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Marian Hill, Wild Ones and My Body @ North Star Bar.

August 15, 2014

MarianHill (6 of 15)Text by Chris Malo, images by Grace Dickinson.

Last night at the North Star Bar, the audience was treated to a night of songstresses.

First to hit the stage was the pop  electronic duo fronted by Jordan Bagnall and hailing from Brooklyn, My Body. As Darren Bridenbeck worked the drum machine, Bagnall’s fingers worked the keys as her voice set the tone for the evening. Wild Ones frontwoman Danielle Sullivan even took the stage to assist on songs, something that felt organic as the two bands are touring the east coast together.

Next on the bill was the local group Marian Hill. True story: I interviewed them for a story for our next print issue, so I don’t want to say too much here, but here is what is worth knowing. The group is made up of Jeremy LLoyd handling production, Smanatha Gongol’s vocals and Steve Davit for live performances on bass and sax. I caught them a few weeks ago at XPNfest but wanted to see and hear them in a more intimate setting. I wanted to see them because Lloyd is fun to watch as he moves like a samurai warrior having a seizure as he creates the beats on his Akai MPK (that is supposed to be a compliment) and Gongol is stunning to watch. I wanted to hear because the sound that each creates individually is amazing and when brought together, each has a huge sound without getting in each others’ way. It is beautiful to see and hear. They are extremely talented and although they have already started getting some momentum, I have a feeling when I watch them now, this is only the beginning of their rise. There is a rumor that they might be playing a show at the end of September…

Their set was comprised of tracks off their first EP Play, a cover of Yeezy’s Love Lockdown, and a new track off an upcoming EP. They ended the night with “Lovit” which the audience assisted on the melodic chorus.

Headliners for the night were the Portland, OR band Wild Ones. Coming to the end of their tour it has been an event even getting to this point. The band faced various obstacles in releasing their latest project, their debut album, Keep It Safe.

The five-piece group is fronted by lead vocalist Danielle Sullivan and by the time they reached the stage the crowd was anxious to sway along with the melodic sound the diverse group manages to wrangle together into a sweet and soulful sound. Much like the groups that preceded them, the lyrics often describe the complexities that relationships often bring. Not in a whiny, desperate sense, but the sometimes stark and at times painful realities. There is an authenticity as Sullivan croons, watching her body lurch through each song and the band providing the instrumentation for the landscape she paints with her words and vocals.

Shout out to Y-Not Radio for putting together a such a tight bill of great music with talented musicians and vocalists.

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