The Silver Dollar
June 14 2013
Montreal based duo AroarA (ex-Broken Social Scene / Apostle Of Hustle guitarist Andrew Whiteman and Ariel Engle) played a quick eight song mini-set as part of Toronto's NXNE Festival. The performance consisted solely of tracks from the new self titled five track e.p. (reviewed here) and forthcoming album In The Pines.
Opening with "#1" from the album, Whiteman and Engle quickly established the format of the show. Shared vocals, rough guitar parts and pre-recorded beats & loops for foundation. The song "#6" (from the e.p.) ended with the married couple interweaving guitar lines delicately between them. For the fourth track Engle traded her left-handed Gibson SG for a cigar box guitar adding a more rhythmic slant to her playing. The visual juxtaposition of her flowing silk robes with that of the
primitive cigar box was especially effective in defining the group's aesthetic: polished & rough elements are comfortable together.
The fifth song of the night "#4" ended with a heavy fuzz guitar solo from Whiteman, playing with more ferocity than during his BSS tenure. For the next song, "#9" both performers shed their respective axes and sang unadorned over the loops now providing sole instrumentation.
As great as the new material is, there can be no doubt that the star of the show is Engle's gentle, mesmerizing voice, even more captivating live than on record. Hopefully in the near future there will be longer shows where we are treated to even more of her beguiling charm.
Live photos by Eric K.