Little Scream Casa del Popolo, Montreal QC April 28
Published Apr 30, 2012American-born, Montreal-based songwriter Laurel Sprengelmeyer, better known as Little Scream, brought out an arsenal of musicians, including Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire, for a sold-out show at Montreal's Casa del Popolo. The multi-instrumental assembly played some hauntingly beautiful songs from Little Scream's so far only full-length, The Golden Record, which received a long-list nomination for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize, as well as a few well-received covers.
Little Scream opened the set with a brief tribute to the late Levon Helm of the Band, expressing her and her bandmates' sadness over his passing, citing him as an important influence. From this heavy-hearted introduction, the band went on to play lively and inspired renditions of "Amahl" and "Cannons."
Later on, the group offered up a tranquil and highly harmonized cover of the Velvet Underground's "Jesus." The full-band harmonies, at times shifting to euphonic howls, are a consistent highlight of Little Scream's live performance; Parry's white suit with black glittering fringe didn't hurt, either.
For a show in such a small space, the sound was also surprisingly rich, and despite how serene the songs' studio versions sound, the execution live was powerful -- at times, explosive -- and certainly emotionally charged. There's little doubt that Little Scream should expect to play some bigger rooms as she heads into the future.