We Are Serenades hit the Garrison for an extremely intimate show on their first North American tour on May 14th. There were only about 40 people in the audience, doing that thing, where they stand 20 feet from the stage refusing to approach, out of some sort of awkward fear of getting close to the band.
The band played with an effortless finesse of seasoned touring musicians and rightfully so: We Are Serenades is the love child of Swedes Markus Krunegard of Laakso, and Adam Olenius of Shout Out Louds. Laakso have released 4 studio albums and 5 EPs since 2003. Shout Out Louds, I don’t really need to explain, they have toured with huge acts like Kings of Leon and The Strokes, opened for The Rosebuds, been featured on countless teen drama shows that I tend to have a guilty pleasure for, you get the picture. The two musicians met and started a long distance musical relationship, writing songs over the phone and sending each other what they had written. Before long they hit the studio to record their debut album Criminal Heaven. The recordings themselves I find slightly dull. It’s folk, pop, rock genre sounds a bit muddled on the recordings, but after a slow start the music felt whole, full and lush, representing the landscapes and seasons it so talks about in its lyrics. It is an interesting dynamic to watch as there are two front men who share equal responsibility, they mostly sing together, the harmonies melting beautifully together.
I must say one of the highlights of the show was their Neil Young cover of Birds. If you visit We Are Serenades website, you will notice that they have created a “video postcard” of everywhere they’ve been on tour. Each big city they stop through, they do a cover song relating to their location. They finished their set off with the first track on Criminal Heaven – All The Words, forgoing an encore which I thought was a smart idea, as they don’t have that much material and The Garrison is a bit awkward for it.
All and all a solid show, thoroughly looking forward to being serenaded to more(only pun I could think of).