Darwin is an unusual trio of jazzed out trip hopish old soul time warping geniuses without a pretentious bone in their bodies and I am simply going to need you to come out to the Green Onion Pub on Thursday, September 15th to experience their Utica and UMAF debut with me!
Not so long ago, Laura Black and Zach Schoonover spun off popular Geneva band El Ka Bong to take a different creative direction. They picked up percussive master mind Adam Fryer, and hit their first collective show at Old City Hall in Oswego and their first festival appearance at The Upstate Boogie in August. Between the veer off and the launch from the gigging starting gates, Darwin coaxed and nudged their individual talents into a cohesive fabric of sound that you could never imagine in your head. I had the extreme pleasure of taking in the Boogie set and Darwin endeared themselves to me immediately. I not only can’t wait to see them, I can’t wait to see YOU see them!
Laura’s voice is from another dimension. You will think of Billie Holiday, trumpets, and timeless vocal jazz. Then the next thing you know, the music has taken a trip hop etron turn and you realize you’ve been secretly pining for years for a little more Portishead in your consciousness. Fryer being a jazz centered drummer is key to this project. He knows full well when a little is a lot and showcases his ability to shift down beats and drop in and out of syncopation. He is keeping your brain busy and playful. Really, each one of these musicians invokes that effect with their delivery. Zach is an excellent guitarist with a sound knowledge of jazzy stacked chords and the power of accenting Laura’s vocal and keyboard presence and the rhythmic spine behind it. His additional vocals are similarly on point. He seasons the mix to perfection. Darwin stands on the line of organic jam and blues neosoul and texturized esoteric head case sonics and they are glowing about it. They are young, shining spots of newness in a sea of the status quo and their sparkle will draw you. Orzo is my current favorite song and available on their demo which they will have with them for you at the festival. Laura’s vocal bounces on this track like it’s a trampoline of stringy chord moments and overdubs. Yeah, I really like this band. I’m not the only one. Check out the article on Darwin by Erik Jensen in the August issue of Upstate Live for some D love of a different persuasion. I’m calling myself out as a bandwagon jumper.
Orzo is very tasty cooked up by Darwin.
I really like the venue, too. The Green Onion Pub is my personal little sleeper spot to carve out a little downtime during the festival. Elbow room is tough to come by, since I am not alone in this opinion and the place is generally packed. The service is excellent, the drinks are fantastic, and the atmosphere is worth any wait you might get caught in for a chair. I’m excited about this Green Onion/Darwin pairing.
If you’re lucky, Utica, Laura will art up the outside of the demo sleeves like she did for us at the Boogie. Music and arts festival…I’ll put in a good word for you. They were awesome and you should get a crack at one.
Get to the Darwin show on kick off night, Thursday, September 15th at 12:00 am 1:30 am. at The Green Onion Pub. Event page listing right ~~> here. Come on, you know you took Friday off already. Don’t you feel a cold coming on?
Darwin on the web:
Darwin on Facebook
Tickets to the whole smattering of UMAF goodness, including the Utica Greens Festival are available online now and in good old fashioned print at the Tramontane Cafe in Utica, NY. Other ticket locations to be announced.