Mozart's Sister Rivoli, Toronto ON, June 12
Published Jun 13, 2013Things are looking good for Mozart's Sister, aka Montreal's Caila Thompson-Hannant. Her Rivoli set drew the venue's biggest crowd of the night, and while she remains unsigned, she seems highly signable. The inevitable Grimes comparisons, which seem lazy on hearing Mozart's Sister's recordings, are fairly credible in a live setting, though perhaps a better touchstone would be another soul-tinged Arbutus alumnus: think Majical Cloudz on a monstrous dose of aural Prozac. Joined by the husky baritone of an accompanying singer, whose vocals intertwined gorgeously, Thompson-Hannant's performance was a new-pop treasure, sustained high notes corrupted by melodically evil-sounding sub-bass, samples merging cracked Four Tet-esque mosaics with that elegant grunting noise popular since Animal Collective's Feels.
More interested in remaining mobile than holding a note (a good thing), Thompson-Hannant was all snake-hips and swagger, achieving the performer's holy grail of actually seeming tremendously happy onstage — a skill demanding an intensity of both practice and passion. Her songs were uniformly alluring — "Don't Leave Me," a highlight — and her dancing was of the alone-in-the-kitchen variety. "This is the best show. I can feel it," went one snippet of stage chat. Her confidence was not misplaced. Though mostly single-paced, the performance enjoyed the shake-up of an unnamed new track — a melee of choral groans bombarded by austere percussion and bass — and the few more abrasive moments completed a set of endearing temerity.