Hidden among the hills and lakes of Seattle, there is a little theater with a wooden stage. Most of the time, it’s quiet and dark. With the lights on, it still seems dim and hazy.
Most afternoons, Anil shows up first. He does some stretching, sets up his cello, and starts laying down the heavy bottom. His rhythms are rich, textured and propulsive. If this were another kind of outfit, he’d be the pants.
Next, Tim’s keyboards are fork-lifted onto the stage by a Teamster, and he carefully pieces together some familiar tones. Something between a 60’s sci-fi soundtrack and a spare gospel hymn.
Electrons must be marshaled now, and Todd emerges behind a table crammed with knobs and wires and blinking lights. He synthesizes and then modulates. A shuffling beat begins to take shape. There’s the sound of a pedal steel guitar. There’s rusty dissonance and then melody. People say, “Lali Puna?” I say, “More like Squarepusher meets Ennio Morricone. And has his baby.”
Thus a mood is established, an atmosphere develops, and it’s time for Cat to style the vocals. They’re quiet and clear. Whispered words about the sea, the sky, and everything in between. Delicate and yet powerful.
The sound is unmistakable. It fills the hall and drifts into the street. Earth spins. Rain falls. Clocks melt.
This Band Is Called Lucy Bland.