House show at The Fat Cat in Reston, VA is the pinnacle of July
Last night, four bands controlled the mood in Reston, VA, changing it from mellow to a nostalgic ambiance that could very well be one of the best house shows to date in the canon of Northern VA’s house shows. Drinks flowed, juul’s were hit, and people danced their asses off to some of the best sounds that have permeated the east coast. NOVA indie music is here to stay.
la Roche opened the show with a spectacular performance, that may have cemented The Fat Cat as one of the premier House Show Venues in the DMV. Reston, VA is not to be overlooked. Roche—vocalist/multi-instrumentalist—and Sarp—guitarist extraordinaire/producer—are local favorites, and they set the bar high for the night. la Roche played a set that captivated the crowd, a set that had to be seen live, and on a level that is higher than the clouds on a Virginia sunset.
They’re one of the more refreshing electronic acts that have this show don’t tell attitude, but when they do speak, Roche has a voice of elegance and natural wit. In a dimly-lit room, Roche and Sarp delivered a gorgeous performance, with all eyes on them.
Their EP THAUM is like a thousand bees’ knees wrapped up in a blunt on a lazy Sunday. “Dust” and “Kick Drum” are stand out hits that will be in the rotation on your playlist.
Philly has a sound that is hard-hitting like a gut-check.
The second group of the night, Grayling brought the basement down with their infectious energy and heartbreaking lyrics. The process is being trusted and this band is doing exceptional. The second song hits hard like a haymaker. The whole venue is a basement and then a kitchen upstairs. Lexi Campion, the lead singer of the four-piece group, really goes after it. Grayling is from Philadelphia and the band has that grit, that is, at times, missing from the east coast scene.
They have that x-factor, and Campion has a voice that comes from an underground well in a Murakami novel; you need to listen to Grayling’s music, like right now. “Go Birds,” goes one of the bandmates (Eagles beat the Pats last year, thank god).
Their third song has a shoegaze meets Coldplay (but dope Coldplay, think Parachutes on caffeine) vibe. The band has this skater new-age punk aesthetic. Campion has riveting vocals, which rival more established female-fronted acts. To put it simply, Grayling sounds rad. This band is very aware of themselves, and their voice, their sound. They’re on the path to doing huge things in the scene.
They’ve already played DC 9 while they were on tour with Fox Hollow (another excellent band tonight hailing from NYC). There were some technical issues with the vocal levels, but once that got resolved, Grayling’s set floored the audience in such a tightly-packed space.
Campion is going for it, launching into the atmosphere, and creating a dialogue with the Fuzzpop gods. The bassist was fire emoji/a shot of Jack Daniels, as he jumped to the groove and really went after those notes. The drummer crushed it, rolling that snare, as her long hair swooshed. And the lead guitarist had that poise and guitar-playing ability that can stop traffic at a DC intersection; he’s that good.
The way Campion plays with delay and reverb is awesome as well, she hits the pedal like how a smoker hits their vape, with efficiency, and genuine interest.
Well done, Philadelphia.
Fox Hollow is a Long Island Hardcore, steady melody band with clout. Mike Themistocleous and Chris Swift have created one of the most compelling sounds on the east coast. Mike plays with passion, style, and a firecracker persona. His playing feels influenced by John Frusciante, but his singing sounds like Anthony Kiedis.
Fox Hollow is like Red Hot Chili Peppers, if RHCP still had that hunger; that RHCP tang sitting in your mouth as people get closer together in the room, and you need to chug off the dehydration with a cold chug of water. That’s Fox Hollow. They’re a band with glamour, magnetism, and the sauce, that hot sauce you got to cop at Chipotle right after putting cola in the water cup.
Red and Green Glitter Warrior, Mike slides across the marble floor of The Fat Cat’s basement, swinging his guitar across his chest, and through the darkness of suburbia, him and Chris are leading us back to the city. Their groove is hard to ignore and those guitar chords have an NYC hustle.
Keep an eye on Fox Hollow, they’re going to be on the radar for a long time.
“I’m just saying hey there, do you remember me
Or the inside joke that I just referenced
Do you still care?”
Right as those lyrics came on from “Hey There,” you could feel your eyes starting to water with tears. Goosebumps emerged on your forearms. Vision grew blurry. But these were tears of joy, not pain, and vulnerability is cool, right?
Yo, this band is the shit. Who the fuck are we hearing?
This is Origami Angel, a two-piece emo group from the greater Washington D.C. area. Drummer Pat Doherty and Ryland Healy, singer/guitarist, are being struck by lightning bolts from the emo indie rock gods in a crowded basement in Reston, VA. Origami Angel plays very, very, very well. Based out of the DC Metro Area, Origami Angel sounds like Weezer on codeine, mixed with juul hits, and edibles dipped in berry smoothies.
Finding their music is like finding the last cigarette in a pack. They’re legit, and you really should have been in Reston, VA to see this show. Their latest release is on Spotify and Band camp, and it’s called: “Doing The Most.”
It’s difficult to pick out a favorite song on this album, all five tracks are well put together and have this confidence and adept skill to them. Seeing this band live is something that everyone needs to do.
Emo meets Alt Rock meets chillwave is how Origami Angel sounds, but if you want to learn more about them check out their Instagram and Band camp. Ryland and Pat possess insane potential, and their growth will be coming, in waves too large to quantify.
Ryland is able to sing these terrific hooks while strumming intricate guitar riffs, like this is batting practice, instead of playing in front of a packed crowd in a cozy suburban basement. He has this endearing charm and cool nonchalance, and Pat is extremely amicable and modest. Ryland is able to play fast-paced, and then even-keeled on guitar, but has speeds ranging from melodic to raging savage mode. Pat is pure adrenaline loaded into a capsule as he batters the drums with his sticks. Dude has chops.
Origami Angel has the agency and skill to turn the DMV music scene into an even more powerful force in East Coast rock acts. Emo-Alt rock mixed with deep, frenetic Internet culture and that’s this band. if they had to be described in a sentence. These guys are going to be a break-out hit.
Favorite songs off of Origami Angel’s Doing The Most include: “effective. Power” and “w / u”. Listen to them right fucking now, and get hip to their sound.
Find out more about the bands below:
la Roche – website/bandcamp
Grayling - bandcamp
Fox Hollow - bandcamp
Origami Angel -bandcamp