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Dr. Fadeaway, Who Can Sleep, My Hawaii At The Hi Hat, Sunday May 29th 2016


Dr. Fadeaway


The Hi Hat is a cool club-bar-concert-venue nested between hip boutiques on York Boulevard in Highland Park. It opened its doors at the beginning of this year, and I haven’t had time to visit the place too often, but I went there on Sunday night and got to see three bands.

It turned out that it was Dr. Fadeaway‘s first show ever, so I will be able to say I was there when they blow up some day! I actually got a big Beach House vibe as soon as the synth-pop quartet started playing their dreamy shoegazing songs haunted by emotional vocals. The music was quite slow with big synth swirls stretching the songs into melancholia, and when they added more keyboards, it got even dreamier. As I said, it was their first show as a band, but they already have an EP on bandcamp, and if their atmospheric sound got slightly more upbeat toward the end, the solemn, sprawling-till-a-collapse vocals – which definitively reminded me about Victoria Legrand’s – kept their poignancy till the end, during a song which even adopted a waltz-y tempo.

The duo Who Can Sleep has just released a song called ‘Falling Down’ on Soundcloud (below), and if you carefully listen to it, you may eventually catch its Fleetwood-Mac-pop-gem appeal, although when they performed it live, they blended into an improvised chorus of Cindy Lauper’s ‘Time after Time’. Dean Vivirito and Lexie Helgerson gave us a series of carefully crafted male-female harmonies all set-long, it was sweet, a bit folksy or a bit dark at times, with an atmospheric strumming guitar, sparkling keys, a watery synth providing soft beats, it was the type of pop focused on vocals that makes great voices shine. Their last song became louder, but the whole set stayed in the lo-fi level. Who Can Sleep’ are also newcomers to the ever-growing LA music scene, and their moniker, the title of a Ronnie Spector song, may be an indication of the instant classics they want to produce.

As they told us, My Hawaii were just coming back from a tour in Japan, probably a real adventure for an indie band. They label themselves ‘underground hula music’, but they also had some cool and catchy country songs and their frontman (yohei shikano) has a Japanese name. So they were a bit all over the place, with some weird super atmospheric numbers, using many strange percussion instruments coming from a mysterious box. Yohei was singing with a thin and soft voice during quiet moments followed by unexpected outbursts of energy. They played a curious sun-drenched poppy song (truly inspired by a dream in the desert) but also getting into familiar upbeat country territories. They have released a bunch of albums and their last one, ‘Mood Matters’, reflected their impulsive set.

More pictures here


Who Can Sleep


My Hawaii

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