Givers is an impossibly upbeat five-piece from Lafeyette, Louisiana, the Cajun capital of the world. One thing they’ve absorbed from their home base is the value of a melting pot. On their impressive self-titled EP, the band blends Afro-beat, psychedelic folk, and indie rock sensibilities into an adventurous, contagious sound.
From the first swells of “Up Up Up,” Givers oozes fun. Percussionist Tif Lamson exchanges scratchy Ida Maria-like vocals with guitarist Taylor Guarisco over the bouncy drums of Kirby Campbell. Bassist Josh Leblanc, keyboardist William Henderson and Guarisco have a developed give-and-take, alternating between straight-forward rock outs and multi-rhythmic jams. “Up Up Up” has the feel of a Vampire Weekend song – but these kids seem to be having a lot more fun.
“Ceiling of Plankton” starts with a smirking riff but is deceptively mournful. “When you notice all your stars are in line to find me / I’ll be there waiting right behind / and when you notice that your heart is bleeding / mine is bleeding, too,” croons Guarisco, over Lamson’s glockenspiel. The chorus doubles back with a synth-pop feel that is sweeter than frosting from the can. Owing a little more to their Deep South roots, “Saw You First” is more twang than upstroke. This would be hoedown material if it weren’t for the bubbling synths and shout-out-loud chorus.
If these live videos and their SXSW hype proves anything, it’s that this is a band you need to see live. The energy of these songs cannot be contained on disc or MP3; it’s just begging for a sweaty and smiling crowd. They are slated to join Ra Ra Riot on tour, dancing through DC in November at the 9:30 Club. In the meantime, enjoy Givers as the band prepares a debut album, due out this fall.