As the year comes to a close and the musical offerings start winding down, we’re often left clinging to “best of” lists to satiate our need for good new tunes. Fortunately, such was not the case on Monday night at Muddy Waters Café, where two of the Northwest’s brightest up-and-comers united for a show that proved well worth its “historic tour” hype.
Together for a short string of West Coast dates, Seattle’s Poor Moon and Portland’s Pure Bathing Culture paired beautifully. Opening up the night, PBC’s dreamy and hook-laden pop resonated beautifully in Muddy’s often unforgiving acoustic space. With a drum machine providing the backing track, frontwoman Sarah Versprille, guitarist Daniel Hindman, and bassist Zach Tillman slow grooved through all the tracks on their debut EP, plus a few newbies for good measure, including the gloriously ethereal “Dream the Dare.”
Complementary but contrasting, Poor Moon filled Muddy’s tiny entryway with a lineup that stood six men strong. With a packed house at attention, the band launched into a high-energy and intricately layered set that nicely combined indie-folk tropes with a nostalgia-soaked take on rhythm and blues. Throughout the set, frontman Christian Wargo swapped between guitars and proved himself an immaculate harmonizer alongside keyboardist Ian Murray, who acted the ideal foil to Wargo’s lilt on tracks like “Widow.” Needless to say, bills this strong don’t come along often, and this one was a nice reminder that the year ain’t over just yet.