By Harriet Kaplan
The indie folk-rock duo from Traverse City, Michigan, The Accidentals, including multi- instrumentalists Katie Larson and Savannah Buist, have been together three years. The duo has accomplished quite a bit in short amount of time making a name for themselves with their involvement in various projects and garnering respect for their musical virtuosity, versatility and well-crafted songs that defy easy categorization. Between 2012-14, they have recorded three original albums, scored two films, landed song placements in commercials, documentaries and music compilations while playing over 900 live shows and then they graduated high school. Last year, The Accidentals added third member to the group: percussionist Michael Dause.
Dause is now touring with them and recording a new album with band. Pop/rocker and Grammy award-winning artist Marshall Crenshaw is the producer. A few months ago, they also played showcases at SWXSW. Recently, The Accidentals performed at Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, California. It was first time they ever came here and did a show. The trio was warmly and well received by the audience and caught their attention fast and held it throughout the show. The band has a kinetic, passionate and exciting way of playing music that draws a crowd in. The sheer physicality of their performance can wipe you out and leave you breathless. The stage banter was light, easy going and felt natural.
They also left quite an impression with the depth and breath of their talents switching back and forth between guitarists, electric cello and violin with precision. They were able to go from one style of music to the other with a seamless transition as well. Dause held a sturdy, rhythmic bottom on drums. Larson and Buist shared tight, pretty and nuanced harmonies. Their individual vocals were also distinctive and original. The material was melancholy, reflective, clever, funny and biting. Nine songs were performed off their current full-length CD, “Bittersweet,” including the wonderfully complex “The Silence” and “Mangrove.” Four were debuted off the upcoming album including “Epitaphs.”
The set ended with a unique and eclectic mashup of Muse’s Hysteria and Minor Swing by Stephan Grapelli and Django Reinhardt. The band has a independent and fearless spirit. They are unafraid to try new things and constantly experiment. The Accidentals break the boundaries of set musical genres and transform them into something new and unforgettable.
Photos by Mike Cavanaugh