By Lydia Wiener | October 24, 2023

Despite the quintessential NYC autumn rain, Bahamas drew a packed house to Brooklyn Bowl last Friday. Afie Jurvanen, the man behind Bahamas, first hit the scene in 2009 with his debut album Pink Strat. Since then, the Canadian musician has released five subsequent albums, hitting nodes of alternative folk, indie rock, and psychedelic soul along the way. His most recent album, BOOTCUT, blends country undertones and acoustic riffs to tell a series of seasoned stories. 

The Brooklyn Bowl show was among the last on the BOOTCUT tour and featured not only idyllic songs from the new album, but also buoyant favorites from the entire Bahamas discography. Each song tactfully opened with the stage and house lights low, drawing attention to the spacey chords and recognizable riffs coming from the tele duo on stage. Groovers got into the vibe as each song unwinded and the lights became a visual spectacle unto itself, masterfully accenting Afie’s freshly bleached hair. The calculated pitch and tone of each guitar remained central throughout the set, drawing listeners deep into the Bahamas ethos. This whirlwind reached peak heights during the solo of “Trick to Happy,” where both guitars seamlessly carried complimentary voices telling one story with tele twang. 

For Bahamas, the tele’s aren’t the only pair on stage–Afie’s wide range of vocal precision was accompanied by Felicity Williams’ lofty harmonies. Together, the two functioned as an additional instrument, filling well-intended gaps with distinct tonal purpose and novel rhythm. This magical fusion continued straight through the entire set, bypassing a performative encore. For live music lovers, a band that agrees to “skip the part of the night when [they] go stand by the garbage cans,” and twiddle their thumbs is always welcome. We were psyched to hear Bahamas deliver the goods right through curfew. 

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