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P4k Day 3: Darkstar, How to Dress Well, Twin Sister

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P4k Day 3: Darkstar, How to Dress Well, Twin Sister

WBEZ/Robert Loerzel

Special Pitchfork Music Festival Blog Contributor

Darkstar. Photo by Robert Loerzel.

Darkstar has described their album, “North,” as “anti-color,” and that was certainly an apt description of their opening set on the Blue stage. Darkstar singer James Buttery looped his processed, hazed-out  vocalizations, building a choir of melancholy chants that was initially intriguing over their droney, synth-drenched compositions, but became redundant after a couple songs and soon wore out their welcome.

How to Dress Well. Photo by Robert Loerzel.

While a completely different vibe, a bit of the repetitive issue befell Tom Krell’s set as well. Performing as How to Dress Well, Krell was joined by a string section complete with a conductor. Their swelling string melodies buoyed Krell’s soulful croonings.  He had great vocal control, hitting falsettos throughout, including the c’mon swoon of “Cold Nights,” but overall it lacked dynamics that would differentiate one song from the next.

Twin Sister’s problem was not monotony, but rather they seemed more all over the place. Singer Andrea Estella, who sported  long sea-foam colored hair, teetered between whispy, sultry vocals and more experimental sounds, but the songs themselves didn’t stick past the time it took the band to perform them.

As they played I spotted 22-year old Michael, who said he hailed from Cabrini Green.  He was wearing a shirt that said, “Consent is Sexy” and was headed towards the Odd Future Wolgang Kill Them All stage. “Violence against women is nothing new, or ironic – it’s cliché,” he lamented when I asked if he wore the shirt in protest. “They perpetuate violence. They’re young kids, so I can’t blame them. But they’re not providing a critique or adding anything interesting to the conversation.”

Photo by Althea Legaspi.

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