Once upon a time in St. Louis, Three Merry Widows spun an elaborate, fairy-tale wonderland of music with their very own Alice front and center. Alice Spencer, Brian Simpson, Sean Garcia and Charles Shipman are reuniting for one night (sans original drummer Matt Albert) to tell their stories and sing their songs once again. Three Merry Widows perform at the Ready Room on Saturday, February 7.
Why do we listen to music? Every listener has his or her own answer. But maybe we're all hoping to be restored, revived in some way. And that's what Dallas band Valise is after on the new, spirited chamber-folk track "Dialogue."
"Is it a fucking Tuesday night in St. Louis?!" howled Saint Motel point man A/J Jackson before the band busted into "Daydream/Wetdream/Nightdream." A proper answer was weeded out with a quick glance towards the nearest iPhone. Jackson needed no response, but the question was fair.
With an eerie and intimate ambience, the new single "Black Cat White Cat" by Annalibera seduces on the strength of Anna Gebhardt's searing alto and dreamy imagism.
A lot of bands are described as "dream pop" these days. But Brooklyn-based group Bonsai, led by singer and songwriter Simone Stevens, makes that description more than a label on the gloriously atmospheric "I Fashion You're a Dreamer."
Enigmatic Los Angeles-based musician Autumn in June makes electronic music that unites late-night contemplation with even-later-night dance-floor grooves. "Weeks" is chilled-out electro-pop, but not so chilled out as to leave the hooks behind.
I had the pleasure of attending scores of shows in St. Louis this past year. Here are my top picks for the best shows of 2014.
Recorded in an old dance hall transformed into a studio in the Crescent City, the track "The Things We Do" by Rahim Quazi is piano and string-filled Sinatra-esque pop for the 21st century.
Anchored in the singing and songwriting duo of Argentine-born Max Claps and James Hoare (of Veronica Falls), the London band the Proper Ornaments revives psychedelic pop with hints of the Velvet Underground and contemporary bands like Real Estate.