Yuck and Big Thief in Vancouver
Fortune Sound Club – Vancouver, BC
Tuesday night a pair of upstart bands, Big Thief from Brooklyn and Yuck from London, played Fortune Sound Club in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown. Both impressed while proving to be a solid touring pair.
First up was the powerful and highly emotional quartet Big Thief. A deep kick drum and a slow and steady beat support lead singer Adrianne Lenker’s wistful words and guitarist Buck Meek’s teardrop blues licks. The result was a momentous sounding set that felt ‘important.’ That’s a telling reaction when you have little attachment with the material. If people can see and hear something for the first time and immediately find meaning then something special is happening. The band’s debut album comes out in late May on Saddle Creek records. Standout songs performed off the record included Real Love as well as the album’s title track; Masterpiece. Both songs tell about a fight for inner strength amid hard days traveled. In a recent Noisey interview, Menker said of Real Love “Struggle is inherent in love, We make love and love makes us. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard when we think we’ve lost it.” The thoughtfulness in this quote encapsulates the kind of deep reflection their songs convey. Big Thief’s folk-blues-rock is sophisticated and steeped in sentiment. It all matters.
After the conviction of the first act, Yuck stepped up the bravado and attitude. While their set didn’t come off with the same focus as Big Thief, they certainly delivered a solid collection of genre bending songs. Over the course of their hour, Yuck served up tastes of alternative, garage and shoegaze. The UK crew joked and talked smack with the audience and like true artists stood tall with a ‘too cool for the room’ stage presence. The Yuck sound is highlighted by distorted guitar riffs mixed with the collaborative vocals of bassist Mariko Doi and Max Bloom. Tracks like Lose My Breath and their latest single Hearts In Motion exemplify the band’s forlorn personality with a touch of resentment. Needless to say, the young indie lovers at Fortune ate it up.
The current tour will see the pair log miles all over North America. If you’re a fan of all corners of rock music you will no doubt come away happy. Yuck and Big Thief own high grade musicianship, songwriting and arrangement. With all the tools at their disposal, future success is a certainty.
+ Gavin Reid