Leslie Amminson & Esme Gilbert Rocket Room, St. John's NF, April 18

Leslie Amminson & Esme Gilbert Rocket Room, St. John's NF, April 18
Photo: Vish Khanna
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This local duo are 16-year-olds who play minimal, mystical folk pop with a certain authority for their innocent age. "One word that was used to describe us in the program was 'unsettling,'" Gilbert said at one point; it's likely one of the first external assessments the duo have ever read about themselves. "We thought that was pretty cool," added Amminson as she accepted the Telecaster she shares with Gilbert, and led a quaint, well-appreciated version of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit." The pair named the guitar "Annie" after their "obsession," St. Vincent's Annie Clark. So if the classic rock cover and nervous miscues felt too cute, their otherwise original material and assured performance had elements of suspense and ambition that made them seem rather sophisticated. The music is basic still but the alluring voices and arresting command of language is promising. These two are up to something; we should keep our eyes on them.

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