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About last night: Psapp at MFA

Psapp (with Jose Gonzalez, about whom more soon)
June 28 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Seeing Psapp perform live has taught me two things. One is that I should refrain, immediately, from calling them Pee-Sap (silent p, kids) to prevent one of the many future events in which I will make an ass of myself. The second, however, is more significant – that everything will be alright. By “everything,” I mean the day in and day outs that we all suffer as individuals struggling to pay rent, find love, lose weight, save money, travel. By “alright,” I mean that a little bit of optimism goes a long way. 

Though six people performed on stage, the roots of London-based Psapp are grounded in two key members: Galia Durant and Carim Clasmann. On stage, their chemistry was kinetic and bright under the lights. Though the acoustics at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts’ Remis Auditorium are probably better built for sound than, say, the Abbey Lounge's, Psapp’s quirky, cute electro-pop ricochets off of the walls in ways you wouldn't expect. The group sounded great throughout, but their latest single “Hi,” and their most famous song "“Cosy In The Rocket," which is better known as the theme to Grey’s Anatomy, filled every corner of the room. Perfect pitch aside, the band was engaging on all fronts. Their drummer banged away with a mullet wig and nipple rings exposed, and among the colorful props flooding the stage were plastic horns, miniature cats (which were named by band members and thrown into the audience as keepsakes), and a rubber snake (which was also tossed, but only at each other between songs). There’s a playfulness in Psapp’s melodies and their stage presence, even if their lyrics address familiar, everyday issues. They manage to convey that where there is sadness there are also bright ways to handle it. I'm not often one for inspirational music (if I want to stew, let me stew), but “Leaving In Coffins” got to me: it's an adorably composed song that deals with the death of a friend, and Galia sang it with an earnest face and an occulding pop sweetness, which seemed, for a moment at least, to capture an elusive truth about loss. Psapp are a reminder that the right music can restore faith, whether you're suffering a major misfortune or just having a bad day. 

Vicki G. Siolos 

DOWNLOAD: Psapp, "Leaving In Coffins" (mp3)

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