It was odd to be in Williamsburg’s Knitting Factory from 2pm onwards this Friday, the light of day streaming in through the windows in the front, coming back to the stage, casting a glow separate from the multi colored bulbs overhead.
The Hush Now of Boston kicked off the show. Smaller, floaty light-stepping effects added up to contribute an indie wash to their pop sound. Their most successful song was a Halloweenish number “Please Mephistopheles (Leave Me Alone),” complete with a groovy, slightly spooky swing vibe.
Wisconsin’s own S. Carey, of Bon Iver, performed next. The sound was wholly orchestral, the sort of dissident yet encompassing sound a symphony makes when warming up and tuning their instruments. They were able to produce a goosebumps-giving effect by seamlessly building up the layers, and seamlessly paring down and shifting. They did the very same thing with their vocals, combining voices the way a composer might pair instruments to build a resonance greater than the sum of its parts. S. Carey pulled some surprises as well, including a vigorous near-tribal drum breakdown and an upright bass solo.
Next was one-man band Diamond Rings. Clad in gold lame leggings, he immediately claimed the stage as his own with the addition of a rainbow unicorn tapestry tacked onto the keyboard. His set was short but sweet, all ’80s inspired whimsical keyboard ditties and electric guitar. He broke it down for the crowd, erupting into a dance at several points, lanky golden limbs swinging everywhere.
Just before 5pm, Shilpa Ray And Her Happy Hookers began to play, bringing a screeching raucous energy with them. Shilpa’s nonchalant style made rocking out with a harmonium look easy. They brought so much vigor and raw rock n’ roll attitude to the set.
Cotton Jones, a five-piece from Maryland, closed the show. Their folk sound was perfect, a calming sort of lullaby to end the showcase. The light coming in from the windows was considerably less now.