Last Thursday’s installment of the weekly, bi-coastal concert series School Night! (founded and hosted regularly by the resident KCRW DJ Chris Douridas) took to Baby’s All Right for the Montreal based electro-pop trio Seoul‘s single release party. It’s been almost two years since the group’s last output and initial debut, the balmy, sea-breeze sway of “Stay With Us.” In keeping with the concert series’ tradition of booking excellent bands, the headlining Seoul set was supported by the Edmonton based singer-songwriter Calvin Love and the Brooklyn based world-funk electronic ensemble Buscabulla.
Despite performing to a sparse audience of 40 or 50 attendees, and only having four original songs to their name, Buscabulla (Spanish slang for “troublemaker”) were the night’s most exciting act. Puerto Rican designer and frontwoman Raquel Berrios took the stage with absolute sense of cool, often straying from English lyrics to yelp and croon in her native tongue. Their set, comprised of three Spanish-language covers, was physically commanding and exhilarating, drawing inspiration from disparate global iterations of dance music. Calvin Love performed tracks from his forthcoming project, the follow-up to his 2012 LP New Radar. His particular strain of unadorned guitar music was clever, sometimes sentimental and refreshingly genuine. Seoul, unfortunately, failed to uphold the mysterious hype that’s been whirling around them for the past few years. The set used lots of bright lights and gratuitous amounts of smoke to, seemingly, distract from the altogether unimpressive display of repetitious dream pop. But there’s still hope for the album, I Become A Shade, which is out June 9 via Grand Jury.
Watch the music video for Seoul‘s premiere single, “Stay With Us,” below.