With Sound Off! 2013 quickly approaching, the 2011 winning group Tomten is still showcasing why they were deserving of the top prize. The Seattle quartet's dream pop melodies combine the sweet strum of guitars with electric piano to create a soothing and sombering sound.
Tomten played many songs off their latest album, Wednesday's Children, which was released mid-2012. Recorded on an old 16-track Tascam in a small Seward Park studio, the album features a combination melodic guitars, mellotron, and 3-part harmonies.
Singer and keyboardist Brian Noyeswatkins needed a few songs to get acclimated to the crowd of around 50 people. At first, the group didn't show much stage presence besides standing and going through the motions, which didn't translate well to the audience while attempting to set the tempo of the entire concert in Barboza's small back stage.
Come the middle of the set, the band members had conjured up some emotion. Unfortunately, the audience began to not appreciate the set during the solum moments when only the slight sound of a guitar loomed through the air. Small conversations broke out across the audience, which muddled their playing.
Regardless of the rocky start or wavering crowd, Tomten managed to pull through and promulgate their talent. "Bertoit Bercht" proved to be the best song of the night. With an upbeat Kinks-esque likeness and a strong electric guitar/vocals pairing, the song went off without a flaw. The performance of "Jujube" was also noteworthy. The song brought together all the features that define this band, the crisp elements of each instrument's sound and the pure hum of the vocals.
Tomten may still be learning but they already possess the tools to help continue their musical career strong.