La Bouquet’s Release Show At The Roxy, Wednesday November 7th 2017
La Bouquet may be a strange moniker for a band, it sounds romantic, fragile and obviously a bit feminine, however the band who played last night couldn’t have shown more confidence on stage.
On Wednesday night, La Bouquet had a release party at the Roxy for their new EP, ‘Heavy Sunshine’, and they played a crowd-impressing set following two other young bands, LAYNE, fronted by a young woman with a soft voice and going all ferocious with her guitar, and lovelytheband, which had a series of very catchy melodies engaging the crowd which didn’t need any encouragement. The show was presented by popular radio station KROQ, so the crowd was obviously young and enthusiastic, and people were very often singing along to the songs.
La Bouquet duo, which actually materialized on stage as a quartet, started their loud set with a strident guitar piercing the layered fuzz of the music with pounding drums, a keyboard, and an occasional trumpet. The result was more or less R&B-inspired, especially because of the vocals sang by Bryan Sammis, with a sort of Bon Iver in mind, while there was plenty of space for dance-y rhythms, vagabonding between hard hitting tempos and breezy electro pop.
Frontman and singer Bryan Sammis, who was the drummer for the Neighbourhood, still kept his drumming on hand with electronic pads on his side, that he sometimes used during the set, adding layers of percussion to their already heavy hitting music. Now, quitting a band like the Neighborhood during its ascent to success while attempting a solo career has to be a bold move, but Sammis nevertheless departed the Neighborhood a few years ago, then tried himself at alt-pop under the name ‘Olivver the Kid’, then quite recently formed La Bouquet with his best friend Jake Lopez (ex-Sink Swim). They have described themselves as ‘the dads of sad’, and I guess many songs titles evoked their signature heartbroken theme (‘Loser Baby, ‘Sad People dancing’, ‘Pure Heartbreak’, Kiss me Kill me’…) while the melodies had a melancholia attached to remnants of music of the 80s.
Their somewhat moody songs transformed themselves into not-too-obvious dancefloors, although I saw many people moving and dancing along, while there were different genre elements inside their songs, an updated new wave blending into an underlying R & B, a modern twist to an indie pop vibe, collapsing into electro rock.
Many of their anthemic compositions made the young crowd dance and sing with fervor and looking at the woman hitting her chest with her fist during the most quiet ones, like their recent ‘Kiss Me Kill Me’, I could tell that strong feelings were shared, during a night that I could call modern emo night. with spacious music.