Material: Los Angeles indie pop/soul trio Ebb & Flow is not your average local act. Their latest album Edge of the World does a great job using their preferred musical elements and distinctive vocal personalities to shift between the band’s soft, tender side and their rambunctious, angsty side, which makes for a compelling dynamic. Soulful, seductive harmonies paired with trance-like keys and synthy percussion make it easy to get lost in the band’s music, while also understanding where the tracks’ lyrical themes originated.
Musicianship: Ebb & Flow use their songs to introduce the listener to a whimsical representation of who these musicians are as artists. Originally hailing from multiple corners of Europe, each member brings his or her own life experiences to the table, whether instrumentally, vocally or lyrically. From modern blues elements similar to that of MGMT and Nick Jonas, to warmer, feel-good tunes a la Grouplove and Owl City, Ebb & Flow blend their unique sound with memorable yet personal lyrics that make for easy listening.
Performance: Ebb & Flow’s set at The Hotel Cafe very much lived up to what their name embodies. Vocalist-keyboardists Gabby Gordon and Morten Kier naturally fed off of each other’s playful energy and distinctive techniques, while percussionist Ronen Gordon personal, upbeat anthem “One Track Mind,” was the final piece of a puzzle that fused all of the band’s musical characteristics together. The band fluidly moved from Kier’s soft, passionate lullabies to Gabby’s theatrical show- womanship as they switched off between male- and female-focused vocals. They were not afraid to bring their intricate recorded production to the stage, with distorted vocals and impressively clean live looping. Their set was a powerful, animated mix of perfectly balanced duets (“+1,” “Touchstone”), techy melodies (“Polaroids,” “Silver Tongue”) and heavy-hitting indie tracks (“Behind Enemy Lines,” “Fury”). The night ended with Ronen’s which is one of the few times I’ve seen a drummer given spotlight time, let alone share the track that is completely his lyrically.
Summary: Ebb & Flow is a trio with an interesting and fresh aesthetic that is shown in all aspects of their career. Their recorded material is diverse, both vocally and instrumentally, while their live performance features the ability to transition from energetically chipper to somber, dark tones with ease. This funky trio showcases strong versatility in their work with the potential to appeal to a range of listeners and markets.
Photo by Heather Allen
The Hotel Cafe Hollywood, CA
The Players: Gabby Gordon, vocals, keyboards; Morten Kier, vocals, keyboards, melodica; Ronen Gordon, drums, electronics, sound design and production.
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