A refreshing change is happening in this city’s music scene right now. We’re starting to move away from our isolated, west coast/surf folk sounds and into more female-fronted electronic indie pop. Bands like CR0ATIA, LABS, and LIINKS are making strides to bring new and unique sounds to our scene. Their music is contemporary to what’s happening in music right now, and not lagging several years behind (as is usually the case in ol’ Victoria, BC).
Kicking off a night of local music at Lucky Bar was a band I’ve heard of in conversation, but hadn’t had a chance to see in person: Friendly Ghost. Yes, I’m sure that’s a Casper reference, but I won’t hold that against them. Any band that boasts a saxophone player in its lineup is generally worth my time to check out. Friendly Ghost was reminiscent of indie bands from Manchester in the ’80s. Maybe it was the lead singer’s voice; I couldn’t put my thumb on it. It’s just how felt about the band. A solid sound that I wouldn’t mind exploring more of in the future.
The show also acted as Friendly Ghost’s album release party for their latest effort, Best Friends Club, an album I anticipate listening to and reviewing in the coming weeks.
Middling the show was long time friends of Rocktographers and all around good guys, Acres of Lions.
The last time we saw Acres of Lions perform was when they opened for Towers & Trees at Sugar Nightclub back in January. With the addition of their new drummer, Tyler Ennis has breathed new life into the band. They’ve returned with fresh energy to their old staples, but also performing a new song or two at Lucky Bar.
The hometown heroes closed out their set with a ripping version of “Writing From The Heart” off their 2013 record Home(s), a song that I would later find out that they’d never played live before that night. I hope it stays in their set for a long time, because honestly, it was good to see them rock out like they used to.
It’s rare for me to be surprised when going to a concert anymore. Through and through I’m a music fan, but when it comes down to it, I often feel like “I’ve seen this all before.” That feeling is exacerbated by the fact I live on an island that I rarely get off of to see music. Sometimes, I feel stagnated by the music I see every weekend. The same bands supporting the same out-of-town acts. That might be why I spend most days listening to podcasts and new wave music from the 1980s.
Let’s put it this way: CR0ATIA surprised me. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t that. A wave of dark synth and distorted guitar filled the air as the petite singer Tashiina Buswa crouched low on the stage next to an unused drum kit. Eventually she would bring the microphone to her mouth and explode in manic energy between synth player Steve Mitchell and guitarist Matt Dell.
If you’ve seen Teri Gender Bender perform with Les Butcherettes or Bosnian Rainbows, you’d have a better understanding of songstress Tashiina’s movements. A performer perpetually moving and limited only by the length of her microphone cord. Her voice a refreshing break from the the drudgery of male singer/songwriters filling our airwaves and music venues. A perfect balance to the instrumentation of electronic drums, synths, and guitar.
Victoria is ready for a dynamic shift in the music scene, and I fully support CR0ATIA leading the charge with their moody and dark synth pop.