By Ruby Samuels
The venue is called “Baby’s All Right.” The wall behind the stage is made entirely of glass ashtrays, backlit with purple neon light. Two bands go on before the headline act—one is a black woman with Aretha–esque soul, the other a quartet of mustaches and hypnotically awkward facial expressions. The second band self-identifies as “up-and-coming.” They have a “mathy” sound, which I quickly find out means intentionally illogical and weird. It’s the sort of sound you might expect to hear as you fade into REM sleep if your life happens to be a 50’s sitcom.
The headliner comes on at 10:30. They are called “And The Kids.” Their sound doesn’t fit into a box. It isn’t mathy like the opening act, but it doesn’t follow any rules either.
Sometimes folksy, sometimes bluesy, sometimes angsty pop, And The Kids has a unique sound. What really keeps the audience transfixed on the stage, though, is the physicality and emotionality of their live act. The lead singer has turquoise lipstick on and rocks spiky blond hair. She ends every song by standing on a different piece of musical equipment. Her name is Hannah Mohan and on the band’s website, she describes their new album, called “Friends Share Lovers,” by saying, “The title references the incestuousness of friend groups and how things get messy.”
The same website says that the band “channels existential crises into pop euphoria.” This certainly seems to be true from my experience. Every song is slightly manic depressive. Either extreme of the emotional spectrum is visible in both the head bobbing audience and the band. In one song, Mohan and bassist Taliana Katz lie down, toe-to-toe on their backs to bicycle each other’s feet. A couple of times, either Katz or Mohan casually drop to their knees and sink downward, cradling their instruments for a few moments before slowly standing back up to face the audience again as though nothing happened.
None of this seems strange as it happens on the stage. The lyrics and sound that And The Kids produces resonate with the audience in the way that only an up and coming band with a small but voracious following can.
Most of the audience members follow the Instagram profile of the headliner band, And The Kids. The photo feed includes several pictures of the band’s plastic pet deer and the lead singer’s lower lip tattoo. In this way, And The Kids represents the millennial music scene, which is all about connecting fans to the personal lives and personalities of bands through social media.
(Image courtesy of NPR)
Ruby Samuels is a junior at Barnard and On-Campus Editor for Barnard Bite.