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Peter and the Wolf Cap Toronto’s Over the Top Fest

Filling in for Of Montreal's inexplicably absent Kevin Barnes, the Austin-based outfit unveil tunes off their new album, The Ivori Palms.

After a last-minute cancellation by Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes, Austin, TX’s Peter and the Wolf took the stage last night (May 4) at Toronto’s Sneaky Dees venue and concluded the four-day Over the Top festival at the notorious PWYC (Pay What You Can) indie showcase, Wavelength.

Like a glockenspiel making very deliberate love to a ukulele, an odd sawing contraption accompanied The Ivori Palms gem “The Bike of Jonas,” adding cool harmonies to frontman Red Hunter’s melodious yarn. “Waiting for a Train,” with its bluesy backing samples of ooh and ahhs, was perfect fare for strolling through a graveyard, matched by an extended whistle solo and lush finger plucking.

Returning for an encore (taboo in Wavelength practice), the crowd demanded the confectionary one-minute folk centerpiece, “Bonsai Tree.” Strumming a few chords on his acoustic guitar, Hunter brimmed with laconic confidence like it was a nostalgic ode to things better left unsaid, full of introspective glee. And as the show ended, it seemed Barnes, wherever he was, would have been proud of his stand-in.

Peter and the Wolf / Photo by Dan Epstein

Peter and the Wolf / Photo by Dan Epstein