Le Guess Who 2015 Day Three: Destroyer, Suuns and Jerusalem in My Heart and More | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Le Guess Who? 2015: Day Three

Le Guess Who 2015 Day Three: Destroyer, Suuns and Jerusalem in My Heart and More, November 21st, 2015

Nov 26, 2015 Bo Ningen Photography by Laura Studarus Bookmark and Share

Saturday was Le Mini Who—one of my favorite portions of Le Guess Who? when the best in upcoming local music is showcased. Since the country has yet to produce a flagship rock/pop artist (in the EDM world Tiesto is about as ubiquitous as tulips), I always look forward to seeing what’s next. And I’m never disappointed. C’mon America, we’ve successfully adopted Jacco Gardner…surely we’ve got room in our hearts to go Dutch a second time.

My only regret? The weather was too cold for bike riding. (Hello sleet!) Or rather—to state it correctly—my only regret is that I’m too wimpy to ride through the ice and weather. I’m fragile.

Here’s who stole my heart on day three.


The Amsterdam-based four-piece makes short, poppy tunes that sound like they emerged freshly baked from the garage. Likeable, no-nonsense, with some seriously complex harmonies that came across brilliantly even when performed crammed in the corner of a café. I could feel my cynicism draining away. (Their second album Dragon is out now.)


Silver Ferns were billed as “dream pop,” but the first half of their set was decidedly more in the rock bucket. (Which isn’t a bad thing.) It wasn’t until the midway point when they pulled out the Radio Dept-style layers of guitar, and made all our fantasies/dreams/mental escapes come true. Surprisingly, the band had only played a handful of gigs before their Mini Who set, making the professionalism of their performance all the more impressive.


I’ve been itching to see Destroyer since his eleventh album Poison Season became my summer soundtrack. (Full disclosure: I had multiple friends ask me to turn it off after bravely lasting through days of it on repeat. Sometimes I’m shocked anyone will hang out with me.)

Frontman Dan Bejar looked a bit rough around the edges (since launching his European tour he had fought off a case of pneumonia) but somehow it fit his detached, lounge singer persona. His mumbled vocals staged against lush beds of horns offered up a sort of Lou Reed-meets-Broadway dichotomy. A set of highlights from Poison Season, Kaputt, and Destroyer’s Rubies, the show proved something we’ve always suspected—Bejar is one of those rare musicians that can seemingly do no wrong.


Suuns and Jerusalem in My Heart’s collaboration was first unveiled at last year’s Le Guess Who…and I missed it. What am I thankful for this year—second chances. The Montreal bands’ collaboration is an epic combination of structure, form, and—when needed—throwing the whole thing out the window. What that translates to? Surprisingly listenable droning, panoply of audio samples (Jerusalem’s Radwan Ghazi Moumneh pulls double duty as a sound engineer, so this isn’t surprising), and hi-8 video projections…just to give the whole thing a suitably eerie vibe.


My love of Bo Ningen is well documented (weeks after Iceland Airwaves I’m still thinking about their unhinged performances). So despite mounting exhaustion, I dove back into the tiny Pandora venue to catch a few minutes of the Japanese punk band’s set. This just in: still loud, still crazy, still the pinnacle of punk. A perfect, bold exclamation point on another excellent day.

Check out day three photos here.








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