The Scarlet & Black

The Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Rising stars light up gardner

On Wednesday night, Gardner Lounge had one of the biggest weeknight concerts of the year, featuring three artists playing a mostly chilled out set perfect for the middle of the week. Sincjack, Mister Lies and Young Galaxy all brought their own unique vibes, but had enough similarities in their sounds for a cohesive show.

The show began with Sincjack, the alias of Will Jackson ’13, known both for his musical talents and his enormous ginger afro. Although his lack of the latter resulted in some well-natured jabs from the audience, the teasing subsided when he began his funky DJ set.  Starting with smooth, bass-heavy tunes with a late-night urban feel, Jackson moved on to his own music, chill yet glitchy hip-hop beats that clearly draw inspiration from the instrumental aesthetics of producers like 40 and J Dilla. The end of Jackson’s set was marked with a thunderous rendition of A$AP Ferg’s newest hit, “Shabba,” which had the audience jumping and yelling along to the provocative lyrics.

After giving the crowd a few minutes to calm down, Mister Lies took the stage with his unique brand of downtempo electronica, which he coupled with a projector playing kaleidoscopic visuals. Mister Lies—legal name Nick Zanca—hails from New Canaan, Conn. and records all his music in Ludlow, Vt.

“It’s my parents’ vacation house on the lake in Vermont and I just occupy it,” Zanca said shortly before his performance. “There are days where I’m in the studio and I’m working until the wee hours of the morning, and there are also other days where I’ll just sit in my underwear watching Netflix or go for a hike.”

The moderate tempo and relaxed, polyrhythmic feel to Zanca’s music meant that not too much was physically happening onstage—something he hopes to change with future work.

“I’m kind of bored with the idea of going up there and being behind a screen,” Zanca said. “I’m treating [my next album] with a live band in mind.”

However, Mister Lies still deeply engaged the audience, who swayed, practically hypnotized, through his entire set. The projections played a large part in this, and the pairing of psychedelic visuals and music were reminiscent of Fantasia, which Zanca cites as one of his greatest motivations to begin making music.

“I guess it really started when I was seven or eight, and Fantasia 2000 just came out on IMAX. There was something about the visuals, because I’m a very visual learner. I stick with images, especially when I’m sitting down to work on music, I think of images first. So, seeing the way certain images there coincided with the music, it was right then and there—this is what I want to do with my life,” Zanca said.

After Mister Lies’ set, Young Galaxy’s gear was brought onstage and the Technicolor projections were replaced with deep blue lights, a visual reference to their newest album, “Ultramarine.”

Young Galaxy is a Vancouver-based five piece dream pop band and first met Zanca at the South by Southwest music film interactive in March 2013. They feature four singers and one drummer, which allows the group to have alternating male-female vocals at some points and sweeping four-person choruses at others, giving them a lot of sonic range. Their music was faster but still peaceful and sounded much brighter than the artists who came before. The high point of the set was Pretty Boy, a poppy track with a lovely summery vibe and almost constant synthesizer arpeggios. This synth heavy sound combined with their mainly female vocals are what makes Young Galaxy a unique band in the somewhat cluttered dream pop scene. Young Galaxy provided a feel-good end to the concert, playing well past midnight as the crowd slowly filtered out and went to bed.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *