Madison band Labrador crafts patiently powerful songs. Info
Labrador's debut EP, Tell Me About Your Dad, was not a good Madison record to sleep on in 2018, as some of us started to figure out earlier this year. (Some of us is me and I'm not proud!) These five tracks of gauzy, wounded rock can put a tenacious grip on a listener over time, and the band's live sets solidify it. Singer-guitarist-songwriter Hannah Switzer, bassist Ben Strohbeen, drummer Lawrence Gann, and guitarist Grant Kempski know how to pace the unfurling of a song, letting the melodic themes of "Secret Feelings" and "Everybody Wants To Know You" build up with just the right balance of patience and tension. And what they're building up to is a full release of the anger, humor, and heartache embedded in Switzer's voice. "Secret Feelings" has a longing refrain of "tell me I'm real," but Switzer puts an unmistakable sear on the high, graceful melody. Labrador released acoustic versions of that song and another Dad track, "Power," in March and is currently working on an album.
Fauvely, the project of Chicago-based musician Sophie L. Brochu, will be playing here as part of a short tour celebrating the release of a new EP, This Is What The Living Do. The first single, "What The Living Do," puts Brochu's stately vocals at the center of a lumbering and billowing dream-pop vision. Fauvely explored a broad palette of sounds on the 2018 album Tides: "Waning" used cicada sounds and a mournful violin to create what feels like a more sonically adventurous take on The Waterboys' stormy Celtic folk, and "Savannah" delicately layers Brochu's voice over earthy electric guitar chords. If "What The Living Do" is any indication, Brochu is taking the strengths of Fauvely's previous work to a more grandiose place. —Scott Gordon