Phosphorescent

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  • BC Camplight
  • Wasuremono
  • Penelope Isles
Harvest Sun @ District 26/10/18

The eclectic grouping of acts for Harvest Sun’s inaugural In Good Company makes for a tantalising prospect, and it is with some dismay that attendees discover that the doors are opening much later than planned. Worse still, the first three acts will be limited to a handful of songs each. This is due to unforeseen circumstances, but it does put a slight dampener on proceedings.

First up are Brighton-based PENELOPE ISLES who deliver a breathless and concise hit of fuzz-soaked melody. The two-part vocal harmonies of Lilly and Jack Wolter complement each other perfectly. They act as the ballast for songs which often foray into more sparsely woven, noise-rock territory. Having just signed with Bella Union, and with an album scheduled for release next year, this quartet are certainly ones to keep an eye on.

Second support comes in the form of WASUREMONO. Seemingly coy, the band’s slightly awkward on-stage presence belies a sound that is at once familiar and unique. The delicate, almost paper-thin delivery of vocalist William Southward is supported by a rhythmic engine that is creative in its subtlety and assured in its steadiness. For All The Bears is particularly good and by the end of their set the at first reluctant crowd are sorry to see them go.

Next up is BC CAMPLIGHT. Having made one of the best records in recent years, 2015’s How To Die In The North, Brian Cristinzio has followed it up with a similarly masterful LP in Deportation Blues. Due to the aforementioned time constraints BC are afforded only four songs, much to the consternation of the audience, but deliver a nugget of pop bliss that will just about tide us over till next time. Grim Cinema and I’m In A Weird Place Now are perfect and seem to confirm Cristinzio’s place as one of the more visionary performers operating at the moment. In the end it serves as more of a tease than a fulfilling immersion and there is a palpable deflation in the room when they leave the stage after barely twenty minutes.

There is, however, little time to entertain such frustrations. The frantic pace of the night continues as we are almost immediately thrust into the orbit of PHOPSHORESCENT. A different animal to the previous three performers; this is a polished and knowing performance. Afforded the benefit of a full set, Phosphorescent take their time and build a gradual, enthralling spectacle. New Birth In New England encapsulates the energy of new LP C’est La Vie, a country-infused departure from their earlier more dream-pop endeavours and a record that seems to have been created with live performance at the forefront of consideration. Song For Zula takes us back to a more ambient period in the band’s history and Matthew Houck effortlessly transitions between romp and moving divulgence to meet its demands. Though it is a shame we only caught a glimpse of the other acts the realised vision of Phosphorescent in full flow just about makes up for it.

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