It was the night before Halloween and GIVERS took the indoor stage at Stubb’s BBQ in Austin sporting matching painted skull faces. They are currently touring in support of the November 13 release of their sophomore album New Kingdom, their first since 2011. Hailing from Lafayette, Louisiana they bring a unique sound to the realm of indie rock, combining synth, samples, zydeco, multiple percussion, rock, and pop to make something all their own.
After taking the stage around 11:30 the band launched into a set that was understandably heavy on new material. While older songs like “Saw You First” and “Atlantic” had the crowd dancing and swaying along to the familiar beats, newer material had the audience yelling for more. Where material from their debut LP In Light had a more upbeat and pop heavy fell, the new material is more heavy on samples and sounds a bit more dark and ominous. Keeping with their original formula, Taylor Guarisco and Tiffany Lamson trade off vocal duties throughout the songs.
The performance by Tiffany Lamson was astounding both vocally and musically. Beating relentlessly on a stripped down drum set of cymbals, snare, toms, and sample pads, Lamson did not miss a note vocally. The new material allowed her to really use the full range of her voice. During “Sure Thang” Lamson was screaming out the high notes while the rest of the band lay down an EDM-influenced beat. The new single “Bermuda” was probably the most telling of the new direction being taken on New Kingdom. At Stubb’s it started heavy on samples and synth while still maintaining a pop feel, and the crowd swayed and nodded along, most probably involuntarily. After closing the set with “Ceiling of Plankton” the band returned with the crowd favorite “Up Up Up”. About an hour into Halloween, GIVERS closed out the night with another new song “Record High, Record Low” that was the closest to replicating their older material with more of a straight ahead indie rock feel.
When New Kingdom is released in a couple of weeks, it will be surprising if GIVERS don’t gain a lot more attention. The material played at Stubb’s showed a band that is not afraid to take their music in new directions while still maintaining the style that made them distinctive to begin with.