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The Deer Tracks

Ice Choir, CMJ 2013, CMJ 2013: Day Five, Deer Tracks

CMJ Day Five: Ice Choir and The Deer Tracks, October 19th, 2013

Oct 24, 2013 Ice Choir Photography by Laura Studarus Bookmark and Share

Pains of Being Pure at Heart offshoot Ice Choir started their Saturday Night set at pianos late due to tech issues. (This seemed to be a theme throughout the week. Memo to any band playing a festival setting: learn how to set up your gear in a hurry!) Despite the processed super slick nature of their debut album Afar, the band managed to translate managed to adequately translate the tunes into a live setting. (We shall attempt to ignore the venue’s subpar sound—which no band should be penalized for.) The Brooklyn-based group closed out their set with a new song, which trades their trademark synths for a more guitar-based sound. Having staked their reputation on 1980s, saccharine-drenched vibe, the shift seems dubious at best.

Sweden’s The Deer Tracks took the stage after Ice Choir. The duo (David Lehnberg and Elin Lindfors) fleshed out their mystical sound with the help of pianist Anna-Karin Berglund, giving the songs of their Archer Trilogy added breadth and depth. While Lehnberg hung out in back providing spirited percussion, Lindfors proved to be a haunting frontwoman—voice and pose somewhere between Björk’s quirky grace and a latter-day Frou Frou. At several points, Lindfors played a saw. In any other context, this would seem like a nod to old-school Americana. But here, recontextualized, it just seemed like the height of otherworldy cool.

And with, the band put an ethereal cap on 2013. There was a shockingly high number of newbies to get excited about this year. Among them: NONONO, Claire, GEMS, and Rebeka. New(ish) favorites Shine 2009 and Willis Earl Beal also proved their staying power with album number two. To every band that performed this year: congratulations, you made it through the festival grind. Onwards and upwards.

Check out a gallery of day five photos here.





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