Communion Presents: Johnnyswim, The Peacock Effect, The Young Minds, and Fluffer
The Peacock Effect spontaneously saved the show last night at the Bluebird by opening for the evening; the original band’s tour bus had broken down in Ohio. The indie rock band formed about a month ago, and has yet to release their EP but should have a demo ready for us in about a month.
The group is a four-piece band that switched off on vocals throughout the show. Nick Huster, Afshin Peymani, and Jimmy Goddard all had great vocals, with Goddard “emulating an astonishing sultry falsetto that was hard to believe could have come from his voice box,” said Kaylie Starkey, coordinator of Communion’s shows at the Bird.
Huster and Peymani switched off between guitar and drums, and Tom Weikert played bass.
Stylish husband-and-wife duo Johnnyswim then stole our hearts with Amanda Sudano’s angelic voice, Abner Ramirez’s amazing acoustic, and a host of lovely two-part harmonies. Their music felt like an exceptionally deep and heartfelt commentary on the commonly sung-about themes of life, love, and loss.
Originally from Nashville, Ramirez told us that “try as we might we could not write a country song.” They then moved to Los Angeles, and apparently found the country inspiration there–their token “Nashville-style” number was indeed wonderful. And I don’t even like country.
In between songs, they had fun with the crowd and talked about their work, snapping from a bring-you-to-tears love song number to joking around like the friendly couple of people they obviously are. Sudano reminded us before a song about living your life to the fullest: “Don’t waste your time on dumb stuff… (we’re singing about) that kind of YOLO.”
Backed up by drums and bass, every song had great rhythm and jive. When Amanda sang, “I feel it in my heart beat/every time my heart beats,” the drummer made you really feel the heartbeat she sang of.
As it was a relatively small Tuesday night crowd, the two decided to get up close and personal with us, inviting everybody to come in close to the stage. The stood at the edge of the stage and sang without mikes or amps, and it felt as if they were speaking right to us. At the end of the set, they did a cover of “Till the World Ends” by Britney Spears–and their version was much better.
Next, The Young Minds played for us, a local group originally from Indianapolis. Initially, they seem like your classic Bloomington band, but the trumpet addition really made them stand out.
The Young Minds had an ethereal sound to many of their songs, and their sound resonated of the Xx combined (somehow) with Modest Mouse. The group was like a wonderfully ragtag group of lumberjacks with great emotional depth.
By the end of their set, I was completely won over. I am excited to see where they go with their work; I can see it going to great places. It’s always fun to see a unique group of musicians.
The last group of the night, Fluffer, also comes to us from our lovely town of Bloomington, however they have recently relocated to Cincinnati. This quirky and extremely upbeat group was not self-conscious in the least, implementing cool experimental effects that you wouldn’t expect like auto tuned voice and electric snapping.
Fluffer was definitely the loudest group of the evening, which felt jarring at first but turned a crowd that had dwindled to a mere nine people into a groovy little dance party.
The group was like an intense, hard-rockin’ Vampire Weekend, with Patryck Apfylbeck going hard and fast on the drums. Owle Sigman and D Topp manned the vocals, with Sigman on guitar and Topp on bass. Their “progressive rock song, ‘Bit Coin,’ (was) about the guy who got arrested for selling drugs on the ‘net–it (was an) homage to those troubadours like Snowden,” explained Sigman.
Towards the end, the group played a punk rock song that they apparently used to play at basement shows around town; the song was most definitely mosh-worthy.
The show, despite its initial hiccups most likely due to this great midwestern weather (and I say great with complete and utter sarcasm), was a success. There may not have been a huge crowd last night, but there was definitely huge sound that infected all of us with the feelings brought on by great music and great people.