THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
A recent local show served as a good, consolidated progress report on three of the more noted acts of Orlando’s current indie class
(Jan. 7, The Social). Headliner Priest
is a slinky, nocturnal electronic-pop act that’s gotten a considerable amount of hip blog love
in its couple years of existence. But even with some decent songs, this sonically and vocally thin performance proved that it’s still more of a studio project
The openers, however, were much more built for live play, and it’s been a while since I’ve checked back in on either of them. There is probably nobody around here still seducing the ‘80s as hard as Saskatchewan,
the band that first established Chandler Strang
as legitimate leading-man material. But these smooth-vibing loverboys are tracing those dreamy neon lines
with a more honed hand than ever. This is some serious synth action to slow dance to, guys. Never was the fog machine
at this show more aptly deployed than when they were playing.
Like Priest and Saskatchewan, Day Joy
has seen its share of national attention in recent years, emerging in 2013 as one of Orlando’s most promising breakouts
with a nationally released and pushed album (Go to Sleep, Mess
) under the Frenchkiss
label umbrella. But after the core creative duo shrank to just frontman Michael Serrin,
the band has practically fallen off even the local radar in the search to redefine itself.
Now with a completely retooled five-piece lineup, Day Joy’s pillowy folk-pop sounded less psychedelic and more melodically distinct, but still rich in floating atmosphere. What’s more, though still purposefully sedate, some of the new material performed was highly clarified with quiet drama, as if someone’s been listening to a lot of the National
lately. It’s a smart move that really showcases Serrin’s elegant songwriting.
I’m not sure why Day Joy’s comeback has been so slow but it looks like some wheels are moving again with work on new recordings. After seeing them shine again on stage, let’s hope that this is sign of something beginning again.
This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene.
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