Louisiana’s GIVERS – Afropop with a splash of Southern Charm

Image via The Owl Mag

I have a musical crush on GIVERS, a quintet of twenty-somethings from Louisiana who came together after Hurricane Katrina swept their lives away in 2005.

After the Hurricane demolished New Orleans, singer-percussionist Tiffany Lamson and multi-instrumentalist Taylor Guarisco’s belongings were submerged in fifteen feet of water. Poor Lamson had just moved into a new apartment to start her freshman year at University of New Orleans. Instead of turning a national disaster into a personal crisis, Lamson and Guarisco – previous hometown homies from LaFayette, Louisiana – partnered up to form GIVERS.

Finding themselves without school and without a home, they went back to Lafayette to work on their music. In 2009, after playing together for three years, they asked drummer Kirby Campbell, keyboardist Nick Stephan, and bassist Josh LeBlanc to join them for a two-hour set at a local pub, with Guarisco taking on lead guitar and splitting lead vocals with Lamson.

They caught their big break by opening for Dirty Projectors at a local pub – a band whose off-kilter guitar riffs and polyphonic male-female vocals are a primary inspiration for GIVERS. Frontman and guitar-savant David Longstreth was so charmed by GIVERS’s tumultous, happy sound that he invited them to open for Dirty Projectors’s their East Coast tour. A riotously successful performance at the 2010 Austin City Limits festival landed GIVERS a record deal with Glassnote.

This fall, they’ll be taking the reins and headlining their own North American tour. This includes a concert at Wrongbar in Toronto with Lord Huron on October 26th! (Tickets are $13.00 and available here). Time to discover GIVERS before they explode! (Cults, anyone?)

RIYL: Vampire Weekend, Dirty Projectors, Ra Ra Riot.

MP3: Up Up UpGIVERS from In Light (Glassnote, 2011) Download on Stereogum.

MP3: In My EyesGIVERS from In Light (Glassnote, 2011) Download on Stereogum.

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