It was your typical backyard…there was a hammock, low lighting, and the sun had just finished setting. The band came in a clan of eight. If you are at all familiar with their music and lyrics, you would be surprised to find that they are exactly the way they feel. After their sound check at the Independent in San Francisco, they sat down with their instruments to play us a little off their newly released album, “Not Animal”.
They are mysterious and reserved, but at the same time their music and lyrics contain a sense of peace and beauty unmatched. A few members of the band were wearing masks, which one assumes is in keeping with the theme of their album’s title. Their anonymity is juxtaposed with their friendliness and down to earth nature. Anybody would love to have a beer with these guys.
Atop a steep hill at the University of San Francisco lies Lone Mountain Campus. As you drive on Turk Street through the Richmond District you are taken by the long flight of stairs leading up to the buildings there. After Margot had finished their set at the Independent we caravanned to this landmark. We lost half the band on the trip over, but somehow managed to gain 10 more people once we finally arrived. There were girlfriends, members of other bands, friends, and roadies. Everyone convened at the top of these stairs to play one of their darker songs, “My Baby”.
With Richard’s unmistakable voice at the helm, he quietly led the voices in the group.
The next song started quickly and we improvised the beginning with Casey’s rhythmic stomping and clapping. We followed Richard up the stairs to find Emily’s harmonic vocals and a sea of smiling faces. With makeshift instruments ranging from whiskey bottles to suitcases, their sounds are remarkably in tune with the emotions this song evokes. It was late in the night, or early in the morning, rather, but we got the feeling they were enjoying this just as much as we were. With USF’s church and few city lights in the background, their music made the setting come to life.
Text by Art Perez