When: Thu., April 3, 9 p.m. 2014
Local soul-pop duo Milo & Otis recently changed their name to M&O to avoid getting confused with Los Angeles EDM outfit Milo & Otis, who pal around with Skrillex; the news hasn’t spread fast enough, apparently, because at one of M&O’s South by Southwest shows a few EDM fans in face paint and glitter showed up expecting to rage to some jacked-up bangers. Vocalist Jamila Woods and bassist-producer Owen Hill hardly make songs for taking molly and dancing till you collapse in a pool of sweat, but their airy, sultry tunes are fun to move to all the same. They draw from aughties indie pop, slinky soul, contemporary R&B, laid-back hip-hop, and even slam poetry—on the best track from 2012’s The Joy, the fluttery “Lift Up” (featuring Chance the Rapper), Woods recites some “we’re gonna get through this, baby” spoken word. The Joy is strong but uneven, a weakness that M&O seem to have overcome in time for their brand-new self-released sophomore album, the beautifully silky Almost Us. When Woods’s gentle coo mingles with a lilting guitar and a single long, subdued horn note on “Jimi Savannah,” the tune unfolds like a blooming rose. Most of the tracks are layered and colorful, but the best cut on Almost Us is minimalist by comparison—the vocals on “Neighbor” are so delicate and feathery they sound like they could dissolve into the air. It’s a lovely tune whose heartbreaking lyrics will make you want to run straight to somebody you love and hang on to them for all you’re worth. —Leor Galil Noname Gypsy and She open.
Price: $10, $7 in advance