Reviews > Shows
Harper Blynn at The Living Room
The Living Room
New York, NY
Brooklyn quartet, Harper Blynn, finished off their 6-day residency at The Living Room on a high note last Saturday night, February 4th. The opener, Poundcake, played to a crowded room and concluded their set by collaborating with Harper Blynn on vocals, singing a comical country song glorifying the Christian life. When Harper Blynn took the stage they immediately burst into a catchy pop/rock song that was polished but bordered on sounding generic and it wasn’t until the chorus that they showed a harder side with synched guitar and bass power chords.
Jason Blynn, Peter Harper and Whynot Jansveld harmonized flawlessly, but it was Jason and Peter who took turns on lead vocals. Jason’s voice was comparable to Caleb Followill’s of Kings of Leon with a wider range, and far more high notes. Peter also had an incredibly high range, with a whiny but pleasant tonal quality that allowed him to belt out wailing cries. Sarab Singh kept the rhythm on drums, playing multiple songs with a tambourine on his high-hat and consistently hitting the rim of his floor-tom. Sarab would break into the climax of the song in perfect timing, hitting the skins full-force.
The banter between the members was light and comical, inciting the audience’s laughter and breaking down the stage to floor barrier. The second song of the evening was a soft ballad with melodic guitar plucking. Over halfway into the tune, Sarab came in on the drums and the tune became heavier, with Jason smacking his guitar. The third song, “Bound to Break,” started with the guitarists and bassist on the floor while Sarab sprung into a long, skillful drum solo that had the crowd roaring. The guitarists and bassist switched off on keys and the synths intensified the masterful build-ups.
Between songs the band celebrated birthdays and did shout outs for anniversaries and special occasions, rolling straight into a slow, sorrowful selection with high, overlapping vocals that created a heartbreaking reverberation. For the next song, Sarab put a towel over his snare drum and did paradiddles with mallets creating a paced anxiety with the bass drum pounding like a heartbeat. Jason stepped away from the microphone towards the end, creating a raw and distant sound.
The next to last song was a cover of Beyonce “Halo.” Whynot, Peter and Jason harmonized perfectly throughout and their voices began to overlap. Towards the end, the three finished each other’s cries, creating a vocal tug of war effect. The night concluded as the band clapped in beat and the audience joined in while Peter screamed into the microphone.
Every song of the night was undeniably catchy, but the band brought far more than foot-tapping pop hooks. Elements of folk, funk, jam, punk and country were interwoven into the set and the band expertly created build-ups and musical climaxes that kept the audience engrossed. The transitions in every song were seamlessly executed and the band stretched things out several times with lengthy instrumental passages. The vocals were one of the most impressive features of the evening as the three singers experimented and complemented one another’s voices harmoniously.
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