Brooklyn Vegan and Spin know how to entertain a Who’s Who crowd, providing excellent cocktails for parched patrons at an intimate listening party at Sonos Studio in Los Angeles. Up-and-comers IO Echo and Hundred Waters provide short and sweet sets, with soothing backbeats from DJ Groundislava between sets: West Hollywood salon mood music galore. For onlookers’ visual pleasure, the walls are lined with streams of various Brooklyn Vegan photos of current artists– most were from their respective Coachella performances from earlier this year.
Fairly fresh on the scene, IO Echo bring an illuminating energy that thrives in the small, boxy studio space. These talented artists have been featured in several showcases this Spring in Austin for SXSW. They were undoubtedly the toast of the town, and for a good reason. Between the epic breakdown of their edgy Asian-infused hit “Shanghai Girls” and the dreamlike essence of their sound, it is hard to not get sucked in to their performance. IO’s spritely silhouettes bop around the stage as they transition into the spunky tune of “Tiananmen Square” and the crowd moves toward singer Ioanna Gika’s ethereal voice like moths to the flame.
The addictive and panging echoes and whales in “Ecstasy Ghost” leave the front of the room hanging on for more. Feeding the fire is no easy task, so IO turn up the heat by playing their garage grunge-tastic jam “I’m on Fire.” Even while transitioning into the darker side of the set, IO does so with such finesse that their performance becomes more and more loveable as it progresses. Their music is the perfect combination between danger and pleasure. As whistly and fun as their final song “When the Lillies Die” is, nothing demands more attention than Ioanna’s endless array of Stevie Nicks-inspired arm flutters.
Not to be outdone vocally, Hundred Waters take to the stage with elegant composure and an even softer intent. Surprisingly, their music translates with staggering strength in live performance. The studio versions of their music tend to be less straightforward with the confusing buzzes, twinkles, zings, sways, howls, shifts and ticks; however, this show highlights their bells and whistles in a wonderful way. “Visitor” is a delightful start. Electric scales make their music move. If time travel had a soundtrack, this would be it.
The multi-textured sounds of “Sonnet” and “Thistle” enrich the live experience of these artsy rockers. Imagine Blonde Redhead plus two more bodies, creating a fuller sound with double the harmonies, double the guitars, double the freshness and double the fun. There is so much going on between the piano, vocals, flute and electronic backings that the mind is continually stimulated. Brain music, indeed. Minus the unfortunate feedback during “…___…,” Hundred Waters still manage to wrap it up well with a quick, heavy finish in “Boreal.”
With all of the side projects in which IO Echo and Hundred Waters take part, it is safe to say that they have so much more to offer in the near future. Keep up with IO Echo’s next moves here and Hundred Water’s here.
Set lists as follows:
I’m on Fire
Ministry of Love
When the Lillies Die
Me & Andodyne
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