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Stage Buzz: Solange and Panda Riot

| February 22, 2013

Beyonce‘s little sis, Solange Knowles boasts a new-wave vibe with pounding beats and calculated ’80s-era sounds on her True EP (Terrible Records) with the help of long-time collaborator Dev Hynes. Each track pushes the limits of what keyboards and drums can do. On “Losing You,” Knowles’ vocals flow over electronic keys mixed with tribal drum beats in this slow, but trendy dance track. However, backup singers take charge with harmonies on tracks like “Some Things Never Seem To Fucking Work” and “Don’t Let Me Down,” often combining with slithering synthesizers to create a robotic R&B. Darker numbers like “Locked In Closets,” permeate the record with strong, deep bass blasts. We’re ready for this jelly. (Saturday@Bottom Lounge.)

— Mary Scannell

It would be easy to dismiss Panda Riot as just another derivative My Bloody Valentine clone (albeit, the best of the bunch) with the blissed-out, fuzzy dream-pop of Northern Automatic Music (Saint Marie). Such laziness, however, means you’d miss its ethereal, effervescent pop, sprinkled with the perfect blend of dance-floor buzz and gauzy guitar shimmer. The thrilling rollercoaster crush of “Black Pyramids” is equal parts sugar rush and jagged crunch. “In The Forest (Some Kind Of Night Fills Your Head)” and “MTWN Glass” coolly, almost casually name-check His Name Is Alive with angular, candy-coated melodies, and “Serious Radical Girls” reinvents the swooning hiccup from MBV’s “Soon” into a deliciously delirious earworm. (Friday@Hideout with Lightfoils.)

— Patrick Conlan

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