Review: Tamaryn and The Raveonettes at the Music Hall of Williamsburg

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A former KCRW volunteer turned college DJ in NYC, Lulu sends some blog loving across country.

My ears are still ringing from the deluge of sound that poured into the Music Hall of Williamsburg Thursday night along with a sold-out crowd for the The Raveonettes’s second consecutive night in Brooklyn.

With their cultivated post-punk, garage-pop aesthetic, the Danish duo unleashed a crackling, pulsing wall of sound constructed from simple harmonies and carefully-carved reverb. With her signature blond bob and airy voice, singer-bassist Sharin Foo explained that they, “Don’t like to talk much, just play.”

And play, they did. Backed by the driving force of two drummers, the duo produced a set spanning their almost decade-long career, interweaving tracks off early EPs with a large portion of their newest 2011 release, Raven in the Grave (which has made an appearance on many of April’s KCRW’s Top 50 Most Played Albums for the Week).

Raveonettes - Lulu
Raveonettes - Lulu (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Although darker and moodier than earlier releases, the recent record speaks to the group’s addicting, distortion-heavy vintage sound – a style that has accredited them with spawning much of the emerging lo-fi surf-pop. In addition to the enchanting, nostalgic hooks that rang out during “Forget That You’re Young” and “Ignite,” my favorites off the latest album, the duo extended their carefully-crafted aesthetic to the stage with punk-lighting, black garb, and a monochrome Hawaiian shirt worn by the duo’s singer-guitarist-songwriter, Sune Rose Wagner.

Rounding out the evening, San Francisco shoegaze duo Tamaryn opened by spinning an intricate web of reverb with epic guitar riffs and dreamy vocals. Touring with their first full album, The Waves, the duo kept a low-key, angsty stage presence, performing in front of disjointed projections of blooming flowers, spinning carousels, and blazing sparklers – images that captured the magic and mystery of their vast and transporting sound. Intrigued by their powerful performance, I bought and am now hooked on the album, looking forward to hearing more from them in the future.

Last night, standing in the packed hall amid leather jackets, soaring melodies, bobbing heads, and dipping riffs, I found myself infected by the thick distortion – thrilled by the innovative, talented artists creating the soundtrack to my youth.

Want to feel it yourself? Watch a 2008 Morning Becomes Eclectic in-studio with The Raveonettes.

Or catch the two groups as they move their tour to the West Coast, playing at the West Hollywood Troubadour Thursday, May 5th and Friday, May 6th.

– Lulu Mickelson