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Musical Scrapbooks

by Miranda Robinson

Over the summer I went to a countless array of concerts, from folk, to indie rock, to worldwide to jazz, and to genres that would perhaps just be classified as sounds. I saw artists like Alice Phoebe Lou, who’s music sounds like what I imagine fairies to listen to when they flutter around, the gentle piano in combination with Lou’s tender voice creates this lullaby that seamlessly encapsulates the feeling of falling in and out of love. (Skin Crawl, Childs Play) I swayed in awe at Big Thief, where the lead singer, Adrianne Lenker, sang to the crowd as if we were friends around a camp fire. The profound lyricism that feels so utterly personal, and yet terribly relatable made you yearn for a mothers loving embrace. (Simulation Swarm, Black Diamonds). I twisted to Anika, who’s political background in journalism has seeped into her music like a black tea bag. Clever chorus riffs, a crowd so lively, and Anika's mysterious, alluring presence, I left this show feeling like a spell had been cast on me. (Finger pies, Masters of war). DakhaBrakha, a Ukrainian band from Kyiv played a deeply moving show in times of war in their hometown. Their powerful melodies in combination with the images and animations being projected on the screen behind them depicting the issues in Ukraine immersed you in this world and solidified musics ability to say things words cannot always deliver. (Kolyskova, Karpatskyi rep). Automatic did not disappoint. The drummer and vocalist, Lola Dompé, is the daughter of Kevin Haskins who is the drummer for Bauhaus. Their set list was compiled in a way that mixed their older album and new one seamlessly. The new album “Excess” feels like audio time travel. Keyboards and clever synthesizers create a perfect soundtrack that delightfully pays homage to new wave and post punk music of the 80’s. (I Love You, Fine, Venus Hour) The opener for Automatic was a a band called Escape-ism, the lead singer was a scrappy looking fellow, with mutton chops that seemed to never end. He wore a suit, and gestured to the audience with his hands when he would sing specific lines of his songs, it made me wonder if he had a past in musical theatre. He sung a song about not having a hammer, that was very clearly a riff off of “If I Had a Hammer” by Pete Seeger. The off key screeches that followed in between his cries of not having a hammer were a tad painful and created the opportune time to go get drinks before Automatic came on. Sometimes music evolves into this thing outside itself, it morphs into this way we can remember glimpses of time we shared with our loved ones. It becomes this scrapbook of memories that can be revisited just by hearing a few chords, or rather, hearing a man screaming about his missing hammer.

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