Jason Persse for AOL Twenty years after leading the charge in the Grunge…
- Posted on Mar 11th 2011 1:15PM by Lonny Knapp
Memoryhouse -- comprised of songwriter Evan Abeele and singer Denise Nouvion -- produce music best experienced in headphones before drifting into a dream-filled sleep. After offering up their hazy and melodic 2010 EP 'The Years' as a free download, the young duo garnered attention from the likes of finicky tastemakers Pitchfork Media, and just days before their CMW appearance, the Guelph, Ontario duo inked a deal with storied indie label Sub Pop.
Unfortunately audience members who braved the rain on Thursday night to hear the duo recreate the hazy soundscapes from their bedroom-tracked collaborations would be a little disappointed.
Joined on stage by both a guitarist/keyboardist and drummer, Memoryhouse came across like shoegazers sans the feedback.
Nouvion delivered dreamy vocals and worked the sequencer, while Abeele held down the bass and led the band through the changes, but the augmented and under-rehearsed lineup -- Abeele informed the crowd that the performance marked the lineup's first performance -- served only to highlight the young musicians inexperience.
After each song, while a wave of delay and modulation washed over the audience, the band members made tweaks to the stage mix. With so many stops and starts the set never gained momentum. At one point, Nouvion apologized to the crowd.
"Sorry," she said. "I missed soundcheck because of my graphic novel class."
Memoryhouse have age on their side -- the members looked barely twenty -- and, despite a few rookie tendencies, show great promise. Tunes such as the piano-led 'Caregiver' and 'Heirloom' are strong enough to hold up to any interpretation, even if slightly bungled.
In time, the band hit a stride, and the ethereal dream-pop soothed the once rowdy crowd just as the tireless rain washed the last traces of slushy snow from the city's streets.