Cool post-modern rock-meets-electronica harmonies drifted through Velvet Jones Thursday night as a trio of undoubtedly talented bands serenaded the audience with incredibly authoritative instrumentals and captivating voices. Brought together by none other than ambient, post-rock kings, and Santa Barbara frequents, El Ten Eleven, the show began with openers Sister Crayon and The Globes. With the experimental music talents setting a garage-band show feel, the performance was laid back, yet sustained an esteemed and impressive aura, making for an absolutely compelling show.
Kicking off the show was Sister Crayon, who although played to a sparse audience, blew away spectators with their psychedelic instrumentals. The quartet was led by vocalist Terra Lopez, whose powerfully haunting voice hypnotized listeners. Reminiscent of Florence and the Machine with her whispy, slightly raspy, sometimes opera-like crooning, Lopez was accompanied by synth-infused rock sounds comprised of drums and jazzy keyboard resonances. Though weighty on the reverb and echo, the group made for beautifully eerie sound building and was incredibly well received.
Next, The Globes took the stage offering an incredibly dynamic performance. With structurally complex sounds the group embraces drastic evolutions from a whisper to a deafening storm in the span of a few seconds; using their volume to its fullest effect. Evocative of a dreamy rock jam band, they esteem false crescendos, building the song up, but dropping back to muted tones, only to bring it back full force; allowing for the high points to create an even more dominant influence. They are an excellent example of musical restraint with unanticipated structural turns in each song as seen in their set list which included “A Stich Couldn’t Save The World, “Stay Awake”, and their new song “Haunted By Bears.” The Globes was awesome to say the least.
The venue filled out as El Ten Eleven took the stage, and killed it with what was likely their best performance in Santa Barbara thus far. Composed of Tim Fogarty on drums and Kristian Dunn on doubleneck and bass loop work, the duo has indisputably perfected their art. Creating intricately looped blends, their sound is redolent of a cross between expressive, emotional riffs and spunky, bold, synthetic reverberations. Picking up halfway through the set as Fogarty’s high energy sped up the tempo, heads began to bob harder as the audience instantly fell into pulse of the drummer. Playing all their favorites, including My Only Swerving, Sorry About Your Irony, and The Sycophants Are Coming!, El Ten Eleven crafted an upbeat brand of rhythmic, overlapping pock rock bliss, and never seems to be less than phenomenal.
Though none of the sounds are starkly new, Sister Crayon, The Globes, and El Ten Eleven each are quietly innovative, constructing their own distinctive take on indie rock, making for a an irrefutably matchless listening experience.
See it on the Independent website. Videos soon to come!