Athens' Mothers validates early hype, Swept deepens Lakeland's talent pool, Tre Hester goes solo

by

THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND 

Mothers at Will's Pub - LIV JONES
  • Liv Jones
  • Mothers at Will's Pub
For a young act with very little tangible trail, Mothers is emerging on some considerable national-level groundswell. The Athens band doesn’t even have an album out yet (that happens on Feb. 26 on Grand Jury) but they’re already coming with some heavy advance buzz and even some industry forces gathering behind them. Now, after seeing them at their Orlando debut (Jan. 12, Will’s Pub), it’s pretty clear that all that promise is real. Even if you’ve heard any of the good songs going around online, strap in. What I saw on stage was significantly bigger and deeper.

Mothers at Will's Pub - LIV JONES
  • Liv Jones
  • Mothers at Will's Pub
Mothers at Will's Pub - LIV JONES
  • Liv Jones
  • Mothers at Will's Pub
Their indie rock is a surprising and compelling union of Kristine Leschper’s Angel Olsen-esque vocals, oblique melodic turns and near-shoegaze swells of dissonance. Curious, lovely and loud, it’s a balance of beckoning strangeness and a brawny sense of sonic drama.


And their live show is the best impression they’ve left yet. As mentioned earlier, their hotly anticipated debut album drops on Feb. 26. Now’s the time to get on ‘em.

Mothers at Will's Pub - LIV JONES
  • Liv Jones
  • Mothers at Will's Pub
While we’re on new discovery, I just recently named the city of Lakeland the “best satellite scene” in my 2015 Undie Awards on the wings of standout groups like Poster, Omri Loved Celadon and Pilgrimage. Well, add new band Swept to that illustrious list because they are further proof that there is something magical in the water over there right now. Between their musical lines and lodestars, Swept isn’t easy to pin. Live, they swayed from off-kilter indie rock to noisy psych-gaze from song to song. The only unifying thread seems to be a sensibility that’s textured, woozy and interestingly left-field. But it’s all intriguing and amounts to a band very much worth watching.

Swept at Will's Pub - LIV JONES
  • Liv Jones
  • Swept at Will's Pub
Swept at Will's Pub - LIV JONES
  • Liv Jones
  • Swept at Will's Pub
Also opening was Tre Hester, a well-credentialed local musician who’s played with an enviable list of homegrown indie names like the Great Deceivers, the Pauses and now with rising local Laney Jones, as well as national indie star Matt Pond. From that list, it’s clear he’s been a pretty wanted hired gun for quite a few years, which explains why his own material isn’t especially known. But this little performance made a positive case for him to consider giving it a little more commitment.

Tre Hester at Will's Pub - LIV JONES
  • Liv Jones
  • Tre Hester at Will's Pub
His music is pleasantly downcast indie rock. The inclusion of a David Bazan cover in his set – and the further fact that it was the most upbeat song he played – should give you a good idea of where Hester’s coming from. But buoying the tender, reflective mood is his clear, articulated and melodic voice. And the result is a lot less soporific than it looks on paper.

He’s currently working on his first solo EP with Saskatchewan’s Ranson Vorpahl and recording help by Fat Night’s Daniel Hanson. As always, however, the timing of its completion is subject to his other commitments. And since Laney Jones and the Spirits are about to hit the national tour circuit pretty hard to push her upcoming new self-titled LP (release show at Will’s Pub on Mar. 11), he’s going to be awfully busy for a while. Still, it’s worth keeping an eye out for.

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This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene.

Follow Bao on Twitter (@baolehuu)
Email Bao: baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com



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