It was the kind of New York summer weather your mom would brag about to her friends, and the kind of night you’d brag about to yours. Underneath stringed lights and lanterns, a few thousand people sat peacefully in Prospect Park, munching on food truck classics and enjoying the breeze. The occasion was BRIC’s Celebrate Brooklyn! festival, and it’s hard to imagine a better way to do so.
Porches., a moody quintet hailing, perhaps ironically, from Pleasantville, New York, eased seamlessly into the evening. Frontman Aaron Maine brought a beachy, boy-next-door vibe to his vocals as he lamented complex love, lonely trains, and the ugly parts of town. Everyone’s favorite lo-fi, anti-folk bassist, Frankie Cosmos (aka Greta Kline), was also in attendance. With down-tempo songs like “Franklin the Flirt,” “Forgive,” and “After Glow,” Porches. nodded to the lonelier side of 80s pop and oozed nostalgia. All the while, a little girl in the park sent a flurry of bubbles floating softly to the stage.
Like a magic trick, Sylvan Esso suddenly flipped the mood and cut the night into two distinct slivers. As soon as they started playing, the sky snapped to a dark navy blue, and mysterious melodies seduced the crowd to their feet. “Can you all check out the moon? Look at that moon!” admired lead singer Amelia Meath, coaxing all eyes up to the crisp half-orb glowing down on their backs. “That is a good moon…” she said with a Mona Lisa smile.
Sylvan Esso had everyone under their spell, and seemed to sneak something mystical into their electric beats. At one point, they even had to pause for a few minutes, because the crowd was so drowning them in applause. Luminous indie hymns like “Dreamy Bruises,” “Dress,” “Coffee” and “Uncatena” were matched with some brand new tracks we’ve never heard. Meath was like a snake charmer in “Hey Mami,” the spooky chant that insists again and again, “I know what you want.” They certainly do.
“Would you like to all howl at the moon with us?” Of course we would. “Okay now really wolf it,” she giggled, sending an unbelievable cacophony into the stars.
Article: Olivia Isenhart
Photos: Shayne Hanley