Sidney York @ Media Club -- 04/12/13

Hot off the heels of showcases at both SXSW and CMW, and wrapping up work on a new album, Sidney York stopped by the Media Club for a preview of their new material. The album isn't due out until the summer, but they teased us with almost the entire new album.

Starting off the night was Jamison Troy, the Vancouver singer songwriter taking the stage armed with an acoustic guitar in hand, and joined by Nick Russell on electric guitar. His songs were all very earnest, his smooth voice conveying personal songs, full of emotion. But there also wasn't much variation from one song to the next.
It was a solid set, and I would see him again -- especially as he continues to grow as an artist -- but wouldn't necessarily seek out more.

Next up was Seattle pop-rock band, New Heights. They had a soaring sound, with a decent voice from lead singer Travis Graham, but they didn't have much stage presence, even when they tried to awkwardly joke with an increasingly disinterested crowd. They weren't really all that bad -- aside from flubbing the opening of a song and starting over -- but overall, the set was pretty inoffensive and forgettable.

It wasn't long after that Sidney York took the stage. Brandi Sidoryk & Krista Wodelet -- a pair of classically trained musicians who make the core of the alt-pop band --  were backed by Neil Dorin on bass, Devon Lougheed on guitar, and Luke Cyca on drums. Both multi-instrumentalists, Brandi on vocals and keys also pulled out a guitar, ukulele, and french horn for different songs, and bassoonist Krista helped out with vocals and dabbled on keys, synth and ukulele. And they were both bounding with energy; Krista bubbled over with enthusiasm, and the only times Brandi stood still was when she was behind the keyboard, and sometimes not even then.

They kicking off the set with the title track, "Hearts", and after a few favourites, like the infinitely catchy "Dick & Jane" getting everyone clapping and along, they went into the bulk of the new album. Ranging from the soft and lovely "Let The Sparks Fly" to the frantic, almost punk-tinged "The Lion. The Tiger. The Bear.", the new songs had an undeniable edge and depth to them.

A song about our love affair with technology, "Electrolove", was the catchiest of the set and bound to be a hit single, and they ended with two songs that turned out to be my favourites of the set; first a swirling and chaotic song called "I Could Swim", with some fantastic drumming from Luke, and one that I hope is called "Weapons Grade Love" called "Watch Your Back", with great overlapping vocals from Brandi & Krista.

Regular readers (all 17 of you) will know that I've always liked the band, but this was the best I've seen them live; maybe they were invigorated from wrapping up a short tour, or maybe they were excited for playing the new material, but everything was so tight and energetic. If the album is even half as good as the live interpretations, it's definitely going to be an album to look out for.

Hearts, Mile High Love, Dick & Jane, Math & Fractions, Let The Sparks Fly, The Lion. The Tiger. The Bear., Electrolove, I Could Swim, Weapon's Grade Love Watch Your Back.