I heard about p o u t’s possible EP release probably months before this show through an interview, and when it finally came time, I got really curious.
I’d listened to serenity at least 20 times and couldn’t help but wonder how this would translate into a big room with people. I mean, you can tell the sound would go over well, with all that extra room for resonance. But performance-wise, I didn’t know what to expect.
p o u t plays a sort of down-tempo, almost electronic kind of music. Genres are so fucking tricky you guys. I wanted to call it soft trap at first. They have the clicky electronic drum backtrack with great different samples and sounds, and it follows the kind of beat you’d think matches that. The guitarist adds to it all gently, with carefully selected sounds. Instrumentally, these guys work a lot in the realm of time and tact. There’s not much excess or unneeded meat to the song, instead, they carry ethereal and hard beats. Then this high, haunting soft voice comes over and drapes a very human mood over the whole composition.
This voice caught me most, caught me first, and kept me listening to serenity. And now, to Nylon Tears, which I think they performed all of at the release that night. They found a sax! I believe a saxophone player! The performance delivered that night. I mean, it stayed remarkably true to the music you can listen to in your living room, and somehow created an eerily soft atmosphere in the room? Like I can’t get away from a little bit of a creepy vibe to these tunes. It feels super a e s t h e t i c to me, like sad boys image gifs with pink-purple-blue gradients or some 8-bit shit on there. Or at least how I think of it.
Her voice is what really brings a difference for me. It feels almost unexpected in that instrumental set-up, and it serves a great purpose in terms of texture of sound. My brain identifies with the human voice in such an opposite way than the beat, noticing the fragility and variance and strength and… something like real and living combined? Anyway, it makes for very interesting listening. It catches my attention, holds my thought and curiosity, and then kind of gets my hips moving. and then we’re good, we’re in, listening.
Another thing that caught me at the show was the crowd. I spend a lot of time at small gigs in Winnipeg (aka the Handsome Daughter, Good Will, Cavern… okay not too many) and I’ve gotten to know a number of different sections of the community. Music brings people out from all corners of the city, so as I see bands, I get little samples of Winnipeggers? Anyway, this night, p o u t brought out a decent sized and seemingly dedicated crowd. A number of people were standing near the front and dancing. Which isn’t the easiest to downtempo stuff. And people were wearing their new hats (they look nice) and smiling a lot and seemed really connected in that moment.
I think p o u t is going on tour soon? And I wish them the best. They make some pretty damn interesting tunes, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they picked up some complex fans along the journey.