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Live Music Week happens bi-annually at WERS to raise money to keep our station running. We ask if you can pledge your support in order to keep us live on air, bringing you live performances from your favorite musicians. Pledges can be made here.
Divine Fits brought their own, unique brand of indie rock to the WERS studios and nearly tore the roof off. For them, its just another day on the job. Coming from some of the most respected bands in the indie rock cannon (Spoon, Wolf Parade, New Bomb Turks), the three main members of Divine Fits (accompanied on keyboards and synths by Alex Fischel) are no strangers to live performances. It’s a simple equation: Britt Daniel (Spoon) brings the minimalism and his trademark yelp, Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs) brought his penchant for synth driven melodies and aggressive guitar solos, and Sam Brown (New Bomb Turks) brought his precise, and at times thundering, brand of drumming.
They started off with the Daniel-led “Would That Not Be Nice”, a song that slowly evolved from its simply, percussion driven intro. First the drums and the bass riff, then Daniel’s punchy guitars joined the mix, and then Fischel dropped a trebly, jittering synth line. Then it all stopped… only for the band to join in to close up the song, resulting in a Krautrock-lite jam that focused more on building a mood instead of the meaningless noodling that others bands can fall into when they jam. Their debut album, A Thing Called Divine Fits, is filled with these moments of driving percussion and catchy guitar riffs. Daniel and Boeckner alternate between vocal leads, giving the album a real sense of variety.
Up next, a quite moment in the form of “Civilian Stripes”. The Boeckner-led song is the closest the band have a ballad and still holds the band’s trademark short, concise, and melodic songwriting style. Unlike Daniel’s voice, which has that perfect amount of rasp and grit, Boeckner tended to go for a more strained take. The emotion of the song was understated by the sheer simplicity of it; as sad as it may be, Boeckner never dwelled on the sadness, simply pulling himself up by the bootstraps and trudging through it.
The last song is another Boeckner-led jam and their first single, “My Love Is Real”, which is very reminiscent of his work with the Handsome Furs. Unlike the other two songs, it lacks a focus on the guitars and instead piles melodic synths on top of each other in an almost symphonic fashion. In fact, most of the synth line are very baroque sounding, but in a modern context.
The trio came together in the October of last year with the idea of simply playing together and seeing if it sounded any good. Britt had been in touch with Dan since a 2007 Handsome Furs show in Portland and the duo have shown respect for one another since: Britt would lead Spoon through a cover of Wolf Parade’s “Modern World” for numerous stops along their 2010 Transference tour and Dan would eventually join Spoon on stage at their biggest headlining show yet at Radio City Music Hall, performing the aforementioned cover and “I Saw The Light” (off of 2010’s Transference). You can tell that the trio have a high level of mutual respect for one another, but that doesn’t get in the way of having fun. Live, Divine Fits let loose and rip and tear through their songs in the grandest of rock-n-roll fashions, even in the WERS studio.