I must admit to feeling a little sceptical about vocalist Brooke Addammo (stage name Owl Eyes) and her bands' double feature in Triple J's Hottest 100 this year; perhaps because I felt that the much-hyped cover of "Pumped Up Kicks" was somewhat overrated. While this may be the case, the attention being directed their way is much deserved, with originals worthy of any "best of" list.
Addammo's penchant for colourful garb and eclectic headwear was not on display last night – the singer opting for all black – however her performance was anything but dull, paired, as it was, with some signature hand flourishes, a surprisingly powerful voice and those irritatingly catchy dance moves.
One of the most interesting things about the band's music is that it could almost be described as "daydreamy" were it not for those persistent background beats that make you want to bust out the dance moves; (a fact attested to by the willingness of the crowd to do just that.)
Addammo has enviable range and vocal control, moving from the more measured, melancholy stylings of "Wait" through to the current high-rotation track "Raiders" to latest offering – upbeat, techno-pop number "Crystallized."
Crowd favourite "Pumped Up Kicks" did, (despite my aforementioned concerns), deliver, testifying to the engaging nature of Addammo's performance – she really is one to keep an eye on – but the standout piece for me was a highly innovative mash up of Kelis' "Trick Me" and Gorillaz' "Dirty Harry," which somehow managed to fuse the two into a surprisingly coherent, albeit eclectic, whole.
Based on the strength of this performance as well as some rapidly improving songwriting skills – (tracks from the new EP "Raiders" are far more nuanced than those from the first EP, "Faces") – there's a lot more to look forward to from the lovely and talented Owl Eyes.
Venue: Art Gallery of Western Australia | James Street Perth
Date: 16 Aug, 2012