ML Buch Dissolved Membranes and Charged Molecules in Toronto

Longboat Hall, June 25

With Joseph Shabason

Photo: Matt Forsythe

BY Kaelen BellPublished Jun 26, 2024

ML Buch is a rock star. The Danish composer, producer and songwriter's Tuesday night performance at Longboat Hall — her second-ever Canadian show on her first-ever North American tour, in support of last year's mesmerizing Suntub — was charged with a giddy, fawning anticipation, the air sharpened by a crowd of young fans who came ready to be dissolved.

Decked in a smart black button-up and bedazzled, glam rock skeleton trousers, Buch toyed with a subdued deconstruction of superstar alchemy with the considered minimalism of her setup. Tibia glittering under the stage lights, Buch and bandmate Rebecca Molina took apart the room, the pair shifting constantly through their arsenal of keyboards, presets, pedals and percussion.


Playing through exacting, tender renditions of Suntub songs — "Flame shards goo," "Solid," "Well bucket," "Fleshless hand" "Somewhere," "High speed calm air tonight," among others — and Skinned tracks like "I Feel Like Giving You Things," "Can't Get Over You with You" and "I'm a Girl You Can Hold IRL," Buch's voice was a light beam that cut past all the technical wizardry happening around it. Buch's subtle guitar heroics continued to inspire, her charged and intuitive playing equally recalling Joni Mitchell's sterling Hejira and the tricky fluidity of the Durutti Column.

The magic of Buch's compositions lies in their unexpected humanity; sinew and blood and skin move beneath her music's silvery patina, and the room felt like it was breathing in tandem with her songs.


Buch was warm, funny and gently bewildered by the crowd's enthusiasm during the minimal speaking she did do, asking for audience help in finding her lost shoe and cracking jokes with Molina. It was an intimate performance in the truest sense, the chance to watch an artist transform a room and exact a vision, an exchange that melted membranes and mutated molecules.

And after a brief, electrifying set that ended on a thundering fake-out closing performance of "River mouth," Buch returned for a solo rendition of Suntub closer "Working it out," ending the night with just body and guitar, the sound breaking and scattering across white light.

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