Residencies at local venues provide an invaluable service to music lovers across the city. If you’re strapped for cash, you can get in with just the check of an ID and enjoy music all night long. This month, the Satellite hosted a Thursday night residency featuring Psychic Love, a local indie rock group helmed by Laura Peters. This past Thursday was a treat, featuring a surprise hit with opener Pom Poms; the final installment of the residency is on 7/27 and I hope the place is packed. It sure wasn’t full when I got to Satellite just before the Pom Poms set began. In fact, it seemed that more people were outside than inside at that point, and the volume of the crowd wasn’t heartening as the night wore on either.
But this was everyone else’s loss–to start, the Pom Poms kicked ass. Five piece bands don’t fit ‘comfortably’ onstage in this small space, but that didn’t stop lead singer Marlene Gold and lead guitarist Billy Mohler from tearing it up. They are the heart of the band, which could explain how enthusiastically they performed their material. And what a production it was! Gold served sexy choreography with a heaping dose of vibraslap (alright, only one song featured the vibraslap, but it was awesome), and she also occasionally slung a guitar on her shoulder to add some flare. Admittedly the most impressive axe-handling came from Mohler, who treated it as an extension of himself. He was responsible for keeping the tone of each song from becoming too predictable, too mainstream. Their sound teeters between southern and Brit rock, a winning combination from this side of the amps.
The main act of the night was Psychic Love, a band I was introduced to last year on a whim. Their debut record is a California rocking dream, with storied lyrics and burning guitars, and so I was delighted to hear the majority of it in a set that I still felt was cut short. Peters took centerstage that night, commanding the room with her guitar while her bandmates kept pace. Hard to say how long she has been performing this material, but safe to say she knew it better than the back of her hand, and the smooth energy translated into a hyped set. She didn’t waste too much breath on banter between songs, saying hello to friends in the audience, promoting her merch, and explaining the meaning behind some song titles. (“Pink Parlour” refers to the backs of your eyelids when you close them in a bright space.) For the sake of learning more random tidbits about the record, attending next week might be a must.
Peters played a great deal from their new record, including “The Weekend” and “Midnight Cowboy,” which Peters jovially introduced as their “dance-y song about depression.” This track closed their set, where Peters had traded her guitar for a tiny keyboard and began the slow descent to the floor: first she kneeled, then crouched, then full-on sat down on the stage before turning over and lounging on her stomach like a teenager taking a phone call in a ‘90s family sitcom. It was carefree and made me want more, but alas, their record is still not available anywhere. The band is currently unsigned but seeking label-backing, and I personally hope for this to happen soon so I can listen to “Self Soother” on repeat for the rest of the year.
Don’t miss Psychic Love’s last residency date this Thursday, July 27th! They will be joined by Night Talks, Bones Muhroni, and Rival Cavves. It’s free.
Words: Zoe Elaine
Photography: Raymundo Marquez