FRIDAY MAY 24. 20$. BE THERE
Yoyogi Park (Tokyo)
EQUINOX | 2013
KJ LIVE FEB 9TH @ THE CENTRAL 603 MARKHAM ST TORONTO (BLOOR&BATHURST) 10PM 7$
you’ll be my night light.
Brendan Philip and Jahmal Tonge, For you, Sex Symbols & Love Conspiracies Pt.2 (2013)
Boys that sound like an Azan, the Muslim call to prayer, are all the rage – Drake, Rocki Evans, Iman Omari, The Weeknd, How To Dress well, Frank Ocean and JMSN, but Brendan Philip gives the most engaging performance of the lot. If you’re based in Toronto and have been fortunate to see Brendan perform his yet-to-be released “For you” then you know exactly what I am raving about.
“For you” is the gut-tugging emotional rollercoaster that Philip actualizes in his live performance of the said track. It is a performance that borders hysteria. Phillip literally shuts his set down with a bouncing-of-the-wall-cuddling-up the-floor spectacle. It’s evident music is his therapy. As the percussion builds up he lets loose – exorcising the emotional strains that weigh him down and delivering himself from their bondage. Raw emotion and performance collide ingeniously, bringing to mind Hendrix’s 1967 guitar burning performance at Monterey Pop. But the stage antics, spiritual epilepsy, emotional frenzy – call it what you may – are only a portion of the Brendan Philip experience. Of course there’s a voice, not just a good one, but one that’s perfectly suited for the emotional chaos and nostalgia present in his lyrics. Philip’s voice is soothing yet it roars with bowel-deep intensity. His heart’s been pierced and the wound still stings fresh. The synthesizer amplifies the experience causing his cry to resonate and ripple its way down the crowded bar. And then there’s the crowd, a spectacle in its own right, with characters as diversely appealing as the hairstyles that adorn their heads – dreaded high-tops, braids, weaves, and all their non-black equivalents. Bodies sway and heads bop in unison to the bittersweet sentiments of abstract R&B.
Sadly, there’s no studio version of “For you” available just yet. Brendan and Jahmal are still experimenting with the sound of their upcoming EP Sex Symbols & Love Conspiracies Pt.2 – we’re waiting with patient excitement.
In the mean here’s the link to Brendan’s bandcamp page. Top picks are his cover of Neil Young’s Harvest Moon, all three tracks on his collaboration with sAvidA and personal projects, Wait and Wild side. His work with Lord Quest under the moniker Purple Hearts is pure soultronica. Get it here.
photo: Yannick Anton