Three Must-See Acts This Week

Mount Kimbie at the Chapel (May 13-14), Dear Boy at the Independent (May 11), and Oliver at Audio (May 11).

Electronic

Mount Kimbie

8:30 p.m., Sunday and Monday, May 13-14, at The Chapel. $25; thechapelsf.com

Having come a far way from the “post-dubstep” label imposed onto them upon their formation in the late 2000s, electronic trailblazers Mount Kimbie have remained unpredictable in every year of their evolution. The duo, composed of longtime friends Kai Campos and Dom Maker, released a string of EPs in 2009 during U.K. dubstep’s rise and fall, and gave listeners a glimpse of not only Mount Kimbie’s future, but the sound that would eventually takeover underground dance clubs around the world. Crooks & Lovers, Mount Kimbie’s forward-thinking 2010 debut album, was released to near-unanimous acclaim, succinctly proving why the duo operated within its own plane of consciousness with experimental beats and masterful production. However, the duo quickly became aware of other artists taking inspiration from the unique sound they helped create, leading them to explore different soundscapes and genre influences like hip-hop and dream-pop on their Warp-released 2013 album Cold Spring Fault Less Youth. After a four-year break to take their time on their following album, Mount Kimbie released Love What Survives last September, stunning fans with another evolution in their sound, nearly completely forgoing their earlier beat-heavy sound for atmospheric, synth-pop-inspired tracks with help from fellow experimenters James Blake and King Krule, who brings ferocity on standout track “Blue Train Lines.” Love What Survives is further evidence that Mount Kimbie resists genre classification by creating music that is natural to them at the moment.

 

Dear Boy

Alternative rock

Dear Boy

(with Rogue Wave) 9 p.m., Friday, May 11, at The Independent. $25; theindependentsf.com

Although 1990s Britpop never quite overtook the American grunge explosion and its aftermath, groups like Pulp and Suede left an undeniable mark on alternative rock, and L.A. quartet Dear Boy proudly displays its Britpop influences on its sleeve in a sleek, personal manner. Led by vocalist and guitarist Ben Grey, Dear Boy released its self-titled debut EP in summer 2013 to glowing reviews, with standout track “Come Along” spotlighting Grey’s powerful vocals along with an appropriately bleak, anthemic chorus. In a 2016 interview with Nylon, Grey claims, “Pulp is my favorite band in the world,” which explains Grey’s ability to write dark and confessional lyrics juxtaposed within a jangly, guitar-pop driven song, much like its newest single “Love Interest.” The deceitfully cheerful sounding track hears Grey pleading to a perhaps unfulfilled lover, “Could you be the one to breathe life into me” amid a flurry of reverb-laden guitars and synths. Dear Boy has a familiarly nostalgic style, but not at the risk of sounding derivative, as the group’s influences have helped them create a brooding and singular guitar-pop driven sound that sets them apart from their American peers.

 

Oliver

Electropop

Oliver

9:30 p.m., Friday, May 11, at Audio SF. $22; audiosf.com

Taking equal notes from 1980s electropop and disco-tinged R&B, dance duo Oliver are known for their high energy, synth-laden productions that have filled the playlists of numerous DJs since their formation in 2010. The production partners consist of the coincidentally named Vaughn Oliver and Oliver Goldstein, who both got their start as hip-hop DJs in the 1990s before eventually coming together under their current moniker. Oliver’s 2013 EP Mechanical, released on A-Trak’s Fool’s Gold label, brought the duo widespread attention with the single “Night Is on My Mind” showing off the duo’s knack for groovy electro-synths mixed with high-octane dance pop. Last August saw Oliver release their first proper studio album Full Circle, which showcases the duo’s evolution in pop-songwriting, anchored by guest vocals from Elohim and Chromeo. Full Circle’s unashamedly fun and catchy hooks along with seriously impressive synth-arrangements make this a perfect album for a summer drive along the beach, as well as the dance floor.

 

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