Oh, vocal harmonies. How I love thee. I’d love to count the ways, starting with The Chantels and The Poni-Tails and ending somewhere around Little Comets and Haim — with a special 1,000 word aside on the greatness of The Roches. But I’ll spare you all that long read and just tell you that if you love vocal harmonies and you think backing vocals are a lost art, then make sure you check out The Wild Reeds this Sunday at Hardywood. This California folky/twang group has been arond for a while now repping the harmony game strong with songs like “Let No Grief” and “You” and they’ve got a new three-song EP out now that’s also outstanding. Best Wishes is a striking release full of vibrantly restrained instruments, subtle and felicitous production, and of course, rich vocal harmonies by three fascinatingly strong female singers. “What I Had In Mind” might be my favorite of the release, but I’d implore you to check out the other two tracks which each shine a light on different parts of the band’s sound. The good thing about a band this vocally disciplined is that you know they are going to be just as captivating on stage as they are on the record, and maybe even more so. Even if you’re not as obsessed with vocal harmonies as I am, you still need to head out to this show. You might just be singing a different tune by the end of the night — and chances are it will probably be something from Best Wishes.
Opening for The Wild Reeds is local singer-songwriter Benjamin Shepherd, an impressive musician who alone might be worth the trek out to Hardywood. His perspicacious lyrics and robust guitar playing have made him a local favorite for years now and I’ve still yet to hear of a live performance by him that wasn’t anything less than amazing. If you haven’t caught him in town yet, give his 2014 album, Eleven For The Road, a listen. It was recorded in a single take in front of a small studio audience over at Montrose and listening to the eleven song collection can really make you feel like you’re right there next to his mic and guitar. It’s the next best thing to seeing him live, but don’t settle for the record — you can see him live this Sunday, people! Trust me when I say his stage presence will elevate each of his crafty songs and make you want to clear your schedule the next time he announces a show.
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