About a minute or so into the Oh! Pears song “Singers,” it’s hard not to wonder, “Where the hell are the actual singers?” The vocals don’t kick in until the 1:10 mark, after a pair of acoustic guitar lines have had plenty of time to dance around each other to the steady beat of a kick drum. When Corey Duncan’s voice does finally arrive, however, it establishes an interesting tone for the rest of the song: rather than being pushed to the front, the repeated vocal melody is simply one of the many layers that share an equal presence in the mix. A few stringed instruments and shimmering hi hats later, and the song has erupted into an all-out symphonic spree. Not that it should surprise anyone: what originally started out as a solo project for the former Pattern Is Movement guitarist has since grown to a 13-person ensemble. Yet, despite its ever-expanding lineup, Oh! Pears manages to maintain an impressive degree of musical restraint; “Singers”—the first of five tracks on the band’s self-released EP—isn’t overly busy or needlessly complicated, but a perfect example of how a song as a whole benefits when its various different parts show a little respect for each other. Oh! Pears performs with Missing Palmer West and Jac at 9 p.m. on Friday, October 1, at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are $10.
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