Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Junip, November 6th at Lincoln Hall

When I first heard Junip’s debut album “Fields”, I wanted more. The Swedish trio (Jose Gonzalez, Tobias Winterkorn & Elias Araya) have a rare talent of allowing a song to build without ever setting it loose. Their brand of fuzzed out folk might be based on Jose Gonzalez’s gentle voice and nylon strings, but it’s surprisingly Winterkorn’s synthesizer and Araya’s rhythms that supply the warmth and body. Take a listen to the album; the meandering keys at the beginning of “Rope & Summit” or the bottle tapping throughout “Howl”. These little nuances make Junip a band, one that expanded their sound Saturday night at Lincoln Hall.

Opening their 13 song set with back to back upbeat favorites “Rope & Summit” & “Sweet & Bitter”, Junip set the tone early for a great show. Taking the stage as a 5-piece band which included a bass player and percussionist, they easily filled the packed room with unbelievable sound and clarity. Even when they slowed it down for “Tide”, they managed to keep the crowd’s attention and never seemed in a hurry to play something faster. I’ve seen bands go to great lengths, sandwiching a slow song between 4 or 5 hits to keep a crowd pleased. These guys know they have a great album and believe in every note they play.

Working their way through most of the album (9 out of 11 songs), the second half of the show was a look back at their earlier material. In fact, of the last 5 songs, 4 of them were on previous releases. One highlight being a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “The Ghost of Tom Joad” played by Gonzalez alone, also available on the Black Refuge EP. As they closed with “In Every Direction”, I knew the end was near and again, I wanted more. But, after a great show it’s hard to complain and you can’t help but feel like anything is possible. If that’s the case, “You’re the center and you’re always free, in every direction” was a perfect way to the end the night.

1. Rope & Summit
2. Sweet & Bitter
3. To The Grain
4. Without You
5. Tide
6. Howl
7. It’s Alright
8. Always
9. At The Doors
10. Far Away
11. The Ghost of Tom Joad
12. Black Refuge
13. In Every Direction

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