In the small, dim-lit interior of The Crocodile, Adam Jones’ delicately rustic vocals entwined with the harmonies of keyboard player Ruby Somoza’s, as Hollow Wood struck up their opening song “Spirits,” to a silent crowd. Hollow Wood stole the show on Thursday from headlining indie act, Horse Feathers.
The five Boise, Idaho, natives brought an energy that took the audience from a state of subdued attentiveness to energetic engagement in a matter of minutes. Hollow Wood used traditional instruments such as a guitar, bass, drums and keyboard, to produce beautiful acoustic layers.
While tuning their instruments between songs, they talked and joked with the audience. “This is where I’m supposed to throw out buzzwords that make everyone happy like ‘organic’ and ‘natural,’” Jones said, drawing a laugh for his sarcasm.
Halfway through the set, Jones pulled out his harmonica and switched from guitar to keyboard on “Forget me Forgotten.” The folky sounds radiated throughout the venue as his quiet, raspy voice built up to an explosion of passion and energy.
As a young band, Hollow Wood’s lyrics carry the profoundness of much older artists. Ending with the first song Jones ever wrote, “Little Bird,” the band involved the audience with rhythmic clapping and singing along.
A slightly different feeling emerged when Sara Jackson-Holman took the stage, singing a powerful rendition of “Wade in the Water.” Creating her own drum sounds, Jackson-Holman softly tapped the microphone and then looped vocals and claps to produce a reverb that took over the venue.
The mood she set was fitting for the night before Halloween, as an almost eerie feeling took over the room. Her presence was reminiscent of Lana Del Rey in the way she dressed and performed. As a classically trained pianist, Jackson-Holman’s playing felt similar to other classically trained artists such as Regina Spektor. During one of her last songs, a drum machine and bass entered, filling out her sound even more.
Horse Feathers, the headlining act, performed favorites from their newly released album, So It Is With Us, and from past albums“We just put out a record last week. We’re pretty proud of it,” said frontman Justin Ringle.
Horse Feathers spiced things up with a singing saw, violin, banjo, and trumpet.
The Portland, Ore., band expressed their love for Seattle many times, and joked about being from a city with the “world’s most annoying show” [Portlandia]. “It’s always nice to come to Seattle ‘cause it’s just like having a chat with our neighbors up north,” Ringle said.
The audience remained still throughout most of Hollow Wood’s performance. But at the first notes of the energetic tune, “Oh My God,” they began to loosen up and dance. Jones and the rest of the band jumped around on stage, obviously enjoying themselves.
Jones announced that they will be releasing a music video for “Oh My God,” and featuring teaser trailer on their YouTube page. Hollow Wood has developed something of a reputation for selling their debut EP, Seasons, for only $5. This brought about many jokes during the concert, with the band nicknaming themselves “$5 CD.” “We’re ‘$5 CD,’” Jones said, at the conclusion of Hollow Wood’s set. “Thank you so much for coming out!”