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Bumbershoot Review Day 2: Gold Leaves in the Late Summer Sun

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Gold Leaves in the sun. Photo: Dan Coxon.Rain or shine, Bumbershoot has to be one of the most vibrant and eclectic inner city music festivals around. Regardless of whatever weather the Puget Sound throws at it, the festival continues to turn out surprising lineups and some truly memorable performances. Let’s be honest, though – we all prefer the sunshine…

After a sun-drenched first day of the 2012 festival everyone feared a change in the weather on Sunday, but once the early morning mists had cleared it proved to be another sunny start at the Seattle Center. I guess someone must be smiling on Seattle.

The balmy temperatures lent a laid back vibe to an already copacetic festival crowd, and those festival goers who were in for the long haul settled in for another hard day reclining on the lawns. That made Grant Olsen’s new project, Gold Leaves, the perfect soundtrack to a lazy Sunday of music. Gold Leaves isn’t rewriting the indie rulebook, but Olsen and his collaborators – including Jason Quever of Papercuts and Tomo Nakayama of Grand Hallway – tap into some pretty deep musical reserves. The result sits somewhere between alt-country, Northwestern folk and indie guitar rock: music that moves you instead of wows you.

But for many of the Bumberfans camped out on the lawn in front of the Sub Pop Stage, that emotional range was wow factor enough. As Gold Leaves rattled and hummed their way through debut album The Ornament the crowd reclined happily in the sun, soaking up some much-needed Pacific rays. How well Olsen’s new project translates to the dreary depths of midwinter remains to be seen. But for now, he holds Seattle in the palm of his hand.