Chamber Pop: Meet the 2013 RFT Music Award Nominees
The 2013 Riverfront Times Music Showcase is a week and a half away! Think of it as St. Louis music's own official holiday and consider this the season. Throughout May we at RFT Music have been working hard to make our cases for all 130 bands and artists nominated for an RFT Music Award this year in 26 categories. Read on and get yourself acquainted, and we'll see you at the showcase!
Close your eyes while listening to Palace and you're bound to "see" all kinds of crazy things. Stars twinkling over old-timey carnival. A roomful of balloons just waiting to be kicked and tossed. A dance line of pastel unicorns. You get the idea. Palace often describes its music as sounding "like your childhood," and that's no lie. Palace songs are pillow fights and cotton candy and best friends doing that hand-slap-rhyming thing. They're unapologetic happy-dappy pop tunes that feature beautiful vocal harmonies and make you want to bask in the sun. Palace is what the Arcade Fire might sound like on a never-ending sugar rush. There's no crash afterward, though -- only bliss.
Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra
This tiny orchestra has gained a large following in music, arts and film communities around the Midwest. It composes an original score to accompany old silent films and then and plays the score live for film audiences. The films the Rats & People MPO bless with its magic are usually underappreciated classics (examples: Go West and Nosferatu). The process is almost as interesting as the execution: The band retreats for months at a time, works in secret on a meticulously crafted soundtrack, then debuts the score to sold-out crowds. Catch them if you can. You won't be disappointed.
Terms like "lo-fi" and "twee" befit Scarlet Tanager, particularly seeing as how Susan Logsdon's delivery evokes Pacific Northwest sirens Kimya Dawson and Mirah. Yet these descriptors minimize the depth and breadth of the band's fun-folk constructions. The tracks on the band's 2011 debut, American Songbird, have yet to overstay their welcome, serving as a hype builder for the sophomore album the band is painstakingly crafting. No word on a release date, but timing could not be better. The Lumineers and Of Monsters & Men recently dug a hidden passage into pop radio for the kind of communal folk Scarlet Tanager deals in, and MTV recently plugged the band on Twitter and featured its tune "Zipcode" in an episode of The Real World.