Riot Fest Review: Laura Stevenson and the Cans @ Downsview Park, September 617 September 2014 / by Luke Williams (author)
Perhaps Long Island, New York is best known by music-lovers for its punk scene, but every once in a while it spawns a great little indie band. Laura Stevenson and her compatriots took over the Roots Stage, bright and early in the morning after having driven all night from a show in Downstate New York. The band’s music is a mix of tried-and-true indie rock, a dash of technical modification and - just for good fun - a zesty peppering of accordion. This makes for a deliciously fresh indie sound that is not the Mumford & Sons indie rock vibe that seems all too prevalent now.
Musically, the only issue that I came across with this band is that Laura possesses a really high-pitched voice that can take a bit of getting used to. Show-wise, I found their energy to be a little lacking, and their banter between tunes a bit distracting, but these I am willing to overlook, based on the fact that I can respect those who would travel all night to get to a festival like Riot, and still be willing to step up and be the first band on any of the stages.
If you want to check out Laura Stevenson for yourself, you can pick up her latest album, Wheel, featuring Grammy award winner Rob Moose (Bon Iver and The Johnsons) on violin, as well as brass accompaniment from Kelly Pratt (Beirut, Arcade Fire, David Bryne and St. Vincent.) If you like what you hear, then consider picking up some of her EPs, or her debut mini album, A Record.