Psychic Love, Moon Honey And Dreamings At The Echo, Monday April 10th 2017
This week got very busy between the Radiohead show at Santa Barbara Bowl and Mount Eerie at Hollywood Forever, so that I didn’t get the chance to write about Dreamings’ residency I attended on Monday night! I saw three bands and it’s never too late to write about a show.
It’s easier for me when singer-songwriters write about their own music, and Laura Peters describes her music ‘as if Nancy Sinatra had a love child with Frank Black’. It was a bit difficult to get all the nuances of this very interesting description on Monday night at the Echo, where she played with her band Psychic Love, but it nevertheless gave me an idea about her musical intentions. She seemed to be the confessional type but her music was booming while her smoky voice was dominating the fuzz of the surf guitars. The band’s dream pop, that Peters calls ‘dream grunge’, was a bit mysterious behind all that fog, and the guitars were rocking a sort of melancholia, which could swell into an expansive all-wrapping sound. Last year, Psychic Love has released a debut album, ‘The Hive Mind’, in a very DIY way, but you should not be surprised if you see them play bigger venues any time soon. For their last song, Peters dropped her guitar for a tiny keyboard, and sat on the floor to play, then the sound got boosted to another level, like a nostalgic scream ending into some familiar electronica fading away.
I was already aware of Moon Honey’ psychedelic weirdness as they had opened for Kan Wakan at the Bootleg in February, but they are a dream to watch and very fascinating to listen to. Jessica Ramsey’s operatic howls ride a surprising guitar rollercoaster by Andrew Martin, which can either get furious or float in a complete dreamy state, similar to a sort of freak folk à la Devendra Banhart. This was unexpected music, suddenly morphing into many detours, including a sort of Chinese-opera inspiration at one point, and it got so curious at times that her high-pitch yodeling croon was not the weirdest thing in the mix. As usual, they had dressed up very colorfully, and Ramsey, looking like a cross between orange-hair Bjork, a Geisha and an Hindu dancer with a DIY flowering tiara, was cooing while Martin’s major guitar solos were roaring with an inventive virtuosity. The crowd cheered up big time during their set of imaginary folklore, reconciling delicate dream pop with epic rock, centered around a large touch of eccentricity.
It was Draemings’s residency, and the band fronted by the astonishing Kimi Recor started a magical set inspired by glam rock, lovers, and heartbreaks. She was glowing red, with forehead horns and feathers, and she arrived on stage looking like a devilish grand priestess, the sort of front woman you cannot detach your eyes from. Sure there was a bit of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Ziggy Stardust and Patti Smith revisited with a great Disney female vilain in mind, but it seems that Draemings truly wants to reintroduce magic, mystic and theatrical productions in music, and who could complain? It was dark eyeliner around the eyes, painted faces, alien outfits, dead roses around the stage and massive catchy guitar riffs uplifting her rebellious howls.
There is no doubt in my mind that this woman has a vision and on Monday, she fully followed it, even through a few infectious dance floors, she played in the middle of her performance, before concluding with the hooky glam-disco ball of ‘Like A Ghost’. Although the music stayed quite dark and stormy all set-long, a passionate fire was burning in the middle of it, after all she has a catching-fuzzy song called ‘Fire in Hell’, which tells a lot.
Kimi Recor co-founded the Play Like A Girl collective, throwing a monthly event at The Echo or elsewhere – I realized i attended their event at Space 15 twenty last week – and Dreamings’s self-titled 2017 EP will be released via her own PLAG Records on April 21st. Meanwhile, you still can catch her emotional and imaginary soundscapes, twice at the Echo this month.