Words & Photos by Marco Denzer
Slenderbodies are grabbing the music world by storm, and there’s absolutely no stopping it. The Los Angeles based duo has just finished a successful run with Pvris in support of their North American tour and arrived in NYC for a sold out show at Rough Trade.
Musicians Max and Benji took the stage at 9:00 PM and used a strikingly minimalist setup consisting of guitars, backing tracks (bass and percussion) sequence, and vocals to delivered an impressive performance that clearly delighted everyone in the crowd. It was Monday and the place was jumping as if it was a Friday night.
In spite of their busy agenda in recent months, including several tour dates with Passion Pit this past January, showcase performances at SXSW in March, and countless other shows in between, Slenderbodies exude a positive, easy-going energy on stage that is simultaneously fresh, pleasant, and deeply contagious for the audience. This fact was quite evident in the way people were swaying and letting loose to the reciprocal good vibes emanating from stage.
After briefly greeting the audience and expressing abundant joy for their return to NYC, Slenderbodies began an awesome hour and a half set with a brief intro that led straight into a list of tunes selected from the Fabulist EP, released in 2017, and their previous work Sotto Voce from 2016. It was a repertoire consisting of songs that depict longing reflections and dreamscapes of romance; it included titles like “Lucid”, “Gray”, “Mirage”, and “Amnesia”. However, they also added variety to the mix by playing “Belong”, the first single from their upcoming album, and a very well received cover of “Electric Feel” by MGMT.
The duo’s guitar playing chops are quite complementary to each other, and regardless of the fact that it was just the two of them on stage, they were able to create a melodic counterpoint that avoided monotony and made their music dynamic and interesting. That, coupled with their smooth and lush falsetto-drenched vocals resulted in a great performance with a sound all their own.
With several performances scheduled in the months ahead, Slenderbodies shows no signs of slowing down during 2018. You can see them performing live at one of their shows at Taste of Randolph Street in Chicago this coming June, and Austin City Limits in October.
Electric Feel (MSMG cover)
One of Us
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