Tonight, a fellow blipper (blip.fm) remarked to me "(Photons) sound like they have a lot of fun making music." They do. One listen will tell you that. Seeing all seven (sometimes eight "when they're lucky") of them live performing confirms that. From the pre-show huddle-up that looks like something between a group hug and a rugby scrum, to the interaction on-stage with each other, and with the audience, they love what they do. You hear it, you see it, you feel it. They (Calvin, Mary, James, Erica, Ben, Casey and Elysha; and yes, I did that from memory. Sarah, I hope your arm is better) are truly some of the most endearing, personable people I have met in this business. But underneath their fun-filled exterior, they're serious about the music they make.
In the one year they have been together, this band of San Franciscans have self-released two EPs and are working hard towards their first LP. That's not saturation, that's lucky for us. Their brand of indie pop is something of an experience. It's light and rich all at once. It captures the heart and puts a smile on your face. And there's one thing I noticed whether seeing them live or listening to their EPs, when it's over, I think to myself, "That's it?" To me, that's the simplified mark of a great act, the one that leaves you wanting more.
What are you asking for? A group from various walks of life (one member played with The Dodos back in the day, another's favorite band is Isis,) different parts of the country, a lot of personality that comes through in seven (sometimes eight) different ways: a bassoon, a glockenspiel, a clarinet, keys, two guitars, a bass, and drums. And, a lot of chorusing a la The Go! Team. Sound a bit overwhelming? It's won't when you listen. Because Photons make it sound all so seamless. The comparison I keep coming back to for them is an American, west-coast "James." Music that feels like whipped cream, and tastes like crème brûlée. These guys and gals have a formula that more than works; it thrives. It's more than refreshing; it's a great exhale of relief. For all the genre's and formulas and catches you hear in much of today's music, there's a great comfort to have an eclectic sound that hooks you in its sincerity, then reassures you in its quality.
Music from Photons
Listen: Where Were You Last Night, from "Glory!" EP
Listen: Something Left to Live For, from "Photons" EP
Official Site and Links to Purchase