Local favorites A B & the Sea brought their retro pop to Cafe Du Nord last Wednesday as a part of the local showcase The Rumble. Two out-of-towners — So Many Wizards (LA) and What Laura Says (Phoenix) — kicked off the free (with RSVP) show, presented by a consortium of Noise Pop, Future Sounds and The Owl Mag.
So Many Wizards describe their music as “bedroom pop,” but I would add “late-night romantics” to that description; the trio navigates short, atmospheric songs centered on songwriter Nima Kazerouni’s forlorn lyrics. They sounded best when Kazerouni dropped his guitar and let his voice ride on the drums and bass. Their latest EP Love Songs for When You Leave Me, which they gave out for free at the show, was recorded in San Francisco at Different Fur Studios with Chris Chu (The Morning Benders).
Next up, the long-haired boys of What Laura Says capably set a different tone, evoking 70s rock and blues in both their music and aesthetic. Their music culls the ear-tugging parts of soul harmonies and blues improvisation and creatively marries them. Given their diverse instruments, from guitars and keys to vases and lutes, they are definitely a fun live band.
A B & the Sea headlined with their throwback beach pop. I first saw them play at Noise Pop this past spring and really enjoyed the band’s economy of sound and lyrics. This time around they had a more rock sound, amping up the bass and letting the guitarist rip. The heavier sound does a nice job of grounding the lightness of their tunes. They played a new song, “The Current,” that suggested there was plenty more rock to come.