When: Tue., March 26, 9:30 p.m. 2013
Brighton-based gothic indie-pop band Esben & the Witch have just released their second full-length, Wash the Sins Not Only the Face (Matador), whose title is a translation of an ancient Greek palindrome they found on a holy water font outside the Hagia Sophia. That gesture notwithstanding, though, cleverness isn’t really what they’re going for. Vocalist-lyricist Rachel Davies is more an earnest poet of dream states—sleep, astral projection, intense daydreaming—and the world she creates is as fragile as a fantasy. This time out the band backs her up with a bit more toughness, however—the glassy splinters of guitar, gusty billows of keyboard, and tense, locked-down pulse are a little bit Cranberries, a little bit Xmal Deutschland. You know how when you’re absorbed in a really good book or a really good daydream and someone disturbs you, even with the best of intentions, you feel ever so briefly but intensely homicidal? It wouldn’t hurt Esben & the Witch to go for that feeling more often. —Monica Kendrick Heliotropes, Airiel, and DJ Philly Peroxide open.