Givers: “Up Up Up”
When a band looks sounds like it’s having a good time, it makes all the difference in the world. The invisible, but still very real, walls between performer and listener just plain disappear. Lafayette, La.’s Givers are a band that always seem to be having a great time. There’s no arty pretension, or glum rocker glowering to be found in any of the band’s photos. What you will find, especially when you delve deep into the band’s sprightly, indie-pop, is a band that’s joyful, and ready to share it with you.
Part of the good-time vibe may have something to do with the kind of music members of the band cut their teeth in. Singer/guitarist Taylor Guarisco (who trades back-and-forth vocal duties with percussionist Tiffany Lamson) is steeped in the Louisiana music tradition, playing in funk, cajun and zydeco bands before–and after–getting the Givers together with Lamson. They brought in drummer Kirby Campbell and trumpeter Josh LeBlanc (who settled into playing bass). The group didn’t even have a name yet, let alone full songs. But when a gig opportunity popped up, they took it. That night they also brought in keyboardist Will Henderson (he later left the group) and keyboardist/saxophonist Nick Stephan, and the band improvised a two-hour set that solidified them as a real band. The group found their name, honed their songs and more gigs followed, including an opportunity to open up for The Dirty Projectors in Baton Rouge. The Projectors liked Givers’ set so much, they invited them out on tour.
In 2009 Givers issued their debut, self-titled EP on the traditional Louisiana music label Valcour, and switched to Glassnote Records (home of Mumford & Sons and Pheonix) for their 2011 debut full-length In Light. The lead track from In Light, “Up Up Up,” is today’s song of the day. The infectious tune has made quite the rounds since the record came out. In June 2011 the band performed it on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and the song’s appeared on television and in video games. It’s pretty easy to hear why the tune might capture some attention. It’s ultra-danceable and stick-to-your-teeth sweet. It’s got indie-rock punch and plenty of world-music texture–from the afro-pop-inspired guitars to some traditional Asian flavors. It’s joyful music from a joyful band.
If you want to get in on the joyful noise, you’ll get your chance this weekend when Givers play Fun Fun Fun Fest Sunday at 4:25 p.m. on the Orange Stage.