By: Jessica Grose
Though Marjorie Fair speaks of the same gritty Los Angeles that ’80s hair metal bands held so dear, a place where you’re “Staring at junkies / Cracks in the wall,” this space-pop outfit from the City of Angels is a far cry from the Crï¿½e. Marjorie Fair emerged from a melodic Southern California scene that includes acts like Band of the Day alum Innaway and espouses pretty harmonies with soft guitar work that are more Southern Comfort than Whisky A Go-Go.
Marjorie Fair’s debut album, Self Help Serenade, combines the gentleness of Coldplay with more intricate, Eagles-influenced melodies. Lead singer Evan Slamka has a sweet tenor that breaks with palpable emotion during particularly wrenching lyrics. On “My Sun Is Setting Over Her Magic,” Slamka talks about the seemingly inevitable decline of a relationship, one that’s “equal parts caring and tragic,” and the listener can almost hear his little heart being squelched within his vintage t-shirt-covered rib cage.
Slamka — along with Scott Lord on bass, Mike Delisa on drums, and Dain Luscombe on keyboards — has crafted an ambitious soft-core debut record and boasts an impressive live presence, precocious for such a young band. Luscombe’s keyboard work in particular sticks out as exemplary on Self Help Serenade. Marjorie Fair is currently on tour with yet another Band of the Day alumnus, the 22-20s. Self Help Serenade is in stores now.
Marjorie Fair tour dates:
7/27, Scottsdale, AZ (Martini Ranch)7/29, Lawrence, KS (Granada Theatre)7/30, Englewood, CO (Gothic Theatre)8/2, Milwaukee, WI (Rave Bar)*8/3, Chicago, IL (Schubas Tavern)*8/4, St. Louis, MO (The Duck Room)*8/5, Madison, WI (The Annex)*8/9, Los Angeles, CA (Troubadour)*8/10, San Francisco, CA (Cafe du Nord)*8/12, Seattle, WA (Crocodile Cafe)*(* with the 22-20s)