Nobody was prepared for what happened in Whelan’s last weekend. Hushed voices and murmured conversations were cut short by the sounds of “The Sea”, the opening track of ExitMusic’s set list. Without a doubt one of their strongest tracks, the crowd were enraptured within seconds. A small crowd, doctor it has to be said, but one that would soon be rewarded for their dedication to good music.
Hailing from Brooklyn, ExitMusic are a two piece band made up of Alexsa Palladino and Devon Church. A husband and wife team, Palladino performs the vocal duties of the band (along with an assortment of other instruments), while Church accompanies on guitar, with an odd smack of a drum here and there. ExitMusic may be small in numbers but they make up for this fact wholeheartedly with presence and noise. Their debut album Passage was released earlier in 2012 and they have been touring worldwide since. The tracks they performed were from said album, a musical cacophony of epic proportions. They have been compared to Icelandic band Sigur Ros and the similarities are present: both are utterly sensational in style, but they are poles apart.
The brilliance of the album “Passage” is only amplified when performed live. “The Modern Age” followed “The Sea”. For such a tiny human being, Palladino has an impressive set of lungs. Whispered lyrics suddenly erupted without warning, transforming into an ethereal wailing, tingling any spine in a 100 metre radius. “White Noise” and “The Night”, both from Passage, were effortless in performance. The performance never lagged, never lost inertia, it flowed with a distinctively elegant ease. The audience remained in a state of awe for the entire 45 minute set. The band itself moved around the stage with an awkward ease, at one point Church used a violin bow to produce the distortive yet aurally pleasing accompaniment to “The Night”, a showcase of his talent and individualism, while Palladino took up her guitar, after several tracks on the keyboards.
The highlight of the night was without a doubt the final song –the title track of the album Passage. For over 8 minutes, Church and Palladino showcased their abundant musical worth. Atmospheric, visceral and all-consuming. Eerie, uplifting and wonderful. They ticked all the boxes. Once the music stopped, the narcotic echo of their sound was all that was left; the audience was left speechless and desperate for their next fix.
By Kathryn Toolan