REVIEW: Yowler at PhilaMOCA

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PHOTOS & WRITTEN BY: Aaron Scofield @aaroncscofield

Maryn Jones, known from her work in All Dogs and Saintseneca, took the stage for a rare headlining, album-release show at PhilaMOCA on Thursday. Melancholy melodies met distorted guitar and bass as the band premiered their new album Black Dog In My Path. Jones entranced the crowd, consisting of mostly friends and a collection of fans, from open to close in the set.

Two openers joined Yowler with each bringing a unique and constructive set to the show. The Goodbye Party’s Michael Cantor began with soft acoustic ballads in falsetto. The small crowd watched attentively as Cantor took control of the stage, bringing bowed guitar into the performance. Soft overtones of bowed guitar looped over soft fingerpicking in the unreleased highlight of Cantor’s performance. Swanning took the stage next and brought a simplistic performance with electric guitar and a single loop pedal. “Downtown” and “Drawing Down the Moon” matched the ambiance of the dark and rainy evening.

Alone, Maryn Jones took the stage after a short break and started the set with the self-titled song, “Yowler” from their 2015 record The Offer. Slow fingerpicking encircled lyrics of self-doubt and finally acceptance.

“And you can lead me to the water but you cannot make me drink

But you will not be avoided because your ghost is haunting me

You made me in the Spring time but my body met the cold

You were crying in the corner and that fear is all I know”

The pace picked up as the set continued with songs like “Grizzly Bear II,” and “WTFK.” Jones also scattered slow and mellow songs from within the set, like “Holidays” and “No.”

For the last number of the night, the small crowd got moving as a bass introduction to “Where Is My Light?” began. Arguably the title track of Black Dog In My Path, the song details Jones’ struggles with “isolation in a period of big an unexpected transition,” and also about “hating your stupid [removed] phone” (Fader).

“Where is my light?
Not blue, but green and quiet, in my mind?”

The concert finished with hugs for the band from friends, and rushed exits into the rainy streets.  It was an evening of beautiful and refreshing music from some of Philadelphia’s best.

Setlist:

  1. Yowler
  2. Angel
  3. Grizzly Bear II
  4. Sorrow
  5. WTFK
  6. Holidays
  7. No
  8. Go
  9. Holy Fire
  10. Where Is My Light?

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