Photo: Ryan Mac
If you went to the bathroom, you could have missed half the set. If you had bad Indian food… well. Making their United States debut, Sweden’s Korallreven arrived in a haze of shadows, but were gone in a flash–clocking in 35 minutes or music at The Independent in San Francisco before dashing out the door.
Before the Swedish cameo, opener Giraffage set the stage nicely for Korallreven with some slick DJ work involving beats and melodies usually too delicate for the average laptop button smasher. With an on-stage presence akin to Nosaj Thing but a audio style that recalls the work of Baths, San Francisco’s Charlie Yin foot tapped and head bobbbed for a crowd composed of friends and curious onlookers. Not soon after closing he joined the crowd to take in the main attraction.
Korallreven kicked off the night by floating Julianna Barwick vocals. Beginning their set with “Sa Sa Samoa” the trio gradually built off Barwick’s soothing soprano vowels for a subtle entrance refined by the dancing shadows of a backroom projector. The Swedish group, formed by Radio Dept. man Daniel Tjäder, has indie connections in spades, evidenced by their introduction of Victoria Bergsman (of Peter, Bjorn and John’s “Young Folks” fame) for two tracks. Bergsman sang delicately while frontman Marcus Joons recessed into the shadows at the back of the stage, and she ended her appearance with unquestionably the most awkward onstage high-five of all time.
Six songs later, they were done. The young band’s set was shorter than a Scandinavian winter’s day, but showed some real promise. “As Young As Yesterday” is sure to pop up on some slow motion skating videos this year, and Korallreven are sure to continue growing their repertoire.
Giraffage – Don’t Care (download)
Korallreven – Sa Sa Samoa (ft. Julianna Barwick) (download)