Monday, February 27, 2017

Eisley at the Studio at Webster Hall

Sherri DuPree-Bemis
Boyd and Kim DuPree ran a coffee shop in their church in Tyler, Texas. Their children formed an indie pop/rock band called the Towheads in 1997 and became the house band for the venue. The band changed its name to Eisley, named after Mos Eisley, a fictional spaceport town on the planet Tatooine in the Star Wars universe, and began playing regularly in Dallas and then throughout Texas. Several siblings and cousins passed through the line-up, and the band presently stands as Sherri DuPree-Bemis on vocals and rhythm guitar, her cousins Garron DuPree on bass and Remington DuPree on drums, Elle Puckett on lead guitar, and Jedidiah Lachmann on keyboards. The band's fifth album, I'm Only Dreaming, was released on February 17, 2017.

Headlining tonight at the Studio at Webster Hall, this was Dupree-Bemis’s first local show without any of her sisters. Nevertheless, Eisley's new line-up was striking. Handling old songs and introducing songs from a 10-day old album, the band ably supported DuPree-Bemis with soft but chugging indie pop accompaniment as she brought her signature floating-on-air soprano vocals to the forefront. The melody-charged arrangements ranged from sparse to lush, sometimes within the same song. The mysterious charm of the music was especially compelling, however, in the exchange between DuPree on solo vocals and her layered harmonies with the others, particularly with Puckett. Subtleties abounded in the lyrics and the arrangements, making the performance as upbeat as the bubble-machine to the side of the stage.

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