Real Live Action


w/ Hello, Blue Roses, Les Beyond

VIVO; September 13, 2008

Review By Jordie Yow

Three bands came together for Kellarissa’s CD release party at VIVO and put together a beautiful evening of relaxing music.

Larissa Loyva, a.k.a. Kellarissa, was the highlight of the night. She spent her performance seated in front of her Yamaha SK-15 synth, but her quiet demeanour masked a mesmerizing presence. VIVO didn’t have an empty seat and all eyes were on Loyva’s performance. She plucked a few friends from her other band, the Choir Practice, to sing backup as she played music from her new album Flamingo.

Before the backup singers joined Loyva, she used extensive looping to provide her own backing vocals, which made for an unsettling—but compelling—audio experience. She compounded the unfamiliar feelings you get while listening to her music by occasionally singing songs in Finnish. Loyva’s music was strongest when she created a sound of eerie beauty using elements of carnival music, looping effects and heavy reverb on her vocals.

Loyva’s openers were hit-and-miss, but they complemented her performance nicely.

Les Beyond—Shearing Pinx member Erin Jane Ward’s side project—kicked the night off with a long instrumental guitar soundscape. It was pretty, but it would make a better movie soundtrack than a live performance.

Hello, Blue Roses battled with technical difficulties and what appeared to be inexperience playing their songs live. Though they took a little too long getting from one song to the next, their music was good when it got going. Singer Sidney Vermont brought a ’60s folk aesthetic that she blended with Dan Bejar’s (of Destroyer and the New Pornographers) glam rock stylings. On tracks like “My Shadow Falls” and “Hello, Blue Roses” this worked, but sometimes the stylistic pairing seemed out of place. A particular highlight of their set was a cover of Destroyer’s “Foam Hands,” which was amazing enough to forgive any lack in other parts of their performance.