Musicians relished in the act of playing in front of a live audience for the first time months, last Thursday (Aug. 27) night.
And one performed live for the first time.
Saint-Germain Café and Gallery in downtown Penticton hosted local band Yarrows’ debut album launch party in front of a “surprisingly large” but socially distanced crowd of approximately 20 to 35 people.
Ambient artist, Tahal made his live debut as the opening act.
The café’s small patio was transformed into a stage for the night as small groups of friends gathered at distanced tables on both sides of the street.
Many attendees said it was the first live music they had seen in quite some time.
Yarrows’ guitarist, Mathieu Drolet, originally from Val-d’Or, Quebec, said it was refreshing to be able to perform in front of a crowd for the first time in many months.
“It was nice to play in front of people again… to see people. It was the first night we could really hangout together,” said Drolet. “Even if their were some (other) ways we could have done something it took an event like this to really get us all together.”
The band’s singer, Stephanie Lines was impressed with the way Chris Millin, owner of Saint-Germain Café and Gallery owner and host of the event, was able to pull off the show with proper COVID-19 safety protocols in place.
“This show was pretty ingenious,” she said. “Folks that I know that actually have to be really careful because of their family members who have cancer were actually able to come out tonight. They just wore their masks, sat at their table… having it outdoors worked great.”
The night was kicked-off around 7 p.m. as Kelowna ambient artist, Tahal made his debut live performance.
The 21-year-old, whose birth-name is Noa Magnin, warmed up the crowd with his down-tempo, ambient electronic beats as the sun began to set on Main St.
Magnin fell in love with ambient music from a young age, citing acclaimed Scottish electronic duo Boards of Canada as one of many his many influences.
“For me it was very emotional, heavy music and that’s what I like to go for,” said Magnin of his chosen genre.
Magnin, originally from Switzerland, was very excited for his first opportunity to perform in front of a live crowd. He said he was “a little nervous” before his set, but if he was it didn’t show.
|21-year-old ambient artist Tahal made his live debut at Saint-Germain Cafe and Gallery Thursday, August 27, 2020 in Penticton. The native of Switzerland also studies sociology at UBCO in Kelowna.|
Kelowna ambient artist Tahal is making his live debut at St. Germain's cafe in downtown Penticton. The 21-year-old DJ, originally from Switzerland, is opening for Penticton band Yarrows at their debut album launch party. #Penticton #ambient #music pic.twitter.com/niz5HSpbes
— Jesse Day (@jessewilliamday) August 28, 2020
Yarrows hit the makeshift stage slightly after 8 p.m. and immediately caught the attention of everyone nearby with their unique, hazy blend of psychedelic, country and desert rock.
Drummer Thomas Hunter described their sound as sound “an independent version of Fleetwood Mac meets Sonic Youth.”
The three-piece band’s debut album, Stardust Motor Inn — named after a now defunct Penticton motel — aims to convey Penticton’s unique dichotomy of natural beauty and “languid slowness,” explained lead singer Stephanie Lines.
“The music blends to a dreamy feel of a desert and the Stardust Motor Inn epitomizes that,” said Hunter.
As Lines put it, Penticton has “That stardust, that sparkle, the feeling of keeping hope alive… in the summer it’s very vibrant, very alive, and in the winter at some times it feels very dead, very depressing, very grey… but there’s still this perception people have of it… they see the sparkle.”
Lines explained she hopes Yarrows’ album, which was four years in the making, expresses that unique contrast.
The new album can be purchased through Yarrows’ bandcamp page.
Check out highlights of both Yarrows’ and Tahal’s performances below: