By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Cupping his microphone in his hands, Aaron Mollet's hushed moans wash over the audience as the experimental lap-pop duo Florene starts its set at Dan's Silverleaf. The pair stands on either side of a folding table strewn with cables, sequencers, pedals and microphones.
Suddenly, Mollet throws his body forward and screams. And screams. And screams.
Joining in, the other half of Florene, Gavin Guthrie, picks up his mic and starts yelling as well. Building in intensity, the song takes on an almost alienating vibe as the pair's shrieks loop, overlap and mix with a multitude of other sounds. Then, as if the song's power was lacking, the two start beating on cymbals that flank the stage—cymbals the duo borrowed from fellow Denton band Mom.
Definitely the paternal act of last Thursday night's show at Dan's, Mom, a relatively young act in its own right, headlined the show—a homecoming gig of sorts for the folktronic duo. (Mom had just returned from touring the East Coast with Swedish act Voices and Organs, who rounded out the evening's bill.)
Manning the merch table before the show started, Mom's Joel North shows off the freshly printed, just-received-in-time-for-their-European-tour green vinyl copies of the band's Little Brite EP. Commenting on the night's roster of bands, North says, "This'll be a great show, because, so often, in Denton, there doesn't seem to be much thought given to bringing similar bands together on a bill."
But where Mom thrives on a mellow intensity and Voices and Organs delivers with its melodious electro-folk, Florene goes another direction entirely.
At Dan's, the pair bounds back and forth from synthesizers to loop machines. When Guthrie and Mollet aren't screaming into their microphones, the two hurriedly push keys on a laptop, fidget with knobs or pound their fists on cymbals. At one point, Mollet throws his SM58 microphone to the ground and loops the sound of it hitting the stage. In the climax of the same song at another recent performance, Mollet started hammering the mic against a wall, adding to his shrieks which were still looping.
"I've definitely started to see the mic as another instrument," he says. Kinda like how Mom's members use found sounds from around their apartment in their recording process.
So often, there are bands thrown together on Denton bills—good bands—that don't necessarily belong together because their influences are so different. This show, however, succeeded because a concept ran throughout: Unlike other Denton shows, where each band's differences stand out, this show thrived because of the bands' similarities—which was mainly the fact that they're all, well, different.