As Lemolo was finishing up their sound check at Barboza for their live on KEXP performance Megan went into a little bit of ‘Doin’ the Cockroach’ by Modest Mouse on the guitar. Kendra joined in on the drums before they both cut it off. It was as a Seattle music moment as you’re likely to get, and it brought home the fact that Lemolo’s music wouldn’t be out of place in 1992, 2002, or any time since we started amplifying keyboards and voices. The diaphanous voice that Megan Grandall brings to bear demands rapt attention, and between the two women there is a reverby thickness of music that contains everything you need to start this second day of the Capitol Hill Block Party right.

They bounce, Megan and Kendra. They bounce to keep time with each other while it’s just Megan’s voice, or a keyboard part by itself. They look at each other and it’s all smiles. It should be. They are at the rare place of doing something that they obviously love, and getting lots of recognition for it. Kendra doesn’t sing, but her expressions with her eyes and body language are as clear as day. They make music that’s full of pregnant silences, full of overtones and dances between instruments. They don’t bother too much with banter; their music speaks for itself. They draw the audience close so we can hear the rests as clearly as the notes.

Lemolo’s music could be precious if it were made by two who were any less earnest and joyful on stage. Instead what they make is kind of like a beautiful sand painting, where everyone crowds around it to keep it safe, and to be as close as possible so as to experience it truly. They will be on stage again today: 8:30 on the Vera Stage. It’ll be a longer set, and a second dose of Lemolo sounds pretty great. I know where I’ll be.

Culture CHBP Day 2: Lemolo Filled Barboza with Smiles