On Sunday night, the free summer Sunset Sessions at Park Tavern brought in one of the most stacked lineups of the summer in the ATL; it just so happened to be three Atlanta based bands that were there to impress a mixed crowd of music lovers, some hip to the Atlanta talent, and plenty more new to what these bands have to offer.
Sydney Eloise & The Palms kicked off the night, playing a new hometown show after releasing their critically acclaimed debut album Faces last year. (The Cottage Recording Co.; Sept. 2015). Led by Sydney Ward and backed by The Palms, a talented cast of friends, the band has one of the most authentic indie pop sounds today. With admitted influences of George Harrison and Phil Spector, the 6 piece band brings back the sounds and production style of 60’s pop. Pulling mostly from their debut album, Sydney & The Palms played two new songs for the crowd, showing off a new, slightly psychedelic sound with their pop rock that only left me more excited for what’s to come from the band. One thing is clear, Sydney Eloise & The Palms don’t leave a show without gaining new fans.
Back in February, I had the pleasure to write about and premiere Book of Colors’ video for “Hologram of Thought,” off of their debut self titled album (Deer Bear Wolf Feb. 2016), one of the best and most heartwarming videos I’ve seen this year. The Atlanta based, psychedelic folk collective uses an array of instruments, and quickly became one of my favorite “new” bands of the year. With André Paraguassu crooning over the band’s lush arrangements, Book of Colors offers something gorgeous and unique from a lot of current bands. Yet somehow, I personally have not been able to see the band live until Sunday.
At Park Tavern, Book of Colors impressed, showing off more energy on stage than one may expect. Perhaps it’s the outfits, face paint, and flowers (especially André’s top of the line, fancy, sequined jorts) that helps to put the band and it’s audience in a festive mood. Maybe it’s just that their songs come alive even more behind the 6 piece band, live and in person. Book of Colors captivated the crowd, who took to the band, dancing along. By the end, Park Tavern felt like another Atlanta family get together, as the band continues to embrace their hometown and it’s community.
Little Tybee headlined, playing behind their self titled fourth studio album, just released on June 3rd. If this isn’t one of the best bands around, I don’t what is. Little Tybee is able to transcend and resonate across varied crowds with their dream folk sound. The sextet offers an impressive cast of musicians, led by Brock Scott’s lucent vocals, Ryan Donald’s bass, Pat Brooks’ rhythmic beats on the drums, Chris Case’s driving keyboards, Nirvana Kelly’s stunning violin, and 8 string guitar virtuoso Josh Martin; the band is entrancing live. It’s hard not to lose yourself within a Little Tybee show and go on a journey with the band.
And can we talk again about Josh Martin on that 8 string? Just stop for a minute to watch him on a solo. Once you pick your jaw off the floor, don’t stare too long because he will hypnotize you blind, and there’s so much else to see from Little Tybee. But seeing him go off on that guitar may be one of my favorite things to watch live. So yeah, I may have had the chance and taken advantage of it to ask the person doing sound to politely kick up the sound slightly on that 8 string guitar (she just so happened to be doing that exact thing at the time, great minds and stuff). That’s something that must be heard and seen.
Little Tybee played a good mix of crowd favorites from past albums, and songs from the just released album, such as “Abby” and “Tuck My Tail”; new, soon to be crowd favorites. Hearing the new songs live only served to show just how amazing this new Little Tybee album is. Their 4th release is the next step of Little Tybee’s evolution as the band continues to explore their elements of Folk, Psych, Jazz, and Bossa, proving to be one of the most creative and wonderful bands around. And now I just can’t get off this kick of listening to Little Tybee records, I believe they call it the “Tybee High,” and I’m still on it.
All photos by Mike Gerry
Check out additional photos from the evening: