Last Friday, 1/15, was a killer night for local music at the Rock & Roll Hotel. A crowd of excited, dancing fans mostly filled the space and the energy was palpable, all thanks to performances from The Duskwhales, Kid Claws, and YUM.
Opening the night was YUM., a three-piece from Northern Virginia that plays a fusion of surf, chillwave, and indie rock. For such a small band, their act packed the punch of a much larger outfit, striking listeners' eardrums with a melodic and entrancing set. Their playing was smooth and their audience interaction was friendly and engaging. YUM.'s set had a dreamy vibe to it, casting a spell of chill and indie in the room.
Second on the call sheet was Kid Claws. They are a trio from Falls Church, VA, that dabbles in shoegaze, ambient, and noise pop, while firmly settled on dream punk. The band has quite the musicality as they made great use of negative space in multiple songs and their female vocals found their way right to the heart. With liberal cymbal crashing and ephemeral guitar fades, Kid Claws has a subgenre all to themselves and craft a comfortably unsettling atmosphere of distorted, atmospheric, and punky sounds. Their next show is at the Songbyrd Music House, 1/29, with Big Hush and Soda.
The Duskwhales headlined the night and did they ever. With a sound that's at once familiar and fresh, their music makes you wanna dance and go crazy. Hailing from Manassas, VA, this trio has a uniquely bohemian stage presence that captures the audience's attention. Their work is heavily influenced by the Beatles, Vampire Weekend, and the Smiths, compiling elements of indie rock, psyhedelic, and retrowave into a charming and energizing musical cocktail. At the show, they paid a touching tribute to cultural legend David Bowie with an inspired cover of "Ziggy Stardust" and a Bowie-inspired original. They recently put out a new single (see below) and you can catch them open for Broke Royals and Wylder (these guys will be playing a Weezer cover set) at DC9, 2/6. -Jonathan Goodwin