A natural tendency for many concert goers is to get there just in time for the headlining act to come on stage. But what they don’t know does hurt them, and they end up hearing from early birds about how great the opening band was. In the case of IO Echo, who has been on tour with Bloc Party since the beginning of this month, this is one of those ‘arrive at door time’ occasions.
IO Echo’s lush song structures have appeared on film soundtracks for “Snow White and the Huntsman” and in the 2011 short film by Harmony Korine “Caput” during Art Basel (and starred James Franco).
Last year the Los Angeles duo, including Ioanna Gika and Jeremy Scott, debuted a self-titled E.P., which takes listeners from a floating, surreal dream in “Outsiders” to a bop-head, shake-a-shake session on “When the Lillies Die.”
Each song tells its story, and with “Ministry of Love” the opaque vocal hooks and optimistic keyboard notes play off the darker notes, the underlying bass lines and percussion, creating a world where light and dark present both hope and emotional apprehension. And on “Carnation,” Gika sings of the feeling of losing one’s mind, of passionate struggles, but are once again presented with an inspiration musical aura.
In April of last year the band participated in one of the AllSaints Basement Sessions, which is filmed and recorded within the warehouse space in Spitalfields where the clothing company’s design studio resides. There they performed a beautiful version of “I Father,” accompanied by a third member that I have yet to identify, but aim to do so, and will update this accordingly.
In addition to the current tour, which just added three more dates (January 23 at Kirby Court, Salt Lake City; January 24 at The Alley, Reno; January 25 at Hotel Utah, San Francisco) after the Ogden Denver show on Tuesday, January 22, IO Echo will be performing at SXSW Music 2013.