with Salt Cathedral
September 26th, 2017 @ Great Scott
By: Liam Morgan & Juliette Paige
Listen to Salt Cathedral here:
Listen to Coast Modern here:
Before the inception of global pop-duo Salt Cathedral, Juliana Ronderos (vocals) and Nicolas Losada (guitar) were known as il abanico, a five-piece band with a straightforward alternative rock sound. In 2013, Ronderos and Losada changed their name to Salt Cathedral, and their sound evolved from rock into a more fluid vibe that pays homage to their Columbian roots. Since their first EP release, Salt Cathedral has toured globally, opened for Tei Shi, and now they are currently on tour with LA duo Coast Modern.
I waited in line early at the Great Scott to be at the front of the venue, which seemed to be filled with loyal Coast Modern fans. That didn’t seem to intimidate the duo when they came on stage, however, because they immediately filled the venue with an infectious vibe that seized everyone’s attention. Ronderos and Losada work exclusively with synths and sample, and almost every song began with Ronderos looping her voice to create an ethereal and elegant sound.
Their set began with “Holy Soul,” an appropriate opening that captures their airy energy and had the crowd on their feet. Ronderos begins by looping and harmonizing with herself singing “Don’t want to forget this time,” then Losada joins in with a striking guitar riff. Before I knew it, I was dancing along and enjoying every moment of Salt Cathedral’s unique and refreshing sound.
Other highlights of the show included Salt Cathedral’s performance of “Run For The Money (feat. Assassin), which included a heavy reggae beat that brought the crowd to their feet dancing, and a delicate cover of Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name.”
Ronderos and Losada created a terrific vibe that set up headliners Coast Modern perfectly. The crowd was warmed up to let loose to dance the night away (even on a Tuesday!). Salt Cathedral has announced they will be releasing a full length album entitled Big Waves/Small Waves this year. Keep your eyes and ears open for where this talented duo will go!
Coast Modern played an intimate but energetic show at Great Scott in Allston. Their west coast sound transferred perfectly to the small east coast venue. It was easy to forget you weren’t at the House of Blues; the sing-along friendly choruses filled every inch of the venue.
The Los Angeles-based duo are making waves in the mainstream with their breezy summer pop single, “Dive.” Their debut self-titled album dropped, bringing a breath of fresh air to west coast electro-pop. Drawing influence from hip-hop, indie rock and psych-pop, Luke Atlas and Coleman Trapp’s latest project is widespread and imaginative. Behind the transcendent pop structure, Coast Modern explores meditative and vibrant indie pop. Their repertoire is filled with high energy, brightly colored gems reminiscent of acts like BØRNS. Hidden under the pop melodies are songs with uneasy recollections of painful experiences. Since meeting in 2013, Coast Modern have mastered the art of hiding sad songs in euphoric melodies. The honest lyrics hook you, uncovering emotions you didn’t realize were there.
The live production wasn’t quite on par with the production on the album, but the charisma and chemistry between band members easily made up for it. Sometimes smaller acts have trouble finding the sweet spot between too many pre-recorded electronic sounds and live acoustic instruments. Luckily Luke and Coleman could express their own sound without compromising that live element. The duo enhanced the live experience by bringing on a drummer and bassist.
Coast Modern played to their advantages and performed a vibrant and animated show. No song fell flat during the dynamic and captivating performance. Between the release of their 2015 single “Hollow Life” and their self-title debut this year, Coast Modern have solidified their sound while continuing to evolve. It will be interesting to see how the group develops as both a live and studio act. Coast Modern is an act to keep your eye on.