While Cats on Fire and The Radio Dept. were the main attractions at Friday night's show at Don Hill's, but really the whole bill was pop-solid. Swedish trio Liechtenstein, recent signees to Slumberland, played their first ever American show. Dressed alike in white tops and black skirts, Renée, Naemi and Elin kept banter to a minimum and ran through a set of their best songs so far, including "Apathy," "Roses in the Park," and their best song, "Everything's for Sale." (Which should really be amended to their Slumberland album, but it's not.) The obvious, and most common, comparision is with the Vivian Girls, but where VGs came to their sound somewhat accidentally, it's clear that Liechtenstein are fans of the Shop Assistants, Mo-Dettes, Would-Be Goods, Talulah Gosh, and other C-86 touchstones. They are also are better musicians, though Vivian Girls might have an edge in the tunes department. Melodies and stage presence are a bit chilly, but it's a cool blast nonetheless.
Liechtenstein's debut album, Survival Strategies In A Modern World, is out June 9 on Slumberland.
Los Angeles' Tartans, meanwhile, are warm as the California sun. They are cute, dance constantly (on stage and off) and are clearly huge fans/scholars of indiepop, from the glockenspiels and melodicas to their clothes to the great cover of early Go-Betweens single "People Say" they played. I do wish they had more songs that rival their great "Cats of Camerford" 7" but as they've only released two singles so far, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.