Doug’s Pick Of The Week: Vanilla Summit at The Camel


Tuesday, January 31, 9 PM
Vanilla Summit, Colin Phils, Larusso @ The Camel – $5

Tuesday nights aren’t ideal live music nights for most fans, but you really can’t ignore this killer show of musical experimentation The Camel has put together featuring three local bands that really celebrate the musical diversity of Richmond.

Vanilla Summit will headline the night, perfectly embodying the show’s spirit of creativity with their inventive instrumentals. “Indie fusion” is this Richmond quintet’s preferred tag line and it seems to fit as their music combines elements of pensive jazz and sultry hip-hop with the structures & spirit of indie and Latin music. Their 2016 EP Expedition is a good starting point for new listeners, a six song collection that easily places them alongside local powerhouse like Butcher Brown thanks to songs like “Neon Springs” that boldly explore this world of indie fusion. One listen to any song off of Expedition is enough to know this is music that thrives in a live setting, allowing the group plenty of time and space for spontaneous alterations to enhance the essence of each song.

Math & post-rock band Colin Phils is on this bill too and they’re a band that’s really one to watch out for in Richmond this year. The five piece band moved back to the city from Asia last Summer after several successful tours in and around China and in the short time since, they’ve worked incredibly hard to make an impact on the East Coast in the same fashion they did across the world. To figure out their appeal, look no further than 2016’s e,r,som,sa…, a record full of atmospheric songs boasting eye-opening runs, curious lyrics, and forceful vocals. The songs themselves are pretty diverse and quite smart too — “Don Cabs” in particularly is pretty remarkable for its ability to flip a simple song into a gorgeously intricate composition. With new material on the horizon and their local reputation on the rise, it’s a good time as any to check them out and get acclimated with their brand of demiurgic rock.

Larusso, made up of members of Fight Cloud (!) and Parentheses (!!), close out this bill with their fun math rock that bounces mid-song from relaxing note formulas to invigorating breakdowns full of crunchy sounds & braided phrasing. Not much of their music is out there to catch up on beforehand, but “Fruit Of Tree” and “Jenga” are both more than capable of coaxing you out on a Tuesday night.

Cool show here. If you want an early week reprieve and enjoy smart music outside the realm of pop, rock, and folk, this is definitely the show for you.

Doug Nunnally (@MusicDoug)

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