Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Ruffled Feathers EP Release Show @ Red Room -- 06/28/14

It's been a while since I saw Vancouver's Ruffled Feathers live; so long, in fact, that they've undergone a bit of a lineup change. But they hit the Red Room to celebrate the release of their new EP, Bottom of the Blue, the last album recorded with the previous lineup.

Leading off the night was Chersea, who regular readers (all 24 of you) will remember as one of my favourite new discoveries of the year so far. On stage alone behind a fortress of instruments, Chersea builds her songs by looping keys, synth, drum pad, guitar, trumpet, even a metal water bottle for percussion. Songs ranged from electro-pop of "I Could Lose It All" to the darker and sexier "Grey Matter" to even a little tropical flavour for "Mind Porn", and while the half-hour set had a few technical glitches, they didn't detract from the overall enjoyment.

Next up was Rebel on a Mountain, a pretty basic folk-rock band. They had a trumpet in lieu of the requisite banjo, and maybe a little bit of a 90s-alt rock influence mixed in, as well as a good enthusiasm on stage -- one member telling corny jokes between songs -- but in the end were just not interesting enough to stand apart from the rest.

And finally, it was The Ruffled Feathers time to shine. Their set also had a few small technical problems, buzzing & popping cords, as well as a faint hum on and off through the set, and a couple times Gina Loes' lovely voice seemed a little too low in the mix. But again, it wasn't enough to hurt the set as they starting off with the lush "It Doesn't Last", the lead sing from the new EP.
The entire band was bubbling over with energy, and their chamber-pop sound was bolstered by their unique instrumentation. The interplay between Andrew Lee's trumpet and Molly MacKinnon's violin was interesting -- the unusual combination complimenting each other quite well -- and Andrew's backing vocals contrasted with Gina's nicely.
The hour-long set spanned their three albums, and even hinted some new stuff with a song that was either named "Boned" or "Beaune". Other highlights included "Tough Love", with Gina on the ukulele and swelled to a grand ending, as well as the jubilant "Home" and the final song of the main set "Kiss Me In The Moonlight", Andrew aptly introducing it as "one of the cutest songs you will hear all day".
But of course, they were back for the obligatory encore and wrapped up for real with the gigantic "Blueprints For Our Failed Revolution" ending the set with a bang.

The Ruffled Feathers have always been really fun live band, and I'm glad the new lineup reflected that.

setlist
It Doesn't Last, All My Cities, Home, Tough Love, New Song [Boned or Beaune], Buffalo, Siberian Springtime, Caravan, Little Sister, Kiss Me In The Moonlight.
(encore) Your Embrace, Blueprints For Our Failed Revolution.

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