Seattle band Ivan & Alyosha, in the lineage of local powerhouses the Head and the Heart and the Fleet Foxes, are masters of the bright, jangly guitars, tight, soaring harmonies and steady kick-drum rhythms. But there is something distinct about them, too – the band has more joy to it than maybe anything else. They wear smirks and grins with their button downs and combed hair. They exude a sort of lightness. Having just come off an extensive tour – and, after Bumbershoot, they’re headed off for yet another – the folk-pop group, comprised of Tim Wilson, Pete Wilson, Ryan Carbary and Tim Kim, set up shop at the KEXP music lounge stage, the third set of the third day, with some of the members even sporting new haircuts!
The five-piece couldn’t help but smile as the first song began. Drums, a couple electric guitars, an acoustic and a Paul McCartney-style violin bass accompanied the sweet tones of lead singer Tim Wilson’s voice, a fine change from the power-pop bands earlier in the afternoon. “Thank you KEXP for having us, and Bumbershoot,” said Wilson. “We love you both!”
The middle of their set featured the beautiful song, “The Fold”. A dramatic electric guitar lead accompanied Wilson’s heartfelt lyrics. “Don’t you fold, don’t you fold,” he reminded. It finished with a solo acoustic guitar and Wilson singing, “Which direction does the wind blow in the valley there below? ... There’s a dream on the horizon, it’s calling out your name. You better go and find your reason, you better find your claim to fame.”
Ivan & Alyosha, who play again tonight at 7:30PM, finished with their hit, “Be Your Man.” Joked Wilson right before the tune, “We’re Ivan & Alyosha and we’re a boy band from Seattle!” Spontaneous audience claps accompanied the band’s shakers on stage, and a giant electric guitar blast capped off the band’s beautiful set.