Over at MilkBoy last night, an all-local bill brought out an eclectic but seamless assortment of vibes, capped off with a headlining set by Kate Faust. The versatile vocalist’s latest offering – the recent Crucial Companion EP – finds her exploring mood-setting electronic tapestries (check out her recent Key Studio Session), held together by a solid groove. Live, it comes across partly R&B, party ethereal art-pop with the help of her two backing musicians, Jonathan Colman on bass and Justin Lee on drums. Last night was Faust’s first Philadelphia appearance in a few months, and the co-star of her recently-released video – dancer Kingsley Ibeneche – joined her onstage for the song “Crucial Companion.”
Preceding Faust was another groove-based electronic outfit, Elegant Animals, whose snappy set was at some points smooth and subtle like Bon Iver, at other points all-out emotive a la Drake. They’re currently wrapping up their debut full-length at Philly’s HeadRoom Studio, but their debut EP Spectrum Nocturnal is available for free download at Bandcamp. Opening the show was singer-songwriter Vinchelle Woods, who was once upon a time Faust’s vocal partner in Toy Soldiers. “Usually I’m just singing,” she deadpanned after her opening “Side A / Side B.” “Recently I decided to add a guitar. It’s going okay.” Despite her grumblings about callouses, Woods’ set was great, a breezy mix of acoustic folk and jazzy chord changes in the vein of Joni Mitchell. Mixing alongside her originals were covers of Fleet Foxes and Feist, and while her recorded output is sparse right now, this set was a promising sign of things to come. Check out photos from the show in the gallery below.