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Therapies Son at the Echo on Monday August 1st,2011

The members of Therapies Son were apparently done with their sound check, but they did not start before at least 20 minutes, may be it was because they don’t have a lot of songs to play yet, and they were taking their time to fill the Echo with their lush dreamy pop tunes.

After all Alex Jacob is surprisingly only 19 – he had that X mark on the back of his hand marking people who don’t have the right to drink yet – but his psychedelic pop universe, so mellow and so soothing at the same time, could transport you anywhere. Surrounded by only two musicians, one playing an upright bass (Max?) and another one behind the drums, it was probably quite a challenge to reproduce live this lo-fi synth-based music during which so much is going on. The drum player had installed a Mac which was releasing some of these complex arrangements and backup vocals, making their sound more layered than anyone could have suspected with just a guitar-bass-drum trio.

On stage, they appeared shy but confident nevertheless, and I guess they played all the 6 songs from their critically acclaimed debut EP ‘Over The Sea’, whose sound is so difficult to translate on paper, familiar and strange at the same time, driven by a constant bouncing and throbbing mid-tempo beat with high-pitched whispered vocals, some appeasing soundscapes in loops, evoking the 60s and at the same time a little bit Panda-Bear-like, mixing nostalgia and avant-garde. Brian Wilson came to my mind, but many other famous names had been thrown in reviews, The Flaming Lips, John Lennon, Elton John, I even heard some Bowiesque-space-oddity in ‘Yellow Mama’.

I could not resist visiting their bandpage (http://therapiesson.bandcamp.com), and before saying anything else, the music is honestly emotionally charged, glorious, but fragile as if there was more going on than these sunny melodies and upbeat visions of the sea,… how did he manage to do that?

Live, there were less of these background sound imagery (they did not even have a synth on stage!) and less of these lullaby-like vocals, and you could tell they haven’t played a lot of shows yet from their cute semi-awkwardness between the songs.

But their performance still took many by surprise with catchy songs like the very memorable and heavenly melting ‘Touching Down’, the slowly-galloping-waltzing ‘Rose Red Rose’, and the gorgeously-bizarre-foot-tapping ‘Golden Girl’.
But when I say catchy, it was much more than a melody you can whistle afterwards, the music was wrapping us intimately, like a merry-go-round turning around us, Therapies Son is now like an exquisite secret I hesitate to share, some snapshots of happy moments of life you want to keep for yourself.

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