Monday, August 1, 2016

NAF at the Bowery Ballroom

Jenny Lewis
In 2015, keyboardist/bassist Erika Forster (of Au Revoir Simone) and drummer Tennessee Thomas (formerly of the Like) played in a New York City band called Summer Moon. Vocalist Jenny Lewis (solo artist and formerly of Rilo Kiley and Jenny & Johnny) connected with the duo in 2016, and the three musicians quietly formed a band called NAF. The indie supergroup made its live debut at a Bernie Sanders benefit concert in New York in April 2016, and also opened a few concerts for M. Ward. NAF's self-titled debut album was released on June 24, 2016.

Rather than use the Bowery Ballroom's stage and lighting, NAF performed in a small space on the audience floor, lit only by a few light bulbs on a peace symbol behind Thomas. Performing without physical barriers, the three musicians could not have been closer to each other and to the audience. The music was raw, sometimes simply a voice over funky bass and primal drum lines, similar but lighter than punk funk band ESG in the 1970s. NAF's set was so basic that it sounded like the songs were written experimentally last night and were not yet completed. This was perhaps the charm that rocked the party. The considerable deficit, however, was that NAF played its entire nine-track album in a skimpy 28 minutes; with a set that short, perhaps the band should have held off on headlining until it had a second album's worth of material.

Visit NAF at