Cool post-modern rock-meets-electronica harmonies drifted through Velvet Jones Thursday night as a trio of undoubtedly talented bands serenaded the audience with authoritative instrumentals and captivating voices. Brought together by none other than ambient, post-rock kings (and recent 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, but sustained an esteemed and impressive aura, making for an absolutely compelling show.
Kicking off the night was Sister Crayon, who played to a sparse audience, but blew away their few spectators with a set’s worth of psychedelic instrumentals. The quartet was led by vocalist Terra Lopez, whose proved reminiscent of Florence and the Machine, with her whispy, slightly raspy, sometimes opera-like crooning, all backed 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 well received in turn.
Next, The Globes took the stage, offering a 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’re a solid example of musical restraint, utilizing unanticipated structural turns on songs like “A Stitch Couldn’t Save The World,” “Stay Awake,” and their new song “Haunted By Bears.”
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 pedals, 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. The set picked up about halfway through as Fogarty sped up the tempo, and heads began to bob harder as the audience fell into drummer’s pulse. Playing favorites that included “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, making for a night that was that was nothing short of 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.