This Wednesday I saw SF band Painted Palms take the stage at The Griffin, with LA based HOLYCHILD warming up the room and getting people moving.
The crowd was pretty sparse, even for a Wednesday night, but HOLYCHILD still managed to inject some enthusiasm into the audience with their ultra-high energy songs and stage presence. Their self-described style of ‘Brat Pop’ is exactly what it sounds like – synthy dance beats and fast-paced pop song structures fronted by Liz Nistico’s pouty (imagine Gwen Stefani when she was 17) lead vocals.
Despite not being my musical cup of tea, it was hard not to want to dance to these tunes, and the rest of the crowd was definitely digging it once they warmed up a little bit and gave into the forcefully dancey rhythms (the drummer and BOTH synth players had their own extra little percussion setups with a floor tom, snare drum, and plenty of cowbell…).
Once Painted Palms got onstage the dance vibes were definitely flowing and the crowd was ready to hear that special brand of psych-pop that we all came for. Christopher Prudhomme’s densely processed and effected vocals were awash amongst the layers of synths and guitar, yet his melodies were still catchy and grabbing. Songs like Falling Asleep played with a strange sense of summery happiness and a carefree attitude, whilst other jams like Spinning Signs evoked a darker mood with those 80’s synths and driving kick-snare marches.
The bassist definitely looked like something out of an 80’s movie, with his ripped jean jacket, backwards baseball cap, and gold chains around his neck, but he rocked it nonetheless, jumping between his bass guitar and moog analogue synth to provide a bumping low end throughout.
Overall, the night was a big hit for those that made it out, with upbeat pop numbers and washy indie tunes to get lost in. And of course, the Griffin sound system did not disappoint!