Slowriter, a musical project by Bryan Taylor, doesn’t put on a typical set. Yes, there is a guitar, and drums. There is a laptop, from which Bryan syncs his beats. There are also projections. But at Piano’s in New York City’s Lower East Side, all of these seemed to deviate just enough to make Slowriter more interesting than your average indie-electronic hybrid.
Bryan showed up to his set wearing a faded shirt of hardcore band The Chariot – which would be random if it weren’t the now defunct band he played lead guitar in for three years. The groups’ music was critically acclaimed as something “that will melt your face and leave you wanting more.” This is almost the polar opposite of Slowriter, whose impressively diverse sound takes hints of folk and melds it with looping psychedelic melodies and glitchy electronic samples.
Throughout the short set, each song sounded different enough to keep the audience guessing, and a small crowd was head nodding along to the harder guitar-driven sections. A highlight was the background projections, which blended Bryan’s face into spacescapes and suburban backdrops. The best video was originally made for a Turtle Festival (??) show, and used an odd Russian man asking people to bring their turtles to the front. This, along with his tendency to mouth along to the beat of distorted electronic samples, broke through the heady emotional vibe created by Bryan’s emphatic vocals. The combination of hilariously random videos, upbeat breakdowns and a melancholy sensibility ensured that
Slowriter kept things musically accessible, but never predictable.