I had no idea what to expect when Aussie band Dappled Cities took the stage on Friday night at Mercury Lounge. A trusty publicist had described them with comparisons to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Arcade Fire. While containing some similarities to those 2 bands, Dappled Cities was far from derivative. Playing a passionate set of epic songs with unique vocals from two different singers, the 5-piece performed like a band on the brink of explosion. And with a pretty full crowd watching, they surely succeeded in expanding their fan base.
Following Dappled Cities’ impressive set, was an equally inspiring set from Brooklyn locals, Jealous Girlfriends. Upon seeing them live, it’s very easy to understand why the band is starting to garner attention from the indie music world. Female vocalist, Holly Miranda is not only quite attractice but her voice is enchantingly soulful and takes the band to a higher level.
After the hard to follow acts of Dappled Cities and The Jealous Girlfriend, Mercury Lounge then witnessed one of the best musical performances its walls have even contained, as Besnard Lakes played songs from their recent release The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse. The band did not need crazy stage theatrics or anything, the music being created by the 6-piece was plenty enough on it’s own. Three guitars swirled, building off of each other, while Jace Lasek’s vocals hit Brian Wilson levels. Part Beach Boys, part Pink Floyd, every song became epic, but the finest moment came with their moving performance of “Because Tonight,” which featured bowed guitar playing. Given enough time, Besnard Lakes will probably be as big as Arcade Fire. Pitchfork has already given them an excellent review. It’s only a matter of time before their selling out much larger venues like Webster Hall, and those who caught them in smaller venues like Mercury Lounge on Friday, will be bragging to all of their friends.
Photo of Dappled Cities courtesy of Jonny-Leather