Is there a tougher night to play than the last night of a three-day weekend? There were about 15 people at Union Hall last night and that includes whichever bands weren’t on-stage at the time. But the show must go on, and it did and all three bands put on brave faces and had a good time despite facing a mostly-empty room.
I’m not sure why Norway’s Sissy Wish hasn’t gotten more attention in American. Maybe it’s the name, which is off-putting. “What am I doing tonight? Going to see Sissy Wish in concert.” I digress. Unfortunate moniker or not, her music is really appealing, not that far off from what Lykke Li has everyone in such a tizzy. Her latest album, Beauties Never Die (nominated for a Norwegian Grammy), is dancey, but with an organic feel to it that separates it from the glitchy, Frenchy, dirty, chopped-up sounds that are so in fashion with club-fillers.
Live, Sissy Wish are definitely more laptop-oriented with Siri Wålberg singing and playing various electronics, and cohort Bjare Hundvin providing additional accompaniment. They played as much as they could live, with some electronic drumpads and guitar. They also got the audience (all 15 of us) in on the act too for the ridiculously catchy “Ya Ya Ya.” Hopefully more will come out to see her tonight (7/8) at Knitting Factory tap bar or any of the rest of Sissy Wish’s U.S. tour dates.
Opening the night were Fresh Air Kids, playing their first-ever show — though the band are NYC scene veterans, made up of former members of Arbor Day, the Isles and the Shapes. (None of whom I was ever familiar with.) Three of the four members took turns on lead vocals, and while none of them were particularly strong singers they all good musicians and songwriters. We’re talking Big Star, Teenage Fanclub and ’90s indie rock as the main influences — though Thin Lizzy-esque boogie rock crept in here and there as well as some Steve Vai/ Eddie Van Halen worship in the solos. They also did a good job with Santo and Johnny’s 1959 instrumental standard, “Sleepwalk.” I look forward to seeing these guys again.
Sissy Wish US Tour Dates
Jul 8 Knitting Factory Tap Bar New York, NY
Jul 9 T.T. The Bear’s Place Cambridge, MA
Jul 10 Metro Gallery Baltimore, MD
Jul 11 Brillobox Pittsburgh, PA
Fresh Air Kids upcoming NYC shows:
Jul 13 Pete’s Candy Store
Jul 26 www.eastvillageradio.com (11AM)
Jul 26 Pianos
Aug 1 Rehab