LP, Matter. If you love 80s-inspired synthpop that’s extra-synthy, extra-poppy, and extra-excited, you should keep reading.

Jean-Philip Grobler, the man behind the music, had few reservations in creating his newest production, which is his first release in over two years. The album, a follow-up to 2013′s When the Night, contains not only the same retro-shimmery sound that put St. Lucia on the map (bad geography pun, anyone?) in the first place, but somehow adds even more hyped-up, repetitive choruses, sometimes to the point of excess.

This album is a monster. It’s 11 tracks and 53 minutes of non-stop dance/power ballads, giving H&M stores a lot of new material to play over their speaker systems for years to come. It opens with “Do You Remember”, a tune with a similar sounding backing track to “Elevate”, the lead single from the first album (but hey, that’s the St. Lucia sound you came for, right?). The song is pretty catchy, and is probably one of the less “retro” sounding tracks on the album. For a minute, I actually thought I was listening to a new Bleachers or CHVRCHES single. “Dancing On Glass”, the album’s first single, is a huge favorite of mine, and was one of my top tracks during October. It’s catchy, it’s fun, and it still feels innovative and new, all things that remind us why this album was so highly anticipated. “The Winds of Change” is also pretty good, which is due to fun vocal hooks and choruses.

This balance of indie-pop and dance is where the album (and band) shine, but, as the album moves on, we see how Grobler moves away from this, walking a dangerous line between modern edginess and straight-up overproduction. This is apparent in “Rescue Me”, which appears to be a six-and-a-half minute long mashup(?) of just about every artist to ever play on a soundtrack to a John Hughes movie, “Thriller”, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax” (now I’m getting all excited thinking about Zoolander 2, dammit). By this point, the album is already starting to sound repetitive and tiring, and we’re only at track 8. 

During the last few tracks of the album, Matter really loses its momentum. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I don’t like the album, but I feel like there is a large proportion of weak tracks. This is amplified when the album is almost an hour long. However, I definitely have a few of the songs added to my playlists and listen to them frequently. One way that the sometimes excessive production might work is that it could translate really well to live shows (and St. Lucia will be at the Showbox in Seattle on March 2!)

So if you need a pick-me-up on a drab day, love synthpop, or still can’t let go of the fact that you were born too late to live in the 80s, don’t hesitate to give Matter a listen, and see what you think. 

Listen Here

Rating: 5/10

Notable Tracks: “Dancing On Glass”, “Do You Remember”, “Winds of Change”

image
Ann Evans



Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!