As part of WBRU’s Fall Ball 2017, the alt-rock station from Providence, RI, the talent bookers assembled a triptych sampling of the contemporary American indie-rock playlist. It was Fall Ball, Part 1 at the newly renamed (formerly Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel) and remodeled Strand Theatre, which featured the synth-rock assembly Joywave, the alt/hip-hop hybrid K. Flay, and Cold War Kids, the veterans of the lineup and the earnest headliners.
K. Flay’s major-label debut Every Where Is Some Where is a contemptuous collection of songs full of grit and irony. In concert, she transposes her bluesy influence with a gritty range that resembles Elle King, minus the Southern twang and Tove Lo, without the erotic vibe. Songs like “High Enough” and “Blood in the Cut” are thematic songwriting tales of going sober and being spurned.
Cold War Kids are currently touring in support of its sixth album release, LA Divine. The album feels like an evocative drive through their native streets of Los Angeles. It apparently drove the inspiration for this album, with transitional songs such as “LA River” and “Wilshire Protest”. But motivating tracks like “So Tied Up” and “Open Up the Heavens” are slight progressions for a band feeding into foot-stompers. “Can We Hang On?” showcases the range of lead vocalist Nathan Willett and the soaring guitar melodies of Matt Maust.
Part 2 will commence tonight with the Brit-rock lads, Bastille.