TOPS and Weyes Blood at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club, Wednesday October 5
A musical yin and yang, SOhO Restaurant & Music Club’s Weyes Blood/TOPS double-bill was an immensely impressive and enjoyable pairing of low moods and high, gravity and groove. The impeccable Weyes Blood opened with a set that could best be described as heartbreaking –– her voice, mournful and wavering but strident in confidence like a Joan Baez, could devastate even the hardest heart. The folky songs from her Cardamom Times EP were beautiful, like “Cardamom” and “In The Beginning,” but it was arguably her covers of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” and Harry Nilsson’s “Everybody’s Talking” that were the hardest-hitting numbers of her set.
Pulling us from our doomy waters, Montreal’s TOPS uplifted with their. A.M.-radio retro funk sound. Singer Jane Penny delivered vocals more sultry and impassioned than her studio takes, and drummer Riley Fleck steadied things with his admirably precise drumming. The band achieved a nice balance between danceable and thoughtful, with happy grooves that jived conversationally with downtempo synths on songs like “Way To Be Loved,” while the deeply felt “Outside” brought to mind the epic heart-sleeves of Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away.” Paired with Weyes Blood, it was a showcase of some of the best indie rock and folk on the road right now – here’s hoping the duo returns again soon.